|A Life In Darkness
and Light Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Patrick McGilligan
|The most intimate book Ive ever read on
Alfred Hitchcock. Author Patrick McGilligan goes back to the directors birth to
describe his life story. We learn how Hitchcock became involved in film, and how he
eventually became a director.
It was pretty amazing learning how much Hitchcocks childhood affected his entire career. As a small boy, as sort of a lark, a policeman put him in jail for a brief period of time. This small action would somewhat traumatize Hitchcock, and he used the theme of an innocent man being trapped, the rest of his life.
When Alfred Hitchcock met Alma Reville, he was smitten right away. It seems as though Hitchcock was actually afraid to approach Reville, since she was working in a higher position than he was in the film studio during the 20s, and probably felt he didnt measure up to her. Once they connected, Hitchcock teamed with Reville in almost every major decision, including story, casting, editing the whole shebang. Never was the saying, "power behind the throne" more true.
What I like most about the book was learning how difficult it was for the master of suspense to make the films he wanted to make. It took many years under multiple producers from different continents before he had control over what films he made. Before reading this book, I had the impression that he could make pretty much anything he wanted, but that was not the case.
The truth of how Hitchcock worked with actors, as well as his on-set conduct is fully disclosed within the pages of this book. Every project Hitchcock was involved with is gone over with great detail, and even if you havent seen each film, you will gain a new appreciation for what he accomplished.
A LIFE IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT is the definitive book on Alfred Hitchcock.