This chapter examines how Hitchcock and his writers transformed his chosen sources, revealing two tendencies which are important in understanding how the director and the three writers went about adapting their sources into films. The first tendency has to do with Hitchcock's attitude toward adaptation and the viability and literary stature of the works he chose; the second with the genres he characteristically drew from. Throughout his career, Hitchcock focused on source material—plays, novels, and short stories—that used to be called “suspense fiction” but today is usually classified by bookstores and reviewers as “crime novels,” sources tailor-made for his thrillers. This chapter thus analyzes the three novels on Hitchcock's filmic triptych is based: Robert Bloch's Psycho (1959), Daphne du Maurier's The Birds (1952), and Winston Graham's Marnie (1961).
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