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Hitchcock (Revised Edition) Paperback – October 2, 1985

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume's interlocutor is François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch's films in succession. Though this book was initially published in 1967 when Hitchcock was still active, Truffaut later prepared a revised edition that covered the final stages of his career. It's difficult to think of a more informative or entertaining introduction to Hitchcock's art, interests, and peculiar sense of humor. The book is a storehouse of insight and witticism, including the master's impressions of a classic like Rear Window ("I was feeling very creative at the time, the batteries were well charged"), his technical insight into Psycho's shower scene ("the knife never touched the body; it was all done in the [editing]"), and his ruminations on flops such as Under Capricorn ("If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I'd have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell 'Follow that car!'"). This is one of the most delightful film books in print. --Raphael Shargel

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Phillip Lopate The New York Times Book Review One is ravished by the density of insights into cinematic questions....Truffaut performed a tour de force of tact in getting this ordinarily guarded man to open up as he had never done before (and never would again)....If the 1967 Hitchcock/Truffaut can now be seen as something of a classic, this revised version is even better.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Revised edition (October 2, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671604295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671604295
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an important document in film history and scholarship and a fun, interesting read. Two great artists discuss film in general and Hitchcock's work in particular. The interview provides some interesting background facts about some of the films, revealing analyses, and some clues to the ideas and goals Hitchcock had when making his pictures. I would offer one caveat: after reading this book through several times, I confess that occasionally I suspect the veracity of a few of Hitchcock's remarks. Sometimes Hitchcock appears too agreeable to Truffaut's observations, endorsing statements that contradict what he's stated or suggested elsewhere. I don't mean to suggest that Hitchcock lied or behaved maliciously; I don't even mean this as criticism. I believe simply that in details that were of small importance to him, Hitchcock didn't bother to dissent, leaving Truffaut to believe as he liked. Also, they both occasionally get their facts wrong when talking about an older film, a mere failure of memory. It's helpful knowing these things going in; otherwise, no harm done-it's still a great book, one that should be read by every Hitchcock fan and anyone who's wanted to know a little bit more about any of his films.
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Format: Paperback
First off, I have four bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling covered with books about Alfred Hitchcock so I know it when I say it... this is the best book you'll ever read about Alfred Hitchcock and his movies. Notice I say his movies because the Grams and Wikstrom book is the book you need to read if you want to explore Hitchcock's television work. For the most part, this publication is one long lengthy interview and is approached from a director's stand-point. Truffaut explores every aspect and Hitchcok took the time to explore and explain why he did what he did in his films, from his cameo appearances to the trick shots. You'll learn what movies Hitchcock admitted he wanted to do and couldn't resolve the problems (like Phone Booth). This book comes highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
this book conveys two fundamental aspects of art: respect and friendship. it is clear from the opening introductory essay that truffaut genuinely loved, respected, and cared for the works of hitchcock, moreover, for the person behind the art. and in their discussions, it is all the more clear that genuine friendship and admiration occurred between the two. truffaut's questions are informed and probing, but above all, his enthusiasm for the films echo throughout. he carefully balances formal questions with his account of his own first impressions. hitchcock is lively, never condescending, with an air of immense pride for his works.
reading this book is like sitting in on a great conversation between two passionate people. it's a hard book to put down as every page is replete with great film stills and engaging discussions. truffaut covers the entire hitchcock oeuvre. for this, we should be grateful as he reminds us of the many number of works that are still widely unavailable and unseen.
the book opens with a sort of a manifesto by truffaut as to what great cinema should be. the discussions that follow fall along the paths that truffaut lays down: what is suspense, the role of arbitrary fate, the unreality of the cinematic image, and how to tell a good story. it ends with a thoughtful tribute, of truffaut's reminiscences of his last encounters with hitchcock. it's a moving portrait of the last years of a genius.
this book includes a helpful "bibliography" (cinemaography?) of every hitchcock movie.
a truely invaluable book for any cinemaphile.
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Format: Paperback
This is THE book for anyone who's seen the Master of Suspense's classics, and want to know more about them. Truffuat, a great director in his own right, is one of the best interviewers I have ever read. His own knowledge of film and its techniques lend him particular insight into what makes Hitch tick. Perhaps best of all, you learn which of his movies Sir Alfred liked; which he didn't; and even projects or sequences he always wished to do, but never could. The only problem is that if you have not seen a movie they are discussing, they explain the plot, with the ending, so watch out for spoilers. Still, Hitchcock didn't give many interviews and this one isn't to be missed
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Alfred Hitchcock rarely granted interviews. He did so only when it was required for publicity for his TV series and his movies. But in the late 1960s, French director Francois Truffaut interviewed Hitchcock at length (something like 2 or 3 hours a day for five days straight) and from a director-to-director standpoint, the book covers each and every one of Hitchcock's movies and "in-his-own-words" format. So Hitchcock is constantly commenting about his films. Truffaut thankfully, lets Hitchcock do much of the talking. There is no other book like this one and of the three must-have books on Alfred Hitchcock, this is on the top of the list.

Examples: When Truffaut asked Hitchcock why he appears at the close of the opening credits of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, the director commented that his in-joke of appearing in "almost" every movie distracted audiences spending time looking for him, shortly after the success of the TV show, hence the reason why the director made his on-screen appearances in the beginning of each of his movies after 1956, and not in the middle or end. Remember the scene in which Eva Marie Saint pulls a gun out and shoots Cary Grant towards the end of the picture? Hitchcock commented that a blooper is in that scene. A young boy in the background puts his fingers in his ears BEFORE she pulls the gun out of the purse. When Truffaut commented that Hitchcock won his only Oscar for Rebecca, which won the Academy Award for best picture of the year, Hitch corrected him saying he did not. He wold have had he won best director. The best picture Oscar went to Selznick, the producer.

There is no other book like this. It's filled with page after page of info.

(The other two must-reads are the Donald Spoto's "Art of Alfred Hitchcock" book and Wikstrom's "The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion". Together with these two and this book, you have the essential library and all-you-really-need references for all things Hitchcock.)
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