Hitchcock in London

Before Alfred Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939, he wrote, designed, or directed more than two dozen films in London, the city that was his birthplace and that remained a constant source of his inspiration. This lecture celebrates both the work of a brilliant director and the sights and sounds of a city he loved.
Dec 01, 2023


  1. Independent women who think for themselves make interesting characters – Susan Ohmer
  2. Here is someone who worked before sound, color, widescreen, shooting on location over studio… but has always been creative. – Susan Ohmer
  3. The Lodger, while loosely based on the Ripper murders, was not steeped in crime gore. It was a psychological novel looking at a character’s perceptions and thought process. It was well respected and held in high esteem by writers such as Ernest Hemmingway.
  4. Hitchcock’s films continue to be admired today due to his creativity and range as a director. Very few director’s careers have spanned so many years and have witnessed so many developments to the film industry. Furthermore his work has generated a phenomenal amount of discussion and critical writing.
  5. There was a deliberate attempt to link Hitchcock’s films with his later ones. – Susan Ohmer
  6. Films were black and white and so they did not capture color in the way that we understand it today…but they coloured the film to give an impression of the narrative mood. – Kieron Webb
  7. London like many historical cities is always changing. – Susan Ohmer
  8. We often think of HG Wells in terms of science fiction and the war of the worlds, but it is interesting that Conrad reminds us of his social and political interests. – Susan Ohmer
  9. You have a situation where characters are being duplicitous with one another and we watch that, knowing that they are being duplicitous but we also see how they are relating to each other in these roles they’ve carved out. – Susan Ohmer
  10. It’s all about perception and realization and glances and moments stitched together and we infer the whole time what’s going on in her mind and realizing the moment at which he understands what she’s thinking. – Susan Ohmer

Interested in learning more?

This series is hosted by ThinkND, the University of Notre Dame’s online learning community that connects you with videos, podcasts, articles, courses, and other resources to inspire minds and spark conversations on everything from faith and politics to science, technology, and your career.

Listen to the Series

Suscribe to the ThinkND podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Google.

Featured Speakers

Susan Ohmer, The William T. and Helen Kuhn Carey Associate Professor of Modern Communication, University of Notre Dame

Kieron Webb, Head of Conservation, British Film Institute

Rev. Jim Lies C.S.C., Director for Academic Initiatives & Partnerships, University of Notre Dame, London, England

“Films were black and white and so they did not capture color in the way that we understand it today…but they coloured the film to give an impression of the narrative mood.”

Kieron Webb

Read the Lodger

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowdnes is available from the Hesburgh Library as a free download. Read the first two chapters for an introduction to the Bunting family and the introduction of the lodger. If you are interested in reading more, go on to chapters 3 and 4 to learn more about the characters of Daisy and the detective. If you’re outside of the US, you can get these chapters on Project Gutenberg.

Watch The Lodger

Watch “The Lodger: Story of the London Fog” by Alfred Hitchcock. The film is available for free on YouTube.