After the hundreds of books that have been published about Alfred Hitchcock, it would seem that nothing remained to be unearthed regarding the celebrated director; but a new coffee-table book raids the Hitchcock family archives for rare photos, many heretofore unpublished. Even more fascinating are facsimile reproductions of memorabilia, housed in pouches; these scrapbook-type items, offering tactile, hands-on perusal in this digital age, include memos and handwritten notes, family snapshots, storyboards, and Hitchcock’s birth and marriage certificates. The book’s text is rather less distinctive—perhaps there’s little left to be said about the work of this most obsessed-over of filmmakers—but film historian Bouzereau avoids the standard chronological approach to Hitchcock’s lengthy career by presenting his observations thematically in chapters devoted to Hitchcock’s “wrong man” protagonists and antiheroes, his complicated women, his strangely compelling villains, and his distinctive stylistic touches. If these portions are largely rehashes—of both the films’ plots and existing commentaries—they’ll be new to most casual moviegoers, while hard-core cinephiles will relish the rarities on display in this minor but diverting addition to the voluminous shelves of Hitchcockiana. --Gordon Flagg
About the Author
Director and producer Laurent Bouzereau has collaborated with Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg, and Clint Eastwood—among other Hollywood legends—on more than 60 documentaries about classic films. Also the author of Abrams’ The Art of Bond, he is based in southern California.