Hardback
June 14, 2019
9780813177427
English
384
42 b&w halftones, 1 table
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.5 Pounds (US)
$50.00 USD, £37.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
October 5, 2021
9780813180540
English
384
42 b&w halftones, 1 table
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$27.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Hitchcock and the Censors

Throughout his career, Alfred Hitchcock had to contend with a wide variety of censors attuned to the slightest suggestion of sexual innuendo, undue violence, toilet humor, religious disrespect, and all forms of indecency, real or imagined. From 1934 to 1968, the Motion Picture Production Code Office controlled the content and final cut on all films made and distributed in the United States. During their review of Hitchcock's films, the censors demanded an average of 22.5 changes, ranging from the mundane to the mind-boggling, on each of his American films.

In his award-winning Hitchcock and the Censors, author John Billheimer traces the forces that led to the Production Code and describes Hitchcock's interactions with code officials on a film-by-film basis as he fought to protect his creations, bargaining with code reviewers and sidestepping censorship to produce a lifetime of memorable films. Despite the often-arbitrary decisions of the code board, Hitchcock still managed to push the boundaries of sex and violence permitted in films by charming—and occasionally tricking—the censors, and by swapping off bits of dialogue, plot points, and individual shots (some of which had been deliberately inserted as trading chips) to protect cherished scenes and images. By examining Hitchcock's priorities in dealing with the censors, this work highlights the director's theories of suspense as well as his magician-like touch when negotiating with code officials.

About the Author

John Billheimer is the author of two mystery series; one with West Virginia failure analyst Owen Allison, and the other featuring Ohio sportswriter Lloyd Keaton. He has taught courses in film noir, hard-boiled fiction on film, and the modern mystery in film and print at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities.

Reviews

"Alfred Hitchcock pushed the boundaries of onscreen permissiveness as much as any artist/entertainer of the twentieth century. John Billheimer meticulously catalogs the filmmaker's battles with the censors, both mischievous and profound, in fantastically readable fashion. A vital and fun addition to Hitchcock scholarship."—Eddie Muller, author, Film Noir Foundation founder, and Turner Classic Movies Host

"Many Hitchcock books and articles include accounts of censorship, and many books and articles on censorship include material on Hitchcock films. I don't know of any other work that brings the man and the topic together in as businesslike a way as is done in Hitchcock and the Censors. It is an attractive study that offers a valuable, fresh angle on Hitchcock's career."—Charles Barr, coauthor of Hitchcock Lost and Found: The Forgotten Films

"A meticulous deep dive into the sweaty tango between Hitchcock and the Code. Amazing to witness how arbitrary and stringent the rules were and the resulting sacrifices movies had to make. Hitchcock rose to the challenge and made the debates part of his expression—but what a bloody tiresome waste of his time."—Darren Aronofsky

"Here is a book that should have (and could have) been written years ago. Kudos, then, to Billheimer for slogging through the paper trail of correspondence between the British Board of Film Censors and Motion Picture Production Code Office (better known as the Breen Office) and Alfred Hitchcock regarding the content of his many provocative films. Each movie has a history all its own, and while passing reference has been made to censorship in other studies of Hitchcock, this is the first comprehensive book on the subject. No more be said: this is by definition an important piece of work."—Leonard Maltin

"Throughout his career, Alfred Hitchcock battled governmental and industry censors of his films. These struggles are alluded to in many of the biographies and critical studies of this most written about of film directors, but Billheimer's is the first to concentrate on issues of censorship, including a general history of its occurrence from the beginning of the motion picture industry."—Mystery Scene Magazine

"John Billheimer's Hitchcock and the Censors proves that there is always something new to discover about The Master of Suspense. This book is informative even for post-production professionals who are familiar with Hitchcock's mastery of editing, creative use of sound, and memorable music."—CineMontage

"If you are a Hitchcock fan, or just interested in Hollywood history, this book is a must-read, with a chapter on each film."—Vienna's Classic Hollywood Blog

"If you love reading about film and doing research on it, then this is really one of the most definitive books. It goes above and beyond to express why censorship is a terrible thing and that filmmakers should always have complete and utter control of their 'babies', film babies that is."—Cinema Sentries

"Hitchcock aficionados will find much pleasure in Hitchcock and the Censors, which provides abundant evidence of how far mainstream cinema has traveled—for better and perhaps for worse—from its earlier history in more straitlaced, censorious times."—Hitchcock Annual

University Press of Kentucky
Screen Classics

9780813177427 : hitchcock-and-the-censors-billheimer
Hardback
384 Pages
$50.00 USD
9780813180540 : hitchcock-and-the-censors-billheimer
Paperback / softback
384 Pages
$27.95 USD

Other Titles from Screen Classics

Citizen Welles

Frank Brady
Apr 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Woman Who Dared

William M. Drew
Feb 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$50.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text

Jean Gabin

Joseph Harriss
Jan 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in PERFORMING ARTS / Film / History & Criticism

Ida Lupino

William Donati
Jan 2023 - University Press of Kentucky
$27.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$27.95 USD - Electronic book text
$27.95 USD - Electronic book text

Lahore Cinema

Iftikhar Dadi, series edited by K. Sivaramakrishnan, Anand A. Yang, Padma Kaimal
Nov 2022 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Hold It Real Still

Lawrence P. Jackson
Sep 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$44.95 USD - Hardback
$44.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Film, TV & radio

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich
Jul 2022 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text