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Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man
Alfred Hitchcock's films are a testament to his perfectionism and his autonomy, yet there was one person whose advice he valued above all others: his wife, Alma. What was her impact on one of the most creative collaborations in film history?
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Berkley Trade
(first published May 6th 2003)
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This is a reasonably well-written book about Alma Hitchcock. Married for decades to the renowned 'master of suspense' Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Hitchcock was, in her own right, an important figure in early British and American cinema. The book is a bit choppy here and there, but mostly it's an easy and enjoyable read. Like many biographies the story leaves much yet to be revealed about Alma Hitchcock. Since it is written by her daughter there's a tendency to believe that she, of all people, will ...more
Written by Pat O'Connell, the Hitchcocks' daughter, at times the style does gush a bit. But the book is very worthwhile for fans of Hitchcock. The best thing about it is that it redresses the balance by telling us just how much Alma Hitchcock influenced the master of suspense. He depended on her judgment 100% and would not consider shooting a film of any script Alma did not wholeheartedly like. He needed to please her always. They were a true couple to the end of their lives, and O'Connell ...more
This isn't so much a biography of Alma Reville, Alfred Hitchcock's wife and film-making partner, as it is a reminiscence of Alma and Hitch by Pat, their only child. While there is some biographical information on Alma's early life, mostly it's a pleasant ramble through Hitchcock's life and work, punctuated with numerous pictures (many featuring one or another of the family's beloved Sealyham terriers) throughout. There are a few punctuation/spelling/grammatical errors, but overall, this is an ...more
I read that Helen Mirren used this book when making the Hitchcock film. I was very unimpressed with the writing, mundane and boring. I found it of passing interest only. Unfortunately the film was also disappointing - shallow and superficial, even though it starred two wonderful actors. The topic has, however, fascinated me and I will looks for other books which explore the Hitchcocks and their fabulous film legacy.
This is a good first introduction to the history of the Hitchcock family. I did find the continuity atrocious at times. It is as if Pat Hitchcock threw a bunch of stories on paper and the editor had to piece through them to create a book. A story is told and then a couple pages later it is re-told. My memory is bad, but not that bad. Cute inside stories though and I am glad I got to read it.