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Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999)

This documentary is a fascinating look at the cinematic genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Briefly covering much of his early British works, the film primarily focuses on his American classics, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Stefano ...
John Michael Hayes ...
Herself (as Pat Hitchcock O'Connell)
Alma Reville ...
Herself (archive footage)
Herb Steinberg ...
Robert E. Kapsis ...


This documentary is a fascinating look at the cinematic genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Briefly covering much of his early British works, the film primarily focuses on his American classics, such as "Shadow of a Doubt", "Notorious", "Rear Window", "Vertigo", "Psycho" and "The Birds". The movie also covers his television years and neatly examines the Hitchcock signature touches, from his inevitable brief cameo to his famous MacGuffin. Kevin Spacey narrates, and there are interviews with his delightful daughter Pat as well as such film directors as Brian De Palma, Jonathan Demme, Curtis Hanson, Robert Altman, Ronald Neame and Peter Bogdanovich, along with cast and crew members Tippi Hedren, Joseph Stefano, Norman Lloyd, Robert F. Boyle, Teresa Wright and Janet Leigh. Written by filmfactsman

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Release Date:

13 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dial H Hitchcock: The Genius Behind the Showman  »

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1.33 : 1
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The genius of the man
27 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Ted Haimes' subject for this fantastic documentary is the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, who had a long and distinguished career as a film director. He gave the English and American cinemas some of the best movies during the first three quarters of the twentieth century. Mr. Haimes takes us to examine the life and the genius of Alfred Hitchcock.

We are introduced to people that worked with Mr. Hitchcock, like Farley Granger, Tippi Hedren, Teresa Wright, Janet Leigh, among others, and people that admired and were influenced by the man himself such as Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Bayer, Wes Craven, Curtis Hansen, Brian DePalma, Jonathan Demme and Joseph Stefano, among others.

The first part of the documentary deals with his early years in London. We are given a good account of how this great man worked during those first years and later on, as he came to Hollywood. Mr. Hitchcock's collaboration with Alma Reville, his wife, is one of the things that comes across as what made him get involved in projects because it was Ms. Reville who had a critical eye and saw where the best opportunities were for her husband to excel. We also hear from his daughter Pat, who followed her father's career closely.

Two of the films that are given more time are "Vertigo" and "Psycho", both considered by most of the guests that speak in the film as two of the most accomplished movies of Hitchcock's career. They are examined with great care and analyzed with a great deal of intelligence, especially by Joseph Stefano, the screen writer of "Psycho". Credit is also given to Hitchcock's association with Bernard Herrmann who composed some of the best scores for the master's films. In fact, collaboration seems to be at the center of everything this great man did, which denotes the intelligence of Hitchcock since he clearly understood that movie making is a collaborative process.

Thanks to Mr. Haimes for this most informative account on the life of a true genius: Alfred Hitchcock!

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