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I Confess (1953) Poster

(1953)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (1)
In his interview with François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock said he was so impressed with the performance of Anita Björk in Miss Julie (1951) that he hired her for this movie. However, when she arrived in Hollywood, Bjork brought her lover, writer Stig Dagerman, and their baby daughter. Since they were not married, Warner Bros. insisted that Hitchcock find another actress for the role of Ruth Grandfort, in this case Anne Baxter.
Montgomery Clift drank during the shooting and his eyes appear glazed during the ferry scene. Alfred Hitchcock was a very non-confrontational director and delegated an assistant director and Karl Malden to talk to the actor about it.
Dolly Haas played Alma Keller in this film. Haas was selected to play "Alma" Keller, because of her physical resemblance to Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville.
The film is based on the 1902 play "Nos deux consciences" by Paul Anthelme, but little is known about any production of the play. Anthelme was a journalist who also wrote under the name Paul Bourde.
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Alfred Hitchcock considered James Stewart for the lead role.
Was shot in Quebec City in Quebec, Canada
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Alfred Hitchcock, as was his custom, created detailed storyboards for each scene. He could not understand Montgomery Clift's Method acting technique and quickly became frustrated with Clift when he blew take after take for failing to follow Hitchcock's instructions.
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Alfred Hitchcock told a New York Times reporter in August 1952, that he chose that city for the filming because "in no American city do you find a priest walking down the street in a cassock."
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Alfred Hitchcock offered Cary Grant the lead role, but he turned it down.
The film had one of the longest "preproductions" of any Alfred Hitchcock film, with almost 12 writers working on the script for Hitchcock over an eight-year period. (Hitchcock had taken time off for the wedding of his daughter Patricia Hitchcock in 1951, and Hitchcock was in the midst of dissolving his partnership in Transatlantic Pictures with Sidney Bernstein.)
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The film was banned in the Irish Republic because it showed a priest having a relationship with a woman (even though, in the film, the relationship takes place before the character becomes a priest).
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According to Peter Bogdanovich, the film as a favourite among French New Wave film makers.
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Cognizant of the difficulty non-Catholics would have in understanding the priest's reluctance to expose Keller, Alfred Hitchcock said, "We Catholics know that a priest cannot disclose the secret of the confessional, but the Protestants, the atheists, and the agnostics all say, 'Ridiculous! No man would remain silent and sacrifice his life for such a thing.'"
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Walking through the town, Fr. Logan passes in front of a cinema showing The Enforcer (1951).
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Alfred Hitchcock suggested Laurence Olivier for the lead role, but he was overruled by Warner Bros.
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Alfred Hitchcock, who was reared a Catholic, had expressed interest in filming the story as early as the 1930s. In 1948, according to a modern source, Hitchcock and his wife Alma Hitchock wrote a treatment of the play, and a May 1948 Hollywood Citizen-News news item announced that Van Johnson would play the part of the priest. Thereafter, at least three other writers, William Rose, Leslie Storms and Paul Vincent, worked on drafts of the script, and Hitchcock and his wife Alma tried unsuccessfully to interest both Graham Greene and Samson Raphaelson in the project.
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Features a poster of Humphrey Bogart's The Enforcer which was released two years earlier.
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Alfred Hitchcock was disappointed by the lukewarm reception of I Confess, and later judged it to be heavy-handed and lacking his usual humour and subtlety.
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Alfred Hitchcock wanted Olivia de Havilland to play Ruth Grandfort, but the role became minimized, so a star of her stature was not required.
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Alma Keller was named after Alfred Hitchcock's wife.
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In a June 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, the assignment of John Beckman as art director was reported; however, only Ted Haworth is listed onscreen.
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This marked German actress Dolly Haas's only American film.
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Although William Archibald and George Tabori, who are credited onscreen, were hired to collaborate on the script, Barbara Keon, who is listed onscreen as production associate, worked with Alfred Hitchcock on some of the difficult scenes.
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In the 1953 French-dubbed version, the Montgomery Clift character is called 'Marcel' instead of 'Michael'.
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Alfred Hitchcock considered Suzanne Cloutier or Ursula Thiess for the female lead.
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Director Cameo 

Alfred Hitchcock: crossing the top of a staircase during the opening sequence.

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the original play, the priest and his lover had an illegitimate baby and the priest was hanged at the end. These elements had to be eliminated to avoid the wrath of the censor.

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