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Hitchcock (2012)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 14 December 2012 (USA)
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A love story between the influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho (1960) in 1959.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Whitfield Cook
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Barney Balaban
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Geoffrey Shurlock
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Joseph Stefano
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Hilton Green
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Saul Bass
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind every Psycho is a great woman. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content and thematic material | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 December 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho'  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$287,715 (USA) (21 November 2012)

Gross:

$6,002,708 (USA) (8 March 2013)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helen Mirren, who plays Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville, had also met the real Alfred Hitchcock when he approached her for a part as a murder victim in his penultimate film, Frenzy (1972). Mirren turned down the role, a decision she later regretted. See more »

Goofs

When Hitch is in the meeting with the censors, the stenographer is clearly faking the keystrokes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Henry Gein: It's lucky it didn't reach the house.
Ed Gein: Yeah.
Henry Gein: You know, there's gonna be a lot more jobs at that factory in Milwaukee come June. I could put in a word.
Ed Gein: You can't leave us, Henry. She needs us both.
Henry Gein: 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]
Alfred Hitchcock: Good evening. Well, brother has been killing brother since Cain and Abel, yet even I didn't ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

As Hitch addresses his audience at the end of the picture, he tells us that he is bereft of ideas for his next picture... then a large, black bird lands on his shoulder. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Life of Pi (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Petite Four Four
Written by Peter Robert Vince
Courtesy of APM Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Call me Hitch, drop the ...
5 December 2012 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

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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