Alfred Hitchcock Directed Wartime Story for Life Magazine

05/30/2013 at 08:20 AM EDT

Alfred Hitchcock Directs for 'Life' Magazine
Alfred Hitchcock (behind bar), in Life photo essay, 1942
Eliot Elisofon—Time & Life Pictures/Getty
He's remembered as the Master of Suspense, the commanding director of such classic thrillers as Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo and Rear Window, but Alfred Hitchcock was also a patriot, and, in surprising news, a photojournalist.

In a 1942 photo essay the London-born Hitch did for Life magazine – and now appearing on LIFE.com (click here) – the respected filmmaker "directs" a riveting picture story about how wartime rumors can dangerously grow in small-town America.

"Between 1940 and 1945, Hitch made films for England's Ministry of Information as well as several excellent movies featuring plots that centered on the war," it is explained in the text accompanying the 18 photos.

"Hitchcock's most unusual director's credit from the 1940s, however, wasn't attached to a movie at all, but instead appeared in the July 13, 1942, issue of LIFE magazine. Titled Have You Heard? (The Story of Wartime Rumors), the feature carrying Hitchcock's name is a war thriller in photos, shot by LIFE's Eliot Elisofon from a plot 'suggested by' FDR's press secretary, Stephen Early, and 'directed by' Hitchcock himself."



And, in true Hitchcock fashion, he makes a cameo appearance, in the 14th photo of the essay. He plays a bartender.

The subject of two separate movies in the past year, Sir Alfred Hitchcock died at 80 in 1980.

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