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American Film (1980) - Periodicals: Hitchcock, Artist


  • article: Periodicals: Hitchcock, Artist
  • journal: American Film (01/Oct/1980)
  • issue: volume 6, issue 1, page 96
  • journal ISSN: 0361-4751
  • publisher: Nielsen Business Media



Hitchcock, Artist

For years Alfred Hitchcock was called the "master of suspense," but Mark Crispin Miller, writing in the New Republic, examines the label and finds it "rich with slighting implications." For one thing, Miller says, it suggests that "Hitchcock was stuck in a rut, playing with kid stuff: He made 'thrillers' ... while Welles and Bergman created films." It also "connotes the technician's narrow expertise ... Such a talent seems manipulative as well as limited; a 'master of suspense' is, literally, a puppeteer." In fact, Miller writes in a lengthy examination of the director's powers, Hitchcock "was among the greatest artists of this century." To call him the "master of suspense" makes "as much sense as calling J.M.W. Turner 'the seascape whiz' or calling James Joyce an 'ace punster.'"

"In Memoriam—A.H. (1899-1980)" by Mark Crispin Miller. The New Republic, 26 July 1980.