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The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred…

The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (1983)

by Donald Spoto

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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An exploration of the man and his work that fascinates. Interesting that Hitchcock tended to employ leading men that he envied and women that he fantasized about. Also interesting that he was such the momma's boy. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Way too much detail but if read selectively it is very interesting. I am about to begin the part I suspect I will like the best. That is his work with Grace Kelly whom he secretly loved. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Jun 12, 2013 |
Alfred Hitchcock was an evil bastard. This might be ascertainable by viewing his films, but, for the most part, working within the Hollywood system constrained, or at least repressed, some of the more sadistic impulses. Not off the screen, though. An anecdote, by way of illustration. Hitchcock once bet an assistant cameraman that the latter wouldn't be willing to have himself shackled to a massive camera and spend the night alone on a particularly spooky sound stage. In a seemingly good-natured gesture, Hitchcock provided the man with a bottle of brandy to fortify himself, neglecting to mention that it was liberally spiked with a powerful laxative. The next morning, Hitchcock insisted that all cast and crew be assembled early in order to witness the poor slob's abasement. Master of suspense, indeed! ( )
  jburlinson | Mar 20, 2011 |
Savory for Hitchcock fans. ( )
  DavidGreene | Jul 18, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald Spotoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Santos, DomigoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It takes the pity of God

to get to the bottom of things.

—Enid Bagnold,

The Chalk Garden
for Ned

A friend may well be reckoned

the masterpiece of Nature.

First words
My fascination with Alfred Hitchcock began over thirty years go, when I was a schoolboy and he was quickly becoming an international institution. (PREFACE)
Reporters and photographers, movie fans and autograph-seekers and guests at the Beverly Hilton Hotel clustered in the lobby all afternoon, and by five-thirty on March 7, 1979, the desk clerks and bellmen were finding routine duties almost impossible.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 030680932X, Paperback)

How is it possible to paint a portrait of an artist who left behind none of the notebooks and journals that provide most biographers with important personal details? After exhaustive researching and interviewing, Donald Spoto came to the conclusion that "Hitchcock's films were indeed his notebooks and journals ... [they] are astonishingly personal documents." This account of Alfred Hitchcock's life reads the mind of the man through the making of his films. Spoto argues powerfully and convincingly that movies like Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho can be appreciated not only as masterpieces of entertainment but also as subtle, revealing autobiography.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Drawing on the author's personal relationship with the enigmatic director, interviews, and rich archival materials, this full biography traces the complex patterns of Hitchcock's art and apprenticeship in Germany

» see all 2 descriptions

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