“’There is scarcely a star in Hollywood whose appeal I would not try to alter or develop,’ said Alfred Hitchcock, setting sail for Hollywood on March 1, 1939. ‘I am itching to get my hands on these American stars.’ Quite literally, [this quote echoes] Hitchcock’s relationship with his actresses following a sad declension — from secret admirer to Svengali to sex pest and stalker.

“Ackroyd does a lovely job of bringing a blush to the cheek of his early infatuation with Ingrid Bergman. ‘Whenever he was with her, I had the feeling that something was ailing him, and it was difficult to know exactly the cause,’ her co-star Gregory Peck said of shooting Spellbound, the first of a trio of films with the actress that Ackroyd rightly identifies as marking ‘an emotional sea change’ in both him and his films.

“’The woman is, for the first time in a Hitchcock film, the healing agent,” Ackroyd writes. “She is the blossom in the dust. As a child Hitchcock was terrified when a female relative peered too close into his cradle. Bergman’s close-ups in Notorious have the charcoal softness of a child recognizing its mother.'” — from Tom Shone‘s 10.28 N.Y. Times review of Peter Ackroyd’s “Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life.”

In short, that series of opening doors in that florid sequence from Spellbound [above] were Hitchcock’s own.