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It's Only a Movie: A Personal Biography of Alfred Hitchcock
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It's Only a Movie: A Personal Biography of Alfred Hitchcock

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  317 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Applause Books" It's Only a Movie is the best book ever written about my father. It really is amazing." Patricia Hitchcock North by Northwest. Psycho. Rear Window. The Birds. Vertigo. When it comes to murder and mayhem, shock and suspense, the films of Alfred Hitchcock can not be surpassed. For this book, Charlotte Chandler interviewed Hitchcock, his wife, daughter, film c ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers (first published 2005)
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May 17, 2012 Mala rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Review of 'It's Only A Movie: Alfred Hitchcock a personal biography'
By Charlotte Chandler

Recommended for: Hitchcock fans,film buffs in general.

Hitchcock was nominated five times as best director, but never won an Oscar. He tried to make light of it:"(it's because) I don't look like an artist. I don't look like i've starved in a garret. But the real reason is that the suspence genre is not highly esteemed."
However, to his fans worldwide ,he remains the undisputed king of suspense genre & his
Feb 24, 2015 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seine Filme sind zu Klassikern der Filmgeschichte geworden, er selber machte sich zur Kultfigur, zur unverwechselbaren Marke, doch wer war der Mann hinter den Filmen? An Hitchcock scheiden sich die Geister. Sympathisch oder doch eher ein unsensibler Egozentriker?

Mich hat das Phänomen Hitchcock angefangen zu interessieren, als ich ‚Die Suche nach dem Glück‘ von Charlotte Chandler gelesen habe und dort über den umstrittenen ‚Master of Suspense‘ gestolpert bin.
Hitchcocks Sinn für Humor war sehr ma
Christine Sinclair
May 22, 2014 Christine Sinclair rated it really liked it
I finally feel like I know Alfred Hitchcock, the man. Yes, he was a genius film director and we will always study his body of work, but he was also a person, and this book gives a great insight into what he was like, both at home and at work. Many great quotes here, plus a complete filmography which even includes the silent films for which he wrote the title cards at the start of his career. Definitely a must-read for his legion of admirers.
Dec 30, 2014 Douglas rated it it was amazing
Alfred Hitchcock'a career in movies started when pictures first started moving. He was an incredible entertaining innovator.

Reading this book was like visiting the gentleman, and he turns out to be a very decent, cultured man.

The author has created a great combination of personal recollections, plot synopsis and history.
Feb 23, 2013 Gerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From this biography it is difficult to assess what kind of person Alfred Hitchcock really was. Opinions of him, from those who knew him well and worked with him, vary so much; some state that he was 'an actor's director' while others assert that he always referred to actors as 'cattle'.

He was undoubtely talented once he had gravitated to films from his humble beginnings in Leytonstone, east London and his legion of films, made in Britain, Germany and America, bare testimony to his capabilities.

Katie/Doing Dewey
Apr 22, 2013 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it really liked it
It’s Only a Movie is a very comprehensive biography, covering Hitchcock’s career from his beginnings as a title designer through the final movie he was never able to complete. Even the plots of his movies are included. Mostly though, this was an intimate portrait of the man, told through quotes from him and those who knew him.

At first I was afraid the prevalence of quotes in this book would mean an absence of facts. Instead, there were enough facts and stories outside the quotes that I felt like
Dec 14, 2014 Ladiibbug rated it liked it
Biography - 3.5 stars

"This is the best book ever written about my father. It really is amazing." - Patricia Hitchcock

These words on the cover were the deciding factor to read this book. As a long-time Hitchcock fan, particularly of his TV shows, it was a bit disappointing that the reader doesn't learn more about the man.

Based on this book, it may be that he was exactly as described -- a quiet, routine-loving, introvert. Hitchcock's most important collaborator and companion was his wife Alma. I w
Nov 25, 2016 Mike rated it liked it
This is more like an anecdotal biography. There are some facts and figures, and each film is given a synopsis and some background information, but the bulk of the book is made up of interviews' and table-discussions, which have so much detail in them that in some cases you suspect the author has dramatised them. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily, though she seems to forget that she's included a story in more than one place. And the interviewees too often repeat stuff that we've heard another a ...more
Octavio Villalpando
Desdeluego que Alfred Hitchcock es una figura legendaria, cuya leyenda por otro lado, está plenamente justificada. Supongo que con tan ampli acervo como nos legó, siempre es un poco ocioso tratar de aprender otras cosas acerca de él que no sean las que sus películas nos dejan, sin embargo, éste libro no deja de ser un viaje fascinante. Está plagado de anécdotas, nada despreciables porque nos acercan al humano detrás de la leyenda. Nos da un testimonio de su personalidad tan subyugante y misterio ...more
Kelly Millspaugh
Nov 11, 2012 Kelly Millspaugh rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this biography of the legendary director. It gave insight into his personality from the actors and filmmakers who worked with him throughout his long career. The most interesting moments were about his techniques and tricks used in his films. I feel like most people who are called a "genius" in their field are also called strange, aloof, or unapproachable. Not everyone who worked with him adored him and their opinions were not censored. Tippi Hedren's famous conflict with Hitch ...more
May 29, 2012 Belinda rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good account of Alfred Hitchcock's career from the point of view of those who worked with him. It's definitely not a critical book in either sense of the word - I think the author is coming from a place of adoration and respect, so there's very little discussion of his relationships with his female stars. The really great thing about this book was the interviews the author did with the people who worked on Hitchcock's films from camera men to the actors in the film. It was fasci ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
A warm and engaging biography. The author moves through Hitchcock's life chronologically so this would also serve as an excellent companion as you watched his films. There are stories and tidbits surrounding each film and they can be read separately, alongside a viewing though there is a continuity from one to the next if you are reading it all at once (as I did). If anything, I would have preferred more stories from his personal life and relationships - the ones that are included are interestin ...more
Abdullah H.
Mar 21, 2012 Abdullah H. rated it really liked it
I have read many books about Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
And so much of the information in this book I had "heard" before.
But with 'It's only a movie', I learned some new secrets about the Master of Macabre.
What I also enjoyed was the way we were taken to every set of Hitchcock's films.
We were also taken to closed door meetings and I found myself sweating at one particular confrontation.
This book had funny moments, sad moments, happy and points that made you so mad; especially
learning the opinion one
May 27, 2009 John rated it really liked it
This is a really fun, readable bio of Hitchcock, and it's filled with personal interviews and anecdotes and little bits of info from all kinds of people who were involved in his movies. It seems like Ms. Chandler just collected stories from people about Hitchcock, and from the man himself, from the early sixties through 2000 or so and then published them in sequential order. That's really all the book is. The writing isn't all that great, and there isn't a lot of talk about his personal life. Bu ...more
Carolyne Borel
Miss Chandler is doing a pretty decent job in this personal biography of the Master of a suspense. Yet, at times, it feels like she is only cutting and pasting from certain articles. I enjoyed reading about her conversations with all of these famous people from the industry though, it is like reviving a lost era, even tho the transcripts are more subjective than truly objective I am afraid.
I would recommend this book as an easy read for a first timer wanting to know more about the great Hitch ("
Sep 06, 2008 Javier rated it it was ok
Si es la primera biografía de Hitchcock que lees, no está mal. Pero habiendo leído antes "The Dark Side of Genius" de Donald Spoto, este se queda en un resumen que, por una parte comenta las películas de forma superficial y, además, intenta minimizar los aspectos más negativos de la vida de Hitchcock. No me parece imparcial, sino que quiere quedar bien con todo el mundo. Eso sí, es interesante que incluya muchos comentarios en primera persona de la gente que compartió etapas de su vida con Hitch ...more
Dave Hofer
Dec 09, 2009 Dave Hofer rated it liked it
The author of this book seemed very proud of the fact that she was able to interview a bunch of crusty, old celebrities. She also wasn't afraid to mention that Hitchcock didn't give a lot of direction to actors, loved the story-boarding process, and said "It's only a movie" from time to time . . . ABOUT FIVE TIMES PER CHAPTER.

I get it, already!

Otherwise - pretty cool book considering I've not seen but two of his movies, The Birds and North By Northwest. The latter being in fifth grade or somethi
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 09, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hitchcock fans
A fun personal look at Hitchcock with all his foibles, finickiness, and fondness for Dover sole. Lots of entertaining anecdotes about all Hitchcock's classic movies, such as Rear Window and Vertigo. This is a much more sympathetic portrait of the master of suspense than Spoto's The Dark Side of Genius .
I enjoyed reading about Alfred Hitchcock and his movies. I especially enjoyed reading what he said and also what other people said about their experiences working with him. The writing was a little annoying though, and there were a few times I wanted to stop reading because of it. However, if you are a big Alfred Hitchcock fan then I think you will still enjoy it. If you want to read a really enjoyable book on him though, I would highly recommend "Hitchcock on Hitchcock."
Isabella Henao Páez
Oct 24, 2016 Isabella Henao Páez rated it really liked it
Un libro excepcional que se introduce en la vida de uno de los directores más grandes del mundo. Conoceremos a un Hitchcock en profundidad, sus anhelos, y su forma de ver las cosas para crear sus películas. Entrevistas, anécdotas, todo en un solo libro sobre el grande del suspense. Para los amantes del género y de Hitchcock, lo recomiendo mucho
Mar 24, 2009 Susanna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: movie buffs
I enjoyed the bits about Hitchcock's life and his distinct, quirky personality but the play by play accounts of each of his movies got a bit tedious -- also some events/movies weren't too interesting & could have just as well been left out... I wound up not finishing it. I do think it's a fun book to dip into from time to time & it had a good life story full of fond (and fawning) anecdotes

Apr 20, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: pop-culture
Personal biography of Alfred Hitchcock. Great synopses of his movies. He sounded like a great man.
Mark Glidden
Apr 05, 2013 Mark Glidden rated it liked it
A fine biography of the great Hitchcock, however those fans looking for a more in-depth look or study of his life and character, this would not shed all that much new light on his undoubtedly complex person.
Sep 16, 2012 Sandy rated it liked it
Recommended to Sandy by: Ron C
Shelves: biography
Interesting story of Hitchcock and his career in the film industry. I learned he was a family man--very dedicated to his wife and daughter, as well as an amazing film maker. The book includes short summaries of the his films--they do contain spoilers!
Feb 27, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Light reading but fun. Some funny anecdotes, good pictures and a little about each film. I enjoyed it.
Aug 31, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it
Fun read.
Oct 15, 2015 Lorna rated it it was ok
Don't have much to say except watch his movies, much better than this book. The only interesting this was his relationship with his wife.
Apr 08, 2009 Dkeslin rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at the career of Hitchcock the director who invented the suspense thriller and was its master.
Toni Thronsedt
Although it had some good facts about his life, I found this book monotonous and kind of difficult to get through.
Jan 25, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
It's Only a Movie is an extremely readable book, interesting not only for its portrayal of Hitchcock, but for the wide span of information it provides about movie making from its very beginning.
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