It’s Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock – A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

I am not really a major non-fiction reader. People may actually be shocked at the lack of non-fiction titles in my library. I don’t know why that is because I actually have enjoyed my little forays into the realm of non-fiction. It’s Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock is no exception.

As an avid movie watcher, I have seen many of Alfred Hitchcock’s works. I must admit his movies make me feel uneasy (i.e. Rope. The movie starts with a scene that no one warned me about.) and at times plain revolted (i.e. Frenzy. Grisly to say the least.). But nevertheless, I find his movies interesting to watch and was eager to learn more about them.

It’s Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock – A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler was published in 2005. The book gives a chronological account of Hitchcock’s life right from his childhood, his beginning in the nascent British film industry, his meeting and marriage withAlma, his rising fame, migration toAmericaand finally his declining years. All of this in interjected with a lot of gossipy anecdotes from well known personalities.

I don’t really care about the personal aspects of the lives of the people involved in the movie business. They are, after all, mere human beings like the rest of us. So, although I doubt the accuracy of some of the personal bits of the book, it didn’t mar my enjoyment of the book.

What really interests me are movie plot summaries and little snippets of the shooting of the movie. The book has enough of those to keep me satisfied for a long time.

I like the cover of the book. It is striking. As I read this book en route to my workplace many people asked me what book I was reading and they seemed genuinely interested in it.

A rather sanitized image of Alfred Hitchcock is presented here. There are hints of a darker side but they are few and far between. His alleged treatment of Tippi Hedren (seriously, what a name!) is mentioned and discussed and that’s about it. Overall, the book presents Hitchcock as a slightly odd but immensely talented man who really meant no harm.

This a very, very easy book to read. I moved quite fast through it. The prose was comfortable to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading It’s Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock – A Personal Biography. Recommended.

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