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Hitchcock Annual (1993) - Hitchcock's Rereleased Films: From Rope to Vertigo




Review of "Hitchcock's Rereleased Films: From Rope to Vertigo" - edited by Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick


Hitchcock's Rereleased Films: From Rope to Vertigo. Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick, eds. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991. 303 pages. $39.95 cloth. $17.95 paper.


Editors Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick introduce a valuable teaching and reference text into the Hitchcock critical canon with their collection of fifteen recent essays concerning the Hitchcock films re-released in 1983-84: Rear Window, Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope, and The Trouble with Harry. In their introduction, the editors present a concise thumbnail sketch of critical theories and schools of criticism that provides an instructional foundation for the novice film student. Thereafter, dividing their anthology into sections corresponding to each film, Raubicheck and Srebnick offer readers an opportunity to select essays of specific interest in content and in critical perspectives. The prefaces to each film section give novice and scholar alike a quick review of each essay and to the individual author's critical slant and intent.

Although analysis of the narrative structures most of the essays, the variety of critical "takes" provides fresh insight into films frequently discussed by theorists (i.e., Rear Window and Vertigo). Narrative transformation from outside texts into filmic ones becomes the basis of Thomas M. Leitch's and Anthony J. Mazzella's essays. For Leitch, the scripts of John Michael Hays brought to Hitchcock the concept of "transcending guilt." The screenwriter's relative optimism gave Hitchcock, for the only time in his career, the opportunity to present a society offering an indiv...

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Virginia Parrish is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University.