Official title-page of the Alfred Hitchcock Scholars/'MacGuffin' website, conducted by Ken Mogg. Our regular visitors may prefer to start on (and bookmark) our News and Comment page (see page links below):


The 'MacGuffin' Web Page ... will undoubtedly be a great meeting place for Hitchcock lovers worldwide.

- Sidney Gottlieb, editor of 'Hitchcock on Hitchcock' (1995) and 'Alfred Hitchcock Interviews' (2003)

Welcome to the Alfred Hitchcock Scholars/'MacGuffin' website! The site is an extension of our Alfred Hitchcock journal called 'The MacGuffin', which is indexed by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) in Brussels, and by 'Film Literature Index', New York.  (Note: since issue #29, the journal is published on an irregular basis simply because the 'MacGuffin' editor, a full-time Hitchcock scholar, has other commitments.)

A lengthy profile of Hitchcock's life and work by the 'MacGuffin' editor has been published elsewhere on the Web.  It's been called 'definitive' and includes a bibliography.  To read it, click here:

Here, then, is a short note on books.  Among those we value are two, or perhaps three, biographies: John Russell Taylor's 'Hitch' (1978) came first, is nicely written, but has been largely superseded; Donald Spoto's 'Alfred Hitchcock: The Dark Side of Genius' (1983), though uncharitable towards Hitchcock personally, is insightful, information-packed, and shows a good knowledge of the films; while Patrick McGilligan's 'Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light' (2003), though it corrects many of Spoto's solecisms, has errors and omissions of its own.  Robin Wood's ground-breaking and analytic 'Hitchcock's Films' (1965, still in print in a revised version) has always been inspiring.  A colleague of Wood's, Michael Walker, has lately written the excellent 'Hitchcock's Motifs' (2005).  Moving along ... it's true that McGilligan (p. 709) sees much academic analysis of the films as 'lunacy', and, who knows, he may be right; but readers might take a look at a recent collection of essays called 'Hitchcock Past and Future' (2004) edited by Richard Allen and Sam Ishii-Gonzáles.  We also think highly of Tania Modleski's 'The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory' (1988; 2005).  Of course, the most basic resource - for scholars and enthusiasts alike - remains François Truffaut's extended interview with The Master, published in English as 'Hitchcock' (revised edition 1984).  In turn, the Truffaut book is well complemented by 'Hitchcock on Hitchcock' (1995), edited by Sidney Gottlieb, and by Bill Krohn's award-winning 'Hitchcock at Work' (2000). There is also 'Alfred Hitchcock Interviews' (2003), again edited by Sidney Gottlieb.  In 2007, the most popular new book on Hitchcock was probably Jack Sullivan's 'Hitchcock's Music' (there's an excerpt on this website).  Lastly, for a stimulating, across-the-board survey and analysis of Hitchcock's films and career, we naturally recommend Ken Mogg's 'The Alfred Hitchcock Story' (1999, 2008).  To order it, click here The Alfred Hitchcock Story or here The Alfred Hitchcock Story.  (Note: a new 2008 printing of the original UK edition, with revisions, is the one now available in both the UK and the USA.  It's the one to buy.  Whatever you do, don't buy the original US edition, published in 1999, which its author disowns.  It was cut and bowdlerised, and worse.)

A near-complete bibliography of all scholarly writing on Hitchcock up to the early 1990s will be found in Jane Sloan's massive 'Alfred Hitchcock: a filmography and bibliography' (1995, pb).

For more on books and journals, see our New Publications page.

A note on this site: quite deliberately, it tends to exclude much of the generally-known, already-available things on Hitch. That's a reason why it's called a scholars' site. But new material is added on a regular basis, and our News and Comment page is updated several times a week ...
Rare Hitchcockiana, from DVDs to scripts, obtainable here (mention us): www
Links to our other pages follow:

News and Comment (Home) page  (best to start here)

About 'The MacGuffin'/How to Subscribe

ACADEMIC HITCHCOCK 1 - Murray Pomerance on TMWKTM (1956) 

ACADEMIC HITCHCOCK 2 - Richard Allen on Vertigo 

ACADEMIC HITCHCOCK 3 - Theodore Price on Marnie 

EXCERPTS 1 - Michael Walker on "Confined Spaces" in Hitchcock

EXCERPTS 2 - Tony Lee Moral on Marnie

EXCERPTS 3 - Thomas Leitch on Irony; Jamaica Inn

EXCERPTS 4 - Lesley Brill on Mr and Mrs Smith

EXCERPTS 5 - Jane Sloan surveys critical writing on Hitchcock

EXCERPTS 6 - Donald Spoto on Stage Fright
EXCERPTS 7 - Jack Sullivan on Franz Waxman and Suspicion

About Arthur Schopenhauer (who? why?)

Alfred Hitchcock and Charles Dickens

Article: "Why I Make Melodramas" by Alfred Hitchcock

Feature: Screenwriter Charles Bennett on "Shakespeare, Melodrama, and Hitchcock"

The endings for Suspicion/ Bill Krohn's additional research

Notes on Rear Window

Notes on Vertigo (and Strangers on a Train)

Note on Hitchcock's villains

Interview with Kim Novak

Interview with Psycho screenwriter, Joseph Stefano 

Long article: "The Fragments of the Mirror: Vertigo and its sources"

Article by Bill Krohn: "A Hitchcock mystery" (an aspect of Family Plot)

Article by Martin Grams, Jr: "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Quality of Humor"

Article by Martin Grams, Jr: "Murder and Suspense"

Article by Philip Kemp: "Hitching Posts" (on Hitchcock's 'imitators')

New Publications - one of this site's main pages

FAQs page

Links page

All material © copyright 'The MacGuffin',
Last modified 21 January, 2011, using Nvu 1.0 and Windows XP Home Edition