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Hitchcock

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  5,672 ratings  ·  332 reviews
Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume's interlocutor is François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch's films in succession. Though this book was initially published in 1967 when ...more
Paperback, Revised Edition, 368 pages
Published October 2nd 1985 by Simon Schuster (first published 1983)
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Average rating 4.49  · 
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 ·  5,672 ratings  ·  332 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Will Byrnes
Shelves: hollywood
To reproach Hitchcock for specializing in suspense is to accuse him of being the least boring of film-makers; it is also tantamount to blaming a lover who instead of concentrating on his own pleasure insists on sharing it with his partner. The nature of Hitchcocks cinema is to absorb the audience so completely that the Arab viewer will forget to shell his peanuts, the Frenchman will ignore the girl in the next seat, the Italian will suspend his chain smoking, the compulsive cougher will refrain ...more
Shawn Nuzzo
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film Students
This book will teach you more about the art of film making than 4 years (and $200,000) at NYU will.
Jaksen
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this.

I didn't know this book existed! It's actually a transcript of a fifty-hour interview (done over several days) which Truffaut conducted with Hitchcock. The historical appeal alone was enough to make me WANT the thing, let alone read it. Some critics (of this book) have indicated that Truffaut was too kind to Hitchcock, that he agreed too readily with his opinions, that he couched his questions gently, but what the heck? I disagree! Because they two often DO disagree on certain points
...more
Lynne King
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: directors
This book is about the two film directors Hitchcock and Truffaut. It is a wonderful book and Jeffrey has written a superb review today on this.

So my advice is to read Jeffrey's review and then purchase this book. It is an historical document of the film world.

A gem to have.


Kyle Sullivan
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this book, because it shifted my focus from being an artist to being a filmmaker (and now writer), and I'm not overstating. I was making a living designing and building backdrops for visual merchandising and doing display windows in San Antonio, as well as commissioned works of art, when I found an early edition of Truffaut's interview with Hitchcock and got my first idea of how films were made. In fact, this book should be a primer for all film classes; once you've read it, you've ...more
Raquel
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alfred Hitchcock is considered to be one of the best directors of all time but that wasn't always the case. At the height of his career, many critics saw Hitchcock as a commercial director whose films thrilled audiences with their suspense but werent meant to be taken seriously. All that changed when French director François Truffaut drastically altered the narrative of how we discussed Hitchcocks work and he did so with this book.

This is film school in book form. Never have I read a book so
...more
David Rain
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Theres a brilliant moment in Truffauts introduction in which he explains why suspense, far from being a mere trick or incidental effect, is in fact of the essence of cinema, indeed, of narrative itself: Suspense is simply the dramatisation of a films narrative material, or, if you will, the most intense presentation possible of dramatic situations. Which is one reason, perhaps, why Hitchcock, the wonderfully perverse genius behind Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and a host of other ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Exhaustive and detailed interviews of Hitchcock by Truffaut, where the director explains his vision and technique. A must-read for all Hitchcock fans. Truffaut proves himself as a brilliant interviewer, in addition to being a terrific filmmaker.
James
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Always heralded as one of THE great books on cinema and the best, supposedly, on Hitchcock, these documented interview sessions with the great French director Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock is as good as reported. This was a revised edition that includes an addendum by Truffaut after Hitchcock's death in 1979. It is full of insights both by Truffaut and Hitchcock and has a great amount of photographs. At times Truffaut gets a bit stuffy and opinionated and corrective of the choices ...more
Ben
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Good evening, students of the macabre."

Hitchcock is a comprehensive study of the films of the great British-American director Alfred Hitchcock, which explores every one of his films from the beginning of his career up to Torn Curtain (1966). After Hitch's death, Truffaut apparently updated the work to include Hitchcock's final films. The book, like Objects of Desire: Conversations with Luis Buñuel or such works as Godard on Godard or Fellini on Fellini, is a collection of interviews. What
...more
Joshua
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
19 August 2018

Hitchcock and Truffaut managed to create the ultimate film podcast, and I would highly encourage the reader to look up the actual tapes of these interviews because they will catch far more of the inflections and delivery which in turn will create a stronger impact. These conversations illuminate how important the process of film-making is, and how Hitchcock, during his life, seemed constantly concerned with making his films dynamic and significant to the larger body of what film
...more
Kevin Coaker
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The definitive examination of the definitive movie career. Plus a beautiful book in its own right, with glorious photographs and stills. A wonderful birthday present that i devoured from beginning to end.

Truffaut is an amazing author. He worships AH, but doesn't let that get in the way or ruin it. It's amazing to witness Ah let his guard down, and thus enable both to critically examine every film he made. A master in full flow shares with the Sorcerer's apprentice. Pleased to see the respect for
...more
Bran Gustafson
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book if you're a Hitchcock fan, or if you're interested in storytelling or in the art of filmmaking. In a series of interviews by Francois Truffaut, Hitch is completely candid about his process, his intentions and what he perceives are his successes and mistakes.

A word of warning, however, if you'd like to preserve in your mind some of the magic of filmmaking, as Hitch is basically revealing his tricks.
Denisa Ciubotaru
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will always love him and I really hope I will get to watch all of his movies.
Steve Schechter
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can you say about Hitchcock/Truffaut that hasnt been said before? Its a book thats been poured over and analyzed by film fans and filmmakers since its original publication in 1966. And for good reason too. The book offers a rare glimpse into the thought processes of Alfred Hitchcock, unquestionably the most popular filmmaker of his time.

For those who dont know the background, filmmaker Francois Truffaut was able to interview Hitchcock for eight days in 1962. Truffaut had written to
...more
Varniit Nigam
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hitchcock/Truffaut by François Truffaut REVIEW by Varniit Nigam

I sometimes go befuddled and emancipated by what François Truffaut once said,

"I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between."

And, with this book called "Hitchcock/Truffaut by François Truffaut", it all becomes crystal clear and absolutely important.

This book actually deserves no review but there are some books that need the attention,
...more
Matthew Sanders
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being a huge Hitchcock fan (and cinefile in general) I found this to be one of the most rewarding reads in recent years. It was fascinating to read the transcripts of banter from (arguably) two of the best directors in film history. I especially liked the structure of Truffaut touching upon each of Hitchcocks films chronologically. Gaining Hitchcocks view on his own works (which we likely would not have obtained were it not for the candid interview) should be appreciated by any film connoisseur ...more
Mark Schoen
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film
Some films are slices of life. Mine are slices of cake. ...more
 Anush  Ter-Khachatryan
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Some directors film slices of life, I film slices of cake."
Tim
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film-video
This is one of the great movie books. It is basically the condensed version of a series of interviews conducted by Truffaut with Hitchcock as the subject. The entire sweep of his career is discussed here, from his beginnings in the advertising department of a British movie company, up to "Torn Curtain." A few flicks at the end of his career are left off, but so what they usually are not ranked with his best anyway. Hitch talks frankly and intelligently about all the movies discussed here, ...more
Mark
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hitchcock is primarily the transcript of fifty hours of François Truffaut interviewing Alfred Hitchcock; though I liked the book, its perhaps most interesting merely due to its premise rather than the execution thereof. Truffauts proposition to Hitchcock in advance of the project including his willingness to answer some five hundred questions, the phrasing of which suggests that there was, at least to some degree, a plan of specific questions to be asked, even if it was the same ten or so ...more
FiveBooks
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Film director Mat Whitecross has chosen to discuss François Truffauts Hitchcock: the definitive study of Alfred Hitchcock, on  FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject Film Directing, saying that: 
Hitchcock is a great artist, but he hides his art behind these thrillers. So hearing Truffaut, who is another one of my favourite directors, talking to Hitchcock and having this conversation where they start to talk about his career in terms of art, rather than just entertainment, is
...more
Pavel
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
François mainly plays interviewer role in this book, which is about all Hitchcock movies. They go chronologically from his first work to the last one and Truffaut asks questions. Although Truffaut sits in a dirver's seat of the conversation and jumps in with his opinions sometimes, there shall be no mistake, this book is NOT about Hitchcock and Truffaut movies, it's about Hitchcock movies.
Personally I would prefer visa versa. I've been enjoying "400 blows" and "Jul et Jim" more then any Alfred
...more
Ed
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Since Hitchcock is my all time favorite director, I was eager to read what most consider the Holy Grail of books written about him. Truffaut was the first to recognize Hitchcock as an actual artist and not just a popular entertainer. While I obviously found this fascinating, I will admit it's not exactly a page turner. In essence, this is a transcript of a conversion that ebbs and flows as all conversations invariably do. My interest likewise spiked and dipped depending on the film discussed. ...more
Joe
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Paris recently I found some of the houses and streets that appeared in so many of his films and I must admit I teared up thinking how many more great films Francois Truffault would have made had he not been taken from us 20 years ago. As for the book, I read it again and again in 1967 when it first appeared and I recall thinking "Hey, just because something's popular doesn't mean it can't also have lasting merit." Which I suppose is what passed for insight in a teenage American mind back ...more
Mitchell
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the essential books for film lovers, and the essential book for Hitchcock admirers. In a book length interview conducted by New Wave critic and director Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock's entire career is discussed and analyzed. Discussions of technique and intentions are fascinating.

This also works on a purely literary level, contrasting the magisterial yet jokey voice of Hitchcock with the business-like, humorless Truffaut.

Copiously illustrated. Essential
Diego
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Engaging conversation between François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock lets down his guard, offering insight into film-making as well as interesting anecdotes. Hitchcock's films are discussed in succession; this compilation of interviews makes for a very important dialogue between two of cinemas great directors.
Dominic
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's filmography since my teens, and I've seen each of his films dozens of times. This now classic book is a treasure of insight from the master himself. Donald Spoto's book, The Art of Alfred Hitchcock is more essential for re-viewings, but this text is very special. I can't believe it took me so long to finally read it. Now onto watching all the movies over again.
Sanjay Madhavan
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read for cinema lovers. Hitchcock is a master of the art form. Truffaut 's questions are brilliant and get the master to explain his art.
Barajwaj Rangan might have got the idea of his Mani Ratnam book from this one.
Perfect !
Abdullah H.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Many times, I got chills as if I was hearing a voice from the grave...the voice
of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, 32 years after his death, giving you the do's and do not's of show biz.
He is a great teacher...a great master. Thanks to my great friend Arda for giving me the gift of Hitch.
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François Roland Truffaut was an award-winning and influential filmmaker, critically acclaimed worldwide. He was also a talented and sought-after film critic in France (most notably, his work for Cahiers du Cinema), and one of the founders of the French New Wave and the auteur theory; he remains an icon of the French film industry. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he was also a ...more

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“In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call 'photographs of people talking.' When we tell a story in cinema we should resort to dialogue only when it's impossible to do otherwise. I always try to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film in between.” 18 likes
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