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Patricia Hitchcock - quotes

Quotations relating to Patricia Hitchcock.

Oh, when I first saw the movie, I loved the movie. I still do. It's still one of — It's one of my favorites to watch. It scared me when I saw it, and I'd been on the set and I knew all the different things. But, uh, it was a great movie. I think it's one of his best.

I think the interesting thing about "Shadow of a Doubt" is that it was one of the two movies where actually the villain is the hero, as in "Psycho".

This was my father's favourite movie, and it was because he loved bringing the menace into a small town, into a family that had never known any bad things happen to them. They adored this uncle. They just adored him. Yet they had no idea what he is like. The whole suspense of the movie is, "When are they going to find out?"

My mother and father first met she had been in the motion picture business since she was 16 and she was working as an editor, a cutter. But in the days when you put one reel here it went through a little sort of viewer, and another reel over there and it ruined her eyes I might say. And this young man came in, and what he was there for was drawing the pictures for the subtitles. On the sunsets he'd draw the sun setting, and that's where they met. He never spoke to her because she had a much better job than he did. Then, you didn't do that. And then eventually, she became an editor on a picture he was going to be assistant director on so then that was all right. He could talk to her. Actually, it was very soon after he met her that he became a director. Then she worked with him on all of his pictures.

He loved the limelight in being able to publicize his pictures and being able to talk about his work. But then when it came to his personal life he shunned it completely.

Film Pre-Production

I think that "The Birds" was one of the hardest pictures for [my father] to make because it was so technical and he had to be so prepared for it that literally, as we know, when he decided a movie, he would draw the whole movie. Well, it took him a long time to draw all of this.

This was my father's favourite movie, because he loved the thought of bringing menace into a small town. I remember my father and Thornton Wilder and my mother working together on the movie. The original idea was brought to him by Gordon McDonell, who was married to Margaret McDonell, who worked at Selznick. After Thornton Wilder left to join the army, my father brought in Sally Benson, who had just written a play in New York called "Junior Miss", which was a big hit. Then he and Sally Benson and my mother worked on the screenplay. It's one of my favourites because I loved all the people in it. I thought it was very well cast, right down to the last person.

My mother was the one who really was in on everything from the very beginning. When he would find a story that he was anxious to do, he would have her read it. If she didn't think it would make a picture, he didn't touch it. Then she would be the first one to read the treatment and the screenplay, and she was even in on a lot of the casting too. When she died, Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times said, "The Hitchcock touch had four hands, and two of them were Alma's."

After the success of ''Frenzy'', my father decided to do an adaptation of ''The Rainbird Pattern'', a book by British novelist Victor Canning. The story of the book was very different from the film. It was set in the English countryside, not on the West Coast. And Madame Blanche had real psychic powers. But most importantly, the overall tone of the book was very dark. The film was carefully designed and prepared, and Ernest Lehman, who had worked on ''North by Northwest'', was brought in. Everything was important in a Hitchcock picture. He paid attention to all the details. That's why he liked to work with the same people on his films.


Joseph Cotten, who played Uncle Charlie in the movie, was a very close friend of my parents. I had an enormous crush on him. I just adored him. I was 17. I still adored him. He and his wife were very close friends of my mother and father, so they found it very easy working together.

Patricia Collinge's name in the movie was "Emma", which was my father's mother's name. She passed away, actually, in the middle of the movie. I would say her portrayal is the opposite of my father's mother. He never brought personal things into movies. This is what everybody doesn't realise. Everything came from his imagination. It was not, "Oh, I'll make her like so-and-so." He didn't do that. It was his imagination.

Patricia talking about the young actress Edna May Wonacott...

Actually, the young girl, I coached her. She had never done anything before in her life, so I did coaching for her. I was up there the whole time they were shooting all the exteriors.

Film Production

Patricia talking about her father's preference of shooting in the studio rather than on location...

He hated location. Just hated it. He says, you don't get the right lights. You've got the noise. And you have to then come in and redub. If ever he could get away without location, he would.

keywords: Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds (1963), location filming, production, and studio filming

And they found this wonderful, old house, that was just a little run-down, which is exactly what they wanted because the family was not wealthy or anything. So they made the deal, and when they went up there they found that the people were so excited that they'd used their house they'd painted the whole house. So they had to dirty it down again. But then they did fix it up for them.

In this case, he enjoyed the location, which he never did, partly because of the cast he had. He got along so well with everybody. So the location work on this was really a very happy time. I remember they had a gin rummy tournament on the picture and they wanted my father to play. He says, "I've never played gin rummy," so they taught him how to play and he won the whole tournament!

It was a family picture, about a family, and we were with the Hitchcocks, who were a family. Alma was right there all the time and Hitchcock would constantly defer to her about certain scenes, the script. And it was so wonderful to have Patty, who was very bright, playing cards, gin rummy.

Teresa Wright (2000)
Patricia talking about her father's cameo appearances...

Which started way, way back in England when they were making silent movies, when they didn't have crowds. And then he just kept doing it, and then it kept being more amusing. It got to be so that people would see him and say, "There he is!" Well, that ruins any mood that you're trying to get in the movie. So, he always had to do it, and you'll notice in all the later movies he always had to do it very early on.

keywords: Alfred Hitchcock, production, and the Hitchcock cameo