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Jack Trevor Story

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  • Jack Trevor Story

    Jack Trevor Story, who wrote The Trouble With Harry, filmed by Hitchcock and very faithfully capturing the tone of the book (though
    notoriously only paying Story a hundred pounds for the rights), is
    back with his old exploiter! Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine for March 2005 has reprinted Fame For Ferdinand, which first appeared in London Mystery Magazine, 1950. It's a neat little tale, typical of Story, and I recommend it. We can hope this is the start of something and we'll see more Story stories appearing in future. AHMM is published by Dell and their website is at www.themysteryplace.com

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses


  • #2
    This is good news.

    Any chance that Story's books will come back into print in the U.S. ?

    LSN

    Comment


    • #3
      I have an idea about getting The Trouble With Harry back into print in the US and maybe the Live Now, Pay Later series. The problem with his gentle humour is that many people don't get it -- as the movie proved. It was the only Hitchcock Hollywood movie that 'bombed'. Though much admired now. We have to remember that Wizard of Oz didn't do that well when it first came out, either...

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

      Comment


      • #4
        The Trouble With Harry film was also out of circulation for many years because of rights problems, only being seen again in the 1980s. Savoy did a nice set of reprints of some of Jack Trevor Story's books. I did like the Savoy titles, including those of your books.
        'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

        Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't know what the rights problems were. Certainly not on Jack's part. He never got another penny. Hitchcock had promised him that he'd buy his next book (a typical ploy, sadly, of the great man) and Jack sent it to him. Hearing nothing, he discovered that Hitch was boarding a boat train for France from Victoria Station, London. He got down to the station before the train left and jumped aboard as it pulled out. He walked along the corridor looking for Hitchcock, found him, and entered the compartment, brandishing his new book. Hitchcock's heavies seized him and dumped him off the train at Balham... That was when Jack realised he'd been duped.
          Yes, Savoy still have SOME of those books for sale, as I recall. And there was a Leveret Press edition of Trouble With Harry issued shortly before Jack died. But nothing now in print. Definitely should be. It's as charming now as when it was written.

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            The rights problems were actually to do with Hitchcock's estate or the distributors I think. There were a number of films including Harry, Rear Window and Vertigo that just weren't available to be seen at all until the 80s, certainly in the UK. I'm not sure if it was a worldwide thing or not.
            'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

            Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

            Comment


            • #7
              Good to hear about the JTS story coming back into print. Hope they get loads of positive feedback on it.

              As Mr M knows I am a big JTS fan and anyone else who wants to know a bit more about him is welcome to drop by my web site (click button below).

              I’d be over the moon if some of his books came back into print, but I think the prospects are slim, as Mike has said. However they are easy to get hold of on ABE and occasionally come up at reasonable prices on eBay.

              I have a few spare copies which I would happily release to Miscellanists if they wish to make suitable donations to the site’s chosen charities or the Disasters Emergency Committee.

              I think the Hitchcock film of The Trouble With Harry was actually withdrawn at Hitchcock’s own request along with a few others; 4 or 5 in total. (Bit like Kubrick refusing to have Clockwork Orange shown in Britain, but for different reasons, one assumes.) All these “lost� Hitchcock’s were re-released on DVD a few years back. I suspect the prospects of DVD profits helped the estate decide they could now be freed up from the old fella’s no-show policy. That’s the way I remember the story, anyway. I’ll try to find a link to a more authoritative account.

              BTW there is one more alleged link between JTS and the rotund film director; the Making Of documentary on the Harry DVD credits Jack Trevor Story with appearing in a Hitchcock movie made in 1928. I don’t know if this was one of Hitchcock’s famous wind-ups. JTS was 11 years old at the time. The actor’s name was actually Jack Trevor.

              Comment


              • #8
                Here are three quotes from different websites which seem to sum up the “lost Hitchcock films� story:
                ----------

                Vertigo is one of the famous Five Lost Hitchcock movies. What are they? Well, Hitchcock bought back the rights to the films, and then willed them to his daughter. They weren't re-released until 1984. The others are "Man Who Knew Too Much," "Rear Window," "Rope" and "Trouble with Harry."

                -----------

                First released in 1954, “Rear Window� was Hitchcock’s 40th film and his final and most successful one-set film. The film was one of five “lost� Hitchcock films that were unavailable for nearly 30 years due to a film rights dispute. Rereleased in 1983, the film was nearly lost forever due to physical deterioration. In 1995, a restoration project was undertaken and after three painstaking years of work, in 1998, the film once again became available.

                -----------

                Fifteen years after Rear Window enjoyed a mini-revival along with four other "long-lost" Hitchcock treasures–Vertigo, Rope, The Trouble with Harry, and the remake of his own The Man Who Knew Too Much (the one in which Doris Day warbles Que Sera, Sera)–the director's most accomplished film returns to theaters in a fully-restored print.

                ------------

                So, for unknown reasons, Hitchcock effectively suppressed the films by buying back the rights. Then, after being re-released in 1983/84, some (or maybe all 5) of the films suffered from defects in deteriorating film prints, which meant they had either no video/DVD releases, or very limited/poor versions were put out, until the 1998 “restored print� versions were re-released. I recall at that time some or all of them were shown at cinemas again in London, once again grouped together as the "lost Hitchcocks".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, Guy, you beat me to it! Here's a link to an Australian DVD review of a Hitchcock set, including some of the supressed films, which mentions that Hitch intended the films as an heirloom to his daughter. I remember them being re-released in the cinema in the mid 80s with much fanfare. The link includes a review of the Harry DVD:

                  http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1169

                  Great Jack Trevor Story site, by the way, Guy. For those here who haven't visited it, I'll just mention that there's a reprint of MM's article on Sexton Blake that first appeared in the Sexton Blake Library. I won't link to it, I'll let people explore the site and find it for themselves via the www button on your postings. It's not too hard to find though!
                  'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                  Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Excellent link re: Hitchcock, Aral.

                    Still don’t get the “buying back the rights� thing. If it was as a present to his daughter, why suppress all showings of the films for years? She would have made more money if the films had been shown. There’s more to it.

                    And the films, of course, by languishing unshown (un-reprinted) deteriorated in their cans to the point where thousands of dollars had to be spent restoring them. Bad move, Hitch!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jack Trevor Story

                      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                      Jack Trevor Story, who wrote The Trouble With Harry, filmed by Hitchcock and very faithfully capturing the tone of the book (though
                      notoriously only paying Story a hundred pounds for the rights), is
                      back with his old exploiter!
                      I never saw this before today, but the booklet with my DVD version of the film says Hitchcock bought the rights for $11,000. I've also seen this quoted on the net.

                      Possibly a typo for $110.00 ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've been reading up on this. Hitchcock appears to have been very crafty in buying book rights for his films, putting in 'blind bids' where the identity of the buyer isn't disclosed to the author or his agent. Donald Spoto's biography of Hitchcock gives an $11,000 figure for the Harry rights, but if this is a true figure he seems to have been positively blessed compared to Robert Bloch when he bought Psycho. In his autobiography Bloch said Hitchcock's original bid for the book was $5000. Bloch refused and held out for more, in the end getting $9500. After his publisher, agent and the taxman had their share Bloch claims he ended up with $6250!
                        'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                        Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, Jack reckoned he got 99 pounds. Could be that his publisher, Boardman I think, screwed him out of the rest. Wouldn't be the first time. Jack tended to get screwed by publishers a lot. $11,000 would have been about L3,500 at the rate of exchange back then, which would have been a substantial amount of money. Two years salary of a professional person. I suppose Jack would have remembered if he'd had that much and wouldn't have complained. After all, Tolkien thought ten thousand pounds was a fair price for LOTR in the sixties. I didn't get much more than that for Final Programme in the late sixties.

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                          Comment

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