The Hitchcock/Truffaut Tapes #2
In Part Two of The Hitchcock/Truffaut Tapes, Alfred Hitchcock speaks of creative depredations wrought by the so-called Star System upon both his 1927 film The Lodger as well as 1941's Suspicion. He scrupulously avoids implicating Cary Grant in the latter film's distortion . . . keep in mind that, at the time of this interview, Grant was still a major presence at the box-office . . . and then details his original ending, which is so poorly conceived as to make the dénouement imposed by RKO sound like a masterstroke of cinematic storytelling. François Truffaut goes way way out on a limb by declaring Suspicion a finer work than the largely unread novel from which it was adapted, and then praises it in terms normally reserved for something hanging in the Louvre.
Hitchcock, who no doubt thought he'd heard it all by then, immediately shifts gears for an extended discussion of The Lodger, pausing only to ask Truffaut for his insight into the role hand-cuffs sometimes play in aberrant sexual fetishism (Truffaut admits that, alas, his is not an analytical mindset . . . and, to the best of our knowledge, no newspaper on earth altered their front page that day to accomodate this revelation), then closes on a note of lavish cynicism with the old one about Silent film being a richer, more purely cinematic form.