Happy Birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright! One of the most influential architects in history, Wright undoubtably had an impact on Hollywood. A famous example of Wright’s presence in cinema is Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST.
Hitchcock knew he wanted a Modernist house like one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs for one of the settings of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, but he couldn’t afford Wright’s fee.
So Hitchcock decided to build a house that looked like one Wright would have designed. Since the top of Mt. Rushmore was too fragile to build on, Hitchcock’s team built what came to be known as The Vandamm House off-site.
The exterior was a matte painting, a pre-digital effect when a real set or location was combined with a painting, and the interior was created on a soundstage. Certain shots would blend the sets together with special effects to create the illusion that the house was real.