In 1956, Hitchcock bought a story called Flamingo Feather from South African author and diplomat Laurens van der Post. The plot involved a Russian scheme to train South Africans for nefarious Communist purposes. When Hitchcock went to South Africa to scout shooting locations, though, the project quickly fell apart. The director wanted Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly as the leads, which would be pricey, and he felt he needed fifty thousand Africans to act as extras. Hitchcock didn’t love the look of the country’s terrain, and it became apparent that even in South Africa it would be tough to get together 50,000 African extras when most of the country’s population worked long hours at farming jobs.