Bernard Herrmann
Hitchcock’s secret sharer
in Partners in suspense
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This opening chapter explores the partnership between Hitchcock and Herrmann both as a very special professional connection between a director and composer but also as an intense Conradian relationship that was as volatile as it was productive. The chapter discusses precisely how Bernard Herrmann fits into Alfred Hitchcock’s overall musical achievement. Their personalities were dramatically opposite —Hitchcock imperious and controlling, Herrmann notoriously explosive and prone to tantrums. Yet the two were deeply sympatico: both had an uncompromising professionalism, a hatred of mediocrity, a mordant sense of humour, and a contempt for the Hollywood establishment matched by a longing for its approval. Herrmann was Hitchcock’s ‘secret sharer’, a harbinger of energies darker and more dangerous than Hitchcock’s cool sensibility easily permitted. He pushed Hitchcock’s cinema deeper than ever into a world of anxiety and obsession.

Partners in suspense

Critical essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock

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