Author: Donald Spoto
Original publication date: 1983

One visit to your local bookstore's "Film" section will show you just how many Alfred Hitchcock biographies and critical studies have been published since the iconic director's 1980 passing. But the only Hitch bio you'll ever need to read is Donald Spoto's exhaustive, revealing The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock.

Utilizing a great deal of in-person access and interviews with his subject, Spoto leaves no formative stone unturned, starting with Hitchcock's childhood days, spanning through his pre-fame years right into his decades of Hollywood prominence, and closing off with his bitter, far-from-grace final years.

Admirably, Spoto pays as much attention to the man's flaws as he does his many gifts, painting a portrait of an enormous talent who also happened to be extremely insecure misogynist, and a merry, sometimes cold-hearted prankster. —MB