I just finished reading and taking the quiz on chapter one. It was indeed an eye-opener for me. Here, I got to know the word "Auteur for the first time ever in filmmaking. There is no doubt; the auteur is a true reflection of every great film. I fell in love with this word, and this led to me researching about great auteurs in history. My search was open on the man renowned as the master of suspense " Alfred Hitchcock”. Ten Amazing facts you never knew about this great auteur of all times. I bet you definitely would want to know what they are;
1.Hitchcock never won a Best Director Academy Award, though he was nominated five times.
2.Hitchcock was afraid of his own movies: If you think that Hitchcock’s stories of suspense and death are a little too dark and tense for most tastes, you’re not alone. Even Hitchcock couldn't bring himself to watch his own movies. He said in an interview in 1963, “I’m frightened of my own movies. I never go to see them. I don’t know how people can bear to watch my movies.
3.Hitchcock loved pulling cruel and mean jokes on people: Ranging from the simple whoopie cushion at parties to massive, elaborately planned jokes that played on people's fears and gave his actors a reason to fear him while they were filming. During the making of 'The 39 Steps,' he handcuffed stars Robert Donat and Madeline Carroll together as part of a scene and pretended that he lost the key. The two reportedly spent hours stuck to each other until Hitchcock felt the joke had run out of steam. One of his most famous and meanest pranks involved a bet between him and a member of his crew to spend the night in a dark and spooky film set chained to a camera with a week's salary on the line. Just before the bet got underway, Hitchcock offered some brandy to the man to help him sleep as a sign of good faith but by the following morning, the man and the rest of the crew learned that Hitchcock spiked the brandy with a strong laxative. The crew found the man just where Hitchcock left him, weeping in a puddle of his own...well, you know.
4.He delayed filming for 'North By Northwest' so he wouldn't have to cast Jimmy Stewart: Hitchcock’s classic 'Vertigo' actually didn’t do very well at the box office or among circles of movie critics. Hitchcock felt that Stewart was to blame for the film's poor performance. So when the time came to start work on his legendary 'North By Northwest,' Hitchcock didn’t have the heart to tell Stewart that he wouldn't be casting him. According to Jimmy Stewart's biography, Hitchcock delayed the start of the movie until Stewart could be cast in another film, a romantic comedy called 'Bell Book and Candle' with Kim Novak. That gave Hitchcock the chance to cast Cary Grant in the lead role guilt free.
5.Walt Disney Said 'No Thanks' To Hitchcock's Filming Request: In the early 1960s, Hitchcock approached Walt Disney about filming an unknown project on location in the Disneyland theme park. Despite Hitchcock's popularity at the time and the extra recognition his project would bring to the park, Disney turned him down. His reason? "That disgusting movie Psycho."
6.He Refused To Meet Steven Spielberg Because He Felt Like A Whore For Taking Money To Do A Voice For The Jaws Ride:
When the Universal Studios theme park opened in 1964, Hitchcock was hired to help with promotion over the course of several years. He was paid $1 million to star in ads and promotional films for attractions, which, in the 1970s, included the Jaws ride. Jaws director Steven Spielberg was a big Hitchcock fan and tried to meet his idol several times. Hitchcock always turned him down, eventually admitting the reason was "Because I'm the voice of the Jaws ride [at the Universal Studios them park]. They paid me a million dollars. And I took it and I did it. I'm such a whore. I can't sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie... I couldn't even touch his hand."
7.He tried to buy every copy of the book based on 'Psycho' so no one would know how it ended:
Hitchcock's most famous film has one of the greatest twist endings, not just for its time but for all time. Hitchcock loved it so much that he didn't want the book spoiling it before he could film it. His production assistant Peggy Robertson served as Hitchcock's eyes on the thousands of scripts and books he was given to read and consider for his next film project. Just before Hitchcock started principal filming on 'Psycho,' Robertson was asked to find a subject for a movie that was a "typically un-Hitchcock picture" by her boss. She found a memo from a script reader that described a novel about a brutal serial killer by author Robert Bloch as “impossible for films” and decided to pick up a copy. Robertson was enthralled with the book and passed it on to Hitchcock to read. Hitchcock was particularly impressed with the brutal shower scene and the dark story's shocking revelation, and immediately marked it off as his newest project. He wanted audiences to experience the same shock when they learned the truth about the notorious serial killer. So he ordered Robertson to buy every copy of the book that she could find from suppliers and stores to keep audiences from reading it.
8.Anthony Perkins wasn’t actually in the famous shower scene in ‘Psycho’: The infamous shower scene in which Janet Leigh, the movie’s leading lady, is hacked to death with a butcher knife by Norman Bates’ mother near the start of the film became one of the most shocking and famous scenes in movie history. It is revealed in the end that Norman’s killer mother is actually Norman himself dressed in mother’s clothes and wig and the figure in the window of the spooky house behind the motel is actually his mother’s decaying corpse. Perkins actually wasn’t playing his murderous mother in the famous shower scene. He was in New York rehearsing for a Broadway play at the time and Hitchcock used a stunt double to stand in for “Mrs. Bates” instead. The entire scene took place on a closed set and required numerous takes with Leigh practically naked the entire time. Leigh later said that she found the experience so distressing and terrifying that from then on, she took baths instead of showers.
9.He Helped Make A Holocaust Documentary That Was Lost Until the 1980s: In 1945, Alfred Hitchcock was asked to help with a documentary about the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps. The director was so appalled by the footage he was shown of Bergen-Belsen, he stayed away from the studio for a week. The film was created in an attempt to hold Germany more accountable for the Holocaust, but changing political circumstances resulted in it being shelved once it was complete. It was virtually forgotten until the 1980s, when it was shown at the 1984 Berlin Film Festival.
10. His Wife Was His Biggest Collaborator: In 1923, film editor Alma Reville received a job offer from Hitchcock. In 1926, he also gave her a marriage proposal. She accepted, and became Hitchcock's biggest collaborator, as well as his wife. Reville is credited with everything from assistant director to screenwriter on 19 Hitchcock films, and is said to have convinced the director to keep Bernard Herrmann's now legendary string music during the Psycho shower scene. Although the couple had one child, their marriage was primarily celibate, which fueled speculation Hitchcock was a homosexual in denial.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Watch out for more unfolding facts on other great auteurs soon...