Alfred Hitchcock & James Stewart on the set of Rear Window (1954)
[Cary Grant and James Stewart] were as different in their professionalism as in their onscreen personas. While Grant could be a royal pain, fussy and demanding in his approach to a film, Stewart punched into work like a guy carrying a tin lunch box. Stewart was more of a partner, and the Hitchcock-Stewart films were organized as partnerships, with Stewart’s company sharing a percentage of the gross and profits—and risk. As with Rope (1948), Stewart paid himself a reduced salary, taking the chance of making more money on the back end. The director knew from experience that such an arrangement wouldn’t work with Cary Grant, but after Rope, Stewart would be involved in this way in each of his other three films with Hitchcock, from the script stage through to the end of production.
Hitchcock and Stewart had a peculiar friendship; they were intimate but also proper with each other, close but also businesslike. Stewart wasn’t much of a gossiper, a chuckler at dirty stories, or a practical joker. He attended at least one “blue dye” dinner party at Bellagio Road, where Hitchcock served blue martinis, blue steak, and blue potatoes to the guests, but thereafter he was a rarer visitor to the Hitchcock houses, in Bel Air or up in Santa Cruz. (It worked the other way around; Hitchcock visited Stewart, often at his home in Hawaii.)
In meetings or on the set they didn’t talk much. They had more of an unspoken communion, sharing amused glances—like Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock.
-Patrick McGilligan, Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light