Movies - TV
The Box Office Flop That Taught Alfred Hitchcock How Important Casting Could Be
By MATT RAINIS
Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most universally acclaimed directors of all time and produced many classic films, so it might be a surprise to learn that he struggled in his early career. The famed director admitted that his “reputation wasn’t very good” then, and he endured several critical and box office disappointments, chief among these being the 1931 film “Rich and Strange.”
The film centers on a married couple living a dull, routine life until they receive a small fortune from an uncle and adopt a luxurious lifestyle before eventually losing it all. Hitchcock blamed the actors for the film flopping, saying, “My mistake with ‘Rich and Strange’ was my failure to make sure that the two leading players would be attractive to the critics and audience alike.”
The director stated that he wasn’t self-critical enough in his early filmmaking, and this lack of analysis of his work led to his lazy casting choices. The film’s failure would lead to the end of Hitchcock’s relationship with British International Pictures; after which, the director came to the United States to make the movies, a move that revived his flailing career.