Film historian James Chapman has mined Hitchcock's own papers to investigate fully for the first time the spy thrillers of the world's most famous filmmaker. Hitchcock made his name as director of the spy movie. He returned repeatedly to the genre from the British classics of the 1930s, including The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, through wartime Hollywood films Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur to the Cold War tracts North by Northwest, Torn Curtain and his unmade film The Short Night. Chapman's close reading of these films demonstrates the development of Hitchcock's own style as well as how the spy genre as a whole responded to changing political and cultural contexts from the threat of Nazism in the 1930s and 40s to the atom spies and double agents of the post-war world.
James Chapman is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester. His previous books for I. B. Tauris include bestsellers Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films and Inside the Tardis: The Worlds of 'Doctor Who' A Cultural History, as well as (with Nicholas J. Cull) Projecting Empire: Imperialism and Popular Cinema and Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema. He is editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television."