Phantom Lady

Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock



ON SALE: February 4th 2020

Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated


Winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Critical/Biographical In 1933, Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping both her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock’s confidante and one of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters of his first American film, Rebecca . Harrison had quickly grown from being the worst secretary Hitchcock ever had to one of his closest collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the “Master of Suspense.” Harrison went on to produce numerous Hollywood features before becoming a television pioneer as the producer of Alfred Hitchcock Presents . A respected powerhouse, she acquired a singular reputation for running amazingly smooth productions– and defying anyone who posed an obstacle. She built most of her films and series from the ground up. She waged rough-and-tumble battles against executives and censors, and even helped to break the Hollywood blacklist. She teamed up with many of the most respected, well-known directors, writers, and actors of the twentieth century. And she did it all on her own terms. Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman became Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer–one whom history has since overlooked.

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