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Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Rebello
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Now a major motion picture! The gripping behind-the-scenes look inside the classic suspense shocker—and the creative genius who revolutionized filmmaking.

First released in June 1960, Psycho altered the landscape of horror films forever. But just as compelling as the movie itself is the story behind it, which has been adapted as a movie starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh.
Stephen Rebello brings to life the creation of one of Hollywood’s most iconic films, from the story of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, the real-life inspiration for the character of Norman Bates, to Hitchcock’s groundbreaking achievements in cinematography, sound, editing, and promotion. Packed with captivating insights from the film’s stars, writers, and crewmembers, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is a riveting and definitive history of a signature Hitchcock cinematic masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews Review

If you don't believe us when we say that Stephen Rebello's Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is a killer book concerning the killer movie of all time, then why don't you listen to Tony Perkins, the star? Perkins called this scholarly yet super-readable volume "marvelously researched and irresistible ... required reading not only for Psycho-philes, but also for anyone interested in the backstage world of movie creation." And Time critic Richard Schickel (biographer of Clint Eastwood) calls Rebello's book "one of the best accounts of the making of an individual movie we've ever had."

It's even more reliable than Francois Truffaut's magisterial interview book Hitchcock, because Rebello interviewed the fat master himself, plus many Psycho insiders less cagey and truth-dodging than he.

At last, thanks to Rebello, we know all about the celebrated shower murder scene and all that swirls around it. Like Ernst Lubitsch, who conveyed the thrill of adultery by having the lovers open a door and cast their shadows on a bed, Hitchcock knew that, in film, artful discretion can be the most shocking effect of all. --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

In some ways a groundbreaking film, Psycho has been extensively written about and minutely analyzed. Rebello's anecdotal approach could well have been entitled The Saga of Psycho . Beginning with the story of the actual crimes upon which Robert Bloch's novel was based, it covers every aspect of the film's production, its subsequent reception, and, briefly, the later films inspired by Psycho . Although this somewhat parallels Richard Naremore's Filmguide to Psycho (Indiana Univ. Pr., 1973. o.p.), Rebello's book has added considerable color gained from extensive interviews with Hitchcock and others who worked on the film. This is a readable, albeit occasionally rambling, account and is a useful adjunct to Naremore and the numerous other books about the Hitchcock canon. Movie/Entertainment Book Club selection.
- Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 485 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (June 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S9WX6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,244 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebello offers a needed defense of this great film. February 10, 1999
By A Customer
Believe it or not, the reputation of the film Psycho is not that high among Hitchcock scholars. Most of them prefer the 50s films (Vertigo and Rear Window), or 30s films (The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Lady Vanishes). Reviewers also disliked this film upon its release, although as Rebello notes, that had a lot to do with Hitchcock's unwillingness to let them see it before its release to the public. (He wanted no advance word on its shocking contents.) Psycho has always been a success with its audience, and the viewers are the ones who keep its reputation as one of Hitchcock's greatest films alive. This book starts with the actual serial killer that Robert Bloch based his novel on, proceeds to the optioning of the novel (Bloch had no idea who bought it and sold it for very little, but his reputation was made for life), the preproduction problems (the studio didn't want it made, so it was done as a low-budget quickie), its scripting and filming, postproduction, release, and unexpected success. An irony of the film, according to Rebello, is that Hitchcock never quite got over its success. His later films were seen as letdowns after this one (although I put two of them, The Birds and Marnie, among his 15 best). Anyone who cares about this film will devour this book as I did. I recommend it unequivocally.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets June 7, 2002
I found this book to be just wonderful from start to finish. The research is painstaking, the writing smart and lively, the degree of film industry know-how is evident on every page. In fact, the book strikes me as one of the few I've read on Hollywood to suggest that the writer actually knows his way around movie sets and knows how films get made. This book has none of the absurd (and insulting) armchair psychologizing that mars other Hitchcock books and there isn't a dry or pedantic paragraph in it from start to finish. I thought I knew a lot about Hitchcock and Psycho until I read this book. A job obviously undertaken with love and wisdom, superlatively done by Mr. Rebello. I had the pleasure of hearing the author lecture on Hitchcock on TV in London and in Tokyo and he was the standout of the whole affair!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes of a Hitchcock classic June 10, 2001
"A boy's best friend is his mother" - Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
"Psycho" is one of Hitchcock's most famous films and this book is a fascinating account of how the film was made and some of the problems that had to be overcome before the film could be completed. Author Stephen Rebello has done an excellent job and describes in detail how Hitchcock chose his screenwriter, his crew and the actors. It is interesting to discover how little some of these people were paid for what turned out to be a classic money making Hitchcock film.
"A man should have a hobby" - Marion Crane (Janet Leigh).
Following the enormous success of his latest film "North by Northwest" Hitchcock was looking for something different - but interesting. When the "Psycho" book by Robert Bloch came to his attention he realised that this could be just what he wanted but he was unsure how the censors would react to the gruesome storyline. He decided to purchase the screen rights to the book and very cleverly did so for a bargain price. The authors agents had no idea who was after the rights to the book and thought they had a good deal when $9,000 was agreed upon. However, after Robert Bloch had paid commission to the publishers, his agents fees and the tax he was left with approx $5,000. It was at this point that he discovered the buyer was a certain Mr Alfred Hitchcock!! Joseph Stefano was hired to write the screenplay after many others had been under consideration. Hitchcock's main concern was to keep the plot twists under wraps during filming and did not release any advance information about the film to the Press. He also had an unusual advertising campaign insisting that no-one was admitted to the theatre once the film had started.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a mess! October 14, 2012
By DoctorD
Where to another reader already pointed out, this book is riddled with mis-spellings and typos, but that would almost be forgiveable if Mr. Rebello's "facts" were not equally riddled with errors and inaccuracies. Mr. Rebello appears to have studied the Alfred Hitchcock Papers housed in the Margaret Herrick Library in a most desultory manner resulting in some amazing howlers: Hitchcock "holed up for the weekend at home to read the novel" before buying the screen rights--WRONG--NY Times Book Review appeared Sunday, April 19 and he spent the next two weekends in San Francisco before instructing Ned Brown to buy the rights on Monday, May 4; "Hitchcock doubled Bernard Herrmann's salary to $34,501"--no Stevie boy, you looked at the BUDGET figure for the COMPLETE music score (i.e. hiring musicians AND composer) and not the ACTUAL payments for either; Hitchcock "screened the film April 26"--neat trick as he was in Hong Kong on a far east tour which he started on April 2nd. Does Mr. Rebello provide documentation or support for his assertions anywhere? Forget about any footnotes! If you KNOW the facts, this book is ENTIRELY INFURIATING as you realize the scholarship here is on a level with Wikipedia!

I can only hope Mr. Rebello's obvious love for the subject will lead him to go back and REVISE all his mistakes!
I shudder to see if the film based on this book has enshrined all Mr. Rebello's errors for a mass audience!

UPDATE 11/14/12
I saw a screening of the movie based on this book last night. The movie is very entertaining with great performances from Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, et. al. The movie is EVEN LESS accurate than the book as far as facts go: about 85% of the movie is false, particularly as regards chronology-e.g.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Very good inside look at the filming of one of Hitchcock's greatest films. It was well written. Although I must say that there are also some discrepancies in the story of what... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donald J. Wurzelbacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read
Published 6 months ago by Aaron Wagner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book of all the behind the scenes stuff you never get to hear about
Published 6 months ago by Jerry Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL HITCHCOCK
Now that too many of Alfred Hitchcock 's collaborators on "Psycho" have died, this book is essential in capturing an era and the effort that went into creating a masterpiece.
Published 7 months ago by Captain Bill
3.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable
Pretty straightforward. Focuses exclusively on the making of the film, as opposed to the movie Hitchcock (based on this book) which also touches upon his relationship with his... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alfredo Hurtado
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super fast shipping. Item received was as described.
Published 9 months ago by J***B
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun movie. I didn't like some parts. They were slow.. Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock with great flair.
Published 9 months ago by Emanuel Kandilakis
4.0 out of 5 stars Information source
If you like Hitchcock and you like to watch bonus features on dvd's, then this book is for you. Dive in and have fun.
Published 12 months ago by noos
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into Hitchcock's creative process
If you're looking for the deep insight into the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma, that was the focus of the recent and very enjoyable movie 'Hitchcock', then... Read more
Published 12 months ago by John Joyce
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, not rivieting
A nice book for a Kindle "whenever, wherever" book. I read many show biz related books and some are fantastic, some are embarrassingly bad, and some are average. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shawna W T Monson
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More About the Author

Stephen Rebello is a screenwriter and author of the best-selling Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho.' The motion picture HITCHCOCK, based on that book, will be released in 2012 and internationally in early 2013. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, James D'Arcy, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Ralph Macchio, Michael Wincott and Richard Portnow. Mr. Rebello wrote several screenplay drafts and is currently working on new film projects. His non-fiction books include Reel Art - Great Posters From the Golden Age of the Silver Screen (largely featuring the poster collection of Richard C. Allen), Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and he is also known for having written feature articles for such magazines as Playboy, Movieline, Hollywood Life, Statement, GQ, More and Cosmopolitan. His celebrity interviews have drawn out provocative revelations from Matt Damon, Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Beyonce, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Drew Barrymore, Charlie Sheen, Scarlett Johansson, Clive Owen, Jerry Bruckheimer, Eva Mendes, Benicio Del Toro, Sharon Stone, Lee Iacocca, Pierce Brosnan and Tom Cruise, among others. Born in Massachusetts and a resident of Southern California, he is a Playboy magazine Contributing Editor. His screenplays include several for Disney and independent features.

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Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho - Price Increase?
Now its only 2.99. A great price on a great book.
Nov 3, 2012 by Booklovers1 |  See all 3 posts
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