In 1933, Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping her stodgy London suburb. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock’s confidante and one of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters of his first American film, "Rebecca". Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman became Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer—one whom history has since overlooked.
... [a] carefully researched, candid portrait ... Comprehensive notes and a bibliography offer strong additional resources ... Harrison’s story is a compelling one. This superbly written, absorbing biography of a woman succeeding on her own terms will resonate with fans of Hollywood stories, as well as those who appreciate celebrations of previously unsung women.
While acknowledging Hitchcock and Harrison’s creative work together, Lane does not gloss over what can only be described as an at-times toxic work environment ... In Lane’s artful telling, Harrison was a kind of cinematic utility player.
... keenly observed and illuminating ... Lane’s analyses of performances and images in Harrison’s films...sharply delineate the films’ styles and themes ... Lane’s rich portrait of Harrison virtually contradicts this book’s title. Harrison was not 'the woman behind Hitchcock;' she was beside him and sometimes ahead of him. On her own, she made her own distinctive contributions to American film. Now, we have that story.