Hitchcock Chronology: 1968
Month by Month
- 18th - Hitchcock attends the funeral of his longtime physician, Dr. Ralph Tandowsky.
- 21th - Hitchcock meets with author Leon Uris to discuss developing a screenplay for Topaz.
- 10th - At the 40th Academic Awards, Hitchcock receives the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from fellow director Robert Wise. Famously, his acceptance speech is just two words — "thank you".
- Hitchcock begins regular meetings with author Leon Uris to develop the screenplay for Topaz.
- 13th - Cinematographer Robert Burks, who worked with Hitchcock on 12 films in the 1950s and 1960s, dies with his wife in a house fire, aged 58.
- Hitchcock's strained working partnership with author Leon Uris on the screenplay for Topaz comes to and end. Uris has only been able to complete a partial draft.
- Hitchcock hires playwright Herb Gardner to work on Topaz, but Gardner soon leaves after differences of opinion. With the start of filming looming, writer Samuel A. Taylor then becomes attached to the project.
- 10th - Hitchcock meets with Universal executives Edd Henry and Lew Wasserman to pitch Kaleidoscope as an alternative to making Topaz. During further meetings in the following days, Wasserman and Henry reject the proposal. Topaz in green lit with a budget of $4,000,000 — the largest budget of any Hitchcock film.
- 21st - Hitchcock travels to England with Herbert Coleman and Doc Erickson to scout locations for Topaz in Europe and to interview European actors. Whilst in Rome, Hitchcock shoots a screen test of Frederick Stafford at Cinecittà film studios.
- 2nd - Hitchcock arrives in Helsinki to scout for locations for his next project The Short Night. Over the next couple of days he visits Hämeenlinna, Aulanko and Vainikkala railway station, as well as giving interviews to the Finnish press.
- 5th - Hitchcock leaves Finland and travels to Denmark to shoot location footage for Topaz.
- Hitchcock returns to Los Angeles to finalise pre-production on Topaz.
- 4th - Variety announces that The Short Night will be Hitchcock's next film after Topaz.
- Hitchcock begins production on Topaz with European location filming, but without a completed script. Writer Samuel A. Taylor hastily works on the upcoming scenes.
- 24th - Actress Virginia Valli, who starred in The Pleasure Garden, dies aged 70.
- 25th - Writer Cornell Woolrich, author of the short story Rear Window was based on, dies aged 64. He lived his final years as a recluse and reportedly no-one attended his funeral.
- With most of the location based filming complete, production on Topaz returns the Universal sound stages. Filming continues until April.
- 18th - Producer Walter Wanger, who worked with Hitchcock on Foreign Correspondent, dies of a heart attack aged 74.
Notes & References
- Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, page 684
- YouTube: acceptance speech footage
- Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, chapter 17
- Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, page 687
- Helsingin Sanomat (2007) - A Hitchcock thriller that never was
- Variety (1968) - Pictures: 'Short Night' for Hitch