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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alfred Hitchcock [DAY] and the Making of Psycho

March 12 is Alfred Hitchcock Day, and what better way to celebrate than rereading one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject—namely Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.

I was super-psyched the first time I read Rebello’s riveting account, and no less so re-reading it!!!  Seriously, there are two masters at work here!!!

From the first time I watched my very first Hitchcock movie (Shadow of a Doubt), I was entranced—For the duration of the movie, the rest of the world ceased to exist—Sure, other movies have a similar effect on me…But with Hitchcock, it’s like every sense tingles; I’m suddenly super-hyper-aware of every word, every movement, every nuance, because everything leads to something else.  Watching a Hitchcock movie is like being in the eye of a tornado, and seeing the world spiraling out of control—Hitchcock brings his audience right to the edge of suspense…and keep you there.

Imagine my surprise to read about Mr. Rebello discussing his writing process, which so keenly mirrors my own experience as a reader:

In the months I spent researching this book—conversing with the gifted, generous men and women who actually created "Psycho," studying Alfred Hitchcock's decades-old personal notes, sketches, annotated screenplays, specifications for music cues—not only did it feel to me as if "Psycho" were being filmed right that minute but also that I was witnessing the full force of Hitchcock's genius at the height of his powers. The sensation was that powerful, immediate and exciting. My hope is that readers will feel a bit of what I did during the research and writing, that of being a time-traveler privileged to witness the birth pains of a ferocious and monumental piece of pop cultural history.

Mission. Accomplished.

The first time I read Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, it was as thrilling and captivating as watching Psycho for the very first time.  Rebello intimately captures the entire Hitchcock experience within the pages of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho,  like nothing I've ever experienced beforeIt was an absolutely mesmerizing blend of Rebello’s own suspenseful storytelling with the incredible behind the scenes story of how Psycho came to be.  Stephen Rebello does such an amazing job of recreating all the intensity and suspense of Hitchcock.  

I’ve never read a book that so much felt like I watching a movie; so I’m especially excited to hear that Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho might be making its way to the big screen!?!?!??!

—Yeah, I’m kind of out of my mind—

I'm passionate about the art and commerce of moviemaking. For this book, I knew that I wanted to detail every aspect of the making of a particular Hitchcock film, one that upended my childhood ideas of what a moviegoing experience could be. "Psycho" didn't just startle, entertain and terrify me. It burned itself into my consciousness. Haunted my dreams. Took me into the heart of darkness. The movie never leaves me and, today, as I work with talented and creative people turning the book into a dramatic feature motion picture, "Psycho" looms as an even larger aspect of my creative life.

I’m crossing my fingers, because I think it would be a-ma-zing.

The ultimate movie-lover’s dream of a significant film combined with the movie’s own gripping journey from the heinous crimes of Ed Gein’s to Robert Bloch’s disturbing realization in his novel making its way to Alfred Hitchcock’s hands, into theaters and into film history.  I have no doubt of Rebello’s ability to capture and bring to movie audiences the same spellbinding quality that he has brought to readers with Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.

So while you’re all waiting for the movie, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is a must-read for Hitchcock fans, movie-buffs, and anyone looking for a page-turner that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat!


Review copy courtesy of Open Road Media and NetGalley.

Stephen Rebello is a screenwriter, journalist, and the author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, which has been bought by Paramount Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company for production as a dramatic feature film. Get more Hitchcock news from Rebello on Twitter at @HitchandPsycho.

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