“The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema; the only thing they lacked was the sound of people talking and the noises. But this slight imperfection did not warrant the major changes that sound brought in… In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise.
I always try first to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film in between. In writing a screenplay it is essential to, whenever possible, rely more on the visual than on dialogue… To me, one of the cardinal sins for a scriptwriter, when he runs into some difficulty, is to say ‘We can cover that by a line of dialogue.’ Dialogue should simply be a sound among sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.”
—Alfred Hitchcock, excerpted from Francois Truffaut’s & Helen G. Scott’s Hitchcock (1967)