In Stephen Schochet’s 2001 audio book Tales of Hollywood, Hitchcock’s morning routine was said to have been “upset by an uninvited young man hovering around [his] movie set”.
It’s claimed that Hitchcock called a crew member to have the man removed. According to Schochet, it was Spielberg, who had also tried to meet him on the set of Torn Curtain 10 years earlier.
Years later, the idea that Hitchcock swerved an encounter with Spielberg was corroborated by actor Bruce Dern, who appeared in Marnie as well as Family Plot.
In his 2014 memoir, Things I’ve Said, But Probably Shouldn’t Have, Dern recalls attempting to convince Hitchcock to introduce himself to Spielberg.
“I said, ‘You’re his idol. He just [wants] to sit at your feet for five minutes and chat with you’, Dern wrote, stating that Hitchcock flat out refused – and explained his reason why.
“He said, ‘Isn’t that the boy who made the fish movie? I could never sit down and talk to him ... because I look at him and feel like such a whore’.”
Dern continued: “I said, ‘Why do you feel Spielberg makes you a whore?’ Hitch said, ‘Because I’m the voice of the Jaws ride [at the Universal Studios theme park]. They paid me a million dollars. And I took it and I did it. I’m such a whore. I can’t sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie. I couldn’t even touch his hand.”
While Hitchcock – known as the Master of Suspense – was was the third-biggest investor in Universal Studios, there seems to be no record of his narration as part of the Jaws ride.
However, it might have been possible that Hitchcock was referring to a trailer he filmed for the Universal Studios Tour Hollywood, which featured snippets from the Jaws ride.