INTRODUCTION
A BODY FOR ALL SEASONS
“But I’m Alfred Hitchcock, I am, I can prove it.”
“Sure, sure everybody is.”
“I am, I insist.”
Alfred Hitchcock’s double when removed by the orderlies, as scripted
by James B. Allardice for Alfred Hitchcock Presents
“Goooood eve-en-ing,” and welcome to a study of the intertwined strands of
Alfred Hitchcock’s creative world. As Hitchcock’s trademark television greet-
ing suggests, this is predominantly a foray into
tv
territory, where Hitch-
cock’s famously rotund profile ushered in a teleplay per week for ten seasons,
summer reruns included. Though they were most obviously paraded in his
television hosting, Hitchcock’s impish designs and voluble conceits spread
across a vast body of work that is inseparable from Hitchcock’s commanding
physical form. Scaling one of the most written- about bodies in the twentieth
century as a matter of course, countless texts equated Hitchcock’s poundage
with excessive fat. Through such slanted, unblushing stabs, and the sheer vol-
ume of these ink ruses mainly found in gossip columns blots, patterns,
and identity markers were affixed to a body that fronted for the franchise.
Take this “portrait” from the New York Times, for example, offered as a
lead- in to an exchange around Hitchcock’s film poetics, which the director
outlined in a series of talking points while eating lamb chops:
If you look at Alfred Hitchcock obliquely, which is the way he likes to
look at things, he appears absolutely the same from any angle as nearly
spheroid as a man can be. Push him gently and he might rock on his
axis like a humpty- dumpty. Reaching their greatest girth at approximate
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