The Blackguard (1925, dir. Graham Cutts) Art direction & screenplay by Alfred Hitchcock, who also served as assistant director.

Blackguard1

Behind the scenes of The Blackguard (1925, dir. Graham Cutts) Art direction by Alfred Hitchcock

When Hitchcock arrived on the set of The Blackguard, the great German director F.W. Murnau was filming The Last Laugh nearby on the UFA lot.

Hitchcock either engaged Murnau in conversation, or overheard him tell others: “What you see on the set does not matter. All that matters is what you see on the screen.”

Hitchcock never missed an opportunity to quote this remark, which became a cornerstone of his own approach: The reality didn’t matter if the illusion was effective. He then emulated Murnau by hiring a slew of dwarves to stand far from the camera in The Blackguard, creating an artificial perspective for a crowd scene.

-excerpted from Patrick McGilligan’s Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

Title: BLACKGUARD, THE ¥ Year: 1925 ¥ Dir: CUTTS, GRAHAM ¥ Ref: BLA129AA ¥ Credit: [ GAINSBOROUGH/UFA / THE KOBAL COLLECTION ]

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