Jump to: navigation, search

Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut (Aug/1962)

 

In the fall of 1962, whilst "The Birds" was in post-production, François Truffaut carried out extensive interviews with Alfred Hitchcock at his offices at Universal Studios. The interviews were recorded to audio tape and the content eventually edited down into the "Hitchcock/Truffaut" book.

Although Truffaut could speak a little English, he hired Helen Scott (of the French Film Office in New York) to act as the translator for the interviews.

Truffaut had intended to quickly publish the book of the interviews, but the first edition wasn't published until several years later (1966 in France and 1967 in America). To bring the book up-to-date, Truffaut conducted further interviews to discuss "Marnie" and "Torn Curtain".

In 1984, Patricia Hitchcock donated a set of the interview tapes to the Margaret Herrick Library, where they are now part of the Hitchcock Collection. Although Truffaut claimed that the recordings lasted 50 hours, the surviving tapes — which cover the 1962 interviews — last for less than 26 hours.

Research by Janet Bergstrom[1] has made clear the fact that the book often does not contain a verbatim transcript of Hitchcock's responses to Truffaut's questions...

Certain categories of information seem to have been omitted from the published interview for reasons over and above the need to keep the page count down or omit Hitchcock’s slightly off–color jokes and descriptions of individuals that might offend them or even prove libelous. Information was dropped that would be considered precious today, particularly by film historians: explanations of technique were greatly limited compared to the original, references to television and the film industry as such, including observations about people who were not necessarily well–known and what they did, as Hitchcock remembered this or that film or phase of his career.

Audio

The audio tapes of the interviews have not been released commercially. However, portions of the tapes were used for a French radio broadcast by the station "France Culture".[2]

French Radio Broadcast

Nearly 12 hours of the interviews were broadcast on French radio as a 25 part series. Each episode runs for just over 25 minutes.

Transcriptions are available for some of the parts.

Part 1

Childhood through to his early years in the film industry...

The media player is loading...

Part 2

"Mountain Eagle" through to the end of the silent era...

The media player is loading...

Part 3

"Blackmail" through to a discussion about American audiences...

The media player is loading...

Part 4

"Rich and Strange" through to realism in films...

The media player is loading...

Part 5

"The 39 Steps" through to plausibility in film and film critics...

The media player is loading...

Part 6

"Secret Agent" and "Sabotage"...

The media player is loading...

Part 7

"Young and Innocent" and "The Lady Vanishes"...

The media player is loading...

Part 8

Final years in Britain through to his move to America...

The media player is loading...

Part 9

"Rebecca"...

The media player is loading...

Part 10

Discussion about Hollywood through to "Notorious"...

The media player is loading...

Part 11

"Mr and Mrs Smith" through to "Suspicion"...

The media player is loading...

Part 12

"Saboteur" through to "Shadow of a Doubt"...

The media player is loading...

Part 13

"Lifeboat" through to "Spellbound"...

The media player is loading...

Part 14

"Notorious" through to "The Paradine Case"...

The media player is loading...

Part 15

"Rope"...

The media player is loading...

Part 16

"Rope" and "Under Capricorn"...

The media player is loading...

Part 17

"Stage Fright" through to "Strangers on a Train"...

The media player is loading...

Part 18

"Strangers on a Train" through to "I Confess"...

The media player is loading...

Part 19

"Notorious" through to a discussion about suspense...

The media player is loading...

Part 20

Initial discussion about the "The Birds" through to "Rear Window"...

The media player is loading...

Part 21

"The Wrong Man" through to "Vertigo"...

The media player is loading...

Part 22

"North by Northwest" through to "Psycho"...

The media player is loading...

Part 23

"Psycho"...

The media player is loading...

Part 24

"The Birds"...

The media player is loading...

Part 25

"Psycho" through to characterisation in films...

The media player is loading...

Video

The following is an interview from the French "Apostrophes" television programme (13/Apr/1984), in which Bernard Pivot talks to Truffaut and Roman Polanski about Hitchcock. Truffaut had just released the "Definitive" version of the book and this would be his last public appearance — just six months later, he died from a brain tumour. The video is in French with Italian subtitles.

The media player is loading...

Articles

References

  1. Lost in Translation? Listening to the Hitchcock–Truffaut Interview" in "A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock" - edited by Thomas Leitch and Leland Poague
  2. Wikipedia: France Culture

Links

Comments

comments powered by Disqus