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Czenzi Ormonde


When writer Ben Hecht proved to be unavailable to work on Strangers on a Train, he recommended Czenzi Ormonde to Hitchcock. At the time, she worked for Sam Goldwyn as a dialogue writer. Although the film credits the screen play to Raymond Chandler and Ormonde, Chandler's contribution to the final material was minimal.

Ormonde was one of the many people who witnessed Hitchcock's fear of policemen:

So many similar anecdotes have been told about him that they amount to one of two things: either evidence of bonafide complex, or a lie so smooth and practiced no one ever saw through it. One day, according to Ormonde, the two were driving to the studio through heavy traffic, when a motorcycle cop suddenly appeared behind them, following their car (a scene incidentally echoed in several Hitchcock films.) Ormonde - who of course was doing the driving - assured the panicked director that she had been proceeding legally, under the speed limit. Then at a traffic stop, the motorcycle stop swerved up ominously beside them. "I saw you and Mr. Hitchcock leave the studio," the policeman exclaimed, pushing his helmet up with a grin, "and want to tell him I never miss a Hitchcock film. They are the greatest." Ormonde glanced over at Hitchcock, who wasn't responding. He seemed to be in a trance. "He didn't care what was said, perhaps had not heard it," Ormonde said. "Fists were clenched, face was pale, his eyes stared ahead. Visibly this was a very frightened man."
(Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light, page 448)


With Hitchcock...