Alfred Hitchcock

The Icon Years

Non-Fiction - Biography
232 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2011
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

John William Law is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and books. He has worked on the staffs of daily, weekly and monthly publications. He is the author of numerous books and narrates a podcast on iTunes entitled The Movie Files. He has appeared on television and film documentaries discussing film history and on national public radio. He lives in San Francisco. His books and ebooks include:

Curse of the Silver Screen - Tragedy & Disaster
Behind the Movies (1999, Aplomb Publishing)

Scare Tactic - The Life and Films of William Castle (2000, Writers Club Press)

Reel Horror - True Horrors Behind Hollywood’s Scary Movies (2004, Aplomb Publishing)

Master of Disaster: Irwin Allen - The Disaster Years (2008, Aplomb Publishing)

Alfred Hitchcock: The Icon Years (2010, Aplomb Publishing)

Disaster on Film: A Behind the Scenes Look at Hollywood Disaster Movies (2010, Aplomb Publishing)

Murder on the Boob Tube (2010, Aplomb Publishing)

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Alfred Hitchcock was an icon in the movie business. Few will not recognize his silhouette. Alfred Hitchcock The Icon Years by John William Law is a look at Hitchcock as a film maker. I can name several of Hitchcock's movies by memory. The Birds was my all time favorite, while Psycho was the film that set him apart. North by Northwest, The Rear Window, Dial M For Murder, and Vertigo were in my opinion classics.

One of the facts that Law mentions was Hitchcock's proclivity for blondes; most of his movies, if not all, starred cool blondes. Kathrine Hepburn was not a blond, and Hitchcock was hoping he could get her to change her hair color for No Bail For The Judge. His anger at Hepburn is also discussed; he had already invested $200,000 of his own money in a film in which she promised to star. She was uncomfortable with the rape scene in the movie and declined the role. The movie was never made. Law does share a bit about Hitch's temper. Silence was the kiss of death.

After the success of Psycho, Hitchcock decided to make The Birds. Law shares where the idea came from and the difficulties in creating the film. Hitchcock discovered Tippi Hedren on a TV commercial. I found it fascinating to read how the film was made. Poor Tippi was tied to birds and had birds thrown at her in almost every scene.

Too often authors attempt to write a biography about someone by getting into their head. John William Law presents a fascinating look at Hitchcock without trying to analyze him. Law offers the information the fans of Hitchcock want to read. I do have a small criticism. This book was not properly edited. It is a fantastic book and deserved a good editor. The cover of the book has a picture of Hitch with Janet Leigh's mouth superimposed over his. It is the ideal cover for this book. I very much enjoyed this book. Law does a perfect job in presenting Hitchcock in a way that was entertaining and informative. It is obvious Law spent much time in research. I highly recommend this book for content.