Hitchcock vs. Spielberg: How the Legendary Directors Stack Up

Only an artist as great as Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock can get away with a line like "Self-plagiarism is style." Hitchcock's famous words are in reference to his highly stylized and perennially influential brand of macabre cinema—the very brand that turned him into the filmmaking idol of a young Steven Spielberg.

Born in London on Aug. 13, 1899, Hitchcock preceded Spielberg (born Dec. 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio) by 47 years—a fact that distances the two more significantly than any aspect of their filmmaking legacies. Hitchcock and his two siblings were raised by stern British parents near Jack the Ripper's old stomping grounds on the East End.

Early life

Hitchcock enrolled in a few different educational programs before breaking into the world of film. Most notably, he attended the London County Council School of Marine Engineering and Navigation from 1913 to 1914 and studied drawing and design at the University of London in 1916 before going on to write title cards for silent films.


Hitchcock began his filmmaking career in 1920 with American studio Famous Players-Lasky. He wouldn't try his hand at directing for a couple more years. In 1976, he directed his final film, "Family Plot," a Barbara Harris and Bruce Dern vehicle. He died in Los Angeles four years later.

Career span

From "Duel" (1971) to "Ready Player One" (2018), Spielberg has directed 35 feature films in 48 years. That averages out to 1.37 years, or 500 days, between each.


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