During press interviews for Jules et Jim, which opened in the U.S. in May 1962, director Francois Truffaut realized after discussing Alfred Hitchcock with the top U.S. critics that he was not taken seriously. Truffaut wrote Hitchcock to propose a series of in-depth interviews that would cover Hitchcock’s entire career, film by film. The transcripts would eventually become “Hitchcock/Truffaut.”
Truffaut ended his letter to Hitchcock with the following: “If, overnight, the cinema had to do without its soundtrack and become once again a silent art, then many directors would be forced into unemployment, but among the survivors there would be Alfred Hitchcock, and everyone would realize at last that he is the greatest film director in the world.”
“Dear Mr. Truffaut,” replied Hitchcock. “Your letter brought tears to my eyes. And how grateful I am to receive such a tribute from you.” — Excerpt from Kent Jones essay about Truffaut, contained in the Criterion Bluray of The Soft Skin, a Truffaut film I’ve never much cared for.