My own favorite memory of Hitchcock comes from an incident at the St. Regis Hotel in New York in 1964. After some frozen daiquiris had left me a bit tipsy and Hitch quite red-faced and cheerful, we got on the elevator at the 25th floor and rode in silence to the 19th, where, when three people dressed for the evening entered, he suddenly turned to me and said,
''Well, it was quite shocking, I must say there was blood everywhere!''
I was confused, thinking that because of the daiquiris I'd missed something, but he just went right on: ''There was a stream of blood coming from his ear and another from his mouth.''
Of course, everyone in the elevator had recognized him but no one looked over. Two more people from the 19th floor entered as he continued: "Of course, there was a huge pool of blood on the floor and his clothes were splattered with it. Oh! It was a horrible mess. Well, you can imagine . . . "
It felt as if no one in the elevator, including me, was breathing. He now glanced at me, I nodded dumbly, and he resumed: ''Blood all around! Well, I looked at the poor fellow and I said, 'Good God, man, what's happened to you?''
And then, just as the elevator doors opened onto the lobby, Hitchcock said, "And do you know what he told me?" and paused. With reluctance, the passengers now all moved out of the elevator and looked anxiously at the director as we passed them in silence.
After a few foggy moments, I asked, ''So what did he say?'' And Hitch smiled beatifically and answered, "Oh, nothing -- that's just my elevator story."
"Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind." Louis Pasteur "Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience." Comte de Buffon "One morning one of us, having no black, used blue instead, and Impressionism was born." Pierre Auguste R...
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