Critical Insights Film: Alfred Hitchcock Review

“Cunningham (humanities, Brigham Young Univ.; literature & film studies, Westminster Coll.) joins a varied group of contributors to delve into the many films of Alfred Hitchcock from assorted points of view. Featuring a chronology and valuable works cited lists, this collection of essays is “intended to inspire students and scholars as they search for their own ways of understanding Hitchcock.” In addition to covering biographical information, the title examines a variety of themes that will appeal to film buffs and students. This book explores the concept of the “female gothic” in Spellbound and Notorious and the director’s representation of women (misogynist or feminist?) in Rear Window, Vertigo, and Psycho. A chapter on Rebecca delves into Hitchcock’s relationship with producer David O. Selznick and the auteur theory of filmmaking. Among the other themes touched on are the wrongly accused man, marriage, and Sigmund Freud. One noteworthy essay analyzes the influence of artist Paul Klee on Hitchcock. These intriguing pieces form a welcome addition to the large body of critical analysis on this classic director. Other titles of interest include Robin Wood’s Hitchcock’s Films Revisited and Francois Truffaut’s Hitchcock. VERDICT A fine selection for academic and larger public libraries, especially those with few materials on Hitchcock. Definitely a circulating reference title, and very handy for the DVD shelf.”
—Library Journal