"Spellbound by Beauty" examines Alfred Hitchcock's well known collaborations with the leading ladies of his day, and, in so doing, delves into his creative life and his uniquely curious professional and personal relationships. The result is a singular kind of life story - a book about film and film stars; business and power; sex and fantasy; and, ...
"Spellbound by Beauty" examines Alfred Hitchcock's well known collaborations with the leading ladies of his day, and, in so doing, delves into his creative life and his uniquely curious professional and personal relationships. The result is a singular kind of life story - a book about film and film stars; business and power; sex and fantasy; and, romance and derailed psychology. Drawing on explosive, never-before-published material and details gleaned through his friendship with Hitchcock, along with archival material and personal collections only recently made available, Donald Spoto casts a new light on this most famous of directors. He traces Hitchcock's professional and social rise and deals frankly with his strange marriage to Alma Reville, his distance from his daughter, Patricia, and his obsessive relationships with a number of his leading ladies from Grace Kelly and Kim Novak to Tippi Hedren.Hitchcock undeniably felt a certain attraction-repulsion toward his leading ladies. And his troubled relationships with both wife and daughter were aggravated by his career, as he spent a half-century creating fantasy romances. The culmination of Hitchcock's profound emotional repression occurred between 1961 and 1964 in his working relationship with Tippi Hedren. The romantic fixation, the control, the cruelty and the destructive passion that had characterised earlier relations suddenly exploded. Hedren was Hitchcock's last great obsession and arguably his downfall. Considering the films he made and the leading ladies who came after Tippi, it is clear that he lost all interest in his women, his actors, his stories, indeed in movies themselves. With original material, marvellous anecdotes and never-before-told personal observations, "Spellbound by Beauty" illuminates the complex personality of one of the most brilliant and strange men of the twentieth century.
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 In this enthralling third installment of his Hitchcock trilogy (after The Dark Side of Genius and The Art of Alfred Hitchcock), Spoto paints a portrait of a man as talented as he was troubled. Spoto examines each film in terms of its leading lady, but focuses especially on the three cool blondes with whom Hitchcock was famously obsessed: Ingrid Bergman (Spellbound, Notorious and Under Capricorn), Grace Kelly (Dial "M" for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief) and Tippi Hedren (The Birds and Marnie). While Bergman never returned Hitchcock's romantic advances, the pair struck up a lasting friendship. With Kelly, Hitchcock felt he had molded the young actress into his ideal woman with just the right mix of elegance and sexuality. When Kelly left Hollywood, Hitchcock sought a replacement and found newcomer Tippi Hedren, whom he both fawned over and humiliated during their two films together. Relying on hours of personal interviews with both Hitchcock and his various players, Spoto shines an admiring yet unflinching light on one of the most celebrated directors in history. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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