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The Alfred Hitchcock Album (1981) by Michael Haley

author Michael Haley
publisher Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall
published 1981
177 pages
ISBN 0130214698

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He was fiendishly clever. His dry sense of humor amused us. His nerve-breaking sense of suspense scared us half-to-death. From the grisly attempt on Grace Kelly's life in Dial M for Murder to Janet Leigh's brutally fatal shower in Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock has held us at the edge of our seats more skillfully than any other director in the history of filmmaking. His uncanny genius for creating impending doom on the screen mesmerizes audiences the world over. But despite the extraordinary excitement and drama of his work—and the enormous popularity he enjoyed—his personal aspiration was a life of "quiet dignity," and the undisputed Master of Suspense has himself remained a mystery.

Now, Michael Haley's THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK ALBUM captures both the awesome professional career and the jealously guarded private life of this shy and retiring award-winning director. From Hitchcock's imaginative and solitary childhood to his first film job as a title-card designer in the silent era to his rising success as a feature film director in Hollywood, Haley reveals the private man behind the movie legend, including: his marriage to Alma Reville and their professional association; his paternalistic relationships with some of the most prominent stars of the time; his uniquely meticulous methods of filmmaking; and his remarkable career on television as the laconic host of the much noted show bearing his name. Everything from Hitchcock's outrageous pranks and phobias to his filmic foibles and innovations is brought vividly to life. Over 150 photographs show all of Hitchcock's films (including the silents), rare glimpses of his life behind the camera and at home, plus all the famous cameo appearances with which he signed his films. A complete filmography, listing in chronological order the titles, release dates, and screen credits of each of Hitchcock's 53 films, is also included.

Visually entertaining, and above all an enlightening tribute, THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK ALBUM provides insight into the complexities, artistic sensitivity, and magnetism of this mischievously creative, self-proclaimed "poet of civilized suspense."