You can now read the script for Alfred Hitchcock’s film that was never…
What films do you wish you had seen happen? For me, I will always wonder if Hitchcock would have had an earlier trip to America and a longer prestige run if he had Mary Rose.
Mary Rose is a part of JM Barrie (who wrote Peter Pan) which was staged at the Haymarket Theater in London in 1920. Many Hitchcock scholars and enthusiasts note that he loved the play and saw it several times during its first run and again over the years. He loved it so much that he tried to make it into a movie several times during his career.
Each time, he was upset. And you never know if a great version of this film would bring it to America and Hollywood sooner.
The first time it was announced as a possible American production was after Rescue boat, where he brought the idea to Darryl Zanuck, who rejected it. And throughout his career, things got awkward.
According to the Hitchcock wiki, “Hitchcock would later tell interviewers that his contract with Universal allowed him to make any movie, as long as it cost less than $3 million, and as long as it wasn’t Mary Rose.”
So why all this hindsight on this film? As Hitchcock said, “They believe that’s not what the public expects of me. Not the kind of image they expect of me.”
But I think he is very wrong about this.
Mary Rose is a metaphysical thriller about a woman who disappears while visiting 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 feels like the perfectly weird and terrifying narrative he would excel at. Unfortunately, Hollywood disagreed.
However, Hitchcock managed to produce a screenplay, written by his Marnie screenwriter Jay Presson Allen. Now you can read this script… then come back to the comments and let us know what you think.
Which lost films do you regret?