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Uniontown Morning Herald (17/Jul/1951) - It Happened Last Night



  • The article is noteworthy for Hitchcock's description of a chase across the faces of Mount Rushmore, which would eventually be incorporated into North by Northwest (1959).


It Happened Last Night

Have any of you wonderful people any wonderful ideas for a wonderful mystery story?

My fat friend, Alfred Hitchcock, has been going around the country looking for ideas, and he might be induced to buy a good one.

"Where can you get movie stories that are better than today's headlines?" he asked, bitterly.

"Government officials turn crooked ... planes go 1,500 miles an hour ... the world waits for days to learn whether a war will end ... diplomats disappear ... even countries disappear. How can you top that for drama and suspense?"

Hitchcock began to smile.

"I thought I'd stop everything," he said, "with a picture called 'Mother, Are You A Spy?' Or may-he I'll have the King of England running a Communist Cell in Buckingham Palace."

"Isn't that called 'Buck Palace' for short in England?" I asked Hitchcock.

"I never heard it called Buck Palace. But the sophisticates call it 'Buck House.'"

Hitchcock's pretty daughter, Patricia, who appears in his last picture, "Strangers On a Train," said they had seen some real life drama in Rome recently,

They were with Ingrid Bergman in a restaurant. In came Maria Montez — with Anna Magnani, Roberto Rossellini's ex-romance,

Sorry. Nothing happened. Miss Bergman took a good look at her. Afterwards she said, "I've never seen her before."

Both spoke of how well Miss Bergman looks.

"She wears Parisian collars and things." Patricia said.

"She's changed from an apple-cheeked peasant to a more sophisticated Park Av. type. No, a Via Venito type," he corrected, naming the smart street in Rome.

Hitchcock said in his search for stories to top the headlines he had come up with the idea of having some men racing each other around Mount Rushmore in South Dakota — around the faces of the Presidents who are carved there in the mountains.

"I want to have one scene of a man hanging onto Lincoln's eyebrows," he said. "That's all the picture I have so far."

"Hitch" went on westward — and after he'd been through the Middle West and dipped down to Texas, he phoned me from Hollywood.

"I got an idea from the Kansas City, Chicago, and Omaha stockyards," he said, blissfully.

"A cattle-buyer is watching the cattle go past him, trying to decide whether to buy any.

"Suddenly he falls over, shawt to death. One of the cows has shawt him. It wasn't really a cow, y'see, but two men dressed like a cow, like they do in the circus.

I told him I thought you wonderful readers could do as well. I'm probably biased.