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The novel this play was adapted from, "No Bail For the judge" by Henry Cecil, has an interesting later history.

Alfred Hitchcock had really liked it from reading it in 1954. In the late 50's a script was prepared - using his usual writer Sam Taylor - and everything seemed ready to shoot. Audrey Hepburn agreed to play the lead.

Hitchcock intended it to be a follow-on from his wildly successful "North by North West." It was to to be as fast moving and witty as its predecessor. I suspect that it would have been better. Hitchcock was always more relaxed in Britain - his films here were faster, had more sexual innuendo, more surrealism, were more knowing with their audience, and his characters were more rounded and sharp.

The film ran into problems with the censor. The story is set in the world of prostitution and pimping. On one level it is quite sordid. It involved the heroine - whose father has been wrongfully accused of murder - having to sleep with a pimp to gain evidence from him. Hitchcock always was very strong in his sympathy with his women characters who were central to his films. I imagine the heroine's character and situation would have been similar to Ingrid Bergman's in "Notorious", but with more guts and wit.

The sexual content caused the project to finally be abandoned. The script lies unread and inaccessible in the jealous bowels of Paramount.

Details at:

http://www.writingwithhitchcock.com/nobailforthejudge.html

John Fletcher

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