Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
All Alfred Hitchcock needed to produce his psychological thrillers was the love of a good woman, according to this pleasant but superficial memoir of the famed director and his wife, by their daughter. O'Connell traces her mother's life from her early career as a film editor, scenarist and silent-movie actress to her ongoing collaboration on the scripting, casting and direction of her husband's movies. She structures her narrative around a breezy filmography of her father's movies, notes the development of Hitchcock trademarks like the "MacGuffin," and regales readers with Hollywood anecdotes (Carole Lombard once brought cows onto the set after Hitchcock likened actors to cattle) and homespun reminiscences of her avowedly normal childhood. O'Connell is at pains to highlight her mother's every contribution to her father's oeuvre, and produces many quite lengthy testimonials from relatives, actors, friends, long-term care providers and Hitchcock himself to vouch for her warm personality, impeccable manners, superb cooking, gracious hostessing and influence on Hitchcock's creative process. Alma does seem like a lovely and highly intelligent woman, but despite her daughter's best efforts she is overshadowed by her husband, whose quirks and achievements make him the more vivid character even in the unrevealing and protective portrait of him sketched in the book. O'Connell's account of Alma's life is sometimes touching, like a breezy tour through a family album, but its public significance for all but the most obsessive Hitchcock fans remains elusive. Photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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