Hitchcock and the Methods of Suspense

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About the Book

Alfred Hitchcock had a gift for turning the familiar into the unfamiliar, the mundane into the unexpected. A director known for planning the entire movie before the first day of filming began by using the storyboard approach, Hitchcock was renowned for his relaxed directing style, resulting in an excellent rapport with his actors. Decades later, Hitchcock’s films stand as sterling examples of innovative technique, infused with meaning that only repeated viewing can reveal.
This work examines themes, techniques, and the filmmaking process in 15 of Hitchcock’s best known films: The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound, Notorious, Rope, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Frenzy and Family Plot. It explores the auteur’s treatments of psychoanalysis, voyeurism, and collective fears during the Cold War. Also presented are key stories behind several Hitchcock classics, such as the director’s stormy relationships with Raymond Chandler and David O. Selznick that resulted in synergetic success for some of his most successful films. The book includes numerous photographs and an extensive bibliography.

About the Author(s)

Movie historian and writer William Hare is a contributor to Films of the Golden Age. He has also written for the Los Angeles Examiner and the Inglewood Daily News. He lives in Miami, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

William Hare
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 359
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2560-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0840-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Kendall      1
Introduction      3

1. A Breakthrough Spy Adventure: The 39 Steps (1935)      11
2. America, Selznick and a Gothic Challenge: Rebecca (1940)      37
3. Tranquility in the Midst of War      62
4. Selznick and Psychiatry in Post-War Hollywood      78
5. Hitchcock’s Grand Leap into Psychodrama      96
6. Hitchcock’s Auteur Days amid More Psychodrama      132
7. Voyeurism as High Art      164
8. Hopelessly in Love with a Woman Who Never Was      199
9. A Low-Budget Horror Jackpot      233
10. The Master in Maturity      271

Bibliography      337
Index      341