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Quarterly Review of Film and Video (2012) - Misdirection in Fits and Starts: Alfred Hitchcock's Popular Reputation and the Reception of His Films




From his earliest days in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock used almost every publicity opportunity as a means both to establish his reputation as the premier maker of suspense films and to disassociate himself from films that depend on surprise. In 1946, just six years after the release of Rebecca (1940), Hitchcock's first Hollywood film, William B. Hawks, brother of legendary filmmaker Howard Hawks, contacted a number of the industry's leading directors to request that they contribute to a proposed anthology entitled Their Magic Wand. The book was to be comprised of fifteen chapters, each written by a filmmaker who was closely associated with a particular type of film.