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; romance and derailed psychology. Drawing on explosive, never-before-published material including delicate and personal information about film stars and Hitchcock's family members 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 well known figure. He traces Hitchcock's professional and social rise and deals openly and frankly with his strange marriage to Alma Reville, his distance from his daughter, Patricia and his obsessive relationships with all of his leading ladies from Grace Kelly and Kim Novak through to Tippi Hedren.Hitchcock undeniably felt a certain attraction-repulsion toward his leading ladies, and Spoto subtly explores this.
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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October 26, 2008
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