Not many people know that Alfred Hitchcock once made a musical (Waltzes from Vienna, 1934), and apparently most everyone...

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HITCHCOCK'S BRITISH FILMS

Not many people know that Alfred Hitchcock once made a musical (Waltzes from Vienna, 1934), and apparently most everyone connected with the film would like to forget it, but as Maurice Yacowar, in true auteur-tagging fashion, says, none of Hitchcock's films is ""without some interest""; and it is in this spirit that he analyzes in meticulous detail Waltzes and each of the other 22 films Hitchcock made between 1925 and 1939, when he left England for Hollywood. Some of them, like The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, are among his best known works; most of them, however, are largely unknown, rarely if ever shown. It is here that the author's scene-by-scene descriptions are most welcome. Yacowar's analysis is one of ""themes and devices,"" and like most film criticism that emanates from academia, it is quite literary--not an utterly inappropriate approach to the rather literary Hitchcock. But at times his analyzing gets a bit carried away, especially when he leaps into geometric motifs. After all, one can find circles and squares anywhere if one looks hard enough, and why does the figure X express Hitchcock's ""sense of man as a complex of innocence and evil?"" If Yacowar's sometimes over-zealous analyses are tempered with Hitchcock's own sometimes overly self-deprecatory statements in Truffaut's classic book of interviews, Hitchcock, the result should give a fairly good idea of what Hitch was up to in those formative years.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1977

ISBN: 0814334946

Page Count: -

Publisher: Shoe String Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1977