Hitchcock on Hitchcock, Volume 2

Hitchcock on Hitchcock, Volume 2: Selected Writings and Interviews

Edited by Sidney Gottlieb
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt9qh2hb
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  • Book Info
    Hitchcock on Hitchcock, Volume 2
    Book Description:

    This second volume of Alfred Hitchcock’s reflections on his life and work and the art of cinema contains material long out of print, not easily accessible, and in some cases forgotten or unknown. Edited by Sidney Gottlieb, this new collection of interviews, articles with the great director's byline, and "as-told-to" pieces provides an enlivening perspective on a career that spanned seven decades and transformed the history of cinema.

    In writings and interviews imbued with the same exuberance and originality that he brought to his films, Hitchcock ranges from accounts of his own life and experiences to provocative comments on filmmaking techniques and cinema in general. Wry, thoughtful, witty, and humorous—as well as brilliantly informative and insightful—this volume contains much valuable material that adds to our understanding and appreciation of a titan who decades after his death remains one of the most renowned and influential of all filmmakers.

    François Truffaut once said that Hitchcock "had given more thought to the potential of his art than any of his colleagues." This profound contemplation of his art is superbly captured in the pieces from all periods of Hitchcock’s career gathered in this volume, which reveal fascinating details about how he envisioned and attempted to create a "pure cinema" that was entertaining, commercially successful, and artistically ambitious and innovative in an environment that did not always support this lofty goal.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-96039-8
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. viii-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    Some years ago when I proposed publishing a volume of selected writings by and interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, I admit that I felt the need to be somewhat defensive. Several key challenges needed to be addressed: about whether Hitchcock should be taken seriously not only as a filmmaker (Robin Wood’s famous question had been answered affirmatively, in ways persuasive to most people, by that time) but also as a commenter on films and filmmaking; about whether there was much of interest and substance beyond what was already easily available (especially in what was sometimes considered Truffaut’s “definitive” book); and about...

  5. STORIES AND SUSPENSE
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 9-18)

      Before he was in a position to make films, Hitchcock wrote stories that, not surprisingly, are recognizably Hitchcockian in tone and subject and are also remarkably cinematic. “Gas” (reprinted in the first volume ofHitchcock on Hitchcock), a story he published in theHenley Telegraph, a magazine put out by the company he worked for after he left St. Ignatius school, is often taken as a template for many of his future works, with its imperiled woman, evocation of sadism, detailed description of the experience of fear, and twist ending: it’s all been a dream, prompted by anesthesia in a...

    • THE HENLEY TELEGRAPH STORIES
      (pp. 19-27)

      “Curse you!—Winnie, you devil—I’ll———Bah!” He shook her off, roughly, and she fell, a crumpled heap at his feet. Roy Fleming saw it all.—Saw his own wife thus treated by a man who was little more than a fiend.—His wife, who, scarcely an hour ago had kissed him, as she lingered caressingly over the dainty cradle cot, where the center of their universe lay sleeping. Scarcely an hour ago—and now he saw her, the prostrate object of another man’s scorn; the discarded plaything of a villain’s brutish passion.

      She rose to her knees, and stretched...

    • Good-night, Nurse! (c. 1922–23)
      (pp. 27-28)

      The reason for the depressed look on the face of Felix Dayton was due, he told his fellow club members, to the fact that he was to elope the following evening. And those members who knew Juanita Luiz—the Spanish dancer of temperament—realized that Felix had something that needed some shaking off.

      Juanita Luiz held the secret of “perpetual youths” and Felix Dayton, part-heir to his uncle’s estate, seemed good enough to settle upon.

      Late the following evening find Felix and Juanita arriving at an old Tudor inn on the Bath Road. Felix finds that one of the guests...

    • Hitchcock on Stories (1937)
      (pp. 29-29)

      We want to find a story. We meet and talk. We read the reviews—we have no time to read the whole books. We pore over notices of plays. We discuss every possible type of story—and that brings me to the first prime requisite for a film story.

      It must blend two things which seem almost mutually exclusive: it must hang on one single central idea which must never get out of the minds of the audience for one single solitary minute, either consciously or subconsciously; and it must offer scope for the introduction of a number of elements,...

    • Lights! Action!—but Mostly Camera! (1941)
      (pp. 30-31)

      Detective fiction is distinguished from all other types of crime fiction by its insistence upon the normal. The abnormal event—theft, arson, murder—is explained in terms of the material, the natural, the logical. Crime is the stone thrown into a quiet pool. It is the oddly colored thread woven into a colorless pattern.

      The detective is the diagnostician. It is his business to study the ripples on the surface of the pool and to find the disturbing stone, his job to pick the elusive thread from the tapestry.

      This insistence on the normal adds the illusion of reality. It...

    • Hitchcock, Master Maker of Mystery (1941)
      (pp. 31-33)
      Beth Twiggar

      Alfred Hitchcock shook his head and chuckled. The director, who is famous as a master builder of suspense in mystery films, had just been asked about his success in that line. Had he always been interested in crime fiction? Was he a follower of police records?

      “No,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I’ve always been afraid of policemen. I never see one without a potent urge to flee. I don’t know why, and of course I never do run away, but the fright’s there just the same. Strange, isn’t it?”

      Suspicion, a Hitchcock picture, is now in its...

    • Introduction to Intrigue: Four Great Spy Novels of Eric Ambler (1943)
      (pp. 33-35)

      Perhaps this was the volume that brought Mr. Ambler to the attention of the public that make best-sellers. They had been singularly inattentive until its appearance—I suppose only God knows why. They had not even heeded the critics, who had said, from the very first, that Mr. Ambler had given new life and a fresh viewpoint to the art of the spy novel—an art supposedly threadbare and certainly cliché-infested.

      Consider his characters. His heroes are anything but heroic, nor are they startlingly wise, or even daring. They are ordinary, rather pleasant people. One is a newspaperman, another an...

    • The Quality of Suspense (1945)
      (pp. 36-38)

      All of my life I have possessed a profound interest approaching fascination for the quality of Suspense—a fact which probably will not be surprising to the thousands of movie-goers who have been kind enough to share my enthusiasm for stories which have this quality.

      When this enthusiasm for Suspense became so closely identified with my name that a publisher was prompted to invite me to edit a volume of Suspense stories, I faced the difficulty of defining and limiting the quality upon which I had presumed myself to be something of an authority.

      As a matter of fact, Suspense...

    • The Film Thriller (1946)
      (pp. 39-40)

      I have been asked to write a few words on suspense pictures, and I shall have to open these sage observations by remarking that even the word “suspense” bores me.

      It has become hackneyed with too much use. Anyway, suspense doesn’t apply merely to melodrama or mystery. You can very well utilize suspense in a love story. In fact, you had very well better if you want the audience to hang around long enough to see reel seven.

      For myself, in place of “suspense pictures,” I much prefer the words—my own coinage—“seat-clingers.” I’m not too proud of them,...

    • Death in the Crystal Ball (1950)
      (pp. 40-42)

      In the summer of 1939, I went with my family to Hastings, near London, for a vacation. On a warm summer’s day, my daughter Patricia and I walked through the noisy amusement park which draws shrieking youngsters from all over the south of England.

      We had already passed the tent of “Carlotta, the Crystal-Ball Gazer,” when Patricia insisted we go back and have our fortunes told.

      The setting was similar to a typical motion-picture version of a fortune teller’s carnival booth. In the center of the shabby tent was a table bearing a large crystal ball. Carlotta, a pretty gypsy,...

    • The Wise Man of Kumin (1951)
      (pp. 42-43)

      The object that caught my eye and fascinated me so that I could scarcely concentrate on Chung, ruler of this little village of Kumin in China, was the tremendous bronze chandelier. It hung by a frayed hemp rope suspended over his head, from the very center of the high-domed room.

      The chandelier, constructed of thousands of pieces of bronze fitted in a mosaic, caught every gleam of candlelight. It seemed to sway slightly, for it must have weighed half a ton. And yet it was held only by the thin worn rope.

      I was almost tempted to catch my guide’s...

    • The Chloroform Clue: My Favorite True Mystery (1953)
      (pp. 44-48)

      I always have been fascinated by tales of murder. As a boy in London I read avidly of Poe, Emile Gaboriau, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first picture I directed, in 1926, wasThe Lodger, a silent version of Marie Belloc Lowndes’s gripping story of Jack the Ripper. Since then, a majority of the 48 films I have made, including my latest,I Confess, for Warner Brothers, have been concerned with suspense or sudden death.

      In the annals of true crime, one of the strangest stories I ever encountered was that of Edwin and Adelaide Bartlett. It has many...

    • “It’s the Manner of Telling”: An Interview with Alfred Hitchcock (1976)
      (pp. 49-58)
      Anthony Macklin and Alfred Hitchcock

      Interviewer:In the ten years we’ve publishedFilm Heritagewe’ve gotten more quality articles on your work than anybody else’s. What is the tone of your latest filmThe Family Plot?

      Hitchcock: Well, I think the general tone is colorful and, in certain respects, amusing—although it’s about kidnapping and the innocent people who get involved in it. As a matter of fact, it’s really two stories: it’s a story of a fake medium and her taxi driver–cum–actor partner who is her research man so that if she goes into a rich old lady for a seance she’s...

  6. PURE CINEMA AND THE HITCHCOCK TOUCH
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 61-70)

      Hitchcock began to articulate his notion of “pure cinema” even before he became a director, and though he later oft en proclaimed his wish to avoid intertitles altogether and rely on otherwise unaided visual storytelling, he perhaps thought differently about the subject when one of his main jobs at British Famous Players-Lasky was that of title designer. In an essay written at this time, “Titles—Artistic and Otherwise,” which may well be his first published article specifically on film, he never challenges the need for titles. Instead, he methodically outlines the most common practices and concerns in designing and presenting...

    • Titles—Artistic and Otherwise (1921)
      (pp. 71-72)

      There are many elements that go to the making of picture titles—both good and bad.

      Apart from their actual phraseology—upon which subject more than enough has already been written—there is much to consider in the matter of their design.

      The first and most important aim is to make the title readable. This may seem a fairly obvious statement, but so many cases exist to-day of titles that present difficulty in reading. If an audience have to read a title that is not legible, they immediately conclude that it was not on the screen long enough for them...

    • How a Talking Film Is Made (1929)
      (pp. 73-76)

      I don’t think it has ever been fully explained just how a talkie is made, and also how talkie production differs from that of silent film-making. The Editor has set me rather a difficult task, because when he asked me to write the article he insisted that, while I should not be too technical, I should tell all the secrets—if there are any secrets—of talkie-making in simple language.

      Of course, the production of talkies is, so far as I am concerned, a mass of technicalities, but I am going to endeavor to keep these in the background as...

    • Why I Make Melodramas (1937)
      (pp. 76-77)

      WHAT IS MELODRAMA?

      If I admit I prefer to make films that may be so classified I must first define it. Try to define it for yourself and see how difficult it is.

      One man’s drama is another man’s melodrama.

      In the Victorian theater there were only two divisions of entertainment—the melodrama and the comedy. Then snobbery asserted itself. What you saw at Drury Lane was drama. At the Lyceum it was melodrama. The only difference was the price of the seat.

      “Melodrama” came to be applied by sophisticates to the more naive type of play or story, in...

    • Some Thoughts on Color (1937)
      (pp. 78-78)

      “I am whole-heartedly in favor of color films,” said Alfred Hitchcock, British director, who is now makingYoung and Innocent(Nova Pilbeam), in Pinewood Studios, England.

      Truly reproduced, Hitchcock says, color is a step towards greater realism in photography, and as such is desirable; but films must be color films, not colored films, he emphasizes.

      “Color will give me the chance to portray what I want to portray most—lack of color,” he said. “I know that sounds paradoxical, but think it over. How can I show the drabness of a slum street compared with the glory of a lovely...

    • The “Hitch” Touch (1946)
      (pp. 79-80)

      If you have ideals about picturesandyou direct them it’s like walking on a tightrope with an umbrella in one hand and a script in the other. For however artistically inclined a director may be he can’t afford to turn an entirely blind eye to “box-office.”

      Anyway, all this talk about cinema “art” never did cut much ice with me. Art and money were married a long time ago and perhaps, after all, it wasn’t such a bad thing. They’re not divorced yet, and I can’t see it coming. In any case, pictures that are a balanced mixture of...

    • Encounter with Alfred Hitchcock (1956)
      (pp. 80-85)
      Charles Bitsch and François Truffaut

      Whenever he stops over in Paris, Alfred Hitchcock never fails to grant us an interview and to chat with us. The French language is gradually becoming familiar to him and there is not a trace of mistrust in his answers to our questions. He knows that it won’t be we who reproach him for being too serious in makingI Confessor not earnest enough inThe Man Who Knew Too Much.

      Although they have been shown at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals,Notorious, I Confess, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief,andThe Man Who Knew Too Much...

    • Alfred Hitchcock Murders a Blonde (1958)
      (pp. 85-90)

      “How,” I asked Alfred Hitchcock, “would you murder a blonde?”

      The master of murder, mayhem and the macabre blinked his heavy eyelids and murmured:

      “Did you say how or why?”

      “How.”

      “It seems to me,” mused the maestro, “that if you were going to murder a blonde, to conform to pattern, you should poison her.”

      He gazed reflectively up at the ceiling, waited for the right pause and then added:

      “… with peroxide.”

      Again the long pause.

      “That should give you the requisite counterpoint,” he said.

      A grin was starting to spread over his face.

      “But no violence,” he shuddered....

    • My Favorite Film Character Is—ME! (1959)
      (pp. 91-93)

      Neither Hollywood nor TV has shown any interest in my favorite character, although he has appeared in every one of my films.

      You are probably familiar with him—a fussy, flustered, bewildered man; short and obese. He used to be fatter. He is always played by myself, and has become, in a manner of speaking, my film signature.

      He appears so briefly on the screen as almost to be subliminal—which means you are not always sure you have seen him. He has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot. At most, he is a face in the crowd, a...

    • A Lesson in PSYCHO-logy (1960)
      (pp. 93-95)

      Having lived withPsychosince it was merely a gleam in my camera’s eye, I have exercised my parental rights in urging showmen to adopt a policy of top secrecy about the story, from their very first encounters with opinion-makers. I believe this is a vital step in creating the aura of mysterious importance this unusual motion picture so richly deserves.

      The idea of insisting on and carrying out a policy that no one—but no one—can be allowed to enter a theater playingPsychoafter the start of each performance came to me one busy afternoon in the...

    • Rear Window (1968)
      (pp. 95-102)

      I chose this picture because of all the films I have made, this to me is the most cinematic. I’m a purist so far as the cinema is concerned. You see many films that are what I call photographs of people talking. This film has as its basic structure the purely visual. The story is told only in visual terms. Only a novelist could do the same thing. It’s composed largely of Mr. Stewart as a character in one position in one room looking out onto his courtyard. So what he sees is a mental process blown up in his...

  7. ON DIRECTORS AND DIRECTING
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 105-115)

      Some of Hitchcock’s most interesting and important comments on directing come from an early watershed period in his career, late 1927 and early 1928, after the delayed release but then stunning success of his first three films, a time of a remarkable burst of creative activity (he made four films in 1927 alone), critical acclaim, and financial reward. He and Alma were also expecting their first child, reason enough for him to think deeply about his responsibilities as a father in his home and a father figure in his studio. This latter image is prominent in “An Autocrat of the...

    • An Autocrat of the Film Studio (1928)
      (pp. 116-123)

      The most important development of the film will be its entire severance from both the stage and the novel, and the command of a medium of its own. It should be a medium of itself, and cannot reach what I should call absolute perfection until it can function irrespective of the book and the stage. That is to say, it must be capable of telling a story in its own way, which will be in a way different from both the stage and the novel. Today it takes something from both.

      How is this change to be brought about? As...

    • A New “Chair” Which a Woman Might Fill (1929)
      (pp. 123-126)
      Roger Burford

      No profession is quite as exciting as making films: every talent is called for in the film director, and a very severe physical, mental and psychic strain is imposed. Thousands or tens of thousands of pounds are at stake, and the effort is highly concentrated for three or four months, during which there can be no other preoccupation of any sort. Hardly a woman’s job, one would think. Yet there are a few woman film directors, of whom Dorothy Arzner is the only one to be widely known. She has made about half a dozen effective comedies with a feminine...

    • A Columbus of the Screen (1931)
      (pp. 126-129)

      The Film Public—that Public which is the final judge of our efforts, the arbiter of our destiny, and the be-all and end-all of our professional existence—rarely lifts aside the thick veil before which the players perform, to catch a glimpse of the personality behind. It imagines a shadowy figure with a megaphone bawling confused orders, and leaves it at that—and it is just as well that it should be so, for the director is not usually a romantic figure, ready to capture the imagination.

      However, there are exceptions; and incomparably the greatest of these is David Wark...

    • Britain Must Be Great (1932)
      (pp. 129-130)

      This is not the first time there has been a producer in a British studio, although the producer here does not occupy the public eye to anything like the same degree as Samuel Goldwyn, Irving Thalberg or Howard Hughes in America, or Eric Pommer in Germany. But it is the first time, I think, that the job has ever been given to an ordinary working director on the studio staff.

      I know about it from the bottom right enough. I suppose during the last ten years I have been everything that a man can be in a studio. I broke...

    • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
      (pp. 130-132)

      One shouldn’t look backwards, I know, but there are times when even the most modern of us sigh and yearn for what are popularly called “the good old days.” I seem to have been reminded of this more frequently in the last few weeks than ever before—during the filming in Marrakesh and in London ofThe Man Who Knew Too Much.

      BecauseThe Man Who Knew Too Muchis frankly a remake of a picture I made in 1934, and because there has been no attempt to conceal the fact, the question asked of me most often is what...

    • Hitchcock on Truffaut (1962)
      (pp. 132-137)

      Truffaut: North by Northwest,which we’ve already discussed considerably, on a number of occasions. I don’t know what we might have forgotten about it. Were you pleased with Eva Marie Saint?

      Hitchcock: Well, I did my best to make her attractive. I, you know, watched every look and every, I did almost the same job with her that I did with Hedren inThe Birds. Um, you know, she’d always played a kind of waif sort of part.

      Truffaut:It’s true, that changed her. She’s good.

      Hitchcock: Yes, and as a result, here’s one of the big problems in grooming...

    • Declaration of Alfred Hitchcock (1967)
      (pp. 137-141)

      Alfred Hitchcock declares and says:

      I have been employed in the motion picture industry since 1925, during which period of time I have directed more than fifty photoplays, many of which I have produced as well as directed, both in the United States and in Great Britain. I have been employed by most of the major motion picture producing and distributing companies, including Gaumont-British Pictures, Ltd., United Artists Corporation, RKO Pictures, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures Company.

      In 1940, I directed the motion pictureRebecca, which won the Academy Award for the Best Picture of...

    • Interview with Alfred Hitchcock (1973)
      (pp. 141-152)
      ALFRED HITCHCOCK

      In the fall of 1971, the Film Division of Columbia University proposed to the University that Mr. Alfred Hitchcock be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his outstanding contributions to cinematic language. The degree was approved by the various committees at Columbia, and Mr. Hitchcock was contacted to see if he would indeed be able to come to Columbia for the June 6, 1972, graduation to receive such a degree. Mr. Hitchcock agreed.

      When he arrived in New York, one of the students called him to ask if he would come to speak to the film students before...

  8. HITCHCOCK AT WORK
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 155-163)

      In his comments on film, Hitchcock was often theoretically imaginative, speculative, and even abstract in expanding the horizons of what could be done in his chosen medium. But he was ever the pragmatist, and his relentless thoughtfulness about film was not an exercise in pure theory but a key part of his effort to outline and negotiate the challenges of making pure cinema in an impure world. The articles collected in this section illustrate that theory and practice are inseparable for Hitchcock and broaden our understanding of what the phrase “Hitchcock at work” means: he was in a very real...

    • Making Murder! (1930)
      (pp. 164-168)

      After wrestling for three weeks with the scenario of Galsworthy’sThe Skin Game, surrounded by the too-pleasant distractions of life in my little cottage hidden in five acres of coppice near Guildford, I held council with my wife.

      “Alma,” said I with the dictatorial authority of a film director, “we go to London at once. We need solitude; we need a retreat, a sanctuary from the birds of the air, the animals of the field, from all mankind and from the sights and sounds these things torment us with. We need the sights and sounds we can ignore; we must...

    • Hitchcock’s Notes on Stage Fright (c. 1950)
      (pp. 168-191)

      Hitch:You saw in the opening, Fred, we opened with some top shots of a car going through London by St. Pauls. You remember the streets by St. Pauls where it is all devastated on each side? Well, I thought we would have a very high camera shooting down, so that we see these streets at that time of the evening 7 or 8 o’clock.

      Fred: Including St. Pauls Cathedral?

      Hitch:If we can get it in—you know. But I thought we could probably get two angles shot from a high building looking west. Our backs are to the...

    • Interview with Alfred Hitchcock (1955)
      (pp. 191-200)
      François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, CAHIERS and ALFRED HITCHCOCK

      Hitchcock: My most recent film is calledThe Trouble with Harry. I started it immediately afterTo Catch a Thief. I finishedTo Catch a Thiefone afternoon at 5:30, and at 7:30Harrywas underway. There’s a reason for that.The Trouble with Harrywas to be filmed in the East of the United States, at the time when the trees were in full autumnal color. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, that a film has been made in color specifically for the season in which the action occurs. So I brought together actors, cameramen, a whole crew...

    • Alfred Hitchcock Brings His Directing Techniques to the Medium of Television (1955)
      (pp. 200-203)

      Ever since it was announced that a new television program calledAlfred Hitchcock Presentswould make its debut on the CBS Television Network on Oct. 2, I have been asked many questions by many people about my approach to this new medium.

      It had never occurred to me that I was expected to make profound pronouncements concerning “The Hitchcock Approach to Television,” nor in fact, that I should do some serious thinking about any radical departures from my customary methods. After all, in filming a picture calledRopeseveral years ago, I used a technique which, to a great degree,...

    • Hitch: I Wish I Didn’t Have to Shoot the Picture (1966)
      (pp. 203-208)
      Budge Crawley, Fletcher Markle and Gerald Pratley

      Q: How have you managed to find the same challenge, stimulus, the inspiration? How do you continue to find something new and worthwhile to do as you go from picture to picture?

      A: Well, I think that the main problem one has, in my particular field, is the avoidance of the cliché. You see, audiences now—with television, and having films for fifty years—are now highly educated in all forms of mayhem, crime: they’re all experts—the public I mean. I was talking to a judge while I was making a film calledThe Wrong Manand he said...

  9. HITCHCOCK SPEAKS
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 211-221)

      On the surface, “Hitchcock Speaking,”Cosmopolitan’s “exclusive interview,” is framed as a light-hearted and entertaining celebrity and celebratory profile, featuring comments that “only a talented imp like Hitch could give.” But there is a serious undertone rumbling throughout the interview, based on the repeated insinuation that the current time (the interview was published in 1956) was not only one of transition but one of crisis for filmmakers and the film industry. There is a palpable nervousness barely beneath the surface of many of the questions here that betrays deep-seated worries: about the “painful” effects of television on Hollywood; the need...

    • Hitchcock Speaking (1956)
      (pp. 222-225)

      Q: Do you feel that television has in a rather painful way been good for Hollywood?

      A: Television has indicated to Hollywood that the public is much more selective than it used to be. Hollywood has learned that people will watch only good TV shows, and that on the nights when the quality of TV is not good, they will go out to see a selected movie.

      Q:Some people say TV has killed off the movie mogul. Is this true? How do you feel about movie moguls, after having dealt with them for so many years?

      A: TV has...

    • Women (1959)
      (pp. 225-227)

      “If a woman is interested in catching a man’s eye, or both of them come to that, she should be as subtle in her dress as in her actions. Men do not appreciate a woman who is loud in costume or manner.”

      Alfred Hitchcock, the renowned, rotund producer-director who has made a close study of women all through his long film career, has very definite—and sound—opinions on what constitutes the attractive female.

      “A woman who wants to subdue a man would do well to subdue herself first,” is his advice. “The most attractive woman is the one who...

    • Alfred Hitchcock Resents (1962)
      (pp. 227-232)
      Bill Davidson

      In his 63rd year (and his 38th of film-making), Alfred Hitchcock holds two distinctions in the movie-TV industry—one centered on his odd physiognomy, the other on his impudent vocal cords.

      First of all, Hitchcock’s basset-hound countenance, mounted on his pearshaped body, is far better known than many of the stars he directs. In fact, during the shooting of his latest Universal Pictures film,The Birds, he had to be smuggled into a moving van to protect him from his fans in the streets of San Francisco. Hitchcock and his cameraman worked behind one-way glass, which was built into the...

    • The Chairman of the Board (1964)
      (pp. 232-236)
      Richard Gehman

      To meet Hitchcock—one does not have to use his first name, so much a hallmark his last has become—is as startling and shocking as many of the visual surprises he has been providing so long for audiences across the world.

      Outside his office on the Revue lot in Hollywood the morning sun, white and blindingly dry, transforms the twisted bougainvillaea and birds of paradise and other purple, orange and blood-red tropical flowers into a living abstract-expressionist painting. Stepping through it is like tearing a Grace Hartigan canvas … and finding oneself in the board room of a bank...

    • John Player Lecture (1967)
      (pp. 236-257)

      Forbes:Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my very great privilege and honor tonight to introduce to you in the flesh the director that most other directors would like to emulate, the director that most actors would like to emulate, and the director that most directors who fancy themselves as actors would like to emulate, if not equal, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock.

      Hitchcock: If I may say so, I wasn’t too happy about the wordflesh. And these steps were terribly awkward coming down—one had to step them one by one—and reminded me of the old lady who was walking with...

    • Interview: Alfred Hitchcock (1978)
      (pp. 257-266)
      R. Allen Leider, ELITE and ALFRED HITCHCOCK

      Elite:Do you enjoy making people frightened, scaring them?

      Hitchcock: Oh yes. Fear is a basic emotion. People like to be scared if they can control it. That’s why people go on the fast rides at amusement parks and to movies like mine. They want to be scared for some inner emotional reason. They don’t want to be scared in a real sense, though. They want to be scared of non-existent things like monsters and theatrical characters. Imagination plays an important part in what I do, the way I scare people.

      Elite:You do not believe in explicitness in your...

  10. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 267-268)
  11. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF PERMISSIONS
    (pp. 269-270)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 271-274)