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How Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' Was Almost Named 'Without a Trace'

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood February 1, 2012 at 10:39AM

When Alfred Hitchcock began work on a film adaptation of the French novel, "D'entre les Morts" in the late 1950s, Paramount did not like his selected title: "Vertigo." Studio executives sent the director a list of strongly suggested alternatives that includes a bevy of melodramatic choices:
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vertigo

When Alfred Hitchcock began work on a film adaptation of the French novel, "D'entre les Morts" in the late 1950s, Paramount did not like his selected title: "Vertigo." Studio executives sent the director a list of strongly suggested alternatives that includes a bevy of melodramatic choices:

"Checkmate"
"Afraid to Love"
"Tonight is Ours"
"Dream Without Ending"
"Cry from the Rooftop"
"Shadow and Substance"
"Two Kinds of Women"

Aren't you glad the master of suspense stuck to his gut with "Vertigo"?

The film was recently in the news when star Kim Novak protested the use of Bernard Herrmann's "Vertigo" score for the climax of Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist." She wrote: "I want to report a rape. I feel as if my body -- or, at least my body of work -- has been violated by the movie, 'The Artist.'" Hazanavicius responded gracefully to her lament, praising Herrmann's melancholic score and confirming that his use of the score was homage, not theft.

Read the complete list of recommendations for a "Vertigo" title change on List of Note, a fabulous curatorial website.
 

This article is related to: Michel Hazanavicius, Michel Hazanavicius


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.