“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hitchcock the Masher…

Posted on April 30, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Actress Tippi Hedren recently shared with a crowd that she endured bizarre harassment (sexual and otherwise) at the hands of director Alfred Hitchcock during and after the productions of The Birds and Marnie. Then a 32-year-old model, Hedren had no acting experience when Hitchcock spotted her one morning in 1962 appearing in a diet drink commercial on the Today Show, she told interviewer Ben Mankiewicz during a Citi Card-sponsored conversation at the TCM Classic Film Festival. After an elaborate, $25,000 screen test that he personally directed, Hitchcock signed Tippi to a five-year personal contract that turned out to be a nightmare.

alfred_hitchcock_by_alexruizart-da0nt1c   Though, The Birds is considered to be Hitch’s last unqualified masterpiece, playing the main character caught in an avian holocaust was a harrowing experience for Hedren. She was originally told mechanical birds would be used in a scene where her character is attacked by crows and seagulls in a house. So, when real birds — not all of them declawed — were thrown at her for a week while the cameras rolled. Her doctor told Hitchcock she was so traumatized, she needed a week off. When the director said that wasn’t possible, Tippi quoted the physician: What are you trying to do… kill her?  She ended up spending a week at home in bed, recovering.

   Rod Taylor, playing her romantic interest in The Birds, was given instruction to not touch the girl — meaning Tippi. And, the possessive Hitchcock gave the same order to Sean Connery, her co-star in Hedren’s second and last movie with Hitchcock… Marnie.

hitch hedren   hedren hitch

   ALFRED HITCHCOCK    TIPPI HEDREN        on the set of  MARNIE

Marnie1   A studio executive at Paramount Pictures suggested actress Lee Remick to Hitchcock for the title role. Eva Marie Saint, the star of North By Northwest, unsuccessfully pursued the role. Hitch also considered two other actresses who, like Tippi Hedren, were under his personal contract; Vera Miles and Claire Griswold, wife of director and actor Sydney Pollack. Instead, Hitch opted to use Hedren

   It was during the making of Marnie that Hitchcock’s demands for Hedren to have lunch with him in the studio commissary escalated to meals in his office, and finally, to intimate champagne toasts after each day’s shooting was completed. She became uncomfortable with his suggestive behavior. Explaining her discomfort to the director, Hitchcock would never used her in another film, and refused all requests to loan her out for other movies while she was under contract, derailing her then-promising career.

   She finally returned to the big screen in 1967 with a supporting role in Charlie Chaplin’s last movie, A Countess From Hong Kong, starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. The movie was made at the same studio where Hitchcock had his headquarters. By then, he refused to acknowledge her existence.

   And, that was that!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at 12:37 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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