Original ending 'inserted' back into North By Northwest

Not much in the mood for April Fool’s Day, but I appreciate the effort that went into this one at reel3. What’s more, I’ll bet Hitchcock would’ve loved it. Here’s a place to share links to any other pranks today that made you smile.

In a surprise announcement, Warner Bros. pictures has revealed that the original edit of the climactic scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest has turned up in the studio’s archives. This newly found footage, a far less subtle‚Äîand far more vulgar‚Äîversion of the film’s classic “train entering the tunnel” joke (a visual pun referring to the couple’s sexual activity) existed mostly in film circles as a rumor of mythic purportions. Few have heard of the original ending because it has not only been long lost in the Warner archives, but because the only reference to the footage exists in the first editions of the interview book, Hitchcock/Truffaut (later editions of the book omitted the reference to the original North By Northwest ending because of Hitchcock’s disparaging words about the film’s star, Cary Grant). Because of this, first editions of the book have become a hard-to-find collector’s item. The following exchange regarding the original ending occurs on page 257:

ALFRED HITCHCOCK: George [Tomasini, editor on North By Northwest] and I were carrying on one night in the editing room about how much we loathed that blagger Joseph Breen‚Äîyou know, that Micky Mouse-looking bastard who threatened to censor every great thing we made. I’d had the idea for the climactic scene of the film‚Äîyou know, the train entering the tunnel‚Äîbut George got so fired up talking about Breen that he decided it’d be jolly fun to make the joke even more vulgar. George really wanted to take the piss out of the Production Code. Rub their noses in it.

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