Cancelled Movies. Wiki

The Short Night was a film planned by British director Alfred Hitchcock.

The project was originally announced in the late 1960s at the time of Topaz and Hitchcock scouted locations in Finland. A romantic suspense thriller with espionage elements, the script was based on both a same-titled novel by Ronald Kirkbride, and the non-fiction book documenting the case of real-life double agent George Blake titled The Springing of George Blake by Sean Bourke, the motion picture rights to both of which Hitchcock acquired.


Gavin Brand, a double agent, has escaped from London's Wormwood Scrubs Prison. An American named Joe Bailey, brother to one of Brand's victims, is called on by the CIA to kill Brand through finding his family. The objective, as put by CIA chief Zelfand, is to "find the wife and kids, find the husband." Bailey reluctantly accepts the assignment to kill Brand and finally tracks down Brand's family to a private island near Savonlinna in Finland, where they are watched over by Hilda and Olga, two Soviet minders. Bailey and Brand's wife, Carla, develops a romance as he waits patiently for Brand to show up. After they consummate their love, Brand arrives and attempts to kill both Bailey and Carla, leading to her becoming trapped in a gas-styled sauna. Bailey rescues Carla and, with the help of a Finnish police officer, they try to stop Brand making it to the Finnish-Soviet border on a train with his kidnapped children.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. Universal Pictures cancelled the project in 1979, due to the actor's ill health.


  • The film never got beyond the early pre-production stage with such Hitchcock associates as Norman Lloyd, Henry Bumstead and Robert F. Boyle actively involved.