Oscar Losers: Hitchcock, Five Time Best Director Nominee

Judging by the scarcity of Oscar nominations and awards they have received, suspense films, like action-adventures, are more appreciated by filmgoers than the Academy voters. 
For some reason, well-made, artistic thrillers are perceived in the industry and within the Academy as a disreputable product of sheer craftsmanship rather than genuine film art.
 
Rebecca_poster
Photo: Rebecca is the only Hitchcock film to win Nest Picture.
In the Academy’s entire history of 89 years, only three thrillers, Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and last year’s Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men have won the Best Picture Oscar.  
Some will consider Silence of the Lambs more of a horror film, and No Country for Old Men a modern Western rather than thriller.
Rebecca: Best Picture (1940) 
 
Based on Daphne du Maurier’s popular novel, Rebecca was Hitchcock’s first American movie, in which he cast Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine in the starring roles.   The film is distinguished by an exquisite cinematography (George Barnes won an Oscar), and great ensemble acting, headed by Judith Anderson, as the malevolent housekeeper, in one of her most memorable portrayals.
 
In 1940, Rebecca competed against another Hitchcock film, Foreign Correspondent, which deals with espionage in Europe. The film was interpreted by some as an endorsement of the American involvement in the war, because its producer, Walter Wanger, was known for his antifascist views. Both Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent were popular with the public; Rebecca grossed in rentals the then phenomenal 1.5 million dollars.
 
In 1990, The Silence of the Lambs became the second thriller to win the top award.  Demme’s film swept all five major Oscars: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Adapted Screenplay. 
Only two other films in the Academy’s history have been recognized in all top five categories: It Happened One Night in 1934, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.
 
With the exception of Demme and the Coen brothers, no filmmaker has ever won a directorial Oscar for a thriller, including Hitchcock, the genre’s acknowledged master. 
Hichcock’s cameo in The Birds
Five Time Nominee
 
Hitchcock was nominated for the Best Director Oscar five times: for Rebecca, Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rear Window (1954), and Psycho (1960),  which was one of his last undisputed successes.  (I do think that The Birds, in 1963, is also a masterpiece.
rear_window_poster
Four Best Picture Nominees
Four Hitchcock films were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, Suspicion, and Spellbound. 
None of his masterpieces, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds was nominated for the Academy’s top kudo.
Honorary Oscar
Failing to give the Master of Suspense a legitimate competitive Oscar, the Academy compensated Hitchcock with a 1968 Honorary Oscar. 
No wonder, the master was cynical in his views of the Oscar Award, telling a reporter he wasn’t disappointed, because, “Why do I want another doorstop?”