Charles Winecoff
June 07, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hitchcock At Work

Current Status
In Season
Bill Krohn
Phaidon Press
Biography, Movies

We gave it a B

Eschewing the popular portrait of Alfred Hitchcock as a control freak, Krohn, Hollywood correspondent for Cahiers du Cinéma, attempts to debunk the myths about his working methods in Hitchcock at Work. Apparently, the director’s strict adherence to storyboards was copy dreamed up by studio publicity and propagated by Hitch himself (the blueprints for the crop-dusting sequence in ”North by Northwest,” for instance, were drawn AFTER the scene was shot).

And contrary to legend, Hitchcock enjoyed improvisation on both sides of the camera. Devotees will relish the sumptuous illustrations, though many of the book’s most intriguing visuals — like a series of stills of Tippi Hedren filming the phone-booth scene in ”The Birds” and the correspondence between Grace Kelly and Hitch when she rejected the title role in ”Marnie” — are reproduced at a frustratingly small size.

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