A collection of interviews with the director who has become synonymous with both stylish, sophisticated suspense and mordant black comedy
Even twenty years after his death and nearly fifty or more years after his creative peak, Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) is still arguably the most instantly recognizable film director in name, appearance, vision, and voice. Long ago, through a combination of timing, talent, genius, energy, and publicity, he made the key transition from proper noun to adjective that confirms celebrity and true stature. It is a rare film watcher indeed who cannot define “Hitchcockian.”
As the director of such films as Psycho, North by Northwest, Spellbound, Vertigo, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Notorious, and The Birds, Hitchcock has become synonymous with both stylish, sophisticated suspense and mordant black comedy. He was one of the most interviewed directors in the history of film. Among the hundreds of interviews he gave, those in this collection catch Hitchcock at key moments of transition in his long careeras he moved from silent to sound pictures, from England to America, from thrillers to complex romances, and from director to producer-director.
These conversations dramatize his shifting attitudes on a variety of cinematic matters that engaged and challenged him, including the role of stars in a movie, the importance of story, the use of sound and color, his relationship to the medium of television, and the attractions and perils of realism.
His engaging wit and intelligence are on display here, as are his sophistication, serious contemplation, and playful manipulation of the interviewer.