Anyone who is a fan of either Alfred Hitchcock or François Truffaut will have at one point at least heard of the legendary series of interviews that took place between the two in 1962. Truffaut, a great admirer of Hitchcock’s work, sat down with the master and conducted half-hour interview sessions that covered nearly the entirety of his films and his filmmaking strategies. Helen Scott of New York’s French Film Office acted as a translator between the two, as Truffaut’s English skills were limited. She would become a great friend to the French filmmaker and assisted him with his only English language film, 1966’s Fahrenheit 451.
The result of those interview sessions was the book simply titled Hitchcock, with Truffaut credited as its author (Scott assisted in the publication of the American edition). It has been available since 1967 and revised to include Hitchcock’s later films following the interviews, but the audio recordings themselves have been less accessible to current film buffs – until recently. The blog If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats, run by Tom Sutpen, first made the recordings available for download starting in 2006. Earlier this past week, they unexpectedly re-surfaced online, and now the entirety of the sessions can be downloaded in one zip file – provided here for your convenience.
As for the recordings themselves? Well, in terms of pure content, there’s nothing new if you’ve already read the book. But (judging from the first few segments I’ve listened to so far) it’s wonderful to actually hear Hitchcock, Truffaut and Scott conversing and sharing the occasional burst of laughter from humorous anecdotes and jokes that arise throughout the discussion. Hitchcock speaks in his patented slow, almost leisurely manner, while it is quite easy to hear some enthusiasm in Truffaut’s voice as he asks his questions and provides his own observations – let’s not forget Truffaut was, first and foremost, a film geek like so many others who hold that particular torch high today. Hopefully, some of them will draw some delight from discovering this treasure of film history for themselves.
Story info and links to audio recordings courtesy of FilmDetail.