The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

Edward White. Norton, $28.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-324-00239-0
White (The Tastemaker) suggests legendary director Alfred Hitchcock had more lives than a cat in this sweeping biography. In his coverage of Hitchcock’s 60-plus-year career, White examines 12 “lives” that shaped what he terms the “Hitchcock brand” (as opposed to the familiar “Hitchcock touch”). “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up” recalls Hitchcock’s childhood traumas of abandonment and punishment (from his experience at school) as the basis for the distress and fear he portrayed in his films. “The Murderer” discusses “voyeurism, guilt, [and] enchanting blondes” and covers Hitchcock’s desire to reframe the slasher genre. The core of “The Auteur” follows Hitchcock’s films from “conception to projection,” detailing conflicts with collaborators, while “The Womanizer” tackles what critics have called “full-on misogyny” on-screen. Inside stories behind the director’s classic films abound, as with an anecdote about Evan Hunter, who wrote the screenplay for The Birds to little credit; after telling a child he wrote it, the child responded, “No, you didn’t... Alfred Hitchcock did.” Hitchcock fans will be enamored of this canny, full portrait of an artist with a singular vision. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2021
Release date: 04/13/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-7429-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-7492-9
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