Written by J.M. Barrie (best known for penning Peter Pan), Mary Rose opens with a soldier arriving at a desolate, decaying house where he encounters an elderly housekeeper. The housekeeper is alarmed initially, but the soldier explains that his family once lived in the house. As a flashback unfolds, he tells the story of a young girl, Mary Rose, who disappeared for four days during an island vacation with her family. When she reappears, she has no memory of those four days. Years later, she, her husband, and her young son visit the same island and, again, she vanishes. When she reappears--decades later--she has not aged a day and her grown son is now older than her. The shock is more than she can bear and Mary Rose dies from a heart attack. At the conclusion of the flashback, Mary Rose, still a young woman, returns to the house yet again...only to disappear into a white light.
Alfred Hitchcock discussed the possibility of adapting Barrie's play on numerous occasions. The closest he came to realizing the project was in the mid-1960s after Marnie. In an interview with Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock explained: "A few years back it might have seemed like the subject was too irrational for the public. But since then the public has been exposed to these twilight-zone stories, especially on television." Rod Serling influencing Hitchcock's decision to make a movie--who would have thought?
|Playwright-screenwriter Jay Presson Allen.|
|Keir Dullea was in a 2007 Off-|
Broadway production of Mary Rose.
Hitchcock's follow-up to Marnie would turn out to be Torn Curtain, a modest effort that makes this blogger yearn for the Hitch flick that might have been.