Spellbound by Beauty by Donald Spoto
"Spellbound by Beauty" examines Alfred Hitchcock's well known collaborations with the leading ladies of his day, and, in so doing, delves into his creative life and his uniquely curious professional and personal relationships. The result is a singular kind of life story - a book about film and film stars; business and power; sex and fantasy; and, romance and derailed psychology. Drawing on explosive, never-before-published material and details gleaned through his friendship with Hitchcock, along with archival material and personal collections only recently made available, Donald Spoto casts a new light on this most famous of directors. He traces Hitchcock's professional and social rise and deals frankly with his strange marriage to Alma Reville, his distance from his daughter, Patricia, and his obsessive relationships with a number of his leading ladies from Grace Kelly and Kim Novak to Tippi Hedren.Hitchcock undeniably felt a certain attraction-repulsion toward his leading ladies. And his troubled relationships with both wife and daughter were aggravated by his career, as he spent a half-century creating fantasy romances. The culmination of Hitchcock's profound emotional repression occurred between 1961 and 1964 in his working relationship with Tippi Hedren. The romantic fixation, the control, the cruelty and the destructive passion that had characterised earlier relations suddenly exploded. Hedren was Hitchcock's last great obsession and arguably his downfall. Considering the films he made and the leading ladies who came after Tippi, it is clear that he lost all interest in his women, his actors, his stories, indeed in movies themselves. With original material, marvellous anecdotes and never-before-told personal observations, "Spellbound by Beauty" illuminates the complex personality of one of the most brilliant and strange men of the twentieth century.