All posts tagged: Kim Novak

The Baffling Cruelty of Alfred Hitchcock

The Baffling Cruelty of Alfred Hitchcock

Anyone who’s ever watched an Alfred Hitchcock film—seen Tippi Hedren clawed to pieces by dozens of gulls and ravens or Janet Leigh repeatedly stabbed in the shower—would have to wonder about the director’s attitude toward women. When it came to his leading actresses, he was known to have walked a line between stringent and outright sadistic. And yet the particular nature of Hitchcock’s collaborations with these women continues to serve as fodder for study and debate, despite the fact that the details of these relationships are more or less undisputed: With Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, and Leigh, the director would veer between the courtly and the coarse, at one moment inviting them to dine with his wife at his house in Bel Air, the next peppering them with filthy jokes in his trailer. And at least one allegation indicates that his behavior may have moved from the volatility long associated with Hollywood directors into something we today would call abuse. In a 2016 memoir, Hedren says that Hitchcock sexually assaulted …