Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by: Patrick McGilligan
Hardcover. NY, Regan Books/HarperCollins, 1st, 2003, Book: Very Good, Dust Jacket: Very Good, Hardcover in a bright, price-clipped dust jacket. 850 pages, b&w illustrations. This comprehensive biography of one of the most notorious film directors in history is a remarkably thorough and balanced portrayal of a complicated, brilliant man. Iit follows "Hitch" from his humble beginnings as a greengrocer's son in England, a sensitive and reserved boy who somehow still had the charisma to amass an enormous network of friends and colleagues, to his domination of the American film industry. His fascination with murder and the psychology of killers began early in life, as the slightly-eccentric Hitchcock family enjoyed lively dinner discussions about famous villains of their day: Dr. Crippen, Jack the Ripper, and Adelaide Bartlett, among others. One of the gems of this book is the inclusion of a treasury of early short stories Hitchcock wrote for The Telegraph, as well as an extensive filmography, which alone is 100 pages long! It's also heavily sprinkled with entertaining anecdotes and references from and about the actors, writers and musicians he worked with on every film: his deep friendship with Ingrid Bergman, teaching Gregory Peck about wine, falling out with Tippi Hedren, battles with the Selznicks, collaborations with writers like John Steinbeck and Ray Bradbury, and much more.