This final chapter explores the enduring legacy and fascination surrounding the Hitchcock branding. Since his death in 1980, Hitchcock has continued to fascinate audiences, scholars, critics and culture in general. By exploring the repeated rereleases of Hitchcock’s work on DVD (despite the relative youthfulness of the format, Psycho has already been released in seven different DVD editions in the UK alone), and Varese Sarabande's series of reissues of Herrmann soundtracks on CD, this chapter looks at how the co-authorship of Herrmann and Hitchcock has been contextualised, narrativised and conceptualised in different ways by the artefacts included in the reissued, remastered and recontextualised versions of Hitchcock’s work with Herrmann (and Herrmann’s work without Hitchcock). Drawing on recent scholarship on the DVD as ‘auteur machine’ by Catherine Grant, and new work on authorship by C. Paul Sellors, the chapter argues that the digital reconceptualization of authorship struggles to account for a notion of collaboration.
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds. The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films. Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
The introduction examines the significance and history of Alfred Hitchcock’s partnership with Bernard Herrmann. It also demonstrates the enduring appeal and legacy of the partnership in cinema from the 1970s onwards, especially as Herrmann worked with other directors steeped in the Hitchcock tradition.