Hitchcock à la Carte
Introduction: A Body for All Seasons
Hitchcock’s interaction with journalists over exquisite food at first-rate restaurants was part of the marketing strategy that served his franchise building from films only to a small media empire. The chapter sets the stage for how Hitchcock systematically orchestrated attention to his body during his American career—and as a catalyst to acquire a Hollywood contract. The sketched outline of his frame is still a globally recognized logotype. This performance mode, Hitchcock playing “Hitchcock,” generated an emphasis on corporeal matters and food culture as signatures for the work in many dimensions and in many contexts. For decades, American gossip columnists relished the opportunities for witty copy, and soon the director’s name turned into an entity in the cultural lexicon: Hitchcockian. The chapter elucidates this process in dialogue with the popular writing on Hitchcock in magazines and newspapers across his entire career in Hollywood.