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“have you heard?”: a photo essay directed by alfred hitchcock

06/02/13 , , , , , , , , ,

 "At the Friendship Cafe the manicurist tells her boyfriend: 'A customer told me today that lots of our troopships are sailing to Australia on Friday at midnight.' The shady-looking man standing next to them listens attentively. (Note bartender played by Alfred Hitchcock, center)."

scene from alfred hitchcock’s “have you heard?”

at the behest of the fdr administration & life magazine, alfred hitchcock directed a bit of wartime propaganda in the form of a photo essay.  while doing a photo essay might seem like a diversion from hitchcock’s day job, the best directors often create still moments within their motion pictures that are worthy of being displayed at a museum.  details via the july 1942 issue of life:

From Stephen Early, [White House press] secretary to President Roosevelt, recently came the suggestions that LIFE tell a picture story of wartime rumors and the damage they are liable to do. In accordance with this request, the editors asked Alfred Hitchcock, famed Hollywood movie director, to produce such a story, with LIFE photographer Eliot Elisofon as his cameraman. When Mr. Hitchcock graciously agreed, a script was prepared, the director picked his characters from the ranks of movie professionals and LIFE’s Los Angeles staff, and shooting commenced in Hollywood.

Have You Heard? is the result of their cooperation in photo-dramatization. A simply sexless story, it shows how patriotic but talkative Americans pass along information, true or false, until finally deadly damage is done to their country’s war effort. One false rumor is silenced by a man who later is unwittingly responsible for starting a true rumor which ends in a great catastrophe. Moral: Keep your mouth shut.

check out “have you heard?” in the gallery below (click for captions + a closer look).  compare the project to hitchcock’s films & note any similarities/differences in style & execution.


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Gossip is dangerous

David L Ferguson


1 notes

  1. what frightened alfred hitchcock? | atolemdro reblogged this and added:

    […] related: the hunted and the hated: a look at the nypd’s stop-and-frisk policy | “have you heard?”: a photo essay directed by alfred hitchcock  […]

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