Mr. Hitchcock, Wie Haben Sie Das Gemacht?

ISBN: 3453861418
ISBN 13: 9783453861411
By: François Truffaut

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About this book

Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume's interlocutor is François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch's films in succession. Though this book was initially published in 1967 when Hitchcock was still active, Truffaut later prepared a revised edition that covered the final stages of his career. It's difficult to think of a more informative or entertaining introduction to Hitchcock's art, interests, and peculiar sense of humor. The book is a storehouse of insight and witticism, including the master's impressions of a classic like Rear Window ("I was feeling very creative at the time, the batteries were well charged"), his technical insight into Psycho's shower scene ("the knife never touched the body; it was all done in the [editing]"), and his ruminations on flops such as Under Capricorn ("If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I'd have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell 'Follow that car!'"). This is one of the most delightful film books in print. --Raphael Shargel

Reader's Thoughts

Ken French

One of the most important books on film ever published.


IMPRESCINDIBLEEs un extraordinario diálogo entre 2 genios del cine. Y esto no quiere decir que sea una lectura para entendidos, al contrario es un acercamiento a la figura de Hitchcock, como ser humano y como cineasta. Truffaut hace un repaso cronológico a la extensa filmografía de Hitchcock (excepto 2 películas, he visto todas), desde sus inicios en el cine mudo en Inglaterra hasta “La trama”, su último film. De esta infinidad de preguntas, se puede sacar una pequeña biografía del director, con sus miedos y fobias (sobre todo a la policía y la cárcel), su obsesión por las rubias y el sexo, sus bromas y su gran sentido del humor, en especial humor negro. Sobre sus películas habla con gran detalle, describe sus impresiones que tiene de cada una, las técnicas que utilizó (muy curioso es la forma de filmar en “Psicosis” y “La soga”), la elección de los guiones (muchos están basados en novelas), la relación con los actores, su manera de crear el suspense, la situación social del momento de cada película, las bandas sonoras que son muy importantes, los “Mac Guffin”, etc. Hay una gran cantidad de anécdotas de su vida personal, así como con los actores y el rodaje. En definitiva, aparte de aprender de cine y sobre el “universo hitchcokiano”, es una lectura entretenida y muy agradable. Totalmente recomendable.


François mainly plays interviewer role in this book, which is about all Hitchcock movies. They go chronologically from his first work to the last one and Truffaut asks questions. Although Truffaut sits in a dirver's seat of the conversation and jumps in with his opinions sometimes, there shall be no mistake, this book is NOT about Hitchcock and Truffaut movies, it's about Hitchcock movies.Personally I would prefer visa versa. I've been enjoying "400 blows" and "Jul et Jim" more then any Alfred Hitchcock movie (which I also love). But for someone who wants to get suspense basics in terms of constructing a scene, working with literature source, editing, this book is a must.

Abdullah H.

Many times, I got chills as if I was hearing a voice from the grave...the voiceof Sir Alfred Hitchcock, 32 years after his death, giving you the do's and do not's of show biz.He is a great teacher...a great master. Thanks to my great friend Arda for giving me the gift of Hitch.


Was bei Chaplin nie jemand vermocht hat: Truffaut gelingt es, Hitchcock die Geheimnisse zu entreißen. Film ist nicht nur Mittel zum Zweck, sondern wird als eigene Kunst behandelt."Psycho" gehört nur den Filmemachern.Zwei Kenner im Gespräch.


This was such a fascinating read, and worked brilliantly as a conversation between one fantastic director to another. It was so interesting to hear not only about the ins and outs of each of Hitchcock's films, but to hear his own personal story, what he thought and how he thought. There are so many themes and tropes analysed and discussed and its refreshing to hear them.I haven't read every single page due to not seeing every single Hitchcock film, but I devoured the pages discussing films that I have watched and become a fan of. A must read for any Hitchcock fan.


Es el diálogo entre dos grandes personalidades de la historia del cine. Una de ellas, Trufaut, es representativa de la escuela más ombliguista y autoril del cine europeo. La otra, Hitchcock, un bastión de Hollywood como factoría de historias y que, durante muchos tiempos, fue denostado por el público más culterano y pretencioso. Su encuentro, desde el respeto y la admiración mutua, se traduce en una conversación de varios días en las que se aprende sobre narrativa cinematográfica más que viendo todas las tertulias del programa de Garci. Imprescindible para quien esté interesado en el cine.

David Rain

There’s a brilliant moment in Truffaut’s introduction in which he explains why suspense, far from being a mere trick or incidental effect, is in fact of the essence of cinema, indeed, of narrative itself: “Suspense is simply the dramatisation of a film’s narrative material, or, if you will, the most intense presentation possible of dramatic situations.” Which is one reason, perhaps, why Hitchcock, the wonderfully perverse genius behind Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and a host of other classics, was the definitive film director; and this long, large-format, lavishly-illustrated book is the ultimate celebration in book form of his life and work. Distilled from over fifty hours of taped interviews with Hitchcock, this sustained dialogue between two great directors is required reading for anyone interested in film, and anyone interested in storytelling too. You won’t learn everything about Hitchcock here; you should also read Donald Spoto’s biography, The Dark Side of Genius (1982), for a start. But it’s notable just how many of the best Hitchcock quotes in Spoto come straight from the Truffaut book. The first English-language edition, from 1967, is worth getting hold of, if you can find a copy, because it’s a beautifully designed book. But for content, it’s the 1983 update which is best, featuring additional interviews recorded after 1967, as well as Truffaut’s reflections on Hitchcock’s final years.


With supplementary details thanks to Armchair Hitchcock Scholar and friend Chuck M, this book becomes a fascinating window into the revisionist legacy that Hitchcock would create for himself. Truffaut is a great interviewer, using his keen observations and flattery to get Hitchcock to open up about his creative process and eventually, become very self-critical. Beyond its relevance as a synopsis of Hitchcock's catalogue, I think this book provides an amazing document for how the movie industry used to operate. Production companies seem to have a stable of actors that they treat like race horses, and cinema is treated as lowbrow entertainment. It hardly had the prestige it has today. Additionally, the way both directors speak of relations between the sexes and how to capture them on screen - and they do quite often - is a great reminder of how repressed this country was just a short while ago. This was my first cinema studies read. I really enjoyed it.

Jon Boorstin

One of the few absolutely essential books about the movies. Hitchcock, through Truffaut, explains the idea of point of view in movies, and how that determines how movies are written and directed. If you absorb this book, and study the films they're talking about, you have the tools to make a first rate film.

Nicholas Kobach

a conversation with two masters.


This is a film geeks dream. Musings and interviews by one of Europe's greatest filmakers/crital essayist. Francois Truffaut spent over fifty hours with 'Hitch' detailing every aspect of his career. From his start in silent films all the way to his hyper stylized Technicolor masterpieces. Mostly overlooked by film critics for his personal and often times metaphysical style, this book proves that Alfred Hitchcock was one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. I haven't finished it, but I can't recommend this book enough!

Elvon Coleman

Hitchcock proves itself to be a very good biography and interview of the life and successful career of one of the proclaimed, greatest filmmaker of all time, Alfred Hitchcock. It starts from his childhood and goes along the ups and downs of his occupation in directing and producing. Mr.Hitchcock chooses not to be vague when he informs us of what he enjoyed as later on in his career, he finally got to make movies that felt like true Hitchcock movies. He is also specific about what he didn't like about the job from not wanting to do certain film to the actors he felt were bad and did not want to work with. This is a great book for people that keeps Alfred Hitchcock's movie in their head and spread on his legend by looking back on his films.


What a treat! I knew that this book would be really interesting but was afraid it might be kind of dry or technical. Not the case at all. Truffaut's genuine respect and affection for Hitchcok permeate these interviews and they come off as informal and informative. What's particularly interesting is Hitchcock's alternative pride and occassional indifference to his work. Allowing Hithcock to speak in his own works gives the reader some genuine insight into the man and his metier that doesn't always come across in biography. I'm now an even fan or Truffaut and Hitchcock (is that's possible)!


Great interview! The book starts with Hitchcock's early life, and goes through to every movie he's directed, ending with a conclusion written exclusively by Truffaut featuring letters from Hitchcock near the end of his life. Truffaut asks great questions, and doesn't hesitate to give criticism as well as compliments for each film. Hitchcock's answers are great and very interesting as well. You can tell that the two had a good rapport and their responses are natural and insightful. This is a must-read for fans of Hitchcock and/or Truffaut, or even just cinephiles in general -- discussions, while specific to Hitchcock's films, also offer a lot of wisdom about filmmaking and film theory in general, and contains many great behind-the-scenes photos and production stills.

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