The inimitable, haunting films of Alfred Hitchcock took place in settings, both exterior and interior, that deeply impacted our experiences of his most unforgettable works. Hitchcock saw elements of the built world not just as scenic devices but as interactive areas to frame narrative exchanges. In his films, building forms also serve a sentient purpose—to capture and convey feelings, sensations, and moments that generate an emotive response from the viewer. Visualizing the contemporary built landscape allowed the director to illuminate Americans’ everyday experiences as well as their own uncertain relationship with their environment and with each other.
As Christine Madrid French reveals in this original and indispensable book, Hitchcock’s relation to the built world was informed by an intense engagement with location and architectural form—in an era marked by modernism’s advance—fueled by some of the most creative midcentury designers in film.
The Architecture of Suspense is the first book to document how Hitchcock used his unique vision to create an enduring and evocative cinematic world.
Christine Madrid French, a native of Los Angeles, is a historian, author, and screenwriter specializing in architecture, Hollywood, and film.She is an alumna of the UVASchool of Architecture.