Cover image for Hitchcock's notebooks : an authorized and illustrated look inside the creative mind of Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock's notebooks : an authorized and illustrated look inside the creative mind of Alfred Hitchcock
Auiler, Dan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Spike, [1999]

Physical Description:
567 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.3.H58 A84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From a couple racing across the top of Mount Rushmore to a woman's final shower at an isolated motel, no other filmmaker has given movie fans more unforgettable images or heart-pounding thrills than Alfred Hitchcock. Now for the first time, you can finally share in the Master of Suspense's inspiration and development -- his entire creative process -- in Hitchcock's Notebooks.

With the complete cooperation of the Hitchcock estate and unprecedented access to the director's notes, files, and archives, Dan Auiler takes you from the very beginnings of story creation to the master's final touches during post-production. Actual production notes from Hitchcock's masterpieces join detailed interviews with key production personnel, including writers, actors and actresses, and his personal assistant of more than thirty years.

Mirroring the director's working methods to give you the actual feel of his process, the book explores the production files of Shadow Of A Doubt, Strangers On A Train, North By Northwest, and others, as well as the legendary lost works: The Mountain Eagle and the unfinished film Kaleidoscope. Highlighted by nearly one hundred photographs and illustrations, chapters focus on finding and constructing the right story (featuring interviews with such renowned screenwriters as Charles Bennett, Samuel Taylor, and Ernest Lehman); envisioning the film (from storyboards to set design); the filming (spotlighting Hitchcock's innovations and trick shots); music; and much more.

No fan or film student should be without this definitive guide to the renowned filmaker's art.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In this 100th-anniversary year of Alfred Hitchcock's birth, the director's work has inspired several movie remakes and a whole new crop of admirers. These two tributes to Hitchcock's art offer something new to fans. Hitchcock's America focuses on Hitchcock as cultural critic, with essays from film and literature scholars. The pieces are randomly arranged and comment on family values, gender roles, and American ideals as they are reflected in a wide array of Hitchcock's American films. While most followers hail the psychological power of his cinema, this anthology successfully shows his ability to record the changing expectations of American society in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The stark contrasts between big city and small town, sexuality and purity, hidden desires and social mores are explored as Hitchcock filmed them. Auiler (Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic, LJ 5/1/98) returns with an ambitious look at the creative process of filmmaking, from the director's early German films through the golden decade of his work in the Fifties and Sixties. Using Hitchcock's own copious notes, plus copies of studio memos, hand-marked scripts, and plenty of production photos and stills, he re-creates the step-by-step production of a movie. Chapters on the screenplay, visual set-up, production, post-production editing, and unfinished projects provide fascinating insight into how movies were made, Hitchcock-style. Those with no knowledge of the "behind-the-scenes" activity of cinema will be fascinated by this detailed accounting. Auiler's book is for general audiences, while Hitchcock's America would be a good purchase for film collections in academic libraries.ÄKelli N. Perkins, Herrick Dist. Lib., Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Culled from Hitchcock's private collection, this sampling contains many fascinating discoveries. Auiler organizes his material according to stages in the creation of the films, from first conception to postproduction; and he includes a tantalizing chapter on the projects that Hitchcock was never able to realize, most bizarre among them a proposed film version of Hamlet with Cary Grant. Among the finds in the collection is a set of evocative production stills from the still-lost Mountain Eagle (1926). Other useful segments include extensive notes on the screenplay for Marnie, transcripts of Hitchcock's extensive acting suggestions for Tippi Hedren in The Birds, notes on the editing of the tennis match sequence in Strangers on a Train, detailed instructions for the sound in the second The Man Who Knew Too Much, and storyboards either drawn by the director or made according to his detailed instructions. Altogether, these excerpts and Auiler's intelligent comments provide a unique insight into the master's creative processes. The only flaw in this otherwise exemplary book is that some of the letters and notes look to have been reproduced from bad photocopies and are thus difficult to decipher. Film collections at all levels. W. A. Vincent; Michigan State University