Now you can read the screenplay for the Alfred Hitchcock movie that never was...
What are some movies you wished had happened? For me, I'll always wonder if Hitchcock would have had an earlier trip to America and a longer prestige run if he had made Mary Rose.
Mary Rose is a play by J.M. Barrie (who wrote Peter Pan) that was staged at the Haymarket Theatre in London in 1920. Many Hitchcock scholars and enthusiasts note that he loved the play, and saw it many times during its initial run and again over the years. He loved it so much that he tried to make it into a movie several times over the course of his career.
Each time he was thwarted. And you never know if a great version of this movie would bring him to America sooner and into Hollywood.
The first time it was publicized as a possible American production was after Lifeboat, where he brought the idea to Darryl Zanuck, who rejected him. And throughout his career, things kept getting in the way.
According to the Hitchcock Wiki, "Hitchcock would later tell interviewers that his contract with Universal allowed him to make any film, so long as it cost under $3 million, and so long as it wasn't Mary Rose."
Now you can read and download the Mary Rose screenplay here!
So why all the pushback on this movie? As Hitchcock put it, "They believe it isn't what the audiences expect of me. Not the kind of picture they expect of me."
But I think he's very wrong about that.
Mary Rose is a metaphysical thriller about a woman who vanishes when she visits a particular island, only to return with no memory of where she went. Sometimes for days, sometimes for decades. It's more horror than many of Hitchcock's other films, but it sounds like the perfectly weird, terrifying narrative that he would excel at. Unfortunately, Hollywood disagreed.
Still, Hitchcock was able to get a screenplay produced, written by his Marnie screenwriter Jay Presson Allen. Now, you can read that script... and then come back to the comments and tell us what you think.
What are some lost movies you lament?