12 March 2011

Getting Hitched

Reading 'Reassessing the Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock Collaboration' by Pat Kirkham in 18(1) West 86th (2011)
Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including interviews with designer and filmmaker Saul Bass (1920–96) and film director Billy Wilder (1906–2002), this article reassesses the evidence, scholarship, and debates about the contributions made by Bass to three films directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980). Between 1958 and 1960 Bass created main title sequences for Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960) and an advertising campaign for Vertigo, and he also acted as a "pictorial consultant" for Psycho (a role that included the design and storyboarding of the now-famous shower scene). The article, which seeks to reopen and redirect certain debates, constitutes a major evaluation of one of the most visually productive collaborations in the history of U.S. cinema.