“Once a man commits himself to murder, he will soon find himself stealing. The next step will be alcoholism, disrespect for the Sabbath and from there on it will lead to rude behaviour. As soon as you set the first steps on the path to destruction you will never know where you will end. Lots of people owe their downfall to a murder they once committed and weren’t too pleased with at the time.” ~Alfred Hitchcock
Famous movie director Alfred Hitchcock took many of his movies ideas from books or short stories. How many of these books or stories, turned into movies by Hitchcock, have you read?
Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier.
Reviewed by Rebecca at Rantings of a Bookworm Couch Potato: “Daphne DuMaurier’s writing is beautiful, I often found myself just getting taken away by her words. Many times I felt myself needing to slow down as I read, to reread a passage in order to fully absorb the language.”
Reviewed by Carrie at Reading to Know: “Although I think that Daphne Du Maurier is an extremely clever writer and makes beautiful usage of the English language, she also wrote a very broken story with Rebecca.” (Note how in his movie Hitchcock “fixed” to some extent the brokenness Carrie writes about.)
Jamaica Inn by Daphne duMaurier.
Watch Jamaica Inn (1939) with Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara.
Reviewed at Library Hospital: “The descriptions, the phrasing before I turned that first page I already felt with nearly all my senses the scene she was describing. It was as if in my minds eye I could almost see and with my nose I could smell and with my body I could feel that November weather. I nearly forgot it was the middle of August and I was sitting on my couch chilled only by the air conditioning and a fan.”
The Birds by Daphne duMaurier (short story).
Reviewed at Savidge Reads: “. . . the story is nothing like the film apart from the fact that birds do turn on humans. I would say that (having watched the film again since) Daphne’s original version is much darker.”
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith.
Reviewed at Becky’s Book Reviews: “Disturbing and super-creepy, but effectively so. I think the whole point of the novel was to show what could be lurking deep inside (or not-so-deep inside, perhaps just barely under the surface) of the person sitting next to you, the stranger.”
Rear Window by Cornell Woolrich (short story).
Reviewed by Dani at A Work in Progress: “Cornell Woolrich . . . was a successful writer of pulp and detective fiction, and I read that more of his stories and novels have been adapted to film than any other crime writer.”
Vertigo based on the novel D’entre les morts, aka Sueurs froides by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
LitLove compares the book to the movie: ” In the novel it’s the man’s innate sadness which seems to suck in tragedy, whereas in the film, it’s the woman’s. In the film, the woman is dangerous for the man, whereas in the novel, the man is dangerous to himself.”
The 39 Steps by John Buchan.
Reviewed at Woman of the House: “I was amused rather than dismayed at the long pile-up of unlikely events throughout the story. Our hero, Richard Hannay, has the uncanniest luck I have ever seen and is more than once saved from certain demise by the unlikeliest of rescuers.”
The Lady Vanishes, based on The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White.
Reviewed by Dani at A Work in Progress: “It has all the right elements to create a perfect suspense story–a speeding train crossing Europe filled with holidaymakers returning home, a woman who mysteriously disappears, and a lone witness whom none of the passengers believe.”
Psycho by Robert Bloch.
Reviewed at The Literary Lollipop: “Highly readable and compulsively entertaining. If you’re looking for a scare this Halloween, you don’t have to look very far.”
Marnie by Winston Graham.
I couldn’t find any reviews of the book, but one blogger does call it a good movie, but a bad novel.
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.
Reviewed at Lizzy’s Literary Life: “It’s not a thriller in the modern sense for the lens is not focused on the derring-do of spies and terrorists. It’s an examination of the fallout of a terrorist act gone badly wrong.”
Topaz by Leon Uris.
I couldn’t find any reviews of this thriller by one of my favorite authors back in the day, the days, that is, of my teen-age reading. I was a great fan of Mr. Uris’s WW II/Holocaust novels: Exodus, Mila 18, and QB VII. I’m sure I also read Topaz at some time, but I don’t remember it.
To Catch a Thief by David Dodge.
No reviews of the book, and I’ve not read it.
The Trouble with Harry by Jack Trevor Story.
Stage Fright, based on the short story Man Running by Selwyn Jepson.