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The films of Alfred Hitchcock by Neil…
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The films of Alfred Hitchcock (1989)

by Neil Sinyard

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"Alfred Hitchcock is still the most famous and most imitated film director in the world" (notes Neil Sinyard, the author of this work), a director whose influence on movies has been profound and lasting. This book offers a comprehensive survey of Hitchcock's films. Each of the major films and most of the minor ones are considered in terms of content, themes, and technique, with special attention to symbolism, characteristic motifs, and the director's particular preoccupations. The book is replete with superb photographs, in greyscale and full color, many of which fill an entire page or even a two page spread.

Taking a chronological approach to the subject, the author groups Hitchcock's films into five major categories, represented as chapters. Chapter 1, "The English Hitchcock (1925- 1939)" considers his silent films and other early works, some of which show in nascent form the themes and preoccupations of his later work. Among the most notable of these early films are "39 Steps", "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and "Sabotage." Chapter 2, "Hitchcock in Hollywood" considers films of 1940-1950, including such popular thrillers as "Rebecca", "Lifeboat", "Suspicion", "Spellbound", and "Notorious".

Chapter 3, "Celebrity and Artist, 1951-1957" focuses on a period in which Hitchcock's reputation was secured, through such works as "Strangers on a Train," "Dial M for Murder", and "Rear Window." The period of 1958- 1964 is covered in Chapter 4, appropriately called "Masterpieces." The films of this time frame are among Hitchcock's most famous, notably "The Birds", "Psycho", "Vertigo", and "North by Northwest". Chapter 5, "The Final Films (1966- 1976)" considers "Frenzy", "Torn Curtain", "Family Plot", and "Topaz", works not generally regarded as the director's best work. A concluding chapter considers the influence of Hitchcock's films on those of other directors, including the sequel "Psycho II."

This book is an excellent overview of Hitchcock's films -- an indispensable resource and highly enjoyable to read and peruse. It couldn't be better! ( )
5 vote danielx | Oct 25, 2013 |
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