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Hidden Hitchcock

No filmmaker has more successfully courted mass-audience understanding than Alfred Hitchcock, and none has been studied more intensively by scholars. In Hidden Hitchcock, D. A. Miller does what seems impossible: he discovers what has remained unseen in Hitchcock’s movies, a secret style that imbues his films with a radical duplicity.

Focusing on three films—Strangers on a Train, Rope, and The Wrong Man—Miller shows how Hitchcock anticipates, even demands a “Too-Close Viewer.” Dwelling within us all and vigilant even when everything appears to be in good order, this Too-Close Viewer attempts to see more than the director points out, to expand the space of the film and the duration of the viewing experience. And, thanks to Hidden Hitchcock, that obsessive attention is rewarded. In Hitchcock’s visual puns, his so-called continuity errors, and his hidden appearances (not to be confused with his cameos), Miller finds wellsprings of enigma.

Hidden Hitchcock is a revelatory work that not only shows how little we know this best known of filmmakers, but also how near such too-close viewing comes to cinephilic madness.

208 pages | 54 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016

Film Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Media Studies


“The drama of Hidden Hitchcock is an amour fou between its subject and its author, the hypervigilant viewer whom Hitchcock baits with meaningless discrepancies and rankling imperfections. Studying those imperfections can be deranging, and one way to read Miller’s book is as an essay on the obsessive, socially isolating behavior moviegoing involves.”

Max Nelson, | Cineaste

“Miller offers . . .  a way to rethink the ways we watch and engage with all films, not just the Hitchcockian ones.”


"Miller’s enjoyable, vivacious romp through viewing and reviewing the cinema of Hitchcock pioneers a compelling new approach to viewership and carves out new scholarly territory. This is a major contribution to the literature on Hitchcock and film studies more broadly. Essential."


Tthe incredibly close formalist reading on display in Hidden Hitchcock should not be taken as a turning away from Miller’s more obviously political work on discipline and surveillance (in a Foucauldian sense), or on queerness, the closet, and textual pleasure. Rather it marks a continuation of a longrunning concern, namely, how the person, willingly or defiantly or ambivalently, is incarnated in narrative form, not by the smooth running of hermeneutic codes, nor by repressive enclosure, but by the very breakdowns, lapses, and stutterings of style."

Film Quarterly

“Clever and elegant, this super close-up look at just a few moments in Strangers on a TrainRope, and The Wrong Man goes to the heart of what it means to ‘view’ and ‘read’ any film—and by extension, any work of representational art. Because it brings the issue of interpretation back to the table, I would recommend Hidden Hitchcock to everyone who cares about the value and power of movies.”

Dudley Andrew, Yale University

"Miller’s too-close readings asks those who follow to surrender the pleasures it derails for the much more tendentious, even obsessive-compulsive, pleasures it offers in return.” 

Hitchcock Annual

Table of Contents

Hidden Pictures (Strangers on a Train)
Understyle (Rope)
The Long Wrong Man


Choice Magazine: CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Awards

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