Winter’s Grace, Shamley Green

In 1928, Hitchcock’s star was rising and he’d signed a new contract with British International Pictures which reportedly made him the highest paid director in England. According to some sources, Hitchcock discovered the picturesque village of Shamley Green during location filming for The Farmer’s Wife (1928). Whether that’s true or not, he decided to buy Winter’s Grace, a period property on Stroud Lane. In 2008, The Telegraph newspaper published a fascinating article which included several… (read more)

“Frenzy”… why was the hero named Richard Blaney?

I’ve put the Hitchcock Family Tree blog posts on hold until I finish the research, but I’ll carry on with some of the trivia that I’ve unearthed… Firstly, I’ve often wondered why Hitchcock and writer Anthony Shaffer decided to change the lead character’s name in Frenzy (1972) from “Richard Blamey” (as used in the source novel) to “Richard Blaney”. Although Hitchcock books usually note the change in character name, I’m not aware that any have… (read more)

RIP: Tony Palladino, designer of the ‘Psycho’ lettering

Many thanks to Alain for alerting me to this article: Tony Palladino, Designer of ‘Psycho’ Title, Dies at 84 (New York Times). Palladino designed the original fractured “Psycho” cover typography for Bloch’s novel. According to the article, Hitchcock purchased the rights to the lettering, which was then used on most (if not all) of the original publicity material. In turn, Palladino’s fractured lettering gave the inspiration to Saul Bass to create his horizontally fractured opening… (read more)

Happy Birthday, Brigitte!

A slightly belated happy 86th birthday to French actress Brigitte Auber, who played Danielle Foussard in To Catch a Thief (1955)! According to Patrick McGillian’s biography, both Alma and Alfred grew fond of Auber during filming and she was considered for the role of Jennifer Rogers in his next film, The Trouble with Harry (1955). However, apparently, the hassle of redubbing some of the French actors in To Catch a Thief eventually put the director… (read more)

The US National Film Registry

Many thanks to Donna for leaving this comment on the wiki: There are still lots of Hitchcock titles eligible for the National Film Registry, so submit your nominations today. Since the Registry was established to ensure the preservation of our American film heritage, it’s best to stick with the director’s US productions. For more information on the nomination process, go to Donna Ross Library of Congress National Film Registry For more info about the… (read more)

“Elstree Calling” DVD screenshots

My copy of the Elstree Calling (1930) DVD has arrived, so I’ve given the disc a quick spin. As expected, the quality of the transfer is a step up from the various bootleg DVDs (which were taken from VHS recordings of a UK Channel 4 broadcast) although there’s plenty of print damage throughout the film, from scratches to film shrinkage. The film is an interesting curio that Hitchcock completists will want in their collection, although… (read more)

Welcome to the new web site!

Welcome to the new site! As well as a new web domain (, the site has been moved to a new dedicated web server hosted by the lovely people at Linode. We’re still in the process of moving everything across from the old web server but, if you spot any problems, please feel free to leave feedback :-) As a bit of background to the move, my attempt to pre-register the domain was rejected… (read more)

“Smooth skin – the Open Sesame to screen loveliness”

Time for a commercial break and a quick word from Hitchcock’s sponsors! Here’s a fun advert, taken from the Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper (01/May/1929)… Alfred Hitchcock, director for British International Pictures Ltd., says — “Smooth skin — the Open Sesame to screen loveliness” “The girl who goes into pictures — and makes good — looks after her skin. For it is useless to rely on make-up. The skin underneath must be smooth, flowerlike, beautiful, to… (read more)

Andy Schummer of Sherman Oaks, California

As I’ve said before, I love finding fun bits of Hitchcock trivia and here’s a bit of trivia from To Catch a Thief (1955)! This photograph shows Grace Kelly and Alfred Hitchcock outside the Hotel Carlton in Cannes talking to an unnamed man in uniform. With a little bit of online detective work, I’ve found out that he’s named Andy Schummer and came from Sherman Oaks in California. Schummer was interested in becoming an actor… (read more)

“And the winner is…”

I recently stumbled across this photo article in the May 1974 edition of The Independent Film Journal… Highlighting the annual International Film Importors and Distributors of America annual awards ceremony was the presentation by Alfred Hitchcock of the Joseph Burstyn Award for Best Foreign Film and the Best Director Award to Francois Truffaut for Day For Night. If anyone knows the actual date the awards ceremony took place, please let me know!