Film Comment (1974) - Hitchcock
- transcript: Hitchcock
- author(s): Alfred Hitchcock
- journal: Film Comment (01/Jul/1974)
- issue: volume 10, issue 4, page 34
- journal ISSN: 0015-119X
- Sloan's Alfred Hitchcock: A Filmography and Bibliography (1995) — page 412, #416
Transcript of Hitchcock's address to the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York (29/Apr/1974)
MR. HITCHCOCK'S ADDRESS TO THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER, NEW YORK ON THE 29th OF APRIL, 1974
They say that when a man drowns his entire life flashes before his eyes. I am indeed fortunate for having just had that same experience without even getting my feet wet.
First of all, I wish to express my deep satisfaction for this honor. It makes me feel very proud indeed.
As you will have seen, murder seems to be the prominent theme. As I do not approve of the current wave of violence that we see on our screens, I have always felt that murder should be treated delicately. And, in addition to that, with the help of television, murder should be brought into the home where it rightly belongs.
Some of our most exquisite murders have been domestic; performed with tenderness in simple, homey places like the kitchen table or the bath tub. Nothing is more revolting to my sense of decency than the underworld thug who is able to murder anyone-even people to whom he has not been properly introduced.
After all, I'm sure you will agree that murder can be so much more charming and enjoyable even for the victim, if the surroundings are pleasant and the people involved are ladies and gentlemen like yourselves.
Finally, I think I can best describe the insidious effect of murder on one's character by reading a paragraph from Thomas De Quincey's delightful essay, "Murder As One Of The Fine Arts." He said:
"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing, and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun on this downward path you never know where you are to stop. Many a man dates his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time."
They tell me that a murder is committed every minute, so I don't want to waste any more of your time. I know you want to get to work.