Uncommon Dangers: Alfred Hitchcock and the Literary Contexts of the British Spy Thriller

  • Alan George Burton


Alfred Hitchcock developed and enriched the spy thriller in cinema in the 1930s with his legendary ‘thriller sextet’ (e.g. The 39 Steps, 1935; The Lady Vanishes, 1938). While he relied heavily on published stories, he is not very well known as an adaptor of literary sources. In his chapter, Burton considers the literary context of the spy thriller in Britain in the 1930s, particularly the “intermodernist” brand, its influence on the filmmaker, and Hitchcock’s transformation of the genre in a series of critically acclaimed and influential films.



I would like to acknowledge the award of a research grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 26295-G23, which has generously enabled the preparation, research, and writing of the chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan George Burton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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