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#1 Robert Edge

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 01:51 PM

I recently watched an interview in which Hitchcock talked, among other things, about his penchant for meticulous planning and storyboarding. From time to time, I've read suggestions that Hitchcock used 99 per cent of what he shot. I assume that this refers to shots and is not a suggestion that he shot everything in one take. In any event, is it essentially true or something of an embellishment?

I wish I could remember who did the interview. He had some great things to say about creating suspense and about his use of the mcguffin.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 01:58 PM

More or less true, every shot was listed in the shooting script and in storyboards, although he did shoot coverage and then intercut those shots as well, especially for standard dialogue scenes. It was part of marketing himself however that he emphasized his control over every aspect of shooting, so he de-emphasized the fact that he also shot coverage sometimes. When he decided to move to America, there were months of publicity promoting his arrival in Hollywood, making him one of the few directors who were known to the general public. So creating a marketable image as a director was important; it also gave him some degree of power although he still had difficulty dealing with producers like David Selznick, who was used to pushing his directors around and assuming creative control. The power of producers in the old studio system is what drove some directors like Hitchcock, Ford, and Hawks to work more independently by the 1950's, creating their own production companies rather than being under contract to one studio.
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#3 Greg Gross

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 10:52 PM

On the lighter side:

"If I filmed "Cinderella," people would be expecting a corpse to
fall out of the coach." (Mr. Hitchcock,ca. 1961)

"Good Evening. I'm Alfred Hitchcock,and tonight I am presenting
the first in a series of stories of suspense and mystery,called oddly
enough,"Alfred Hitchcock Presents." I shall not act in these stories,
but will only make appearences- something in the nature of an ass-
essory before and after the fact, to give the title to those of you who
can't read , and tidy up afterwards for those who don't understand
the endings. Tonight's playlet is really a sweet little story. It is called
"Revenge." (Mr. Hitchcock Oct.2,1955)

In Preston Sturges's self reflexive comedy, "Sullivan's Travels", the
traveling companion of a famous movie director asks him about other
famous directors, including Capra and Hitchcock:

THE GIRL: Is Capra nice, or don't you know him?
SULLIVAN: Very nice.
THE GIRL: Is Hitchcock as fat as they say he is?
SULLIVAN: Fatter
THE GIRL: Do you think Orson Welles is crazy?
SULLIVAN: In a very practical way.

Above quotes are from the book- "Hitchcock" by Robert E. Kapsis

Please Mr. Spielberg, make a film about the life of Alfred Hitchcock?



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#4 timHealy

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 11:22 PM

I am not a Hitchcock expert but I was surprised to see that he apparently worked on some WWII films
http://www.pbs.org/w...p/synopsis.html that Front Line has made available. I love Front Lines website.

I haven't watched it myself but I will in the next day or two.
http://www.pbs.org/w.../frontline/camp

Best


Tim
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#5 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 02:32 AM

I recommend the book "Truffaut/Hitchcock" -The Definitive Study of Hitchcock" by Francois Truffaut [be sure to pick up the revised edition] It's an outstanding source of information about Alfred Hitchcock and you get first hand insight about working methods.
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#6 Greg Gross

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 06:05 AM

Yes sir,
Thank you, and I've read the book sir. Do you remember the story about Truffaut and his
associate,they were dressed up like french gendarme's. Truffaut's friend was Claude Chabrol.
Anyway they were trying to track Mr. Hitchcock down for an interview(french press,cinema).
Mr. Hitchcock had just finished shooting "To Catch A Thief". Mr. Hitchcock was sitting in a dark
auditorium viewing a loop of the motorboat scene with Cary Grant and Brigitte Auber. The loop
was being continuously run on the screen for Hitch. Truffaut and Claude approached him with a
tape recorder for an interview. I mean this moves me to tears,I'm going to need stitches when
I'm done laughing. Can you imagine the look Hitch must have had on his face. I think he knew
though that the boys loved film. Anyway Truffaut says in the book that Hitch turned towards them
and asked them very courteously to wait for him in the studio bar across the courtyard. So while
Truffaut and Claude are crossing the courtyard,they fall through the ice of a small skating pond.
The tape recorder was submerged in water and they were both soaked and chilled to the bone.
Apparently a wardrobe mistress saw them and thought they were extras, she gave them the gend-
arme's costumes to put on. She thought they were extras in the film "Rififi" being shot. Anyway a
few minutes later they approach Mr. Hitchcock,seated at the bar. They were soak and wet and drip-
ping water,shivering. Trauffaut said that Hitch looked them over with no comment about their appear-
ence and suggested another appointment time,later in the evening at the Hotel Plaza Athenee. One
year later,Hitch finally acknowledged the incident by saying to Truffaut and Claude- "Gentlemen,every
time I see a pair of ice cubes clicking together in a glass of whiskey,I think of you two."- Alfred Hitchcock
In 1962 Truffaut wrote to Mr. Hitchcock to ask him if he would answer 500 questions for him. I would have
loved to hear what Hitch said when his secretary handed him that request and he read it. Right now I'm
laughing so hard I cannot breathe, I'm spilling my whiskey on myself. Hitch agreed to a 50 hour interview.
So get this, Truffaut says- "It all began when we broke the ice." Sweet jesus I cannot stop laughing.
I loved Alfred Hitchcock,still do,loved his demeanor,sense of humor. God bless Mr. Hitchcock,one of the
greatest directors hollywood has ever had. About Vertigo,Hitch said- "I was intriqued by the hero's att-
empts to re-create the image of a dead woman through another one who's alive."- Alfred Hitchcock

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#7 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:00 AM

Yes sir,Thank you, and I've read the book sir. Do you remember the story about Truffaut and his
associate,they were dressed up like french gendarme's. ...Greg Gross


Your welcome Greg and yes, that was a funny story, thanks for posting it. Don't you also find it interesting the story Truffuat's tells of the critic who warned him that his undertaking of this project, would affect his career more negatively than directing a bad film?

The book is full of great anecdotes, photos and the like. I know they tape recorded the sessions for transcription and took still photos, but don't you wish they'd interviews? Who knows, they probably did and will release them one day on DVD. Speaking of new releases on DVD, I fully recommend the " Alfred Hitchcock presents..." series.
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#8 Greg Gross

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 02:13 PM

Yes I do,

Thank you Mr. Greene and I've finally gotten my laughter under control.
Truffaut's "Day for Night" is one of my favorite films.

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#9 Michael Ryan

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 05:37 PM

Hello All,

This is a great thread about Hitchcock.

For those of you who can remember, I was always glued to the TV when Hitchcock was on the Merv Griffin Show. He was on several times and had fantastic stories. I remember on one show Hitchcock talked to Merv at lenght about his very real fear of policemen. He said his fear was in the fact that they had the power to do anything they want to you and get away with it.

Also Merv had on Orson Welles many times as well and all of those were very interesting. Welles had a love of magic which he performed for Merv and also Welles was the person who got me hooked onto Nicola Tesla.

Merv Griffin has a website and everyone should go there and tell them this shows should be put onto DVD.

Mike
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#10 Greg Gross

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 01:09 AM

Once upon a time there lived a great director-Alfred Hitchcock.
Loved by those who knew him and admired by those who did not know him.
He survived in the heart breaking world of filmmaking,his images live on,on
in the celluloid of film stocks. They have stood the test of time,some of them
admired and some of them un-admired. Listen for the sounds that eminate
from a tape recording:

Truffaut- Well...what did you say to Cary Grant...Hitch?

Hitchcock- That a script is built...Three things make for a good film...A good script...
A good script...A good script. Cary told me on the set one day that the
script was no damn good. Well Ernie Lehman had told me that early on.
I told Cary that the script would require more building. I told Cary that
some problems were created due to the rapidity that the story progressed.
I reminded him once...that I was the director. Cary was getting five thousand
dollars a day...for every day shot over schedule. (Alfred Hitchcock,North by Northwest)

ROGER THORNHILL- Here...reach now!
EVE KENDALL- I'm Trying!
ROGER THORNHILL- Reach out...yes you can!
EVE KENDALL- I can't make it!
ROGER THORNHILL- I've got you...come along now...Mrs. Thornhill
(Critical Event From Script of North by Northwest)

Truffaut- Hitch...what was it like directing Cary Grant?

Hitchcock- Well Cary was only an actor...you know. Actors vary in the amount of direction that
they require. The script also determines the direction required. Cary was a craftsman
...He had an idea of his own how a scene should be filmed. I would needless to say...
remind him...that I was the director...Only once was necessary. Cary was a craftsman,
a gentleman. (Alfred Hitchcock on North by Northwest)

Quotes:
"I never looked into the camera viewfinder...my cameraman knew I did not want to have
any air or space around Eva and Cary". - Alfred Hitchcock

"Eva...don't use your hands...speak low...look into Cary's eyes."- Alfred Hitchcock

EVE KENDALL HANGING OVER A CLIFF:
"Now...Eva make no mistake about it...You're in a very precarious position...Its a rather
long drop to the ground below you...And you can come to grievous harm if you fall...Now
Eva...Play it as there is no hope...The firemen cannot arrive in time with a net.
(Alfred Hitchcock,giving direction-North by Northwest)

All information,quotes are from the book- Truffaut/Hitchcock,1985 by Francois Truffaut

I hope I have not bored anyone with this post. it does give a little insight into the mind of a great
director and his techniques of direction. I will refrain from anymore posts on this subject. I realize
that this is not everyone's cup of tea.

Greg Gross
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