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Vermont Life (1955) - Hitchcock talks about Vermonters



Hitchcock talks about Vermonters

The main purpose in taking a motion picture troupe some three thousand miles from Hollywood to Vermont was to photograph the warmth of the autumn foliage. We were not disappointed.

But now, glancing into my rear-vision mirror of memory, I particularly recall another sort of warmth — the fine friendliness of the Vermont people.

They did so many things that made our work easier while we were filming "The Trouble with Harry". Such things as baking blueberry muffins needed for a scene and then voluntarily bringing along several dozen more muffins for the cast and crew to eat. There were the people who passed on the information where we could obtain an old car — a 1913 Buick roadster — as a prop for the picture. And the owner's only request that we drive it no faster than 40 miles an hour. There was the farmwife who loaned us a needed ancient purse for a scene after we had scoured antique shops without success.

These are a few stray incidents that stay in my mind. There are many others but the over-all reaction is that the legendary impression of the native Vermonter as cold, brooding and suspicious is entirely false.

They minded their business and let us mind ours which we appreciated. They helped us when they could. They realized that we had a job to do and that although the motion picture is the world of make-believe, the making of a motion picture is a hard-working reality.

There was more than these tangible expressions of cooperation, much more. These were the many things that might be summed up in the word neighborliness. I will always remember the people of Vermont.

I also will remember the beauty of the countryside in autumn with nature's palette of reds, golds, yellows, browns and greens. There were the glowing maples, the oaks, the beeches and other foliage with their kaleidoscopic changes of colour.

I felt that "The Trouble with Harry" called for a rural background which would be as much a part of the story as the characters and the plot. The story — a comedy about a body — deals with the lives of simple and attractive people in a framework of natural beauty. This we found in Vermont, in the neighborhood of Stowe, Craftsbury Common, East Craftsbury, Morrisville, and elsewhere.

As for the picture, it is a comedy but it has suspense. You see "The Trouble with Harry" is that he's dead. But if one has to die, can you think of a more beautiful place to do so that Vermont in autumn?

Alfred Hitchcock