Sunday, October 22, 2006
There's a lot of well-known anecdotes associated with the smooth comedy Mr. and Mrs. Smith such as Alfred Hitchcock directing as a favor to Carole Lombard, Lombard directing Hitchcock in a scene in which he tries to panhandle Montgomery, and Lombard sneaking over to the parking lot and covering Montgomery’s car with FDR bumper stickers and Montgomery painstakingly removing them only to have to do it all over again the next day. One story I wasn’t aware of until I read an excerpt from Donald Spoto’s book The Dark Side of Genius was that Hitchcock altered a scene to include a promise to his wife, Alma, that they would leave for Saint Moritz after filming to celebrate their wedding anniversary--something they hadn’t been able to do for the past seven years. Hitchcock snuck the promise into a scene in which Montgomery, feigning unconsciousness, deliriously mumbles “We’ll go away the first two weeks in December…Playing in the snow, we’ll have a lot of fun…The first two weeks in December, we’ll go away to that ski resort…yes the first two weeks in December.”
I’m having a little trouble imagining Hitch whizzing down those slopes.