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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for any Hitchcock Lover
This is THE book for anyone who's seen the Master of Suspense's classics, and want to know more about them. Truffuat, a great director in his own right, is one of the best interviewers I have ever read. His own knowledge of film and its techniques lend him particular insight into what makes Hitch tick. Perhaps best of all, you learn which of his movies Sir Alfred...
Published on 29 Aug. 1997

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3 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ego
William Goldman, in his book ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE said of this book: "for me the silly auteur theory peaked with the publication of one of the genuinely ego-ridden books of the postwar world, the Truffaut/Hitchcock interview. It purports to talk about directing, but on every page the subtext tells us: `Aren't you fourtunate that we're around to tell you...
Published on 25 May 1998


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for any Hitchcock Lover, 29 Aug. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
This is THE book for anyone who's seen the Master of Suspense's classics, and want to know more about them. Truffuat, a great director in his own right, is one of the best interviewers I have ever read. His own knowledge of film and its techniques lend him particular insight into what makes Hitch tick. Perhaps best of all, you learn which of his movies Sir Alfred liked; which he didn't; and even projects or sequences he always wished to do, but never could. The only problem is that if you have not seen a movie they are discussing, they explain the plot, with the ending, so watch out for spoilers. Still, Hitchcock didn't give many interviews and this one isn't to be missed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential for Movie people., 5 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
The whole book is one big interview. Francois Truffaut discussed with Alfred Hitchcock for several days about his films. When reading it, unexperienced people get a profound knowledge about the how's and why's in movies, the experienced learn about Hitchcock's life and opinions, and the movie professionals in most cases can learn something they did not know before. This book is definitely the one film book that gets you started. At this occasion, I may recommend the Biography about Billy Wilder by Hellmuth Karasek, which is pretty similar, regarding the deepness of the contents. As I already stated: Absolutely essential for Movie people - on both sides of the screen!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic guide to the world of Hitch!, 24 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
If you are a fan of Hitchcock's work you owe it to yourself to buy this book!
It's a superb and insightful analysis of the processes involved in bringing classics such as Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds to the screen. It also covers Hitch's early silent work such as The Lodger in depth which few other books manage to do.
Chock full of great anecdotes and useful analysis of Hitch's main themes, this book deserves a place on any serious film fan's book shelf.
This is one of the best books on cinema ever written, and is up there with A Biographical Dictionary of Cinema and Rosebud. An essential read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continually fascinating, 29 Dec. 2010
By 
Chris H (Hove, Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
Even for those who share, or partly share. Graham Greene's view that Hitchcock's films are a series of moments, of ingenious turns implausibly linked, this book is full of interest: the work of two creators rather than "media" pundit and subject. Time and again, fascinationg notions appear almost as an aside, such as the late silent period being the apogee of film as film, and at one point Hitchcock remarks of Waltzes from Vienna, which almost nobody now watches, "whatever happens in the course of your career, your talent is always there".

Along the way, they discuss the making of a comic film about film-making. Perhaps this was the genesis of Truffaut's delightful La Nuit Americaine - which had a Hitchcock-like cameo by... Graham Greene. Extraordinary that this film is currently unavailable but you can splash out on Waltzes from Vienna.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Insight Into The Master And His Method, 24 Aug. 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
This absorbing book is primarily a transcript of a series on interviews that the French film-maker Francis Truffaut undertook with Hitchcock during 1962. This provides a plethora of fascinating insights, all communicated in Hitch's trademark quirky fashion, into the life and work of one of cinema's greatest exponents. Hitchcock describes his film-making process in some detail, covering his work from his directing debut in 1922 with Number Thirteen and proceeding with a film-by-film analysis, through to Marnie in 1964. Hitch's final four features through to 1976's Family Plot are then addressed by Truffaut in a Final Years chapter. Given Truffaut's love of the man and his work (which were, of course, the subject of extensive writing in the 1950s by Truffaut and fellow critics - soon to be film-makers - such as Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer in the French Cahiers Du Cinema magazine) there is an element of hagiography in much of the writing, but equally Truffaut is not shy in expressing negative views of Hitchcock's work on a number of occasions. I guess Hitchcock clearly recognised Truffaut's overriding admiration for his work and was perhaps more tolerant of his criticisms than he otherwise might have been.

Of course, there are many other publications on Hitchcock's work, both from an external critical standpoint as well as publications which include (or at least purport to include) Hitch's own views, but it is particularly fascinating to (as it were) hear the words verbatim from the master's mouth. A number of well-known themes emerge, such as his obsession with detailed preparation (storyboarding absolutely everything, to the extent that he considered the picture pretty much complete without having shot an inch of film) and his conviction that 'pure cinema' could (only) be achieved with minimal (or indeed, no) dialogue and that the advent of sound led to a disastrous consequences for cinema as a true spectacle, resulting instead (essentially) of the transfer of theatre to the big screen (this also links to Hitchcock's obvious love for many of his earlier British film productions).

There are also a number of interesting anecdotes around Hitch's relationships with (and opinions on) his leading players. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of his most difficult directing experiences was trying to rein in Charles Loughton during the making of Jamaica Inn, whilst his view that often his films lived or died on the strength of his leading players (generally male villains) were substantiated by his negative opinions of the likes of Gregory Peck in Spellbound or Robert Cummings in Saboteur, as opposed to his 'success stories' with Claude Rains in Notorious, Joseph Cotton in Shadow Of A Doubt and Robert Walker in Strangers On A Train (although his positive view did not extend to Farley Granger in this latter film). Perhaps understandably, his obsessions with leading ladies such as Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren do not feature greatly in Truffaut's questioning - although Truffaut posits an interesting (and undoubtedly correct) theory that the decline in Hitchcock's later career (post-Marnie) was in part caused by the breakdown of his relationships with his erstwhile leading players (particularly Hedren).

Much to enjoy, therefore, particularly of course for Hitchcock fans, and for anyone with an interest in one of the major creative forces in cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for Hitchcock fans, Truffaut fans and fans of cinema, 27 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
This book is a brilliant. Two great directors debating over Hitchcock's career and his motives for his movies. We get a full interview of questions perhaps 500 spanning over Hitchcock's career. What I love about Truffaut's approach is that he has only the most respect for Hitchcock but also isn't afraid to criticise his work and disagree with him. I think in time Truffaut earned Hitchcock's respect for this.

It's the type of book you read quick and pick up from time to time, simply magnificent. If you are a student of film I would say there is much to learn about the craft of the work just by reading this book.

Superb
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Insight into the Man & His Movies, 18 Mar. 2013
By 
Mrs. Lee Thomas "Lee Thomas" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
It's all been said by many before me, but this is a masterpiece for anyone who is really interested in the works of Hitchcock & really wants to understand his thought process. Hitchcock's observations are intelligent, insightful & laced with his dry wit. Trauffaut made this happen by his obvious enthusiasm and minute knowledge of Hitchcock's movies & the rapport of the two men, who obviously liked each other. One can now understand why so many enjoyed these long conversations on set where Hitchcock described every shot; he's not boring, he's fascinating!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 20 Nov. 2012
By 
J. Whitfield (durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
Great read. One long interview with the master of suspense all done in neat chronological order. An editorial mistake crops up on page 198. The page shows 4 stills from Strangers on a train. The text accompanying the stills are not in their correct place. If you have seen the movie you will figure out what is supposed to go where. Anyhow, just a small complaint and noothing really to do with the qaulity of the interview and the insights into the many great films of AH.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I can't put it down!, 2 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
This book is unbelievable! Two of the greatest film minds talking to one another about the structure and composition of film. It's a huge interview that spaned a couple days and takes about a few hours to read. It is such a great read for anyone interested in film, Hitchcock, and Truffant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just when you thought you knew everything about Hitchcock, 15 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock (Paperback)
This is very good indeed,Truffaut knows his stuff,and though he clearly loves Hitchcock and his films he retains sufficient detachment to enlighten both himself and us.
By the way ' Adventures in the Screen Trade ' is one of the best movie books ever. Goldman's not keen on Hitchcock/Truffaut so what,we can't all like everything.
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Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut (Paperback - 1 Jan. 1986)
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