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Library Journal (2014) - Hitchcock's Partner in Suspense: The Life of Screenwriter Charles Bennett





Hitchcock's Partner in Suspense: The Life of Screenwriter Charles Bennett. Univ. Pr. of Kansas. 2014. 310p. ed. by John Charles Bennett. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780813144498. $40. FILM.

It seems that every actor and director of note has written an autobiography. Ironically, there are far fewer accounts by screenwriters, but this new addition to the form is both welcome and long overdue. English screenwriter Charles Bennett (1899–1995) gained widespread notoriety for collaborating with Alfred Hitchcock on six of his early films, including The Man Who Knew Too Much and The 39 Steps. Bennett also wrote over 50 teleplays in the 1950s and had a long and fascinating career until his death. His son John discovered an unfinished memoir among his father's papers and as enjoyable as Bennett's original prose is, the editorial additions make this work especially informative. With excerpts from screenplays, clarifying interludes, and concluding chapters that create a fuller portrait of the life and work of Bennett, this volume pays tribute to both a pioneer of suspense filmmaking and a father.

VERDICT This highly readable and entertaining memoir will certainly be of interest to Hitchcock fans, and it also casts an intriguing light on the life of a screenwriter.

—Peter Thornell, Hingham P.L., MA