The Corner

Location location location

Kathryn noted this goofy exchange yesterday:

[Obama] did express curiosity about the filming of a chase scene in “North by Northwest,” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint that included a death-defying scramble over Rushmore’s presidential faces.

“How did they get up there in the first place?” he asked ranger Wesley Jensen.

“They didn’t. It was a movie set,” Jensen told him.

Now details are emerging of some of Senator Obama’s other questions about the movies.

For some reason, the candidate’s interest in the technical difficulties of getting Eva Marie Saint up on Teddy Roosevelt’s mustache reminded me of Steve Martin paying tribute to Singin’ In The Rain at an American Film Institute gala a few years back. As Steve told it:

It was the early Fifties. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen were directing a film, so I dropped by to see my pals. They were very glum, and I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ And they said, ‘This damn weather! We can’t get this number shot!’ I sat there in the rain for a minute and said, ‘Why don’t you shoot it anyway?’. . .

Well, the rain kept up and Stanley said, ‘What the heck, we’ll do what Steve said. . . Just get this lamp-post outta here and we’ll be ready to go.’

I said, ‘Leave the lamp-post.’ Gene said, ‘Steve, what’ll I do when I get to the lamp-post?’ I said, ‘Swing around it a coupla times and make like it’s a big deal.’ The rest is history.

“Mr Hitchcock, you know that location shoot? There seems to be some sort of giant stone face round the back of James Mason’s pad.”

“What the hell. Cover it with plastic trees… No, wait…”

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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