Robert F. Boyle
Robert Francis Boyle was an American film art director and production designer.
Boyle collaborated several times with Alfred Hitchcock, first as an associate art director for Saboteur (1942) and later as a full-fledged production designer for North by Northwest (1959), The Birds (1963), and Marnie (1964).
Denied permission to shoot footage on Mount Rushmore, Hitchcock turned to Boyle to create realistic replicas of the stone heads. Boyle abseiled down the monument, photographing its contours in detail, before constructing "just enough to put the actors on so we could get down shots, up shots, side shots, whatever we needed." Almost two decades earlier, Boyle had delivered the Statue of Liberty reproduction that was used in the climactic scene of Saboteur.
For The Birds, Boyle was put in charge of the title characters. He later recalled, "We needed to find out which birds we could use best, and finally settled on two types: sea gulls, which were very greedy beasts that would always fly toward the camera if there was a piece of meat, and crows, which had a strange sort of intelligence." Boyle described his relationship with Hitchcock: "It was a meeting of equals: the director who knew exactly what he wanted, and the art director who knew how to get it done."
During the course of his career, Boyle was nominated four times for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction but never won. In 1997 he received the Art Directors Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was voted an Honorary Academy Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "in recognition of one of cinema's great careers in art direction," which he received during the 80th Academy Awards ceremony on February 24, 2008. At the age of 98, Boyle became the oldest winner ever of an Honorary Award in the history of the Academy Awards. Despite being in ill health and arriving to the ceremony in a wheelchair, Boyle insisted on walking onstage, alongside Nicole Kidman, to receive the honor.
Boyle was the subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary short The Man on Lincoln's Nose (2000).
Boyle died on August 1, 2010 in Los Angeles from natural causes
- Saboteur (1942) - associate art director
- Shadow of a Doubt (1943) - associate art director
- North by Northwest (1959) - production designer (as Robert Boyle)
- The Birds (1963) - production designer (as Robert Boyle)
- Marnie (1964) - production designer (as Robert Boyle)
He has appeared in the following Hitchcockian documentaries...
- Reputations: Alfred Hitchcock (BBC, 1999)
- Dial H for Hitchcock (1999)
- All About The Birds (2000)
- Beyond Doubt - The Making of Hitchcock's Favorite Film (2000)
- Saboteur - A Closer Look (2000)
- The Trouble with Marnie (2000)
- Destination Hitchcock - The Making of North by Northwest (2000)
- The Man on Lincoln's Nose (2000)
- Living Famously: Alfred Hitchcock (BBC, 2002)
- Something's Gonna Live (2010)
- Internet Movie Database
- robertfboyle.com - web site created by Boyle's daughter, Susan Anne
Notes & References