Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind the Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession

Putnam. Oct. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593542972. $29. BIOG
Alfred Hitchcock’s complicated relationship with his lead actresses has been addressed recently by biographers, but consistently, those works were about the larger context of his life and career. By focusing solely on these relationships, biographer Leamer (Capote’s Women) has written more of a tabloid tale than a character study. The book presents detailed and engaging chapters about Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, Janet Leigh, and Tippi Hedren; Leamer has conducted interviews with Novak, Saint, and Leigh. Grace Kelly is also mentioned, but that story rarely rises above the tawdry. Hitchcock was known to make sexual jokes in front of his actresses (no examples are given), and the book also shows the degree of unwanted attention he paid these women. It’s made clear that they received similar treatment from studio heads and other powerful figures. The book includes a three-page list of the works Leamer used as secondary sources.
VERDICT A well-written book, but some readers may find the premise a little too narrow.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing