Eye On The Bay: Hitchcock Step-By-Step
Tonight, a special Eye On The Bay: we follow in the footsteps of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, tracing three of the landmark films he shot in the Bay Area. It’s a must-see show for road trip buffs and Hitchcock fans. We’ll talk about his work with his granddaughter, Tere Carruba. We’ll trace the maze of Hitch’s “Vertigo” shoot through the streets of San Francisco and beyond.
We’ll fend off “The Birds” in Bodega Bay and chat with Aaron Leventhal, co-author of the excellent “Footsteps In The Fog.” Historian Sandy Lydon provides photos of the Vertigo shoot never before published. And, unbelievably, we tracked down the last living star from the 1942 Santa Rosa filming of “Shadow of a Doubt”- she’ll talk on television about her experience filming with Hitchcock for the first time in 70 years.
That, plus a look at the Scotts Valley estate he purchased in the Santa Cruz mountains while filming “Rebecca” in 1939. Brian Hackney writes, produces, and reports in his final outing for Eye On The Bay.
What’s Featured on this Episode:
First, and most importantly, if you might have the resources, please support Tere Carruba’s efforts to assist the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her niece passed away owing to effects of the disease, and she’s undertaken the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Golf Tournament in order to raise funds to support research efforts. Visit the website for that specific event, or the website for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation:
Next, many thanks for the hospitality of Heart O’The Mountain Winery and the Brassfield family in Scotts Valley, who graciously allowed us to film Hitchcock’s estate in Scotts Valley. When Hitch lived there, he bought an adjoining vineyard. Newly planted vines now produce a smashing variety of wines, and they’d love for you to be part of their allocation club. If you’re interested, please visit them online at www.heartothemountain.com.
If you’re going to see some of the Hitchcock sites (and sights) yourself, you must pick up an invaluable guide: the exhaustively researched “Footsteps in the Fog”, by Aaron Leventhal and Jeff Kraft. You’ll find more info on the book at www.footstepsinthefog.com
Sandy Lydon is a teacher and historian who was a kid at UC Davis when Hitch was shooting ‘Vertigo’ in October, 1957, at Mission San Juan Bautista. Eager to be within eyesight of the smashing Kim Novak, he and some college buddies rushed down to try to catch a glimpse. I’ll leave the details of what happened to Sandy himself; no doubt he’ll be willing to share a few if you tag along on one of his guided history tours. He’s an inexhaustible source of enthusiasm and insight, and the fact he’s from Hollister and used to do the weather in Salinas places him on a pedestal that only the likes of the likewise excellent Jim Vanderzwaan occupy. Details about Sandy’s tours are at www.sandylydon.com.
If you check out “The Birds” shoot locations in Bodega, you have to pop into Michael Fahmie’s “Bodega Country Store.” Details are at www.bodegastore.com And if you’re in the mood to be attacked by birds yourself, grab an outdoor seat at the still-existing (but vastly changed) Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay. The gulls will agree it’s an ideal meal, and these great-great-great-great grandchildren of the original birds in the Attic Scene will oblige with a re-creation of their own.
A note: both the schoolhouse in Bodega and the McDonald Avenue house in Santa Rosa are privately owned. Try to be far less slavishly adoring and gaping than I was.
A few other books that you’d have to be really into Hitchcock to want to buy: Paul Duncan’s “Alfred Hitchcock/The Complete Films”, has some terrific photos I’ve never seen before, and they’re my favorite kind: the behind-the-camera stuff that Universal didn’t exactly broadcast to the world. Hitch sneezing in the background just as Gregory Peck is about to plant one on Ann Todd is priceless (p. 114). And the photographic work of Hitch’s early direction in 1930s England is eye-opening. You can understand why Hitchcock told film critic Richard Schickel that he had to come to work in Hollywood in 1939 “just so I could get more equipment.”
Another is the very clever “Hitchcock Piece By Piece” by Laurent Bouzereau. It’s filled with more great photos, and lots of copies of memorabilia: family photos, telegrams, storyboard sketches, are tucked away in pockets throughout the book.
A special thanks to Aaron for his time and expertise, and the extraordinary editing skill of Donna Pangburn. Donna has that incredibly rare ability to take something you think is pretty good already, and turn it into something gaspingly topnotch. Hope it’s not the last time, DP!
Thanks again–appreciate your watching.
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