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Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock

Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock

by Christina Lane


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Phantom Lady chronicles the untold story of Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer of the 1940s. In 1933, Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock's confidante and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of his first American film, Rebecca. Harrison had quickly grown from being the worst secretary Alfred Hitchcock ever had to one of his closest collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the “master of suspense.” Forging an image as “the female Hitchcock,” Harrison went on to produce numerous Hollywood features before becoming a television pioneer as the producer of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. A respected powerhouse, she acquired a singular reputation for running amazingly smooth productions—and defying anyone who posed an obstacle. Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman, with an adventurous romantic life, became an unconventional but impressive auteur, one whom history has overlooked.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641605731
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/07/2021
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 417,511
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Christina Lane is an Edgar®-Award winning author and professor of film studies in the Cinematic Arts Department at the University of Miami. Her books include Feminist Hollywood: From Born in Flames to Point BreakMagnolia, and Phantom Lady. She makes frequent speaking appearances and has provided commentary for such outlets as the Daily Mail, CrimeReads and AirMail, and has been a featured guest speaker at the Film Forum, and on NPR and Turner Classic Movies.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 At Home 11

2 Wartime 19

3 Beyond the Village 25

4 Birth of a Master 35

5 True Crime Pays 45

6 Bigger Steps 55

7 A Team of Three 71

8 Going Hollywood 87

9 Oscar Calls 103

10 Building Suspense 117

11 Hitting Hurdles 127

12 Phantom Lady 141

13 New Associations 159

14 Bedeviling Endings 171

15 Crimes and Misdemeanors 183

16 Let It Ride 203

17 Full Circle, by Degrees 219

18 A New Proposal 241

19 Back on Top 255

20 Into the Unknown 271

Acknowledgments 283

Filmography 287

Notes 317

Selected Bibliography 361

Index 371

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