Question: When did directors start getting credits like “Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho," where their names are given as "owners" of their films?
Answer: That’s called a possessory credit, and popular belief is that it’s a product of the '50s, when directors began thinking of themselves as solo auteurs rather than parts of a collaborative team. This struck many other behind-the-scenes personnel, especially screenwriters, as a world-class case of too-big-for-their-britches syndrome. Otto Preminger lobbied hard for and got the especially lofty “A film by Otto Preminger” credit, which prompted a legendary exchange between director Billy Wilder and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond. “That’s Otto Preminger’s house,” Wilder is supposed to have observed as they were driving, to which Diamond replied, “No, that’s ‘A House by Otread more