In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, 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 (1960), 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)
The film presents several erroneous facts about real life killer Ed Gein:
1. The film opens with Ed Gein killing his brother,Henry with a shovel in 1944; actually, the police investigated Henry Gein's death at the time and found no evidence of foul play- and the official coroner's report states that Henry Gein died of asphyxiation while fighting a fire on his property. While many authors have suggested that Ed murdered his brother (especially after the revelations of Ed's later activities) this has never been proven.
2. At one point, when talking to his secretary, Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) refers to Ed Gein as "the mass murderer from Wisconsin". In reality, there were only two confirmed murder victims of Ed Gein, which, although terrible, hardly constitutes a "mass".
Finally, in the same conversation, Hitchcock refers to Gein as "the boy who dug up his own mother". Although Ed Gein was a proven grave robber- which was and is a terrible crime- there is nothing in historical records of his crimes mentioning- or even suggesting- that he exhumed his own mother's remains. 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 silhouette in a large empty movie theatre before walking out of the shot. This emulates Hitchcock's trademark cameo appearance in most of his films. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Here goes: John J McLaughlin wrote this "Hitchcock" screenplay based on Stephen Rebello's book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho", which was based on the filming of the Psycho screenplay from Joseph Stefano, which was loosely based on Robert Bloch's book, which was based on the real life crimes of Ed Gein. Whew!
It's kind of interesting that Alfred Hitchcock is hot again. His Vertigo recently displaced Citizen Kane as the all-time greatest film. HBO is still running their recent production of "The Girl", which is based on Hitchcock's making of "The Birds" and his unhealthy connection to Tippi Hedren. And now, we get this Hollywood production, supposedly based on the master of suspense. I saw supposedly, because this film plays like it was written by the heirs of Alma Reville, Hitch's long time wife and collaborator. We all knew she worked on his films and contributed ideas, but the film wants you to believe she was the real genius behind the public genius.
The movie is entitled "Hitchcock" and is based on the making of "Psycho", but in fact, it's more the story of Alma and her husband. While there is nothing wrong with that story ... in fact, it is quite interesting and entertaining ... it's just kind of false advertising.
Helen Mirren portrays Alma, and instead of the mousy woman who usually faded into the background, we see a fairly strong and talented woman who goes toe-to-toe with Hitch in her best scene. Sir Anthony Hopkins dons some facial appliances and a fat suit and does a solid job of capturing the odd, creepy, leering, disturbed, insecure genius we recognize as Alfred Hitchcock. He comes across as louder and more in-motion than what we have previously seen. And while director Sacha Gervasi makes it clear that Hitch is not a "normal" guy, he doesn't dwell too much on the blond fixations.
The emphasis on the skills and importance of Alma would be fine were it not so exaggerated. Surely every great director and writer and artist has a muse and/or support system; and, there is no question Alma was a very talented lady, but her strength here bordered on distracting to the overall picture. Especially needless was the storyline of Alma being attracted to screenwriter Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston), who wrote "Strangers on a Train" for Hitchcock.
The Hitchcock humor is allowed to shine through and his battles with Paramount Studio head Barney Balaban (Richard Portnow) and the censorship board (Kurtwood Smith) are excellent. Hopkins finds the humanity under the fat suit and is especially good in his work with Scarlett Johansson (as Janet Leigh) and Jessica Biel (as Vera Miles). I also got a kick out of James D'Arcy as the affected Anthony Perkins and all his quirky mannerisms.
Though this barely qualifies as a story on the making of Psycho, it was chilling to watch the addition of Bernard Herrmann's iconic score added to the shower scene. In fact, Danny Elfman does a nice job of subtly adding a Herrmann-type score to this film. I'm not sure if the film will play well with real Hitchcock aficionados, but if you can forgive the Alma slant, it's actually quite interesting and entertaining and kind of a sweet film at its core.
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