Blackmail: Banned in Australia!

Another interesting article from the National Library of Australia’s Trove site, this time from the Brisbane Sunday Mail (27/Oct/1929): BLACKMAIL BRITISH “TALKIE” HIT AUSTRALIAN BAN Something of a sensation has been caused in the British film world by the banning of the British “talkie,” Blackmail, by the Australian film censor. Nobody appears to know why, and the action is regarded as even more strange when it is realised that the British film censor passed the… (read more)

“I am whole-heartedly in favor of color films”

Following on from the previous blog post, here’s another article that appeared in an Australian newspaper. This time, the Adelaide Advertiser (04/Sep/1937). Some Thoughts on Color by Alfred Hitchcock “I am whole-heartedly in favor of color films,” said Alfred Hitchcock, British director, who is now making “The Girl Was Young” (Nova Pilbeam), in Pinewood Studios, England. Truly reproduced, Hitchcock says, color is a step towards greater realism in photography, and as such is desirable: but… (read more)

“Music to Bring Tears”

I recently stumbled across this fascinating article from the Australian newspaper The Daily News (23/Nov/1928) about the production of “The Manxman“. MUSIC TO BRING TEARS Stirring Actors’ Emotions “Please play ‘La Boheme’.” A tall, handsome young man in the dress of a fisherman addressed these words to the conductor of a little orchestra hidden behind the scenery of a cottage interior at the studios of British International Pictures at Elstree, Hertfordshire, recently. He was playing… (read more)

“Vertigo”, by Billy Eckstine

In a similar vein to Nat King Cole’s “Marnie”, here’s Billy Eckstine‘s recording of “Vertigo”… The song was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, who also wrote “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). I’ve read a couple of claims about the track and its link to Vertigo (1958), but I’m not sure which is the most accurate. As ever, if you have more information,… (read more)

Hitchcock in Japan

A small selection of Japanese posters for Hitchcock films… Rebecca (1940) Saboteur (1942) Spellbound (1945) To Catch a Thief (1955) The Trouble with Harry (1955) The Wrong Man (1956) Vertigo (1958) North by Northwest (1959) The Birds (1963) Topaz (1969) Frenzy (1972) Family Plot (1976) …you can view more Japanese film posters here.

The rooftops of San Francisco

The opening chase in Vertigo (1958) was staged on the rooftops of Taylor Street, San Francisco, with a sweeping camera pan from right-to-left. Here’s a composite image of the rooftop sequence (download image)… It’s worth noting that the camera pan starts with Brocklebank Apartments in the background and ends on Coit Tower, representing Madeleine Elster and John “Scottie” Ferguson (or possibly even Midge, whose apartment is half-a-mile closer to the tower than Scottie’s?) respectively. You… (read more)

New to DVD: Elstree Calling (1930)

Previously only available as a bootleg transfer taken from a UK TV broadcast, Elstree Calling (1930) is being released for the first time on DVD by Network at the end of April. Although Hitchcock’s exact contribution to the film is unknown, James M. Vest speculated in “Alfred Hitchcock’s Role in ‘Elstree Calling’” that it may amount up to a quarter of the film. In their review of the film, The Times reported that the film… (read more)

Mr. Memory and the Autogyro

I love finding useless bits of trivia, so here’s some for The 39 Steps (1935)! Mr. Memory It’s widely known that the character of Mr. Memory (played by actor Wylie Watson) was based on a real-life music-hall performer — William James Maurice Bottle (1875-1956), who performed under the stage-name “Datas: The Memory Man” from 1901 onwards. Hitchcock told François Truffaut about Bottle’s act and why Mr. Memory is unable to stop himself revealing his secrets… (read more)