Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Alfred Hitchcock Script Treatment Discovered

No, I’m not talking about Martin Scorsese’s parody for Freixenet, I’m talking about the real deal – a new discovery. This is exciting news, and the owner has given me permission to go public with this info and let you read about it here first.

In 1922, 23-year-old Alfred Hitchcock wrote a treatment for a screenplay to be called Good Night, Nurse! (The treatment bears no relation to the 1918 Buster Keaton film of the same name.) This document, written in Hitchcock's own longhand, is evidently the earliest known piece of Hitchcock’s writing for the screen. As details and permission to disclose them emerge from the treatment’s owner, I will keep you posted.

As an early effort at screenwriting, Good Night, Nurse! is of great interest to Hitchcock enthusiasts. If produced, it would evidently have been a comedy. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the young man was also well-acquainted with the darker matters that would occupy his mind for the next five decades. Several short stories, including his well-known "Gas," were written between 1919 and 1921 for The Henley Telegraph, and have been reprinted in Patrick McGilligan's Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and in Light. These bear many of his familiar tropes, including the beautful woman under psychological stress, lots of suspense and twist endings. Still, for all of the macabre ground that his films cover, there are also plenty of effervescent comedic touches that keep the films light on their feet. Good Night Nurse! gives us an early example of that.

Be sure to stay in touch and stay tuned.

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