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The Prude's Fall (1924) - locations

In his biography of Hitchcock, John Russell Taylor detailed the location filming during the winter of 1924-25 for The Prude's Fall, directed by Graham Cutts. Hitchcock was the art director and assistant director on the film.

As Cutts would not come back to England the rest of the production team had to go to him. Hitch and one of Balcon's assistants set off to go with Cutts on a location-finding tour, since the film required shooting in various glamorous parts of western Europe. They met Cutts in Calais, but he seemed very happy there and sent them on to Paris. In Paris after a couple of days they were joined by Cutts and his girl-friend. She liked it in Paris, so Cutts decided they would stay on there while Hitch and his associate went on to St. Moritz. After a week Cutts and the girl-friend arrived in St. Moritz. She liked it there too, so Hitch was sent on to Venice to pick further locations and meet the cast and the rest of the crew. Which was all very well, until Cutts arrived with his girl-friend. She didn't like Venice — all that water was unhealthy and lugubrious. So the whole group upped stakes and went on to Lake Como. The day they arrived, there was a storm on the lake, and she didn't like it. Well, obviously she's right, said Cutts, the weather is impossible here. So on they all moved to St. Moritz. Or towards St. Moritz: an hour away by train they discovered that the line had been blocked by an avalanche. Well, that's it, said Cutts: let's go back to England. Which they did, having trailed the whole cast and crew around Europe at great expense and shot not a single foot of film.[1]

Author Gary Chapman has noted that there are some discrepancies between Taylor's version of events, likely told to him by Hitchcock, and the historical records.[2]

Although apparently no usable footage was filmed, it seems likely this was Hitchcock's first visit to St. Moritz and Lake Como, and he subsequently returned to both locations several times with Alma for work and pleasure.


List of Locations

Notes & References

  1. Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (1978) by John Russell Taylor, chapter 3
  2. London's Hollywood: The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years (2014) by Gary Chapman