Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

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HarperCollins, Sep 30, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 850 pages
2 Reviews

In a career that spanned six decades and more than sixty films, Alfred Hitchcock was the dominant figure in the first century of cinema. His films -- from The 39 Steps to The Birds, from Rear Window to Vertigo, from Notorious to Psycho -- set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling Úlan. He was both visionary artist and consummate entertainer ... and became the most widely recognized director who ever lived.

In the decades since his death, the public image of Hitchcock has crystallized into a series of iconic images: the macabre Englishman, the sexual obsessive, the Master of Suspense. But this remarkable new biography -- the first in a quarter-century -- draws on prodigious new research to restore Hitchcock the man, in all his three-dimensional glory. Here is the comprehensive film craftsman, forever pushing forward the boundaries of his art. Here is the passionate collaborator, who cheekily referred to actors as "cattle" but invigorated the careers of Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly. Here is the insatiable provocateur, testing the limits of his audience with his cocktails of sex and violence. And here, too, is the private man: dedicated romantic, constant trickster, impotent voyeur, devoted husband, a man who sacrificed his life, again and again, for his work.

Like the best Hitchcock films, Patrick McGilligan's life of Hitchcock is a drama full of fresh revelation, graced by a central love story, dark humor, and cliff-hanging suspense: a definitive portrait of the most creative, and least understood, figure in film history.

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Alfred Hitchcock: a life in darkness and light

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this ambitious biography, McGilligan (Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast) notes that Alfred Hitchcock was not only a master of suspense but also "the ultimate magician of the cinema." Drawing ... Read full review

Review: Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

User Review  - Adam Philips - Goodreads

I've read at least 20 books on Hitchcock, and this is my favorite. McGilligan is thorough, even-handed, and comes to his subject with no preconceived narrative. A fantastically well-rounded bio. Read full review

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References to this book

Alfred Hitchcock
Nicholas Haeffner
No preview available - 2005
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About the author (2003)

Patrick McGilligan is the author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light; Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; and George Cukor: A Double Life; and books on the lives of directors Nicholas Ray, Robert Altman, and Oscar Micheaux, and actors James Cagney, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. He also edited the acclaimed five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters and (with Paul Buhle), the definitive Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not far from Kenosha, where Orson Welles was born.

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