Downton Abbey: The Real-Life Hitchcock Saga That Inspired A New Era

In Downton Abbey: A New Era, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) invited a silent film crew to make a film about her large family estate. It’s a confusing arrangement — the movie needs a formidable location, the Crawler Team needs income, and off-screen, viewers need an entertaining storyline they haven’t seen in six seasons and one season. prequel.

But manufacturing under the Crawleys’ roof soon ran into trouble. It was 1928 and the film’s director (Hugh Dancy) received word that the sudden success of “talkie” had essentially rendered his silent project obsolete. With the help of Downton Abbey resident problem solvers and movie buffs, the producer figured out how to make the film a success.

In a Zoom interview with Vanity Fair This week, the franchise executive producer Gareth Neame revealed that part of the plot was taken from his own family history.

“My grandfather, Ronald Neame, on his first film, worked on Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail,Neame said, referring to the 1929 film that is remembered as Britain’s first “talking painting”. “I think he was probably around 16 years old and he was an assistant cameraman. That’s really where this story comes from. Because Blackmail started as a silent painting in 1928. While they were in production, Hitchcock and his producers realized that they would be behind the curve if they were going to release a silent photograph when People are continuing to talk about the photos. “

“So in the half production process, [crew] Neame said.

In Downton Abbey: A New EraOne obstacle to the creation of the walkie-talkie was the leadership of Lady Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock) voice – not nearly as refined or subtle as her looks. This story reflects Blackmail again, where the main woman of the Hitchcock film, Anny Ondra, is Czech. So after shooting Blackmail Completely silent film in London, the producer hired British actor Joan Barry to read Ondra’s lines in front of the camera. (In the 1929 review, New York Times surprised that “Anny Ondra, a Czechoslovak actress… does not speak any notable foreign accents.”)

“In the pristine days of sound, they decided to bring [Barry] Neame said and explained that his great-grandmother, Ivy Close, was one of those silent movie stars whose careers declined with the advent of talkers. “It’s a total transformation of the art form where a lot of people were once screen stars but their careers didn’t flourish.”

Laura Haddock as silent movie star Myrna Dalgleish in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

By Ben Blackall / Focus Features.

In Downton Abbey: A New Era, the actors in the film seem more culturally suited to the downstairs staff than to their aristocratic hosts.

Talking to Vanity Fair In a separate interview, the franchise’s creator Julian Fellowes says that by 1928, films were still despised by the British elite “as a form of working-class entertainment that had taken over the music hall.” Downton Abbey: The Real-Life Hitchcock Saga That Inspired A New Era

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