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Claridge's, London

Claridge's is a 5-star hotel located at the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in Mayfair, London. It has long-standing connections with royalty that have led to it sometimes being referred to as an "annexe to Buckingham Palace".

Hitchcock at Claridge's

Hitchcock at Claridge's in 1954

Following his move to America at the end of the 1930s, Alfred HItchcock routinely stayed at Claridge's whenever he returned to London. Some of the known dates he stayed there include:

  • December 1943 to February 1944
    At the request of Sidney Bernstein, Hitchcock returned to London during the winter months to film Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache. The Ministry of Information paid him a token wage of £10 per week and provided him with a complementary hotel room. He later recalled, "I used to be alone in Claridge's hotel and the bombs would fall and the guns and I was alone and didn't know what to do."[1][2][3]
  • July 1945
    With the war drawing to a close, Hitchcock returned to London to advise on the construction of the concentration camp film which eventually became known as Memory of the Camps.
  • January 1955
    Angus MacPhail and Hitchcock booked themselves into Claridge's to complete work on the screenplay for The Man Who Knew Too Much. During subsequent location filming in London, Doris Day stayed with her family at the hotel.[5] In the film, the McKenna's stay at Claridge's whilst in London — unable to film at the actual hotel, Hitchcock had intended to stage the hotel room scenes at Forbes House, but then decided to recreate the hotel room back at the Paramount sound stages.[6] Alfred and Alma sailed back to New York from Southampton aboard the Liberte, which departed on January 11th.[7]
  • January and April 1959
    The Hitchcocks stayed in suites 318 and 319 during pre-production and location scouting for No Bail for the Judge.[6]
  • 15th May until 26th October 1971
    Whilst filming Frenzy on location in London, Hitchcock stayed suites in 318 and 319 at the hotel with his wife. When asked by a journalist from The Times if he was worried about a recent jewel theft at the hotel, Hitchcock replied "I don't wear jewelry, so I'm not worried."[10] On June 9th, Alma suffered a stroke and, rather than be admitted to hospital for treatment, she insisted on remaining in their hotel room where she received round-the-clock medical care for several weeks. She later quipped, "Well, if I'm going to have a stroke, I can't imaging a better place to have it!"[6][11]
  • September 1972
    During the European promotional tour for Frenzy.[6]

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Notes & References

  1. Senses of Cinema (2006) - Hitchcock's Aventure Malgache (or the True Story of DZ 91)
  2. Film Comment (1993) - Foreign correspondence: The rediscovered war films of Alfred Hitchcock
  3. "Hitchcock and Selznick" - by Leonard J. Leff (1987), page 126
  4. See passenger list.
  5. Day also stayed at the hotel in mid-April 1955 (see Getty Images) and returned the following year for a Philips Records reception held there.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, pages 112-13
  7. See passenger list.
  8. See passenger list.
  9. See passenger list.
  10. The Times (11/Jan/1971) - Hitchcock to make film in London
  11. The New York Times (18/Jun/1971) - Hitchcock Working on 52nd Film