Joe69

Books the movies were based on.

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I wonder if I am the only one that wants to look up the books that Hitch turned into movies. I think it would be interesting to see how faithful he was to the stories. A list of these books would be nice.

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Not all of Hitchcock's movies (or, in fact, anyone's movies) are based on actual books or published stories.  Many films are based on original story ideas pitched to film producers.  Of the four films that we concentrated on this week (Rebecca, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Shadow of a Doubt and Notorious) only Rebecca was based on an actual book, which was, of course, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.  It's a fairly easy task to discover the literary source for any given film.  Just go to IMDb.com and search for the film by its title.  Then check the writing credits under "See full cast & crew".  It would be a very time consuming task to compile a full list of all the literary sources for all of Hitchcock's films, but it could be done in this manner.  Not by me, though.

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Here's a list of the ones I remember, working backwards--it's incomplete:

 

"Family Plot" (1976)--"The Rainbird Pattern", by Victor Canning.

 

"Frenzy" (1972)--"Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square" by Arthur La Bern.

 

"Topaz" (1969)--"Topaz", by Leon Uris.

 

"Marnie" (1964)--"Marnie", by Winston Grahame.

 

"The Birds" (1963)--based on the Daphne DuMaurier short story of the same name.

 

"Vertigo" (1958)--based on the French novel "D'Entre les Morts" by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.

 

"The Trouble With Harry" (1955)--based on novel of the same name by Jack Trevor Story.

 

"To Catch a Thief" (1955)--based on novel of the same name by David Dodge.

 

"Strangers On a Train" (1951)--based on Patricia Highsmith's novel.

 

"Stage Fright" (1950)--based on the short story "Man Running" (aka "Outrun the Constable) by Selwyn Jepson.

 

"Under Capricorn" (1949)--based on Helen Simpson's novel.

 

"Rope" (1948)--Based on Patrick Hamilton's play.

 

"The Paradine Case" (1948)--Based on Robert Hichens's novel.

 

"Suspicion" (1941)--Based on "Before the Fact" by Francis Iles.

 

"Rebecca" (1940)--based on Daphne DuMaurier's novel.

 

"Jamaica Inn" (1939)--based on Daphne DuMaurier's novel.

 

"Young and Innocent" (1937)--based on Josephine Tey's "A Shilling For Candles".

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Hitch adapted very freely, and it truth he rarely based his films on really outstanding novels--or at least ones that have had enduring value.  He said himself that he didn't want to make films of "classic" novels, since they were already in masterpiece form--so why try to outdo or at least equal them.

 

I imagine it would not be easy to find the original books. Out of all of them, the clearest classic is The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, which Hitchcock freely adapted into Sabotage.  It might be worth looking at the DuMaurier novels and Robert Bloch's Psycho.

 

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Another vote for the DuMaurier novels.  The DuMaurier short story "The Birds" I first found in a high school literary anthology 30 some years ago..  Patricia Highsmith's books are also worth a read.

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Hitch adapted very freely, and it truth he rarely based his films on really outstanding novels--or at least ones that have had enduring value. He said himself that he didn't want to make films of "classic" novels, since they were already in masterpiece form--so why try to outdo or at least equal them.

 

I imagine it would not be easy to find the original books. Out of all of them, the clearest classic is The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, which Hitchcock freely adapted into Sabotage. It might be worth looking at the DuMaurier novels and Robert Bloch's Psycho.

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Du Maurier's "The Birds" is great. I first read it in my youth in one of the collections branded with Hitch's name.

 

Robert Bloch's Psycho is also a gripping read, although I definitely rate the movie higher.

 

Victor Canning's The Rainbird Pattern, the original source novel of Family Plot, makes a very interesting variant. Darker than the movie, and not at all comedic, it doesn't have the charm of the movie, but just might be a tiny bit deeper.

 

The only other source I've read is Sean O'Casey's play Juno and the Paycock, a very good play which few Hitchcock enthusiasts care about as his film version tends to be ignored.

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I read Patrica Highsmith's "Strangers on a Train" and it veered off quite differently from the movie... Guy eventually DID kill Bruno's father.

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I read Patrica Highsmith's "Strangers on a Train" and it veered off quite differently from the movie... Guy eventually DID kill Bruno's father.

 

Interesting;   I assume that there isn't a romantic ending (well unless it is like the Maltese Falcon,  and the Senator's daughter agrees to wait 30 years for Guy to get released from prison).  :lol:

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Interesting;   I assume that there isn't a romantic ending (well unless it is like the Maltese Falcon,  and the Senator's daughter agrees to wait 30 years for Guy to get released from prison).  :lol:

 

 

"Stangers" is a great example of Hitchcock throwing out most of the original story and just keeping what he liked.

 

Plot synopsis from Wikipedia:

Guy is consumed by guilt, whereas Bruno seeks Guy's company as if nothing had happened. He makes an uninvited appearance at Guy's wedding, causing a scene. At the same time, a private detective, who suspects Bruno of having arranged the murder of his father, establishes the connection between Bruno and Guy that began with the train ride, and suspects Bruno of Miriam's murder. Guy also becomes implicated due to his contradictions about the acquaintance with Bruno.

When Bruno falls overboard during a sailing cruise, Guy identifies so strongly with Bruno that he tries to rescue him under threat to his own life. Nevertheless, Bruno drowns, and the murder investigation is closed. Guy, however, is plagued by guilt, and confesses the double murder to Miriam's former lover. This man, however, does not condemn Guy; rather, he considers the killings as appropriate punishment for the unfaithfulness. The detective who had been investigating the murders overhears Guy's confession, however, and confronts him. Guy turns himself over to the detective immediately.

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I'd also be interested in reading some of Hitchcock's original stories.

 

"While working at Henley's, Hitchcock began to dabble in creative writing. The company's in-house publication The Henley Telegraph was founded in 1919, and he often submitted short articles, eventually becoming one of its most prolific contributors. His first piece, 'Gas' (1919), published in the first issue, tells of a young woman who imagines that she is being assaulted one night in London—only for the twist to reveal that it was all just a hallucination in the dentist's chair induced by the anesthetic.

Hitchcock's second piece was 'The Woman's Part' (1919), which involves the conflicted emotions that a husband feels as he watches his actress wife perform onstage. 'Sordid' (1920) surrounds an attempt to buy a sword from an antiques dealer, with another twist ending. The short story 'And There Was No Rainbow' (1920) is Hitchcock's first brush with possibly censurable material. A young man goes out looking for a brothel, only to stumble into the house of his best friend's girl. 'What's Who?' (1920) at first glance seems to be a precursor to Abbott and Costello's 'Who's on First?' routine, as it is a short dialogue piece resembling antic dialogue from a music hall skit. It captures the confusion that occurs when a group of actors decide to put together a sketch in which they will impersonate themselves. In the story’s forty sentences, confusion regarding the questions 'Who’s me?' and 'Who’s you?' rise to comic emotional heights. 'The History of Pea Eating' (1920) is a satirical disquisition on the various attempts that people have made over the centuries to eat peas successfully. His final piece, 'Fedora' (1921), is his shortest and most enigmatic contribution. It also gives a strikingly accurate description of his future wife Alma Reville, whom he had not yet met."

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