Alfred Hitchcock is without a Shadow of a Doubt one of the most influential film directors of all time. He was born at 517 High Road, Leytonstone, East London on 13th August 1899 and there are 17 fabulous Hitchcock themed mosaics at Leytonstone Tube Station to commemorate this.
The Rebecca mosaic, above, features the nameless heroine with the creepy Mrs Danvers. A nice touch is that St John's Church, a nearby Leytonstone landmark features in the background.
The Wrong Man
A few weeks ago I had the perfect opportunity to view them when we attended a special screening of Rebecca at Leytonstone School. This was part of Hitchcock's East End, a year long celebration of screenings and events exploring Hitchcock's connections with Waltham Forest which is presented by Create London with the Barbican.
To be honest I hadn't been sure what to expect before hand so it came as a delightful surprise to find that the mosaics were much larger than I had expected and I was utterly charmed with their beautiful detail. They were designed and made by Steve and Nathan Lobb, Carol Kenna, Claire Notley and Julie Norburn at the Greenwich Mural Workshop and were unveiled on 3rd May 2001. They are made of vitreous glass, which is a popular choice of material for mosaics, as it is durable and comes in a variety of colors.
The Wrong Man mosaic, above, features Henry Fonda reading a newspaper and behind him there's a depiction of Hitchcock. This pays tribute to, one of my favourite things to look out for in many of his films, the famous Hitchcock cameo appearances. However in The Wrong Man he appears standing in a spotlight at the start of the film before the credits to introduce the film.
Rear Window is one of Hitchcock's best known thrillers and features James Stewart and Grace Kelly. In the film the couple spend their time looking out of their window into their neighbours' apartments but in the mosaic this has replaced with The Green Man pub, another Leytonstone landmark.
Hitchcock with Dietrich
Alfred Hitchcock and Marlene Dietrich worked together on Stage Fright. Here they are depicted relaxing together.
North by Northwest
North by Northwest is a Hitchcock classic, featuring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in this non stop action adventure, where there is never a dull moment. The mosaic features the legendary crop duster scene but my personal favourite part of the film is the drunken car chase and of course the marvellous Bernard Herrmann's musical score.
The Skin Game
The Skin Game is one of Hitchcock's less well known British films which tells the story of two feuding families.
The Psycho mosaic features the terrifying shower scene, depicting Hitchcock and Janet Leigh with Anthony Perkins hiding behind the shower curtain.
Suspicion stars Cary Grant as charming playboy, husband whom Joan Harrison begins to suspect is trying to murder her. The mosaic depicts Grant climbing the stairs with a glass of "milk" in one of the film's most memorable scenes.
Hitchcock the Director
Hitchcock is depicted here on the set of one of his films and this is the first mosaic you will see when you exit the ticket hall.
Number Seventeen is another British Hitchcock film which features an amazing train scene, which in my opinion is totally thrilling and one of his best ever scenes.
Young Alfred by his father's shop
The mosaic shows a young Alfred Hitchcock outside his father's grocery shop on Leytonstone High Road.
To Catch a Thief
To Catch a Thief is the most glamorous of all Hitchcock's films, staring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, it telling the story of a jewel thief in the South of France.
The mosaic depicts Tippi Hedren fighting off The Birds in another Hitchcock classic scary scene.
The mosaic from Saboteur features The Elms, a local landmark, in the background. The dramatic finale of this film takes place inside the Statue of Liberty.
Vertigo, my all time favourite film staring James Stewart and Kim Novak. When we visited California a few years ago we visited several of the film locations, possibly the topic for a future blog post. The mosaic depicts the famous tower scene and gives away the plot.
Strangers on a Train
The Stranger on a Train mosaic was one of my favourite as I like how they have used mirrored tiles to make the carousel sparkle.
The Pleasure Garden
As a Hitchcock fan I loved the mosaics and to be honest the journey out to Leytonstone was very quick and easy from central London so if you liked what you've read on this blog I would highly recommend a visit to see them close up.
This blog is dedicated to my good friend Katie Chambers as a special thank you for her recent quiz when she tweeted a different mosaic every day so we could try to guess which film it depicted.
The mosaics are located at both entrances to Leytonstone Tube Station. The station is in Travelcard zone 3/4 and is on the central line.
If you enjoyed this you might like to attend our brand new Hitchcock's Leading Lady - Exploring Hitch's West End tour. If you enjoyed reading this blog you might also like reading about Agatha Christie or Bram Stoker.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.