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Dark Duty

In an article which appeared in the New York Times in early October 1948, Hitchcock's representative Albert Margolies reported that once the director had completed Under Capricorn (1949), the next projects would be I Confess, Dark Duty and The Spider and the Fly.[1]

The film would have been based on the 1931 novel The Dark Duty by Margaret Wilson, which chronicled an innocent man who is sentenced to death. According to Patrick McGilligan, Wilson knew Hitchcock wanted to buy the rights to the novel and she pushed up the asking price so high that the project became financially unviable.[2]

It seems likely that Wilson's novel reminded Hitchcock of the Edith Thompson case, in which a woman who was widely regarded as being innocent — and whose family was known to the Hitchcocks — was executed.

The Los Angeles Times (26/Sep/1952) reported that Hitchcock's next film after I Confess (1953) would be Dark Beauty, "which will be made in France". Presumably the reporter misheard the title and that it was, in fact, Dark Duty.

Notes & References

  1. New York Times (08/Oct/1948)
  2. Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, chapter 10