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Customer Review

on June 27, 2001
At last someone has challenged the myth that Hitchcock did everything himself. Not so. He had some very skilled writers whose talents helped make his films so memorable. One of those writers - perhaps the most important - was John Michael Hayes, whose screenplays for Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Trouble with Harry and the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, had a tremendous impact on Hitchcock's films of the fifties, and on the way we view Hitchcock today.
In "Writing With Hitchcock", Steven DeRosa gives Hayes his long overdue credit. Hayes' contributions to each of the films are described in detail, as are the steps taken by the censors to reign things in - to protect audiences from the idea that Cary Grant and Grace Kelly would have premarital relations, or that Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day's boy was kidnapped, are just a couple of examples! Each film is gone over in detail from the writing phase to release, and the reader is given a chance to see the relationship between the writer and director blossom, and then die.
There are lots of anecdotes and a summarizing of both Hitchcock and Hayes' careers after they parted which is very illuminating, especially the potential sequel to Rear Window that Hayes worked on that would have been far more interesting than the Chris Reeve tv version. The final chapter is an analysis of each of the screenplays, and this was especially interesting to me as an aspiring screenwriter. Well worth the price of admission! I only wish it was in hardcover.
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