Hitchcock Poster Art

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Hitchcock Poster Art

From the Mark H. Wolff Collection
Edited by Tony Nourmand and Mark H. Wolff
The Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers, 1999

 For Hitchcockians (this is my blog so I can make up words if I want to), this is the perfect book for you! It showcases many of the different posters and lobby cards (extinct species of advertising) of all of the movies by Alfred Hitchcock. Starting with The Pleasure Garden, the first movie Hitchcock directed in 1925, through his last film in 1976, Family Plot the reader is treat to full color images of posters. You can see the change in advertising through the decades,

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arts and crafts of the 20’s
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then the full color portraits of the 30s,
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the use of sort-of photographs of the 40s
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continuing to refine the photograph in the 50s
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and finally, showing more skin in the 60s.

 It’s also worth noting that the posters for countries other than the U.S. are either more lurid or more abstract. I guess Americans were (and are) too narrowminded to enjoy the more ‘artsy’ posters.

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Italian, Marnie
hitch a polish
Polish, Vertigo
hitch 4 birds polish
Polish, The Birds

 

The book also introduced me to Hitchcock movies I didn’t know about. I tried getting all of them from the local library, but, alas, I was unsuccessful. Still, I have seen several new-to-me movies and they were really good! The editors of the book offer no critique of the movies; they present the posters as they are, along with a short description of the movie. For collectors, this is a good resource to add to your library.

 Rating: 4 out of 5 paws

simon 2 loc Reviewer: Simon

Me, Stories of My Life

 

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Me, Stories of My Life

Katharine Hepburn

Alfred A. Knopf, 1991

Miss Hepburn tells the story of her life in this book. She talks about her childhood, movies and loves, especially the love of her life. She admits that she is headstrong, self-absorbed and self-centered –  except when it comes to Spencer Tracy.

·         Part 1

o   We learn about Miss Hepburn’ parents, siblings, childhood and where she has lived.

·         Part 2

o   Career beginnings on the stage and in Hollywood; marriage to Ludlow Ogden Smith; back to New York where she crashed and burned on the stage with a play, The Lake.

·         Part 3

o   Big movies, big actors, famous directors and we hear about Spencer for the first time. She goes into greater detail about Spencer later in the book.

·         Part 4

o   Miscellaneous stories about gardening, a trip to Italy, and her movie, The Corn is Green.

·         Part 5

o   Health issues including a broken voice, eye surgery and a serious car accident.

·         Part 6

o   Spencer Tracy. Miss Hepburn tells not so much of their life together but of his final days and her grief at losing him. She also tells of the final leaving of the house they shared in California; very poignant, very sweet, very loving.

The book was a good read, it was interesting to find out about one of my favorite actresses. However the way it was written drove me absolutely crazy! This is my first auto-biography so I don’t know if it is ‘normal’ to write a book in such a conversational style. It is like I was sitting across the kitchen table from Miss Hepburn and she talking to me like I was her best friend. Really weird. She just rambles on from topic to topic, she stays in the same general area but her train of thought definitely skips the track a couple of times. She doesn’t tell the story chronologically but topically. For instance, she tells all the places she has lived, about her career, and her movies. This is not a book I plan on rereading, but I will keep it on our shelves for sentimental reasons – our mom gave it to her grandmother and it was later returned to us.

Rating:  3 Paws for the way it was written (conversational style); it would have been lower but the author is, after all, the fabulous Katharine Hepburn.

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rufus headshot2 Reviewer: Rufus

 

    

Courtesy: Goodreads

Katharine Hepburn 
born in Hartford, Connecticut,May 12, 1907

died June 29, 2003

Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. Known for her headstrong independence and spirited personality, Hepburn’s career as a Hollywood leading lady spanned more than 60 years. She cultivated a screen persona that matched this public image, and regularly played strong-willed, sophisticated women. Her work came in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received four Academy Awards for Best Actress—a record for any performer.

In the 1940s Hepburn was contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her career focused on an alliance with Spencer Tracy. The screen-partnership spanned 25 years, and produced nine movies.

Hepburn challenged herself in the latter half of her life, as she regularly appeared in Shakespeare stage productions and tackled a range of literary roles. She found a niche playing middle-aged spinsters, such as in The African Queen (1951), a persona the public embraced. Three more Oscars came for her work in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

In the 1970s she began appearing in television movies, which became the focus of her career in later life. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. After a period of inactivity and ill-health, Hepburn died in 2003 at 96 years old.

In 1999, she was named by the American Film Institute as the top female Hollywood legend.