Mother–she isn’t quite herself today

Today’s post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty.

Petition for Naturalization - Alfred Hitchcock
Petition for Naturalization – Alfred Hitchcock (RG 21, National Archives Pacific Region, Riverside)

Few individuals had a more, ah, peculiar relationship with their mother than Norman Bates in the movie Psycho, which premiered 50 years ago today in New York City. The movie was a one-of-a-kind in terms of suspense and shock, but it was just another in an illustrious career of one man: Alfred Hitchcock.

The Englishman was first lawfully admitted for permanent residence in 1939 and petitioned for US citizenship at the ripe age of 55, information that is preserved in the documents of the National Archives.

The writer and director is often lauded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, having produced over 50 feature films in a career spanning over half a century.  Of his films, many have left an indelible mark on his adopted home country: whether it’s making us look over our shoulders in hotel showers or dodging planes in the Midwest.

All in all, Sir Alfred led a career that any mother would be proud of, save perhaps one.

What’s your favorite Hitchcock movie moment?

4 thoughts on “Mother–she isn’t quite herself today

  1. Not to be a killjoy, but: if I read this document correctly, Hitchcock was born in 1899 and was therefore approx. 40 years old in 1939. Is this document dated somewhere? Could it be from 1954 or thereabouts?

  2. Howard, it says on the document that he entered the US in 1939 and was naturalized in 1955. Whomever wrote the entry simply posted the year of entry rather than the year of naturalization. 🙂

  3. Hi Howard and Liz,

    Great catch on both parts. Looking at the document again I don’t see a date he was naturalized, only the date on which he has “lawful admission for permanent residence in the United States,” which was 1939.

    You’re likely right that this document is from 1954 or 1955 given his age. Great catch and I’ll fix the post!

  4. Our fearless editor here did some sleuthing and it looks like the document was dated April 19, 1955. You can see the date at the bottom showing through the reverse side.

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