In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, are at the top of their creative game as filmmakers amid disquieting insinuations about it being time to retire. To recapture his youth's artistic daring, Alfred decides his next film will adapt the lurid horror novel, Psycho, over everyone's misgivings. Unfortunately, as Alfred self-finances and labors on this film, Alma finally loses patience with his roving eye and controlling habits with his actresses. When an ambitious friend lures her to collaborate on a work of their own, the resulting marital tension colors Alfred's work even as the novel's inspiration haunts his dreams. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Although many reviewers criticized the film for inventing an intimate relationship between Alma Reville and Whitfield Cook, the facts are documented by more than one Hitchcock scholar, as exemplified by Patrick McGilligan in his biography of Alfred Hitchcock. That writer accessed Cook's private diaries available in the screenwriter/playwright/author's papers donated to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston, Massachusetts. See more »
While Hitch is in the middle of a chapter of "Psycho", Alma takes the book from him. He takes it back but continues reading from the beginning of another chapter. See more »
It's lucky it didn't reach the house.
You know, there's gonna be a lot more jobs at that factory in Milwaukee come June. I could put in a word.
You can't leave us, Henry. She needs us both.
Can you stop being a mama's boy for one second? I'm not trying to hurt you, but Jesus, you gotta live your own life sometime. That woman can take care of her own god...
[Ed hits Henry with a shovel]
Good evening. Well, brother has been killing brother since Cain and Abel, yet even I didn't ...
[...] See more »
After the end credits, there is a brief shot of Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock standing in profile in a large empty movie theatre. See more »
Finding the intersection between romance, comedy and horror in a Hitchcock biopic
"Hitchcock" is a mix between a Hitchcockian thriller, a comedy, a biopic, and a romantic drama. And I'm pretty sure that explains the negative reactions to the film. I agree that it's a strange mix but it works with what they are going for. Wanting to focus on the marriage between Alma Reville and Alfred Hitchcock, a romantic biopic can be dry, so staying true to the spirit of the legendary director, the film throws in some wry humour and frames it all with the tone of a thriller.
It's 1950 and Alfred Hitchcock wants to make "Pyscho". Studios are wary, his wife is losing patience, and the battle to get it made could be worse than the subject matter. His long-time actress, Vera Miles (Jessica Biel), is being relegated to supporting status and isn't happy about the lack of respect from Hitchcock. Meanwhile, Hitchcock is ready to cast his new film and is going to turn Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johnasson) into a star. One would assume his wife would feel maligned from that, but she's off trying to forge her own career with screenwriter Whitfield Cook who Hitchcock thinks is a hack.
The film's main purpose appears to just be entertaining. Which is all good, but the rather poor reception is because it could have used some depth into the interesting inner-workings of Hitchcock. At times it comes off as a superficial caricature but the man was a legend because there was so much more to him. Anthony Hopkins appeared to be exactly like Hitchcock both physically and linguistically. He got his sly and comedic mannerisms and phrasing perfect. Which fits the entertaining and humorous frame for the picture.
Personally, I think director Sacha Gervasi used the right cues to make it feel like a Hitchcockian thriller. Throwing in references of his desire for the gruesome, throwing in references to "The Birds", and making us think there might be a wicked twist coming. The twist is just that "Hitchock" could be just a comedy the material is ripe for that.
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