When you’re comparing the works of Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock, everyone wants to know who’s the better director and why. There are a lot of film buffs out there, and they’ve seen all of their work on movies and TV. This, of course, isn’t a simple question to answer, but if it were simple, it wouldn’t be worth asking. Both have made many film fans happy with their contributions to the film world and have made classics that have been watched over and over again. They’ve been analyzed in film classes and heated debates have been had about who really is better.
If I was forced to pick someone and I had to pick someone, I’d go with Steven Spielberg, and the reason is because he has made, in my view, more diverse films than Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock was known as the master of suspense and for the most part, a good majority of his films were suspenseful and he was the master of it. No one did it any better. He knew how to keep his audience interested in the story and he always kept you guessing all the way until the end.
People are still discussing Psycho and the shower scene. Films like Rope and Strangers on a Train are shown in film classes across the country. As far as his style and the way he made his films, very few, if any, could compare to him and the work that he did in the film community. However, very rarely, if ever, did he go away from that style and working in suspense films. He had his niche and he did it very well and no one did it any better arguably. However, he never dabbled in other genres of films. He earned the name “The Master of Suspense” for a reason.
Spielberg, on the other hand, he could do a little bit of everything. He could make you cry with films like E.T. and he could show you the horror of war in Saving Private Ryan. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that he directed Lincoln and tackled the subject of one of the most famous presidents of all time. When it comes to film projects, there is not anything he can not do. That’s not to say that Hitchcock couldn’t have done other types of films if he tried, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of interest in trying on his part. He was comfortable in his genre and stuck with it.
The truly great, great directors never get satisfied and they never get comfortable. They’re always looking for ways to expand their resume and try their hand in something that might be a little scary for them and might be a little foreign to them, but they know it’s only going to make them a better director and a better person. While I know we’re speaking in terms of their directorial abilities, it’s hard to ignore everything that went on behind the scenes with Hitchcock.
There was a film released that showed him working on Psycho and there have been numerous stories about the man being difficult and hard to please. He would even oftentimes hit on some of his actresses. He might have been a very talented director and there is no denying that, but as a person, he didn’t always live up to those same standards. In the end, that counts for something. With Steven Spielberg, it is rare that you ever hear a bad word spoken about the man. People love working with him and they love what he brings out of them as a director. He’s just as good of a person as he is a director.
The big thing that must be taken into consideration is the fact that Spielberg is not done. Sadly, Hitchcock is not with us anymore, so his film work is done. He’ll, sadly, never direct another movie again. The possibilities for Spielberg in the future are, quite frankly, endless. He already has a few projects in the works that are getting people talking and have them very, very excited. He hasn’t lost that zest for making films and it does not appear to be going anyway any time in the near future.
Again, this is a battle of the titans, and it can be argued for days on end, but thanks to the diversity of Spielberg’s films, how he handles his actors and his personality, and the fact that he has more to give to the film world, I give the victory to Spielberg. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but I’m fairly confident in my decision. However, Hitchcock will always be a legend and no one can take that away from him.