Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 7⅜ x 10¼
978-1-4422-5159-5 • Hardback • June 2016 • $100.00 • (£77.00)
978-1-4422-5160-1 • eBook • June 2016 • $95.00 • (£73.00)
Stephen Whitty is an award-winning, nationally syndicated journalist for The Star-Ledger / Newhouse Newspapers. He reviews over 200 films a year, conducts filmmaker interviews, and writes weekly pieces on cinema history. Whitty is the current chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, which annually bestows one of the most prestigious film awards of the year.
This encyclopedic reference is made up of more than 1,000 articles, ranging in length from a paragraph to several pages. This work is notable for the author’s herculean effort of compiling a comprehensive reference as a single author. Every conceivable entry is included, including every Hitchcock title; noted individuals (from characters, producers, and actors to any number of smaller roles); and topical entries, such as alcohol, fetishes, and strangulation. Included on every few pages are high-quality images from Hitchcock’s public and private life and films. Any serious scholar of Hitchcock would not be caught dead without this comprehensive volume.
This encyclopedia assesses the numerous film and television works of director Alfred Hitchcock. This is the first book by Whitty—a freelance critic and journalist. This extensive work contains almost 500 pages of entries as well as an author's introduction. Entries largely focus on Hitchcock's films and television episodes, examinations of his themes and motifs (such as color, domination, male gaze, and transference, to name just a few), and the people directly or tangentially involved in his productions—this last category being the most numerous. Though general information on films, cast, and crew can be found everywhere on the internet, Whitty provides details and backstory for many entries, giving context to relationships that might have gone unexplained. Plot synopses within entries are sufficiently minimal and not used simply as padding, and much space is given over to analysis and criticism. Offering a plethora of information and insight, the book assembles a mosaic perspective on a complex, contradictory filmmaker.
Summing Up: Recommended. Beginning students through upper-level undergraduates; general readers.
— Choice Reviews
Stephen Whitty, the reliably wise film critic for the Newark Star-Ledger, pens this exhaustively comprehensive guide to all things Hitch – and when I say comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. He’s not just doing entries on Cary Grant and Macguffins; he’s writing about Psycho cinematographer John L. Russell and writer Angus MacPhail, who some say coined the term Macguffin. It’s a terrific reference book, but also much more than that; Whitty’s elegant, intelligent writing burns with affection and fascination for the subject matter, tackling the filmmaker with a historian’s attentiveness and a critic’s insight.
The Alfred Hitchcock Encyclopedia is a wonderfully engaging and highly useful reference source for one of the arguably greatest and most iconic twentieth-century film directors. Hence, with its accessible style, strong cross-referencing and reasonable pricing, this book would make a worthy addition to academic or public library collections.
— Reference Reviews
Whitty’s Hitchcock encyclopedia might be added to the ‘essential’ books about Hitchcock’s work. Obviously entries on all the films are here along with everyone involved and the films about Hitchcock. Also included are entries on Hitchcock’s intersections with critics like Pauline Kael…. A book as smart and witty as it is informative.
— The Buffalo News
Here, Stephen Whitty undertakes the monumental task of detailing not only the films of this auteur but also the artistic process and people who made each of his films a classic.... Overall, Whitty manages to capture the breadth, depth, and influence of this great director within a superbly compiled tertiary source. Ever since the publication of Thomas Leitch’s 2002 Encyclopedia of Alfred Hitchcock, there has been a noticeable gap in the reference literature on this towering figure of cinema. Whitty has produced a book worthy of the wait.
— American Reference Books Annual
American film critic Whitty attempts and succeeds with the seemingly impossible: adding a new twist on analysis of Hitchcock’s films. He does this by providing interesting insights, trivia and quotations in an encyclopedic format that wisely doesn’t attempt to be definitive. Instead, Whitty highlights elements of Hitchcock’s life and work that are the most relevant – and enlightening – with extensive insights into some of his least-known works. The book is essential reading for any serious retro movie lover and will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in the Master’s body of work.
— Cinema Retro