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Alfred Hitchcock Hardcover – 31 Oct 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 31 Oct 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 850 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (31 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006039322X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060393229
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,435,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“…authoritative and exhaustively researched…a fitting study of the director… – will inform and inspire the studies that are certain to follow.” (Journal of British Cinema & Television, Vol.1, No.2, 2004) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In a career that spanned six decades and more than sixty films, Alfred Hitchcock became the most widely recognised director who ever lived.  His films – including The 39 Steps, Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds – set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling elan.  Since his death, Hitchcock has become crystallised in the public imagination as the macabre Englishman, the sexual obsessive, the Master of Suspense.  But this remarkable biography draws on prodigious new research to restore Hitchcock the man – the ingenious craftsman, the avid collaborator, the constant trickster, provocateur and romantic.  Like Hitchcock′s best films, Patrick McGilligan′s life of Hitchcock is a drama full of revelation, graced by a central love story, dark humour and cliff hanging suspense: a definitive portrait of the most creative, and least understood, figure in film history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have waited years for a definitive biography of my favourite director, and here it is.
I actually stumbled upon this book when it was brand new, and didn't even know about its publication.
To my utter delight, this biography is thoroughly researched and detailed throughout.
The actual text is approximately 700 pages along with 32 pages of photographs,immense discussion about Hitchcock's life and films and a list of other published volumes concerning either the man himself or his films.
Previously, I had in my possession a biography entitled "Dark Side of Genius," published in 1982.This volume has its own merits; entertaining, well-illustrated but the author is rather biased towards the subject of the book.
If you require a detailed, balanced and enjoyable account of one of the best directors in the business, then look no further.
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Format: Paperback
In short - the best Hitchcock book on my bookshelf!
I have 54 Hitchcock books so you could call me a bit of a fan. This book is an extensive journey through the man's life and film career, concentrating on the story of him doing his job, rather than a critique of his work - although it does that well too.
It is fantastically well researched and adds many interesting factual elements to the stories behind the production and development of his films I had not read elsewhere. Overall, £ for £, it is easily the best Hitchcock book on my shelf and the one I'd save if 'the ship went down'. It is well, though not, lavishly illustrated (Check out Hitchcock Piece by Piece or the Taschen books for pics) Crucially, it is really well written and a joy to read. It was probably my fastest 850 page read of all time and remains my key Hitchcock reference.
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Format: Hardcover
This biography is not only the best yet written about Alfred Hitchcock it is possibly one of the best biographies I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Comprehensive, and immensely readable.
And if you are a movie lover check out the same author's biography of George Cukor, also superb.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Never, they say, judge a book by its cover. The jacket looks idiotic and I delayed buying this book for months until I found time to read some reviews. When I did I discovered a superb biography - the best book about Hitchcock I've read apart from Truffaut's classic tome. American critics were often unappreciative when Hitchcock was alive, but this author really reveals what the Master of Suspense was like. Crammed full of information - much of it new to me - and highy readable. But please change that vile cover! It must be losing you a lot of readers.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a number of books on Hitch, but this is currently the best one out there.
McGilligan deserves great credit for the huge amount of work that has gone into this. Excellently researched, and covering his life and films equally well, the volume is both informative and very readable.
If you have read the film guides and biographies and want more, this is the book to get!
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Format: Paperback
Brought up as a grocer's son in London, Alfred Hitchcock was one of the great film directors. He understood the demands of the audience and how to translate this through the visual language of the cinema. His initial films were silent thrillers made in London in the 1920s, at times taking the role of both producer and director. After successes such as The 39 Steps and Sabaotage, he moved to America. His early years in America were challenging as he sought to establish his reputation in spite of finding himself a pawn in the studio system.
Through the 1950s, he made a number of iconic and celebrated films which carried the trademark features that were seen as distinctive of his style.

Following his death in 1980, his reputation has been questioned through the publication of salacious biographies and articles which make the mistake of confusing the work with the man himself and which have questioned his relationships with the series of blonde stars who were involved in his most famous works.

In this book, distinguished film biographer Patrick McGilligan provides a sane and wise biography of the man himself, a critical interpretation of his work and working methods and argues for the critical recognition that seems to have been denied Hitchcock. He describes Hitchcock's exacting planning of his every shot and his careful writing and redrafting of scripts, often working with his beloved wife Alma. He is also able to explore Hitchock's great enthusiasm for his work, his love of food and travel and his affection for many of the stars he worked with.

This is an important addition to the many books written about Hitchcock that encourages the reader to go back to his films again and to review Hitchcock's work and achievement.
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