Saturday, October 12, 2013

'Buy a day' at South Dakota's Shrine of Hypocrisy

"And One anonymous donor." Read it here.
The National Park Service would have done well to have reached the same conclusion before it dealt with Alfred Hitchcock, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the world of movie-making! Plenty of "expedient exaggerations" surrounded the filming of scenes for Hitchcock's acclaimed thriller North by Northwest at Mount Rushmore in 1958. While the controversy the Mount Rushmore scenes caused appears humorous today, it was, at the time, a serious matter for the officials of the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior and for South Dakota's United States senator Karl E. Mundt. The reason for the controversy lay in one simple fact: master film director Alfred Hitchcock had long wanted to film a movie involving the "Shrine of Democracy," but the Park Service had concerns about the memorials potential "desecration." Like Gutzon Borglum, the artistic genius who had preceded him into the South Dakota wilderness and whose creation he longed to use as a backdrop, Hitchcock would not let the federal government or its minions stop him from achieving his dream. [Todd David Epp, originally published in South Dakota History, vol.23, no. 3, fall 1993, pp. 181-196.]

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