The BBC opened their vaults again and showed excerpts from three rare interviews with Hitchcock .
The earliest was from 1964:
“The assembly of pieces of film to create fright is my job.”
“One is challenged by the audience who say ,’Show us,and I know what is coming next’, and I say,’Do you?”
“The only thing wrong with the silent picture was that mouths opened and no sound came out.”
“I was once asked, what is your idea of heaven, and I said a clear horizon.”
1970,in front of an audience at London’s National Film Theatre, with interviewer, Bryan Forbes:
“I opted for color (on The Birds) because the birds were black and white.”
“In the case of North By Northwest,I waited for about 15 years to put Mount Rushmore on the screen.I had the idea of Cary Grant sliding down Lincoln’s nose and then hiding in the nostril, and Cary,hiding in the nostril,begins to have a sneezing fit!.
I was not allowed to do it.”
“If I made a musical,the public would wonder when would the moment come when one of the chorus girls would drop dead.”
A question from the audience,”How come you’ve never made a comedy?” Hitch replied,”But every film is a comedy.” (nobody mentioned Mr And Mrs. Smith).
The two films he liked most – “Shadow of A Doubt,where suspense and melodrama combined well with character, and it was shot in the original town. It had a freshness.”
“The other film is Rear Window which to me is probably the most cinematic film one had made. The montage and the cutting of what he sees and its effect on him creates the whole atmosphere and drama of the film.”
Bryan Forbes then made a comment which seemed jaw-droppingly rude,”Would you say,Mr Hitchcock,that it would be fair comment to say that your films have never really been concerned with social consciousness – you haven’t really taken note of your times.”
Not fazed, Hitch jokingly quoted Sam Goldwyn and messages being for Western Union. The audience laughed,but Forbes couldn’t let it go,saying Goldwyn was getting a cheap laugh. Forbes even suggested the audience shouldn’t have laughed!
“When Frenzy was reviewed,it was said it was a blot on an honourable career. I rate Frenzy alongside Rear Window.”