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British Museum, London

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The British Museum is a museum in London dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.

Alfred Hitchcock was photographed outside the British Museum by photographer Thurston Hopkins for a series of images that accompanied the Picture Post article "A Sinister Time was Had by All" (29/Jan/1955).

Hitchcock's Films

Blackmail (1929)

When Tracy the blackmailer is cornered by the police, he flees into the British Museum. The chase ends with Tracy falling to his death through the domed roof of the museum's Reading Room.

Although Hitchcock filmed the exterior of the museum, it was impractical to film inside and instead Hitchcock used the Schüfftan process for most of the sequence. The climb onto the Reading Room roof was achieved using a transparency combined with a curved ladder built in the studio.[1]

The exterior scenes of the Museum were filmed on Wednesday May 22nd, 1929.[2]

The giant head appears to have been based on the museum's giant bust of Ramesses II, known as the "Younger Memnon".[3]

The 39 Steps (1935)

In the introduction to Mr. Memory's act at the music hall, we learn that he has generously donated his brain to the British Museum.

Google Maps

Nearest Locations


See Also...

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...

Notes & References

  1. Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, pages 33-35
  2. Nottingham Evening Post (23/May/1929) - Filming the British Museum
  3. British Museum: Statue of Ramesses II, the 'Younger Memnon'