Hitchcock at the Source: The Auteur as Adapter

Hitchcock at the Source: The Auteur as Adapter


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Hitchcock at the Source: The Auteur as Adapter by R. Barton Palmer

The adaptation of literary works to the screen has been the subject of increasing, and increasingly sophisticated, critical and scholarly attention in recent years, but most studies of the subject have continued to privilege literature over film by taking the literary sources as their starting point. Rather than examining the processes by which a particular author has been adapted into a diversity of films by different filmmakers, the contributors in Hitchcock at the Source consider the processes by which a varied range of literary sources have been transformed by one filmmaker into an impressive body of work.

Throughout his career, Alfred Hitchcock transformed a variety of literary sources—novels, plays, short stories—into what is arguably the most coherent and distinctive (narratively, stylistically, and thematically) of all directorial oeuvres. After an introduction surveying the nature and diversity of Hitchcock’s sources and locating the current volume in the context of theoretical work on adaptation, nineteen original essays range across the entirety of Hitchcock’s career, from the silent period through to the 1970s. In addition to addressing the process of adaptation in particular films in terms of plot and character, the contributors also consider less obvious matters of tone, technique, and ideology; Hitchcock’s manipulation of the conventions of literary and dramatic genres such as spy fiction and romantic comedy; and more general problems, such as Hitchcock’s shift from plays to novels as his major sources in the course of the 1930s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438437484
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Series: SUNY series, Horizons of Cinema Series
Pages: 335
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

R. Barton Palmer is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University has written and edited many books on various literary and cinematic subjects.

David Boyd is Professor Emeritus of Film and Media Studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Palmer and Boyd are coeditors of After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality.

Table of Contents

Illustration vii

Introduction: Recontextualizing Hitchcock's Authorship David Boyd R. Barton Palmer 1

1 Hitchcock from Stage to Page Thomas Leitch 11

2 Hitchcock and the Three Pleasure Gardens Sidney Gottlieb 33

3 Hitchcock and The Manxman: A Victorian Bestseller on the Silent Screen Mary Hammond 47

4 Blackmail: Charles Bennett and the Decisive Turn Charles Barr 67

5 The Man Who Know Too Much (1934): Alfred Hitchcock, John Buchan, and the Thrill of the Chase Mark Glancy 77

6 Secret Agent: Coming in from the Cold, Maugham Style R. Barton Palmer 89

7 The Lady Vanishes, but She Won't Go Away Notel King Toby Miller 103

8 The Trouble with Rebecca David Boyd 117

9 Depth Psychology on the Surface: Hitchcock's Spellbound Alan Woolfolk 129

10 Unrecognizable Origins: "The Song of the Dragon" and Notorious Matthew H. Bernstein 139

11 Morbid Psychologies and So Forth: The Fine Art of Rope David Sterritt 159

12 Under a Distemperate Star: Under Capricorn Constantine Verevis 173

13 Bruno's Game, or the Case of the Sardonic Psyschopath Douglas McFarland 189

14 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Dial M for Murder: The Submerged Televisuality of a Stage-to-Screen Adaptation Ina Rae Hark 201

15 The Author of This Claptrap: Cornell Woolrich, Alfred Hitchcock, and Rear Window Pamela Robertson Wojcik 213

16 To Catch a Thief: Light Reading on a Dark Topic Hilary Radner 229

17 Woman as Death: Vertigo as Source Barbara Creed 239

18 Psycho: Trust the Tale Brian McFarlane 255

19 Thirteen Ways of Looking at The Birds Murray Pomerance 267

20 A Brief Anatomy of Family Plot Lesley Brill 295

Appendix: Hitchcock's Films and Their Sources 309

Contributors 313

Index 319

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