The Last Days of Hitler
British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper's factual book The Last Days of Hitler was first published in 1947.
Prior to publication, Trevor-Roper had sent page proofs to Sidney Bernstein and he optioned it as a potential project for Transatlantic Pictures and Hitchcock. Bernstein had concerns about the portrayal of Hitler and wrote to Trevor-Roper:
If he is acted as the proverbial sage or cinema villain the film would have no value, and if the part is played to reflect his hysteria the audience would laugh in the wrong places.
Bernstein registered the film title and commissioned the Audience Research Company in Los Angeles to carry out a public survey about the book's subject matter. The responses indicated that women were strongly against the subject, which limited the film's potential audience.
Bernstein also approached the Rank Organisation to see if they would be interested in co-producing, but they rejected the idea and the project was eventually abandoned altogether.
Notes & References
- The project is discussed more fully in Sidney Bernstein: A Biography (1984) by Caroline Moorehead, pages 176-77.