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The Times (29/May/1972) - Letters to the Editor: Hitchcock's "Frenzy"

 

(c) The Times (29/May/1972)


Letters to the Editor

Hitchcock's "Frenzy", from Mr Arthur La Bern

Sir, I wish I could share John Russell Taylor's enthusiasm for Hitchcock's distasteful film, Frenzy (review, May 24). I endured 116 minutes of it at a press showing and it was, at least to me, a most painful experience.

I do speak with some authority on this subject. It so happens that I am the author of the novel, Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square, on which the film was based.

Mr Hitchcock employed Mr Shaffer to adapt my book for the screen, apparently because of the latter's successful stage play, Sleuth.

The result on the screen is appalling. The dialogue is a curious amalgam of an old Aldwych farce, Dixon of Dock Green and that almost forgotten No Hiding Place. I would like to ask Mr Hitchcock and Mr Shaffer what happened between book and script to the authentic London characters I created.

Finally : I wish to dissociate myself with Mr Shaffer's grotesque misrepresentation of Scotland Yard offices.

Yours, etc,
ARTHUR LA BERN,
7 Russell Court,
St James's, SW1.