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Hitchcock and Adaptation: On the Page and Screen (2014) edited by Mark Osteen

editor Mark Osteen
publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2014)
ISBN 9781442230873 (hardback)

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From early silent features like The Lodger and Easy Virtue to his final film, Family Plot in 1976, most of Alfred Hitchcock's movies were adapted from plays, novels, or short stories. Hitchcock always took care to collaborate with those who would not only execute his vision but shape it, and many of the screenwriters he enlisted — including Eliot Stannard, Charles Bennett, John Michael Hayes, and Ernest Lehman — worked with the director more than once. And of course, Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, was his most constant collaborator, working with him since the 1920s. In "Hitchcock and Adaptation: On the Page and Screen", Mark Osteen has assembled a wide ranging collection of essays that explore how Hitchcock and his screenwriters transformed literary and theatrical source material into modern masterpieces of cinema. Some of these essays look at adaptations through a particular lens, such as queer aesthetics applied to Rope, Strangers on a Train, and Psycho, while other essays tackle the issue of Hitchcock as author, auteur, and adaptor. Other film adaptations that garner discussion in this volume include Sabotage, The Secret Agent, The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Lifeboat, Rear Window, Vertigo, and Frenzy. These close examinations of Hitchcock and the creative process illuminate the significance of the materials he turned to for inspiration — and the men and women who helped bring his artistic vision from the printed word to the silver screen. A fascinating look into an underexplored aspect of the director's working methods, Hitchcock and Adaptation will be of interest to film scholars and fans of cinema's most gifted auteur.


Part I: Hitchcock and Authorship

Part II: Hitchcock Adapting

Part III: Hitching a Ride: The Collaborations

Part IV: Adapting Hitchcock