This book is one of Robin Wood's better known works and stands as both one of the best pieces of Hitchcock criticism ever penned, and as a model of auteur analysis in general [an area Wood has consistently been aligned with since his involvement with the magazine MOVIE in the 1960's]. It contains very detailed readings of Hitch's most famous and revered films, from Strangers On A Train through to Torn Curtain and encompassing Rear Window, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie et al. And also a second section which contains some broader ranging pieces on things like Shadow Of A Doubt [and Its A Wonderful Life] and American Ideology, Hitchcock and homosexuality [a very revealing piece on Rope] and a fascinating psychoanalytical reading of Vertigo. As well as pieces on some of Hitch's lesser known and British films. The one big problem with Wood, as with many British critics [and autuerists] of his generation like V.F Perkins [who also wrote for MOVIE], is his often self-consciously highbrow approach, too often too eager to validate cinema as art by comparing it to other art forms [ for example there is a piece in Wood's latest, and indeed last book Sexual Politics And Narrative Film comparing Renoir and The Rules Of The Game to Mozart]. But this is far less prominent in this book, as he concerns himself primarily with just analyising and interpreting the works in question. His writing here is as lucid, beautifully constructed and insightful as always and his interst in and passion for Hitchcock in particular and the cinema in general is evident in every paragraph. As mentioned this is less pretentious than some of Wood's other works, it is nevertheless still too scholarly for the passing film fan. But for the serious film buff and especialy the film student, this is an indispensible work that should prove useful and certainly insightful again and again. And will no doubt enrich your understanding of Hitchcock's films.