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Writing with Hitchcock : the collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes

by Steven DeRosa

  Print book  |  1st ed

A Sampling of Reviews   (2007-01-01)


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by stevenderosa

“The four films that John Michael Hayes wrote for Hitchcock, were made during the richest and most complex period in the director's career. As Steven DeRosa writes, Hitchcock was most comfortable working with younger, untried writers to whom he could be a mentor; the films he made with Hayes are ample testimony to the success of that strategy. DeRosa describes the relationship in meticulous detail, providing fascinating evidence of the extreme care with which Hitchcock chose and worked with his writers.”The New York Times Book Review / review by George Robinson“Steven DeRosa's book eloquently reminds us, someone actually had to sit down and write the scripts.Writing With Hitchcock offers not only entertaining biographical sketches of both men, chockful of anecdotes, but a thorough illumination of the Hitchcock/Hayes collaboration: how it worked, who contributed what, and how it ended.”Variety / review by Allison Burnett, screenwriter Autumn in New York"A godsend. Combining biography, cinema history and screenplay analysis in one book, DeRosa truly leaves no stone unturned ... a fitting tribute to a great filmmaking partnership." Screentalk / review by Wout Thielemans"Collaboration is the key word in the subtitle to Steven DeRosa's intriguing book - key because it was never a word for which the master of suspense had any time. John Michael Hayes, the hitherto unsung hero of DeRosa's book, wrote four scripts for Hitchcock - To Catch a Thief, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Rear Window, this last, the film that sealed Hitch's highbrow reputation." Sunday Times (London) / review by Christopher Bray"[DeRosa's] research is impeccable, and he charts the genesis and progress of each of the projects with style and wit. This is a subperbly insightful portrait of a short-lived but productive creative marriage." Scotland on Sunday / review by Craig Williams"John Michael Hayes wrote the screenplays for a quartet of Alfred Hitchcock's perennially popular film classics. Steven DeRosa skillfully shows just how the works took shape and why Hayes must be ranked as one of Hollywood's great writers." Donald Spoto, author of The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock "With diamond clarity, Steven DeRosa defines the art, the joy, the rewards -- and the hazards -- of screenwriting for a cinematic genius like Alfred Hitchcock." Joseph Stefano, screenwriter of Psycho "How could a film as great as The Man Who Knew Too Much ever get made? Steven DeRosa shows it wasn't by way of a single thunderbolt of genius, but rather by tweaks and prods, creative nudges and shrewd polishes - two talented men working as a team. It's a finely detailed story DeRosa tells. And like all the best Hollywood tales (egos, money, pressure, hard feelings, and a whole lot of work), it ends sadly." Ed Sikov, author of On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder "...well-informed, provacative, and thoroughly readable... Writing with Hitchcock is an impressive window on a great director's work and one of his most important collaborations, including its demise." Walter Srebnick, Hitchcock's Rereleased Films "DeRosa has soundly researched his subject and gives us not only an in-depth portrait of this working relationship but a comprehensive look at the industry in the late 1950s. The author engagingly describes the cultural politics of the time and brings convincing drama to Hayes and Hitchcock's breakup. An important study for film and Hitchcock scholars." Publishers Weekly"If greater proof of the [auteur] theory's fallaciousness were needed, this fine book offers it in vivid detail, telling anecdotes and incisive analysis." Sunday Telegraph / review by Allison Burnett"DeRosa chronicals the partnership between the Fat Controller and his sometime screenwriter John Michael Hayes, who wrote four of his Fifties treats. Really, this is a book about the spiteful Hitchcock who bore a grudge like an elephant with two black eyes. As you might expect, the old git steals the show." Hotdog / review by Jonathan Carter"… peppered with the kind of detail that a film anorak like me gets off on." "Steven DeRosa serves notice that it's about time we stopped looking at Hitchcock by himself and started thinking of his writers, especially Hayes." Orlando Sentinel / review by Roger Moor"DeRosa's fascinating book details the highly productive working relationship Hayes had with Hitchcock on four films. But also explains why the Hayes-Hitchcock relationship fell apart." Joseph McBride, in Written By, the magazine of the Writers Guild of America"A fascinating portrait of the famous collaboration between Hitchcock and writer John Michael Hayes, this book delves into the genesis of Hitchcock's mastery of suspense, glamour and wit."American Museum of the Moving Image

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