Alfred Hitchcock's "Have You Heard?"

Photography In 1942, at the behest of President Roosevelt, LIFE Magazine printed a photo-story outlining the damage rumours and hearsay could potentially have on the war effort.

 What resulted was a story entitled "Have You Heard? (The Story of Wartime Rumors), the feature carrying Hitchcock’s name is a war thriller in photos, shot by LIFE’s Eliot Elisofon from a plot “suggested by” FDR’s press secretary, Stephen Early, and “directed by” Hitchcock himself."

 From their introduction:
"Have You Heard? is the result of their cooperation in photo-dramatization. A simply sexless story, it shows how patriotic but talkative Americans pass along information, true or false, until finally deadly damage is done to their country’s war effort. One false rumor is silenced by a man who later is unwittingly responsible for starting a true rumor which ends in a great catastrophe. Moral: Keep your mouth shut."
As the modern LIFE contributor notes, parts of it feel very Hitchcockian, some of the still looking like they could be frames from his war time creations. Hitch even has his customary cameo.

Here's a version on DeSlide which is slightly easier to read.

Unsurprisingly, the story still has resonance today, especially on the internets.  You want to be the haberdasher, but you'll inevitably end up being the bridge club member.  As I did the other night when I was saying to myself, "Ben Daniels.  Huh?"

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