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The Hitchcock mosaics of Leytonstone station

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Vibrant tiled images celebrate the life and work of film director Alfred Hitchcock.

The Alfred Hitchcock mosaics at Leytonstone station

The passageway into and out of the Central line Underground station at Leytonstone has 17 colourful mosaics by Greenwich Mural Workshop. They depict scenes from Sir Alfred Hitchcock's films and life.


Born in Leytonstone in east London on 13 August 1898, Hitchcock started his film career in London at studios on the Islington/Hackney border before becoming a Hollywood legend.


His first feature film as director was The Pleasure Garden, made in 1925. Starting with Rebecca in 1940 and thereafter, Alfred Hitchcock made his films in Hollywood. His final film as director was Family Plot in 1976.

Leytonstone Underground station

The mosaics were created to mark the centenary of Hitchcock's birth, but were actually completed in 2001.


They include 14 from a selection of his films, one showing a scene from his childhood, one of him at work as a director and one depicting him with Marlene Dietrich.


The 14 films, in the order of their year of production, are as follows:

  1. The Pleasure Garden, 1925

  2. The Skin Game, 1931

  3. Number Seventeen, 1932

  4. Rebecca, 1940

  5. Suspicion, 1941

  6. Saboteur, 1942

  7. Strangers on a Train, 1951

  8. Rear Window, 1954

  9. To Catch a Thief, 1955

  10. The Wrong Man, 1956

  11. Vertigo, 1958

  12. North by Northwest, 1959

  13. Psycho, 1960

  14. The Birds, 1953

Click on an image to expand


He was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director Oscar for Rebecca, Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rear Window and Psycho. His films received a total of 50 Academy Award nominations, covering 16 movies, winning six Oscars. Remarkably, however, he never won a Best Director award.


Easily missed among the mosaics at Leytonstone Underground station are two advertising posters preserved from a bygone age.

Old advertising posters at Leytonstone

The Leytonstone mosaics also include scenes from Hitchcock's life.


Here he is as a young boy sitting on a horse outside his father's greengrocers shop at 517 High Road, Leytonstone in around 1906.

A young Alfred Htichcock on horseback outside his father's shop

This shows him smoking on a sofa alongside the legendary German actress and singer, Marlene Dietrich, who appears to be much more up for a party than the master of suspense is.

Hitchcock and Dietrich

Finally, this scene shows Hitchcock at work, doing what he does best, directing on a film set.

Hitchcock the director on a film set

The Hitchcock mosaics at Leytonstone are a great example of the rich tradition of design and art on the London Underground.

 

I have posted some other examples of design on the Underground recently on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and will periodically post more. Please follow my social media accounts to see them and many other London pictures and stories.

 

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2 Comments


Guest
Nov 12, 2023

Stunning! This makes me want to watch/rewatch all of his films!

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London On The Ground
London On The Ground
Nov 12, 2023
Replying to

Yes, they are both beautiful and action packed!

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