Hitchcock / Truffaut (2015) Movie Script

HITCHCOCK: Why do these
Hitchcock films stand up well?
They don't look
old fashioned.
Well, I don't know
the answer.
HITCHCOCK: That's true, yes.
was a big movie buff,
and it was one of the books
that was in his library.
From the time I was
about seven years old,
he knew I wanted
to make movies,
so he recommended it to me.
And I remember
picking over it,
and I must've read it...
Sections of it.
Like, there's the Oskar Homolka
sequence from Sabotage.
Where it sort of lays out
all of the cutting pattern.
It's not even a book anymore,
it's like a stack of papers
because it was a...
You know, I had a paperback
and it's just...
You know, it's got
a rubber band around it.
In 1966, Frangois Truffaut
published one of the few
indispensable books on movies.
A series of conversations with
Alfred Hitchcock about his career,
title by title.
It was a window into the world of
cinema that I hadn't had before,
because it was a director simultaneously
talking about his own work,
but doing so in a way that
was utterly unpretentious
and had no pomposity.
There was starting to be
these kind of erudite
conversations about the art form.
But Truffaut was the first
one where you really
felt that, you know, they're
talking about the craft of it.
That was incredibly
fascinating to me
that these two people
from very different worlds
who were both
doing the same job,
how they would
talk about things.
I think it
conclusively changed
people's opinions
about Hitchcock
and so Hitchcock began to be
taken much more seriously.
SCORSESE: At that time,
the general consensus
and climate was
a bullying, as usual,
by the establishment as
to what serious cinema is.
So it was
really revolutionary.
Based on what the
Truffaut-Hitchcock book was,
we became radicalized
as moviemakers.
It was almost as if
somebody had taken
a weight off our
shoulders and said,
"Yes, we can embrace
this, we could go."
NARRATOR: In 1962,
Hitchcock was 63 years old,
a household name in television, and
a virtual franchise unto himself.
He had already been known for many
years as the "master of suspense,"
and he had scared the wits out of
audiences all over the world with Psycho,
and in the process, upended
our idea of what a movie was.
And in this house, the most dire,
horrible event took place.
Let's go inside.
NARRATOR: He had just completed
his 40th feature, The Birds.
Truffaut, half Hitchcock's age,
had made only three features,
but he was already an internationally
renowned and acclaimed filmmaker.
Truffaut wrote
Hitchcock a letter.
He proposed a series of
in-depth discussions
of Hitchcock's entire body
of work in movies.
For Truffaut,
the book on Hitchcock
was every bit as important
as one of his own films,
and it required just as much
time and preparation.
The meeting was documented by the
great photographer Philippe Halsman.
Hitchcock and Truffaut.
They were from different generations
and different cultures,
and they had different approaches
to their work.
But both men lived for,
and through, the cinema.
is strictly visual.
Hitchcock was born
with the movies.
HITCHCOCK: There's no such
thing as a face,
it's nonexistent until
the light hits it.
There was no such
thing as a line,
it's just light and shade.
The function of pure cinema,
as we well know,
is the placing of two or three
pieces of film together
to create a single idea.
NARRATOR: Hitchcock
was trained as an engineer,
then moved into advertising.
HITCHCOCK: Through that,
I went into the designing
of what were,
in those days of silent
films, the art title.
And then art direction, script
writing, and production duties.
HITCHCOCK: They said, "How would
you like to direct a picture?"
And I said, "I've never
thought about it."
I was 23.
My wife was
to be my assistant.
We're not married yet,
but we're not
living in sin either.
NARRATOR: Hitchcock
had many close collaborators,
but none of them
was closer than Alma Reville.
She was credited on some films,
uncredited on many others,
but Hitchcock consulted his wife
on every movie he ever made.
HITCHCOCK: The Lodger was the first
time I'd exercised any style.
FINCHER: He is making
floors out of glass
so that he can show people walking
in circles in the apartment above.
He's playing with
all those things
that make cinema fun
and magic, the tricks of it.
He was also conceptual
with the way he approached
many of these films.
This movie, I have an idea for a
way that I've never worked before.
This is somebody whose mind
is racing, filled with ideas
and that's why, you know,
we refer to him all the time.
Do you realize the squad van
will be here any moment?
No, really! Oh, my God,
I'm terribly frightened.
Why? Have you been
a bad woman or something?
Well, not just bad, but...
But you've slept with men?
Oh, no!
WOMAN; Knife.
He directed
the first British talkie.
And if you use a penknife!
Or a pocketknife!
MAN: Alice, cut us a bit
of bread, will you?
WOMAN: I mean, in Chelsea
you mustn't use a knife!
And then, in 1934,
he made the first
100% Hitchcock picture.
was the beginning
of The Man Who Knew Too Much.
It was the place
of our honeymoon.
NARRATOR: And of course,
Hollywood beckoned.
HITCHCOCK: I wasn't attracted
to Hollywood as a place.
That had no interest,
what had interest for me was
getting inside that studio.
Hitchcock did some of his
best work in the '40s.
But in the '50s, he soared.
I have a murder on my conscience,
but it's not my murder.
NARRATOR: And curiosity
of James Stewart,
in this story of a romance shadowed
by the terror of a horrifying secret.
Look, John, hold them.
SCORSESE: There was a spell
that was cast with those films
in the '50s and the '60s.
And it's a special
blessed time for me
because I saw them
as they came out.
NARRATOR: Truffaut began
as a critic in the early '50s.
He started at the great French
film magazine, Gamers du Unma.
For the writers at Cahiers, soon to become
the filmmakers of the Nouvelle Vague,
Hitchcock's greatness
as an artist was self-evident.
Before they made
their own movies,
the Cahiers critics erected
a new pantheon of cinema-
The directors who were
the true artists,
the authors who wrote with
the camera, the auteurs.
Being an individual artist
meant self-exposure,
pouring all of yourself into your movie,
all of your fears
and obsessions and fetishes,
just like Hitchcock did.
MAN: All together! Pull!
Hitchcock often told the story of being
sent to the police station as a boy,
where he was locked up for a few
minutes as a symbolic punishment.
He said that it led to a
lifelong fear of the police.
But Truffaut
really was locked up.
He was delivered to the police
by his own father,
and then sent to
a juvenile detention center,
an episode he put into his
autobiographical first feature.
Truffaut had a fierce
attachment to freedom.
It's there
in all of his films.
And it sent him in search of another
father, a father who would liberate him.
He found the great
film critic Andre' Bazin,
who virtually adopted Truffaut and
brought him to Gamers du Unma.
He found Jean Renoir,
and Roberto Rossellini.
And he found Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock had freed Truffaut as an artist,
and Truffaut wanted to reciprocate
by freeing Hitchcock
from his reputation as a light entertainer.
And that's the basis on which
they started their conversation.
HITCHCOCK: Well, let me check with
him and see if he's running yet.
HITCHCOCK: You started?
You're up?
HITCHCOCK: All right, you're
running now, huh? Okay, fine.
We are now on the air.
WOMAN". Your type of picture?
WOMAN: People get enjoyment
but pretend not to be fooled.
WOMAN: They sulk,
they begrudge...
They give their
pleasure grudgingly.
HYYCHCOCK'. Yes. Well...
WOMAN: When I say pleasure, I don't
mean amusement. I mean their enjoyment.
They are obviously...
They're going to sit there
and say, "Show me!"
HITCHCOCK: They expect to anticipate-
"I know what's coming next- "
I have to say, "Do you?"
but you see, to me,
plausibility for
the sake of plausibility
does not help, you know.
HYYCHCOCK: I have a favorite little
saying to myself, "Logic is dull."
WOMAN: Is it possible now
for us to define suspense?
That is to say, are there
many forms of suspense?
WOMAN: People believe,
uh, somewhat naively...
...that suspense is when one is afraid.
Which is wrong.
In the film Easy Virtue...
HYYCHCOCK: ...a young man
was proposing to this woman.
She wouldn't give an answer,
she said, "I'll call you up
when I get back around 12:00."
And all I showed was the operator
on this telephone switchboard.
That girl is in suspense!
And she was
relieved at the end,
so that the suspense
was over.
The woman said, "Yes."
The suspense doesn't
always have fear in it.
He talks about things,
contextualizing what the
work of a director truly is
at its most fundamental
and most simple.
HYYCHCOCK: Emotionally,
the size of the image...
is very important.
You're dealing with space.
You may need space
and use it dramatically.
When the girl shrank
back on the sofa,
I kept the camera back
and used the space
to indicate the nothingness
from which she was shrinking.
FINCHER: If you have
some kind of understanding
of color and design
and light...
Directing is
really three things.
You're editing behavior
over time,
and then controlling moments
that should be really fast
and making them slow,
and moments that should be really
slow and making them fast.
NARRATOR: It is indeed
a solemn occasion.
I switch you over
to our microphone...
That's what film is for.
To either contract time...
...or extend it.
Whatever you wish.
UNKLATER: Hitchcock, in
a way, was the master,
let's say sculptor
of moments in time
to take you through
a sequence
or to direct your
perception in a way
where he could elongate
time or telescope it.
HYYCHCOCK: Well, there are moments
when you have to stop time.
HYYCHCOCK: Describe to me
in detail what the action was.
HYYCHCOCK: Cutting to the
mother before the boy saw her?
WOMAN: She was not
looking at the child yet.
WOMAN: And then you show the
mother who saw them walking away.
HYYCHCOCK: I'm asking from a story
point of view, what was the intention?
HYYCHCOCK: I would have hoped
that there was nothing spoken.
ANDERSON: The thing I think about
the most with Hitchcock is
the visuals are so
graphic and precise.
There is a lot
to learn from that.
BOGDANOVKZH: He said, "When I'm
on the set, I'm not on the set.
"I'm watching it
on the screen."
That's the key to
Hitchcock, in a way.
I mean, he sees the
picture in his head.
I imagine he just sat alone
and these images came to him
and hejust
never questioned it.
You don't feel like he's ever
not confident in every shot.
That's one guy you
don't really question.
It always works within his
world, kind of perfectly.
didn't like to cook.
No, I don't like to cook.
I'd be delighted.
ANDERSON: Even if they go
all the way across the room,
he is going to move
with them in the kiss
and the actors
are going to say,
"This is the most
bizarre thing,
"we are walking
while we are kissing."
But he knows how it
fits in the frame
and he knows that the
tension won't be broken
and, um, the spell
won't be broken.
This is a very strange love affair.
Maybe the fact that
you don't love me.
HYYCHCOCK: I was giving the
public the great privilege
of embracing Cary Grant
and Ingrid Bergman together.
HYYCHCOCK: It was a kind of
temporary mnage trois.
And the actors
hated doing it.
They felt dreadfully uncomfortable-
...in the manner in which they
had to cling to each other.
And I said, "Well,
I don't care how you feel,
"I only know what it's gonna
look like on the screen."
He obviously had contentious
relationships, in some cases, with actors.
You know, he definitely
solicited movie stars.
You know, there is no doubt
in reading the book
that he is very
cognizant of the value
of faces that
people want to see.
And sometimes, the complications
that come with that baggage.
LINKLATER: Montgomery Clift is
transcendent in I Confess. He's great.
But I don't think
Hitchcock cared
if they had a good time or not
or how they felt about him.
Obviously, that wasn't (LAUGHS)
a huge concern of his.
HITCHCOCK: Sometimes you need
a look to convey something.
...or to look at
something and react.
I had a conflict with Clift.
I said, "Monty, I want you
to look up at the hotel."
Uh, so he said to me, "I don't know
whether I would look up to the hotel."
I said, "Why not?"
He said, "I may be occupied
by the people below."
I said, "I want you to look
up to the hotel windows
"and please do so."
I was telling the audience
across the street is the hotel.
So an actor is gonna try
and interfere with me,
organizing my geography.
That's why all
actors are cattle.
UNKLATER: With Hitchcock you get a sense
of a kind of a self-contained psychology
that we were gonna
explore his obsessions
and what he was
interested in.
I think his
collaboration there
didn't go much
farther than that.
FINCHER: Acting, it's a
great part of movie making
but it's not the only
part of movie making.
And I think Hitchcock was one
of the first people to say
there is a structure
to this language.
He probably did more for the
psychological underpinnings
of characterization
in motion pictures
than anyone.
And on top of it, wouldn't
allow any of his actors
to explore that kind
of behavior on set.
It was the rigor of dramatizing
it in narrative terms,
and then not allowing for it to, like,
spill over the edge of the bucket.
SCORSESE". Coming out
of World War H,
which is the worst
recorded war in history.
Destruction of civilization,
no peace or comfort
from religion.
The paranoia, the anxiety.
Who are we? What are we?
Post-World VVar ll, there
was a rupture, a change.
Um, particularly in the
nature of what a performance
or a persona
onscreen would be.
And that is that the actor
is the main instrument really.
And this is all expressed I think
in Brando, James Dean, and Clift.
Alfred Hitchcock was able to get
the soul of the actors on screen,
whether it's Cary Grant, Eva Marie
Saint, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart.
But it comes of
another tradition.
FINCHER: (CHUCKLING) I'd love to see
De Niro, Pacino, Dustin Hoffman.
To see that school of actor,
you know, try to flourish
under the iron umbrella of
this is what this next three
and a half seconds is about.
I would like to ask you.
Do you feel
it's too much trouble
having to direct actors
in their acting?
WOMAN: What I'd like is
an intermediary formula.
That is to say, to speak with an
actor the evening after dinner,
and then create
the dialogue in the night
with the words which he
himself has been using
from his own vocabulary.
HYYCHCOCK: Yes. Will that mean
you have to write overnight?
WOMAN: Alive perhaps, but which are
very dangerous for the curve...
HITCHCOCK: For the shape,
the shape of the picture.
HITCHCOCK: I often am troubled
as to whether! cling to the,
what I call the rising
curve-shape of a story
...and whether I shouldn't
experiment more
with a looser
form of narrative.
Sometimes it's very hard- - -
...because if you work
for character direct,
they'll take you along
where they want to go.
And I'm like the old lady
with the boy scouts.
I don't want to
do go that way.
And this has always
been a conflict with me.
FINCHER: It seems to me
he finds material
that he can kind of,
you know,
it's an applied science.
He can sort of apply the
Hitchcock thing to this story.
By now I have my series
of linear plot devices
leading to a fall
from a high place.
Quite obviously, I'm, uh...
I suppose like any artist
who paints or writes,
I'm limited to a certain
field, you know.
HYYCHCOCK: I went high because I
didn't want to spend a lot of footage
on people getting out hoses...
...and starting
to put out a fire.
If you play it
a long way away,
you aren't committed
to any detail.
ltwasn'tjust, um,
simply to show the whole town
and how the birds
are coming in.
It took on another kind of
apocalyptic, religious feel.
It was omniscient.
It's the cleansing
of the Earth.
Whose point of view is it when
you cut to above everything?
God's point of view? Are we
all being judged from above?
You know, that kind
of suggests that.
Where are those
papers now, exactly?
SCORSESE: For me that angle
is always something
that has a kind of
religious element to it.
Go off the record.
SCORSESE: You know, you have Martin
Balsam going up the stairs, right?
And that's so
deliberately slow,
you just know
he's gonna get it,
but you don't expect
that high angle.
There's something omniscient about
it that's kind of frightening.
WOMAN: Everyone always has
something to feel guilty about.
SCORSESE: They're asking,
"Did you ever hear of topaz?"
Colonel Kusenov, does the word
"topaz" mean anything to you?
It cuts to the defector
and the camera's sort of
up above him a little bit.
And you see his eye shift.
The eye is not covered. That means
the angle had to just be right.
Now, you know he's lying,
it's that poem.
You may leave the religion, but the
Hound of Heaven is always there.
That infuses everything,
the whole thought process
and the storytelling process.
MAN: And continually turn
our hearts from wickedness,
and from worldly things
unto thee...
Over the years,
I keep revisiting it
by watching it, watching
it over and over again.
This is the average man,
decent man I should say.
Family, kids...
Uh, suddenly picked up.
Your name Chris?
You're calling me?
SCORSESE: And everything...
Yes, it is.
(CHUCKLES) Everything
points to him doing it.
And you know he didn't.
One, two, three, four...
MAN: You're sure?
Those extraordinary inserts
where Henry Fonda's
just sitting on the bunk,
he looks at the cell
around him.
And it cuts to different
sections of the cell.
What makes you
feel oppressed?
The lock on the door,
but from what angle?
Is it really
his point of view?
All these things are
remarkable, I think.
HITCHCOCK: Yes, that's right.
HITCHCOCK: Not a lot, no.
WOMAN: One senses in your work
the importance of dreams.
Daydreams, probably.
HYYCHCOCK: Well, that's
probably me within myself.
I think it occurs
because I am never satisfied
with the ordinary.
I can't do well
with the ordinary.
SCHRADER: Hitchcock keeps referring
to these, sort of, fetish objects.
Keys and handcuffs
and ropes and stuff,
which are kind of
dream objects
which have a kind of
Freudian weight to them.
HITCHCOCK: Silent pictures are
the pure motion picture form.
There was no need to
abandon the technique
of the pure motion picture
the way it was abandoned
when the sound came in.
The craft was of course developed
in silent cinema first.
So the whole idea was,
"How do I tell the story
without any dialogue?"
This is a brilliant way to train
someone to think visually,
and part of the reason
the films have
that incredible
dream-like feeling.
UNKLATER". So many Hitchcock
films would work silently.
You could watch a Hitchcock film
without any dialogue or music
and I think you'd still get a
really high percentage of it.
SCORSESE: They're meant
to achieve a realism,
but it's more of a...
How should I put this?
Spirit of realism. (CHUCKLING)
It isn't objective.
HYYCHCOCK: Yes, but you are
dealing with the point of view
of an emotional man.
HYYCHCOCK: I was intrigued with
the effort to create a woman...
...after another in
the image of a dead woman.
FINCHER: If you think that you can
hide what your interests are,
what your prurient
interests are,
what your noble
interests are,
what your
fascinations are...
If you think you can
hide that in your work
as a film director,
you're nuts, you know.
And I think that he was one
of the first guys who said,
"I'm gonna go with it."
(CHUCKLES) "I'm just going to...
"I'm gonna be...
I gotta be me."
And in the case
of his best work,
there is a more direct
umbilicus to his subconscious.
Certainly I think
that is true of Vertigo.
psychological side is that...
...you have a man
creating a sex image,
but he can't
go to bed with her
until he's got her back to the
thing he wants to go to bed with.
It should be back from your
face and pinned at the neck.
I told her that.
I told you that.
We tried it.
Or metaphorically indulged
in a form of necrophilia.
That's what it really was.
Please, Judy.
HYYCHCOCK: The thing you see
that I liked and felt most
when she came back from
having her hair made blond
and it wasn't up.
This means she has stripped, but
won't take her knickers off.
You see.
She says all right, and she goes
into the bath and he is waiting.
He's waiting for the
woman to undress,
and come out nude, ready for him-
HYYCHCOCK: And while he was looking at
that door, he was getting an erection.
We will now tell a story.
Shut the machine off.
What I love about Vertigo
is just, it's so perverted.
It's just so perverted.
Here, Judy, drink this straight down.
Just like medicine.
Why are you doing this?
What good will it do?
I've always felt that the most
interesting view of Vertigo
would be her story.
The color of your hair.
Judy, please,
it can't matter to you!
FINCHER: And it's almost more honest
than the guy's point of view.
If I let you change me,
will that do it?
FINCHER: I guess taking
Scottie's point of view was...
Will you love me?
FINCHER: ...Hitchcock's
point of view.
I enjoyed it, yes.
You know, I had Vera Miles
tested and costumed.
We were ready to go with her.
She went pregnant,
and that was
going to be the part
that I was going
to bring her out.
She was under contract to me.
But I lost interest.
I couldn't get the rhythm going
again with her. Silly girl.
SCHRADER: I don't think
he would have been able
to take Vera Miles
into that Judy place.
Into that real,
kind of, a slutty place.
And so I think that he surmounted
his restriction in that way.
I saw the film
fairly early in my life
as a film person and I
saw it through Marty.
SCORSESE: It became
a lost film, so to speak.
I can tell you that all the
filmmakers in the '70s
were trying to find
copies of it.
Some people had 16s.
So it became a picture
we were looking for.
SCHRADER: It was a kind of
forbidden document,
a kind of sacred document that only
certain insiders had privilege to.
Which is kind of
hard to imagine
in today's world of indiscriminate
access to virtually everything.
So, the number of people who had
seen Vertigo weren't that many.
Hitchcock wasn't
talking about it that much
because it wasn't
very successful.
The hole in the story.
The husband who pushed
his wife off the tower.
How did he know that Stewart wasn't
going to run up those stairs?
GRAY: In the case of Vertigo,
the machinations
of the plot...
Well, they do work,
they function,
and they function
rather brilliantly,
but the subtext
seems to be bubbling up
almost to the point
where it's text.
SCORSESE: I can't really say
that I believe the plot.
And I don't take any
of the story seriously.
I mean, as a
"realistic story."
So the plot is just a line
that you could hang things on.
And the things that
he hangs on there
are all aspects of,
you know, cinema poetry.
And that's a film
that I can't really tell
where things start and end.
I don't care.
And when he's following her
in the streets in the car,
what is he looking for?
What is he looking for?
GRAY: The frustration
is on his face.
And you're like, "Where is
this going?" And you realize,
"No, that's totally connected
to who he is in the film."
SCORSESE: The city itself
is a character...
The architecture itself.
The mystery of
old San Francisco.
That painting...
We cannot see Kim Novak's face
looking at that painting.
How important
her gaze must be.
But no, it's not,
because it's all a ruse.
The connection that Kim Novak
has with that painting
is bullshit. Right?
The only gaze that matters
is Jimmy Stewart's
gaze watching
the curl in the hair and how it's
similar to the painting on the wall.
I'm sure he didn't shoot
coverage from the front.
Someone like me, I would do that.
We're not that good.
We don't understand the power of
the image, the way that he did.
I don't want anything.
I wanna get out of here.
Judy, do this for me!
SCORSESE: This whole business of
remaking her. Yes, we get it.
Everyone's talking
about the fetishism of it.
I don't like it.
Yeah, we'll take it.
Fine, it's good.
But it's this extraordinary
sense of loss
that he's trying
to fill that void.
Um, maybe it reaches out to
everyone, because of that.
You know.
We could bring our own
sense of melancholy
or loss to it.
I'll tell you this.
These past few days have been the first
happy days I've known in a year.
I know.
It's about desire,
but we all understand that.
We all understand
the idea of desire.
That's part of
what makes us us.
GRAY: I think Kim Novak
coming out of the bathroom
is the single greatest moment
in the history of movies.
At that moment, everything
that Hitchcock was about,
everything that
cinema is about,
comes together in the most
beautiful way, which is...
Yes, it's a fantasy, but the
fantasy is real to him.
That kiss is
so extraordinary.
That's the one moment where he
gets some kind of fulfillment.
And then after that,
it's time to go.
There was where you
made your mistake, Judy.
You shouldn't keep
souvenirs of a killing.
You shouldn't have been...
You shouldn't have
been that sentimental.
SCORSESE: It's a world that
he creates that reflects,
I think, what
it is to be alive.
And what it is
to live in fear.
A good fear.
A natural fear.
But fear just the same.
Of just the human condition
of who we are.
It's more than a story.
It's more than a story.
It really is like living
a lifetime with him.
It was a break-even.
I suppose so, yes.
It's tricky. You know,
people will learn
the wrong lessons
from failures
just as they sometimes learn the
wrong lessons from success.
And the thing that I find so
depressing about Hollywood is
how often people really feel
the first three months of
anyone's response
to your film... That's it.
Carve that into marble.
That was the response.
It's not true.
It wasn't true for Vertigo.
HYYCHCOCK: There is sometimes
a tendency among filmmakers...
...to forget the audience.
I, personally, am
interested in the audience.
I mean that one's film should
be designed for 2,000 seats,
and not one seat.
This, to me, is the
power of the cinema.
It is the greatest known mass
medium there is in the world.
NARRATOR: Directors
of Hitchcock's generation,
the ones who came up
under the studio system,
were all mindful
of their audience.
But in Hitchcock's case,
it ran deeper than that.
His films are made in a dialogue
with the public that's close, almost intimate.
HITCHCOCK: It doesn't matter
where the film goes.
If you've designed
it correctly,
the Japanese
audience should scream
at the same time
as the Indian audience.
SCORSESE: Could you still
play an audience
the way Hitchcock can?
They do.
But it's a different audience,
and it's different playing.
See, the audience has been raised
on films which are very loud,
uh, which have a climax
every two seconds.
Now, we are so
pummeled by stories
and visual hyperbole
that it's a very different
world in trying to
move the needle in terms of
getting humans to
accept your theses.
Hitchcock's coming
out of a world
where everything
was a proscenium,
and everything
was structured,
and he was able to take
that structure and bend it
and twist it
and exaggerate it
to a greater
or lesser effect.
By the time
you get to Psycho,
people are
watching television.
And Ed Gein is informing what's
happening in the movies.
We're starting to borrow
from the real world.
HITCHCOCK: I believe so,
yes, in Wisconsin somewhere.
HYYCHCOCK: Psycho, in order
to get the audience effects...
...on the audience,
I would say that
this is pretty well
as cinematic as
a lot of pictures.
HITCHCOCK: It was a very
interesting construction.
I tried for a long time
to play the audience.
Let's say we were
playing them like an organ.
Why don't you call
your boss and tell him
you're taking the rest
of the afternoon off?
SCORSESE: The scene with
John Gavin and Janet Leigh
in the beginning...
The element there is the bra.
But it's shot very simply,
but ominously.
There's something
ominous about it.
The scenes in the office are
kind of all right, you know.
With that Texan...
I'm buying this house for
my baby's wedding present.
$40,000 cash.
SCORSESE: For his style,
the blandness of the scenes
and the blandness
of the framing,
is just really
a kind of a bridge
to get you to the
next major moment.
I think his instinct is right
in telling stories like that.
I never carry more than
I can afford to lose.
How benign can we make these
images that just connect the dots?
I don't even want it in the
office over the weekend.
Put it in the safe deposit
box in the bank and...
only $800,000 dollars...
...and I used a complete
television unit to do it.
He was flirting with you.
I guess he must have
noticed my wedding ring.
HITCHCOCK: It was necessary
to make the robbery,
and what happened to the girl,
purposely on the long side,
to get an audience
absorbed with her plight.
MAN: Come in.
Where I slowed up
was when I came to the scenes
that indicated time and trouble.
Hitchcock really does
love to surprise people
and to take you in
unusual directions.
He sort of thrived on that
and he was very proud of that.
That's what his cinema
is kind of based on.
The beginning of Psycho... It's
one of the great misdirections.
FINCHER: He is playing
with your expectations of
where you're supposed
to be in a movie,
where you're supposed to
be in a Hitchcock movie,
where you're supposed to
be in a Universal movie.
You can argue the value
of Janet Leigh's performance.
You can say, "Well,
that's a little flat,
"it's a little this,
that's a little Kabuki."
Maybe all of those things
are leading you to believe
as an audience member
there's a bigger
cumulative effect.
She's servicing
an expectation.
SCORSESE: The best scenes for me are
the ones he must have spent time on,
the driving shots.
You had to have
spent time on those,
particularly the points
of view somehow.
And the framing of Janet Leigh
in the center of the frame
with the top of the steering wheel
in the bottom of the frame.
'Cause you can make a choice, you
can go above the steering wheel.
You know, or you
can go further out.
But then maybe you won't
see her eyes as well.
So that's like
the perfect size.
In quite a hurry?
Yes, I didn't intend
to sleep so long.
I almost had an
accident last night.
SCORSESE: The scene
with the policeman.
Of course, the framing of
him staring into the car...
Yes, we know with
the glasses, he's scary.
But there's something about the
restraint of those frames.
See? And the more
you restrain,
the better it is when
the explosion happens.
And on the way
to the explosion,
there are these meditative states.
MAN: Caroline,
get Mr. Cassidy for me.
After all, Cassidy,
I told you, all that cash...
And there's a sense of movement
ahead, movement ahead...
She steals money.
Then she decides
to drive away.
Then she becomes
guilty about it.
Gee, I'm sorry, I didn't
hear you in all this rain.
Then she meets
this guy in a motel,
and he's telling her
all his problems.
A few years ago,
Mother met this man.
And he talked her into
building this motel.
SCORSESE: You're watching,
you wanna know what happens.
Is she gonna bring
that money back?
Now what is Anthony Perkins
really gonna do?
You know, he has
his mother there.
Maybe there's gonna
be this whole thing
going on with the mother
and him and her.
When he died too, it was just
too great a shock for her.
SCORSESE: I mean, you're really...
You're taken down a path,
but what's great
about it is that
all your expectations are
taken and turned upside down.
FINCHER: You know,
there are certain rules,
and he pulled the pin
and rolled a grenade
into the middle of
that conference room
and destroyed
all those rules.
GRAY: The camera is very
much with Marion, right?
Even to the point
where you have that
very famous shot
of the showerhead.
All of a sudden,
you go from Marion,
and the camera is then
in this very strange place
where you see
both her showering,
and the shadowy figure behind
that kind of Visqueen curtain.
He did it with an eye
towards having to shift
point of view
35 minutes into the film.
BOGDANOVRH: The very first
screening of that film,
none of us had a clue
what was gonna happen.
And when that murder,
that shower scene came,
I've never seen an
audience react like that.
You could hear a sustained shriek
from the audience downstairs.
It wasn't like... Ahh! Ahh!
Ahh! It was like... Ahh!
Like they wanted
to close it out.
But they couldn't
stop watching it.
You wanted to close your
eyes, but you couldn't.
Hitch was right, you didn't
have to build suspense anymore,
they were...
They were blithering idiots.
The audience was like,
"What happened?"
They couldn't believe
what happened.
They kept thinking,
"It couldn't have happened.
"She's gonna be alive."
It was... Every impulse that
you have going to the movies,
it was the first time that going
to the movies was dangerous.
Seven days, 70 setups.
I used a nude girl a lot,
and I shot some of it
in slow motion.
Because of
covering the breasts,
you couldn't do it quick...
You couldn't
measure it correctly.
That's when you feel like this guy
really has his finger on the pulse of,
not only just audience response,
but the world in general,
that the world was ready
for a film like that.
It didn't know it was,
but it was.
This was a small story.
But it represented probably something
much larger on the horizon.
SCORSESE: At that time as it is
now, we expect certain things.
And it took storytelling
at that time and says,
"No, I'm not gonna
give you that.
"I'm gonna give you
something else."
Because you think
everything is so cool.
You're at the end of the '50s, the
'60s are gonna look glorious to us.
I think it was really important
for who we were then.
You have Vietnam,
you have world revolution,
you have everything
that happened in the '60s,
and the society has
never been the same.
That picture really touched
upon that, I think, Psycho.
Of course, you want everything
so neat and wrapped up.
Well, life isn't like that.
Even the stories I'm gonna tell
you are not like that now.
My main satisfaction is...
...the film did something
to an audience.
I really mean that.
And in many ways, I feel my
satisfaction with our...
Our art achieves something
of a mass emotion.
It wasn't a message,
it wasn't some
great performance,
it wasn't a highly appreciated
novel that stirred an audience.
It was pure film.
People will say, "What a
terrible thing to make."
The subject was horrible,
the people were small,
there were
no characters in it.
I know all this.
But I know one thing,
the use of film in
constructing this story
caused audiences
all over the world
to react and
become emotional.
My only pride in the picture
is that the picture
belongs to filmmakers.
It belongs to us, you and I.
HYYCHCOCK: Yes, how do
you want to handle this?
HALSMAN: I am the cameraman,
you are the director.
And you are directing
a double portrait
of a Mr. Hitchcock
and of a Mr. Truffaut.
Whatever you want,
any idea that comes into...
HYYCHCOCK: Really, it's my directing Mr.
Truffaut, isn't it?
HALSMAN: Yes, but you
direct also yourself.
what you want. Okay.
look less worried than he is.
HITCHCOCK: Now, here we are.
Look, here's the angle.
Now, I'm gonna be
like this, you see.
Now, Mr. Truffaut should half
turn around and look back to me.
HYYCHCOCK: Like this.
You see, then?
HYYCHCOCK: We better not
have cigars, you are right.
Otherwise, it might make us
look like movie directors.
And God forbid
we ever look like that.
NARRATOR: The conversation that began
in 1962 extended far beyond the book,
and bloomed into a real friendship.
Hitchcock and Truffaut spoke and
wrote to each other constantly.
They read
each other's scripts,
made story and casting suggestions,
and screened each other's films.
After the first edition of the
book was published in 1966,
Truffaut made a movie a year,
sometimes two.
Hitchcock made
only three more films.
Right to the end, he was haunted by the
question he had raised with Truffaut.
"Should I have experimented more
with character and narrative?
"Did I become a prisoner
of my own form?"
The same old questions
still swirled around him.
Was he an artist
or an entertainer?
Could anyone really
claim to be an artist,
working within the factory
conditions of Hollywood?
In America, you call
this man "Hitch."
In France, we call him
"Monsieur Hitchcock."
"Two weeks after the American Film
Institute tribute," wrote Truffaut,
"resigned to the fact that he
would never shoot another film,
"Hitchcock closed his office,
dismissed his staff, and went home."
Frangois Truffaut's energy and his
love of cinema seemed inexhaustible.
The idea that he would
be dead at the age of 52,
only four years after
Hitchcock, was unthinkable.
It still is.
The last completed
project of Truffaut's life,
published a few months before he died,
was an updated edition of his book,
in which he gave us
Alfred Hitchcock.
not the television star,
not the Master of Suspense,
but Alfred Hitchcock the artist,
who wrote with the camera.
HITCHCOCK: Isuppose...
...the films
with atmosphere,
suspense and incident
are really my creations
as a writer.
HITCHCOCK: Sure, yeah.
Sure, that's right.