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Lois Thurman, Hitchcock’s script supervisor, reports from the set

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Lois Thurman, Hitchcock’s script supervisor (far right) from The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain and Family Plot, gives a rare interview about working closely with Hitch. Ms Thurman was interviewed on April 17th, 2013 in Los Angeles.

I was working at Universal Revue Studios and Hitchcock came over to make some pictures. All the other girls were afraid to work with him and since I did what I was told, they said you’ve got to do it. So I did, and it was fine, I really liked him, and it was no problem, Hitchcock was fine.

Jessica Tandy, Hitchcock thought she was wonderful, they got along fine, she was a good actress. Suzanne Pleshette was fine, she always knew her lines and showed up on time. I didn’t care much for Tippi, and Hitch didn’t get along with her. Rod Taylor was fine though he had some problems with Hitch.

The only male star that Hitch really got on with was Sean Connery. Sean was perfect, you couldn’t fault him. He wanted to change a line and we never really allowed that to happen on set, but I told him go ask Hitch. And he let him change the line, because Sean asked him which was different to other actors.

I liked Hitchcock very much and appreciated him, he was very nice to me, telling me jokes, buying me presents. He knew that I was loyal and did my job. We got on great. He was my favourite director because it was easy to know what he wanted. He wasn’t going to do a lot of extra shots, so he was easier to work with than other directors.

I don’t think he told them (the prop men in The Birds) to make the glass break (in the phone booth), how could he have done that? I was there all the time during filming of The Birds.

It was wonderful for me to work with him, it really made my job easier all around the world, and Hitch new exactly what he wanted. He always told the cameraman what the shot was, what the coverage was going to be and what the script says.

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One response to “Lois Thurman, Hitchcock’s script supervisor, reports from the set

  1. Indraneel Sen ⋅

    Hitchcock was the best ! But why keep him only as a master of shock or suspense ? Wasn’t he a great master of art which doesn’t only involve violence , but some strange trail of thought maneuvering , always compelling us to follow him …….. how did he controlled his music scores for example from Bernard Hermann ? What about the score in Frenzy when Barry Foster (Bob Rusk) returns to his flat after hiding the body in a lorry ? How did such things combine in his films ? Can you tell ?
    I am great admirer of his works ………….

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