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Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho Paperback – December 15, 1998
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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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
PS: I have not seen the recent "Hitchcock" movie with Helen Mirren of which this kindle edition has a movie tie-in cover but I imagine that movie is hardly representative of the book for the mere fact that Alma Hitchcock is only mentioned twice in the book. Once standing near a closed door and second on a rare public appearance with Alfred at an event. That said there is quite a bit of information on their dauhter, Patricia, who is incredibly still alive at the time of this review.
The book itself is a detailed history of putting the movie together, and all elements are looked at in the book, which is good if you like film making, Hitchcock, or Psycho. Which you are, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. It's a very pleasant read and you don't have to know the technical aspects in detail.
Controversy abounds with both this book and the movie that is loosely based upon it. It seems everyone wanted a piece of the little film turned classic.
Rebello was thorough in his research. There isn't anyone involved in the making of Psycho that he didn't talk with, making him the foremost authority on the subject. Though some didn't, I enjoyed it.
This book is filled with amusing tidbits and behind-the-scenes drama.
I got the impression that screen writer Joseph Stephano was a little high strung. He didn't like being overruled by Hitchcock, and on many occasions felt snubbed by the director. The truth is, Hitchcock wanted people around him whom he could trust. Stephano was inexperienced, and Hitchcock wasn't going to let his baby fail.
I studied some film and television in school, so I was fascinated by the technical details provided by Saul Bass, who created the now famous opening credit graphics and animations. It probably explains why I enjoyed this book so much. Tricks of the trade abound.
One of the more interesting things, is how Hitchcock used the crew from his popular television series to create this suspense classic.
You won't find the "Hitchcock" movie in mass video retailers such as RedBox but I was able to check it out from my local library. And of course you can order the movie from Amazon.
Also, an excellent primer for film students. Plenty of technical information that does not get in the way of Rebello's compelling storytelling. The author actually interviewed Hitchcock shortly before the "Master of Suspense" died and he is recognized as an expert on the man.