Hollyweird - Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg
Friday 02 October 2009
It's no secret that one of Steven Spielberg's greatest heroes was the supreme auteur Alfred Hitchcock.
Therefore it's also no wonder that Spielberg is said to be hugely disappointed that he was never able to meet the "Master of Suspense" before he died in poor health in 1980.
But this failure to get together was not from want of trying on Spielberg's behalf. In his audio book Tales of Hollywood, storyteller Stephen Schochet explains that Hitchcock's morning routine was once "upset by an uninvited young man hovering around the movie set" of his last film Family Plot', released in 1976. The infamous director of Psycho and The Birds" is said to have called a crew member to have the trespasser removed. According to Schochet, that intruder was Spielberg, buoyed by the success of Jaws and anxious to meet his idol.
Throughout his later life, Hitchcock repeatedly refused to meet Spielberg. The reason for his reluctance was only revealed when American actor Bruce Dern, who appeared in two of Hitchcock's films including psychological thriller Marnie, released his autobiography. Dern says that he tried to convince Hitchcock to finally introduce himself to Spielberg: "I said, 'You're his idol. He just [wants] to sit at your feet for five minutes and chat with you'," but Hitchcock refused, writes Dern. "He said, 'Isn't that the boy who made the fish movie?... I could never sit down and talk to him... because I look at him and feel like such a whore'."
Bemused, Dern finally elicited Hitchcock's reasoning: "I said, 'Why do you feel Spielberg makes you a whore?' Hitch said, 'Because I'm the voice of the Jaws ride [at the Universal Studios them park]. They paid me a million dollars. And I took it and I did it. I'm such a whore. I can't sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie... I couldn't even touch his hand."
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