Friday, April 10, 2015

39 Steps Back on Stage

It's back! If you missed this show during its last run -- or have been waiting to see it again -- now's your chance. Part-spoof, part-homage, and 100% entertaining!
I had the pleasure of hosting the last Talk Back during the last New York run, and hope to be doing that again. So stay tuned for an announcement!
In the meantime, the producers are offering ticket specials you will want to take advantage of:

$49 Tickets* Mon/Wed/Thu performances (reg. $79)
$59 Tickets* Fri/Sat/Sun performances (reg. $89)

1. ONLINE: then select a performance date & enter code: LSP88
2. PHONE: Call at 877-250-2929 & mention code: LSP88
3. BOX OFFICE: Print & bring to the Union Square Theatre Box Office - 100 East 17th St

Performance Schedule: Mon 7pm, Wed 2 & 8pm, Thurs 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 3pm
For more information visit:
Union Square Theatre 100 East 17th St

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hitchcock's Ghost: James Allardice

It was forty-seven years ago today that Alfred Hitchcock's ghostwriter, James Allardice, died suddenly of a heart attack. For a little more than a decade, Allardice penned the introductions and closings that helped transform the British filmmaker into a household word in the US through his television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and its hour-long incarnation, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Even more than these little vignettes that suited the public persona that Hitchcock wanted to portray, during that time, Allardice regularly wrote speeches, articles and other remarks for the director.

Allardice first made a name for himself as a playwright with the successful run of his comedy At War with the Army, which he wrote while at an Army training camp in Kentucky in 1944, and later revised while attending Yale School of Drama. The comedy hit Broadway in 1949 and a year later it was bought by Paramount Pictures to become the basis for one of the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies not produced by Hal Wallis. Following that successful teaming, Allardice would go on to write the screenplays for three more Martin and Lewis comedies—Sailor Beware, Jumping Jacks, and Money From Home—each produced by Wallis.

Allardice really hit his stride, though, writing for television, winning an Emmy for Best Written Comedy Material in 1955 for writing The George Gobel Show. While writing the intros for Hitchcock's series, Allardice tried his hand at hour-long drama for such programs as Lux Video Theatre and Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. His true talent however was in comedy. Mention Hazel, Gomer Pyle: USMC, F Troop, I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian, My Three Sons, Hogan's Heroes and The Munsters, and it seems that Allardice wrote a handful of episodes for nearly every popular comedy series from the early to mid-1960s.

In many ways, Hitchcock's "ghost" has haunted Hitchcock ever since, as it's the public persona that Allardice helped create which is the impression of the director most familiar to the general public.* That caricature of the droll Hitchcock, spewing out bits of macabre humor, may have been clever branding that helped the director achieve and maintain a certain level of commercial success, but in another way, it may also have delayed what Hitchcock desired even longer—being taken seriously as an artist by the "establishment."

*It is also a myth is that Allardice's untimely death brought about the end to Hitchcock's venture in television, when in fact the series had ended its run more than nine months prior.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Inconsequential Yarn: Writing Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO

“They say every true San Franciscan has one foot on a hill and the other in the past.”—Kate in Samuel Taylor’s The Pleasure of His Company 

Since Vertigo is a film that garners such personal reactions, I wanted to begin this piece on something of a personal note. It’s not a matter of whether one likes the film or doesn’t.  For those who truly connect with Vertigo, it’s because it resonates with something inside of them. I was in high school when I saw Vertigo for the first time and the build up to seeing it was intense. It was only a few months before that I had begun to seriously study the master’s work, having been introduced to The Lodger, The 39 Steps, Sabotage, Notorious, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. Having become hooked on Hitchcock through that line up in school, I began my own exploration of every Hitchcock film I could get my hands on and by reading the corresponding chapter from Donald Spoto’s The Art of Alfred Hitchcock afterward. Then I’d re-watch the film over again, etc.

Given the laudatory opening paragraphs on Vertigo in Spoto’s chapter, as well as its massive size in relation to chapters on other films, I knew to expect something very special. When I finally did see Vertigo, I was swept away by its beauty, its movement, the emotional punch it delivered, and by its haunting images and score. Over the next five years or so, I would watch it once a month—yes, I was that obsessed (I would perform the same monthly ritual with Rear Window and North by Northwest as well). To this day, I still get goose bumps during certain sequences, and on occasion well up by the final moments of the film.

After a few years of immersing myself in my own Hitchcock education, I had become increasingly curious about his collaborators, particularly his screenwriters. I was of course familiar with the countless statements Hitchcock made about how for him the most creative part of the filmmaking process was the writing and preparation stage, and that the actual process of shooting the picture was boring. Statements like this fed my curiosity to know how much of an impact his writers had on the finished films. What did they bring to the table? What contributions did they make beyond the dialogue? I found myself becoming more and more fascinated by these writers who had sat beside Hitchcock, not merely observing him create and taking down dictation, but who’d earned a seat in the inner sanctum and engaged with him in creating these films.

Of the Hitchcock screenwriters of the 1950s and 1960s, Samuel Taylor was not the most prolific. Although he directed a film after having written only two screenplays, Taylor did not adapt quite as well to the Hollywood lifestyle as say John Michael Hayes, Ernest Lehman, or even Joseph Stefano. Each of these writers found their niche—Hayes as adapter of “difficult” material, Lehman as adapter of road-show musicals, and Stefano brought his special touch to the small screen as principal writer for The Outer Limits. Sam Taylor however was more at home writing plays in Maine and then seeing them through to production on the New York stage. Yet, in spite of a short list of screenwriting credits in comparison to say Lehman or Hayes, Taylor played a significant role in shaping and refining Hitchcock’s most dreamlike film.

An Unconventional Screenplay

By conventional screenwriting standards, the screenplay for Vertigo could be regarded as a failure. It contains so many “no-nos,” cheats, and just plain writing crutches that most writers would never attempt to get away with all in the same script—flashbacks, a dream sequence, and a lengthy voiceover where a character composes a letter on screen in order to explain much of the plot. But these devices, to name just a few, are exactly what make Vertigo work. The illusory nature of the movie required an unconventional script.

By the end of 1956, Hitchcock had already been through three writers in adapting the Boileau and Narcejac novel D’Entre les Morts. Playwright Maxwell Anderson had a go at a first draft which Hitchcock found lacking in mood, direction and structure. Hitchcock then turned to his old friend Angus MacPhail who knocked out a very rough outline—what today might be called a step-sheet. Structurally, the MacPhail outline closely resembles the finished film and Hitchcock hoped he would be up to the task of roughing out a construction or treatment from which Anderson would write a second draft. However, MacPhail opted to bow out gracefully. Hitchcock then turned to Paramount contract writer Alec Coppel, who had provided the text for one of the threatening notes used in To Catch a Thief when a re-take was needed after principal photography. Coppel worked closely with Hitchcock in fashioning a screenplay that followed MacPhail’s structure and now included most of the visual set pieces that Hitchcock envisioned for the film.

With Coppel’s draft, Hitchcock now had a mysterious, moody love story with elements of the supernatural, and a big twist to be revealed in the final scene—the supernatural elements were merely a hoax conceived to cover up a murder. Hitchcock returned to Anderson to finesse the dialogue and clarify the characters’ motivations, but the writer turned him down. As was custom when he needed a new writer, Hitchcock reached out to his go-to agents, one of which was Kay Brown, who on learning the film was to be set in San Francisco immediately suggested her client Samuel Taylor.  

Hitchcock’s New Writer

Although born in Chicago, Samuel Taylor grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, so he was already quite familiar with both the flavor and history of the City by the Bay. In fact, at the time Kay Brown suggested Taylor to Hitchcock, he was busy writing his play The Pleasure of His Company which was also set in San Francisco. No doubt, this appealed to Hitchcock who longed to film the city for the big screen (an early treatment for I Confess and an aborted adaptation of David Duncan’s The Bramble Bush had both been set in and around San Francisco).

Taylor was sent the Coppel script and Hitchcock’s notes and after some initial uncertainty, he accepted the assignment and met with the director. “When I read the screenplay that had been written, I was quite confused because I couldn’t follow it at all,” recalled Taylor. “When I saw Hitchcock after I read the script, I knew what the problem was. I said to him, ‘It’s a matter of finding the reality and humanity for these people. You haven’t got anybody in this story who is a human being—nobody at all. They’re all cut-out cardboard figures.’”

This was exactly what Hitchcock wanted and needed to hear. When writing for Hitchcock, you were hired because you brought something to the table that Hitchcock, as producer, felt the project needed. In the case of Vertigo, it was the emotional story and characters that needed work at this point. Taylor told Hitchcock he would need to invent a character to help make Scottie real. To Taylor’s surprise Hitchcock said, “Fine.” And with very little discussion about it, he went off and created Midge.

According to Taylor, once he invented Midge, the whole picture fell into place for him.  “All the Midge scenes were mine,” recalled Taylor. “He didn’t know anything about Midge until he read the script and liked it.” Midge provided Taylor the opportunity to give Scottie more back story and allowed him to eliminate any scenes with Scottie’s police colleagues. Midge became the cynical voice of reason—much like Stella in Rear Window—not believing in any of the Carlotta Valdes nonsense. Taylor also added to the San Francisco flavor of the story by changing Madeleine’s dead ancestor from the novel’s Pauline Lagarlac to Carlotta Valdes, drawing on the local Spanish history. The Carlotta Valdes back story—that she was of Spanish-American ancestry, had been raised on a mission settlement, and that at a young age was a cabaret entertainer who became the kept woman of a wealthy, powerful man who abandoned her after having his child—added a social/sexual subtext that had been lacking in the previous scripts.

To speak even more about that history, Taylor added the character Pop Leibel. The Pop Leibel Taylor recalled from his childhood ran a candy store instead of a bookshop. Taylor knew the bookshop atmosphere well from having worked in a similar one while in college. With the invention of Pop Leibel, Taylor introduced a phrase that added to the script’s subtext. “Power and freedom” are used three times in the film significantly—first by Elster to Scottie, then when Pop Leibel refers to the man who left Carlotta but kept her child, and finally by Scottie to Judy. All the talk about “wandering” that pervades the movie also came from Taylor. And with these changes, Taylor helped Hitchcock layer the script into something very special.

And yet Taylor found that something was still missing. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He told Hitchcock that it was lacking a “Hitchcockian thing.” And then it hit him. Rather than saving the big reveal for the ending, they should let the audience in on the secret—that Judy was the woman who had pretended to be Madeleine. “The whole first act is deception,” said Taylor. “But once you get past the death and actually have destroyed the man, you’ve got to tell the audience that this was a plot. It can’t be a surprise. You can’t go all the way to the end of the picture.”

Hitchcock agreed. Thus the flashback showing Judy reaching the top of the mission tower where Elster was waiting with his dead wife and Judy’s letter writing scene were written. Taylor’s instinct was exactly correct and followed the Hitchcock suspense principle in providing the audience with information. Yet, in retrospect, Taylor felt that the letter writing scene was weak. “I think, Hitchcock and I goofed,” remembered Taylor. “After the Mozart scene, we should have said, ‘What about the girl? This is the time to tell the audience what is happening.’ And we should have gone back to Gavin Elster. We shouldn’t have forgotten about him and the girl that cavalierly.”

Taylor said years later that the letter writing scene was inept; pointing out that he also hated resorting to it in the film adaptation of his own play Sabrina Fair, which he adapted with Billy Wilder. Taylor suggested that the “argument scene” between Judy and Gavin Elster should not have been played offstage. “You would get a much stronger feeling about the girl if she had to face Gavin Elster and say, ‘You’re going away, and without me.’”

Taylor reasoned that primed with this knowledge before hand, the audience would have a much greater sense of apprehension, anxiety, and foreboding at watching Scottie wander around San Francisco looking for Madeleine. On this point, I couldn’t disagree more. The audience needed to meet Judy from Scottie’s point of view before Hitchcock could cut away to hers. Furthermore, Hitchcock’s concern was with Scottie and Judy. There was no dramatic reason to see Elster or Midge again. As the world of the film became smaller—i.e. fewer and fewer characters—the situation between Scottie and Judy intensified.

Perhaps Taylor’s Monday morning quarterbacking was due to the criticism Vertigo received on its initial release. Nevertheless, even with its disappointing performance at the box office, Hitchcock had enjoyed working with Taylor enough to invite him back to collaborate on the screenplay for No Bail for the Judge—after Ernest Lehman turned him down. Sadly, Taylor’s script was victim to the director’s move from Paramount to Universal in 1961 and it remained unproduced. Taylor and Hitchcock would remain friends socially, and the writer came back to help Hitchcock with a rewrite on the troubled Topaz.

Inconsequential Material

I’ve always felt that Samuel Taylor best articulated Hitchcock’s approach to film and to working with writers when he said that constructing a film was like putting together a mosaic. And for Hitchcock, that mosaic was comprised of his favorite scenes, but when he didn’t have a good writer, there were pieces missing in that mosaic.

Taylor also understood that to Hitchcock, plot was secondary to story, observing that while the plot of Vertigo may be farfetched, the story is honest and true. “Hitchcock was a very emotional man,” recalled Taylor. “And having a good actor in Stewart, and having a good situation of a man driven almost to madness by what has happened, he was able to infuse it with enormous emotion. He preferred telling an inconsequential yarn, but bringing to it all the artistry he had.”

Taylor was not denigrating his own work when he referred to Vertigo as “an inconsequential yarn.” To put it in other terms, one could say that the director and his writers were constructing their yarn out of—if not smoke and mirrors—mirrors and some carefully placed fog. The film was constructed and designed to be Hitchcock’s ultimate love story, and in that respect, it succeeded on every level.

  • Samuel Taylor is quoted from a talk he gave at Pace University (my alma mater) in June 1986, and from the BBC’s Omnibus (1986).
  • For more on the structure of the Vertigo screenplay see The Hitchcock Kiss.
  • For a complete account of the screenplay’s development, I recommend Dan Auiler’s Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray Review

The most anticipated Blu-ray release of the year shipped a few weeks ago—Universal’s Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. I’ve gone through the individual titles to give an extensive review.

Now depending on whether you go for the US or the UK release, the set comes with 15 or 14 titles. The US edition includes a reissue of the Warner Brother’s 50th Anniversary Blu-ray release of NORTH BY NORTHWEST. So if you already have that, you might want to consider the UK Limited edition which comes in a rather nice keepsake coffee table book, which includes a number of other extras – like reproductions of costume sketches, posters art, storyboards, production correspondence and more. It definitely makes for a nice package. Other than the inclusion of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, disc-wise, the releases are identical…which means thirteen Hitchcock titles that are brand new to Blu-ray with this release. (PSYCHO had been the only Universal title released thus far) Now there’s some great news and some really awful news about this release. The best news first: REAR WINDOW and VERTIGO will definitely impress.

The first thing you will notice about the presentation of REAR WINDOW is the amount of detail you’ve never seen in previous video releases. Both inside Jefferies’ apartment and outside in the courtyard, there’s much to take in. The colors are rich…nice blacks in the night scenes…and fairly accurate skin tones throughout. This is a title that never quite looked as good as it should have, even on the 2008 double DVD release…and it gets the treatment it deserves here.

Universal's Legacy Series DVD Comparison to Blu-ray
The huge sigh of relief over VERTIGO had little to do with the image quality and more to do with the sound. Many of you know I’ve been pretty outspoken about the botched job that Robert Harris and James Katz did on the 1996 “restoration” of VERTIGO which replaced Hitchcock’s carefully designed and mixed soundtrack with a completely unsubtle, in-your-face, mash-up of foley effects, out of sync music cues and drowned out dialogue. Happily, Universal has NOT included that abomination here. VERTIGO sounds like VERTIGO again! Visually, again, like REAR WINDOW…detail and color are impressive. It’s Hitchcock’s most beautifully shot and designed film and for those times you can’t make it to the Museum of the Moving Image to catch a vintage 1958 IB Technicolor print, this Blu-ray makes a fine substitute.

Now just for these two titles alone, in the condition that they’re in, the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection is worth the price of admission. But let’s take in the rest of the collection in chronological order.

SABOTEUR has its problems, mostly having to do with its weak script and weaker cast, and so it generally is ranked to minor-Hitchcock. The one knock-out scene for which the film will always be remembered is the Statue of Liberty sequence, which is still a model for cinematic suspense. As for the Blu-ray, it is absolutely gorgeous to look at.

SHADOW OF A DOUBT is surely one of Hitchcock richest and at the same time deeply disturbing works. Often cited as being among Hitchcock’s personal favorites, here on Blu-ray it’s given a presentation worthy of the film. This was Hitchcock’s second film for Universal, and his second with Director of Photography Joseph Valentine. Unlike the almost B-picture look of SABOTEUR, the transfer here shows off Valentine’s carefully textured and lit scenes.

The next item in the collection is ROPE, which was Hitchcock’s first venture into color and as it happened, his last film with Joseph Valentine. While it’s not a gorgeous transfer by any means, it’s the most satisfying presentation of the film on video to date. The main problems with ROPE on Blu-ray are in the flesh tones, which are often under saturated.

REAR WINDOW, yet again, can’t say enough good things about it…it’s arguably the highpoint of the collection.

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY is another stunning addition on Blu-ray. Hitchcock and Bob Burks’ second VistaVision film together— they had just completed TO CATCH A THIEF when they set out to capture the Vermont countryside in the glory of its autumn colors—and the warmth and the vivid colors are done justice in this transfer. For a film that generally lacks the visual panache of many of Hitchcock’s other films of the period, Harry certainly benefits, and of course, HARRY marks Hitchcock’s first collaboration with Bernard Herrmann. The sound on this and pretty much all titles in the collection is spot on.

The next film in the collection, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is certainly one that deserved the kind of treatment given to say REAR WINDOW or VERTIGO. They share the same leading man in James Stewart, it’s another globetrotting adventure in VistaVision, with location filming in Marrakesh and London, it contains one of Hitchcock signature set pieces—the assassination at the Royal Albert Hall—but sadly, the color as presented here is all over the map…even within individual shots. You can literally see Doris Day’s dress change colors before your eyes. There’s frequently a fluctuation in the colors that is visible on the print that was used for the transfer. This is a title definitely in need of some TLC and a whole new transfer.

VERTIGO, the next in the collection has already been praised.

PSYCHO is the one Universal title that had already been released on Blu-ray previously, and the transfer here is pretty damn good. The image is sharp, there are a lot of fine details to take in. It’s a great way to show off just why the film had the impact it did in 1960.

Unfortunately, THE BIRDS is a bit of an uneven mess. Yes, there are sequences that look great… the colors and the details are enhanced nicely on Blu-ray. But given the amount of special effects shots in the film, a good number of them have not translated well to high definition.

Next to THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, MARNIE is perhaps the biggest disappointment in the collection. The graininess and noise are just out of control in this one. This is another title that is in serious need of a new and improved transfer.

TORN CURTAIN was never one of Hitchcock’s more visually pleasing films. I always felt that it looked quite flat and studio bound. The transfer to Blu-ray captures the essence of the film quite well. It’s a mildly entertaining but minor Hitchcock disappointment, due in part to two terribly miscast stars and one very mediocre script.

The look of TOPAZ always appeared a welcome relief to me after TORN CURTAIN. On TOPAZ Hitchcock opted for much more location shooting and the result was a richer looking film. Like its predecessor, TOPAZ suffers from casting and script issues, but on Blu-ray you are better able to appreciate the look of the film.

FRENZY should have looked much better than it does on Blu-ray. Yet, thankfully, the pre-release issues with the re-done titles that introduced typographical errors have been corrected, and the colors are vividly presented. It’s arguably Hitchcock’s last great film and sadly, it doesn’t look as well as it should.

Now, without question the absolute worst looking transfer in the collection is probably the one that shouldn’t have been, considering it’s the youngest film of the bunch. Simply put, FAMILY PLOT has never looked worse. The film always suffered from that bad 1970s TV look. Like it was a CHARLIE’S ANGELS or ROCKFORD FILES episode. There’s no getting around the look of the era here, but the horrible job on the rear projection in the car sequences is just horrendous to look at. The halos that were always bothersome on DVD have been magnified tenfold on this one. It just may be worth holding onto your DVD for the time being, because the Blu-ray is just embarrassingly bad.

Now with all that said, do I welcome the addition of 13 Hitchcock titles to Blu-ray? Certainly. For the most part, SHADOW OF A DOUBT, REAR WINDOW, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY and VERTIGO look absolutely amazing. So it’s worth getting , but do definitely shop around for the best price. In this case, the UK edition, which is completely compatible in the US, is the better buy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rear Window in 3D?!?

Mock up of the bogus 3D Blu-ray packaging complete with Rear Window binocular cut-out glasses included.

In 1953 while under contract to Warner Bros., Alfred Hitchcock embarked on a screen adaptation of Frederick Knott's stage hit Dial M for Murder. At the same time that he was preparing to film his Warner picture, he began planning Rear Window for Paramount. Both films would be technically challenging for Hitchcock and his production team—the former largely because it was to be filmed in the fad of the day, 3D.

It is interesting to speculate on what was going through Hitchcock's mind at the time. No doubt he knew that Rear Window was going to be much more of a visual tour-de-force, so I posed the question, could it be possible that Hitchcock actually filmed Dial M for Murder in 3D merely to get his feet wet before embarking on the much more challenging film?

While we know this was absolutely not the case, as an April Fool's gag this year I put together a video for some friends and colleagues with the premise that Hitchcock had at one time intended to film Rear Window in 3D but then abadoned the idea. But now, with Hitchcock's "true" intentions  uncovered, a dimensionalized version of Rear Window was in the works. Thankfully, this was not the case...but it almost seemed a plausible idea—plausible enough to get some interesting reactions from friends, and to cause some chatter among a few HD video enthusiasts.
The fabricated letter in Hitchcock's actual handwriting was simply assembled from snippets of correspondence reproduced in Dan Auiler's Hitchcock's Notebooks.

To help sell the idea in the video—which was to take the form of a making-of featurette—I created a letter from Hitchcock to his director of photography Robert Burks using Hitchcock's actual handwriting and merely rearranging key phrases and words to suit the story. I then created some graphics to illustrate the process that was involved in adding dimension to the 2D movie, and finally "dimensionalized" a handful of shots from Rear Window in After Effects. If you've got a 3D monitor and glasses handy, you'll be able to see some 3D footage within the video that starts at 4:19. Set the 3D mode to "Interleaved." Enjoy!

Below is the flat version of the video in case you're unable to view it in 3D.

Another mock-up of the binocular glasses with cyan and red lenses.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hitchcock Perfects His Craft with SABOTAGE

I've always had a fondness for Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage, while being fully aware that it is in many ways the darkest of what has long been known as the classic thriller sextette from the director's British period, that string of films done mostly in collaboration with screenwriter Charles Bennett that includes The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, Secret Agent, Young and Innocent, and The Lady Vanishes. While each of these films has its moment where Hitchcock gets to showcase his visual panache, as well as his understanding that sound too should be used cinematically, it is in Sabotage that Hitchcock really struts his stuff.

In the sense that The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes are generally remembered more fondly, I've often likened Sabotage to The Godfather Part II in that it is generally regarded, by movie-people at least, as the "better" of the first two in the series, while The Godfather is generally speaking the more entertaining movie. Coppola's later effort, like Hitchcock's, is the more technically complex and refined film. In the video above, I discuss some of the techniques that Hitchcock brought to Sabotage and why I regard it as the dark masterwork of his English period.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hitchcock@113, August 13 in NYC

It's hard to believe that thirteen years have passed since what seemed like a year of centenary celebrations for Alfred Hitchcock in 1999. I hope you will come and join me as I mark Hitchcock's 113th at Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

Event Details

Having lived in Westchester County for a good part of my life, I've enjoyed the view of the Palisades, the cliffs that run along the Hudson River, for many years. Whenever I watch Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, there they are, right out the window of the dining car on the Twentieth Century Limited as Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint dance around the idea of her inviting him into her drawing room to spend the night. In this video I visit the Philipse Manor Train Station in Sleepy Hollow, just north of the Tappan Zee Bridge, which can also be seen in the film. It was here that the train makes an unscheduled stop and the New York State Police board in search of United Nations killer Roger Thornhill.