Original typed letter signed from Alfred Hitchcock to assistant director Herbert Coleman, regarding "To Catch a Thief," "The Trouble with Harry," and other matters

N.p. N.p., 1955. Lengthy and substantial typed letter signed from director Alfred Hitchcock to assistant director Herbert Coleman, dated November 6, 1955, on Paramount British Productions letterhead, with a holograph ink annotation to the final page, noting "Herman has a copy of this letter."

The letter begins with a detailed description of the performance of the then-just-released "To Catch a Thief," punctuated by a humorous interaction with the Duke of Edinburgh. Hitchcock notes the film reviews ranged "from good to indifferent", but states the film is nevertheless successful and profitable, with substantial ticket sales in Britain ("a house record").

Hitchcock goes on to discuss the mixed test runs of his new film, "The Trouble with Harry," a source of some frustration for the director. Hitchcock also describes his struggles with Paramount executives over the lack of well-known (and profitable) actors in the film, opining, "If we could prove that a picture enjoyed by the public but without star names could be sold, then it would ease the Studio's problem somewhat. As you know, traditionally in America—and for that matter, here and the rest of the world, all sales departments are happier when they have a picture with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart or Gable."

In closing, Hitchcock mentions the success of Ugo Betti's 1949 play "The Queen and the Rebels," which he optioned (and apparently considered bringing to the New York stage) but would ultimately sell the rights to in 1959. He also briefly notes that he is considering Audrey Hepburn for "Among the Dead," the working title of his landmark 1958 film noir "Vertigo," ostensibly in the role(s) which would eventually be given to Kim Novak.

Altogether, an engaging and illuminating letter from one of the twentieth century's foremost directors, written at the beginning of a six-year stretch which many film critics consider to be one of Hitchcock's most fruitful and successful periods, producing four films ("Rear Window" in 1954, "Vertigo" in 1958, "North by Northwest" in 1959, and "Psycho" in 1960) often ranked among the greatest of all time.

Housed in a custom quarter-leather clamshell box.

Five leaves, unbound, measuring 8.5 x 11 inches. Near Fine, with faint rust from a staple to the upper left corner.


[Book #152438]

Price: $8,500.00