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Alfred Hitchcock's America. PALS-Polity America Through the Lens series
John Wiley and Sons Ltd, January 2013, Pages: 352
With a sharp eye for social detail and the pressures of class inequality, Alfred Hitchcock brought to the American scene a perspicacity and analytical shrewdness unparalleled in American cinema.
Murray Pomerance works from a basis in cultural analysis and a detailed knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock's films and production techniques to explore how America of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s is revealed and critically commented upon in Hitchcock's work. Alfred Hitchcock's America is full of stunning details that bring new light to Hitchcock's method and works. The American "spirit of place," is seen here in light of the titanic American personality, American values in a consumer age, social class and American social form, and the characteristic American marriage. The book’s analysis ranges across a wide array of films from Rebecca to Family Plot, and examines in depth the location sequences, characterological types, and complex social expectations that riddled American society while Hitchcock thrived there.
Introduction: Alfred Hitchcock in America
Hitchcock’s American Scapes
Hitchcock’s American Personalities
Hitchcock and American Values
Hitchcock and American Social Form
Hitchcock and the American Marriage
Works Cited and Consulted
"Written with immense brio and an effortless command of its materials, Murray Pomerance provides surprising readings of both neglected and familiar films, but never strays from the overarching question of how Hitchcock’s work, from 1940 till 1975, achieves an identifiably American character.". George Toles, University of Manitoba. . "This book is a treasure-trove for students of film, historians, and sociologists. Drawing on extremely close analysis, Pomerance leads us through the ways Hitchcock observed and took careful note of American topographies before exploiting complex technologies that he — Pomerance — explains to uninitiated readers with deft clarity. Written with flair and panache, Alfred Hitchcock’s America brings to the reader dazzling insights about Hitchcock’s studies of American life.". Tom Conley, Harvard University. . "What comes through most vividly in this stylish study is the physical poetry of Hitchcock's American films. With grace and insight, Murray Pomerance describes the colors, the rhythms of speech and movement, and the concrete spaces of Hitchcock's America in a way that makes these films new again. This is a book every cinephile will want to read.". Robert Burgoyne, University of St Andrews and author of Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at US History