ALFRED HITCHCOCK ATTRIBUTED SCRIPT FOR HIS 'STRANGERS ON A TRAIN'
(1899 - 1980) English film director and a master of suspense and technique, his films included 'Psycho' and 'North by Northwest'. An important piece of film history, the final script of the psychological film noir thriller 'Strangers On a Train', attributed as having belonged to the film's director, Alfred Hitchcock, and including a pencil sketch of a set. It is bound with an approx. 200pp. 'Index to Breakdown', a shot-by-shot typed breakdown of the film, annotated throughout. The 9 x 11 in. 308pp. 4to. script bears a pale blue cover page ink-stamped: 'FINAL PART 1 STRANGERS ON A TRIAL OCT. 18, 1950'. An oblong 8vo. transmittal sheet which follows indicates that this was script no. 73. and at the top right in a period hand appears the name of its owner: 'Hitchcock'. On the last page of the script appears a sketch of a top view of what appears to be a bedroom or perhaps a sleeper car, with a hallway shown at the left and another, indistinct sketch at the bottom. The 'Index to Breakdown', 3pp., follows the script and lists all interior and exterior shots in the film, location, and time of day shot (or appears to have been shot). The remainder of the book, about 200pp., corresponds with the 'Index to Breakdown'. Every scene is devoted to one page and indicates the set name, cast members included and wardrobe changes, synopsis of action, extras to be used, and essential props. These pages are almost all lightly annotated, many in two different hands which we cannot place. The notes generally relate to casting and set location, other notes indicate if a scene has been cut, or if locations have changed. At some point, this script was apparently gifted to either a cast member or another individual close to the production. At the head of the first page of the script, Hitchcock signs his name in full and adds his trademark self-portrait sketch at the left. On the same page, starring actor FARLEY GRANGER (1925-2011) has also signed beside his first line in the film ('Guy Haines'). On the next page, the script is also signed by KASEY ROGERS (as 'Laura Eliot' who portrayed 'Miriam') and by PATRICIA HITCHCOCK ('Barbara Morton'), who also was Hitchcock's daughter and only child. The front cover and Hitchcock receipt both show loss at the bottom, the cover worn with tape about the edges, rear cover is not present, otherwise very good. In custom clamshell box. 'Strangers On a Train' was shot in the autumn of 1950 and released by Warner Bros. on June 30, 1951, starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker. The story concerns two strangers who meet on a train, one of whom is a psychopath who suggests that they 'exchange' murders so that both will have alibis clearing themselves and neither would have a motive. The film marked a renaissance for Hitchcock, after several years of low enthusiasm for his late-1940s output.