Hitchcock’s Villains: Murderers, Maniacs, and Mother Issues

Eric San Juan and Jim McDewitt. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (152p) ISBN 978-0-8108-8775-6
This probing appreciation by San Juan and McDevitt (A Year of Hitchcock: 52 Weeks with the Master of Suspense) looks at the complex, twisted minds of bad guys in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Burdened with cruel urges and bad intentions, each of Hitchcock’s misfits receives a thorough character study. Some of those included are Karl Anton Verloc, the small cinema owner in Sabotage; Alexander Sebastian, the spy in Notorious; Bruno Anthony, the spoiled playboy in Strangers on a Train; and Philip Vandamn, the spy in North by Northwest. Stressing Hitchcock’s isolation from society and his love of the frightening, Juan and McDewitt hit their stride with their on-target analyses of the tortured souls of Uncle Charlie, the “Merry Widow Murderer” and poisoner of rich older women in Shadow of a Doubt; Norman Bates, the schizo slasher of the infamous Bates Hotel in Psycho; and Bob Rusk, the necktie strangler in Frenzy. Film buffs and diehard Hitchcock fans will delight in this serious discussion of these peculiar fellows who, after all, are “merely fun house mirror reflections” of the British director. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Open Ebook - 196 pages - 978-0-8108-8776-3
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