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Tag: Alfred hitchcock

The silver screen, the stylish paperwork

Declaration of intent of Errol Flynn (021-05-011)

Declaration of intent of Errol Flynn (021-05-011)

Errol Flynn may not have changed his name to become a famous movie actor, but his declaration of intention (a form that starts the process to being naturalized as a U.S. citizen) is surprisingly complex. In 1938, he listed four countries and two nationalities on one form.

Flynn was born in Australia, but on his form he gives his race as Irish and his nationality as British. His wife Liliane was born in France, and he crossed the border from Mexico into the United States on foot (a common method of emigration for Hollywood stars who had previously lived in the U.S. under a foreign visa, and who did not want to return to their home countries after the visa expired).

Many other Hollywood declarations of intention are equally complicated: Peter Lorre gives his race as Magyar, his nationality as “Hungary,” and his birthplace as Czechoslavakia. He married his Austrian wife in England and took a ship from France to the United States.

Errol Flynn did become a U.S. citizen in 1942, four years after filling out his declaration of intention. He attempted to join the U.S. military to serve in World War II, but health problems rendered him ineligible.

The National Archives at Riverside holds the naturalization paperwork for many Hollywood stars. Usually these files contain a … [ Read all ]

Mother–she isn’t quite herself today

Petition for Naturalization - Alfred Hitchcock

Petition for Naturalization - Alfred Hitchcock (RG 21, National Archives Pacific Region, Riverside)

Few individuals had a more, ah, peculiar relationship with their mother than Norman Bates in the movie Psycho, which premiered 50 years ago today in New York City. The movie was a one-of-a-kind in terms of suspense and shock, but it was just another in an illustrious career of one man: Alfred Hitchcock.

The Englishman was first lawfully admitted for permanent residence in 1939 and petitioned for US citizenship at the ripe age of 55, information that is preserved in the documents of the National Archives.

The writer and director is often lauded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, having produced over 50 feature films in a career spanning over half a century.  Of his films, many have left an indelible mark on his adopted home country: whether it’s making us look over our shoulders in hotel showers or dodging planes in the Midwest.

All in all, Sir Alfred led a career that any mother would be proud of, save perhaps one.

What’s your favorite Hitchcock movie moment?… [ Read all ]