- Summaries (3)
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.
In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his more often than not unheralded collaborator Alma Reville, his wife, are reveling in their latest critical and box-office success: North by Northwest (1959). Some in the business believe Hitch, now at age sixty, should hang up his hat while he is still on top, while the brass at Paramount, to who he is under contract for one more film, just want him to follow NxNW with something in a similar vein to make them money. Hitch, however, wants to stir his creative juices, unlike he has felt he has done with any movie of late. Against the desires of others, including Alma, Hitch is determined that that next project will be a horror movie, specifically an adaptation of a book, that project which will eventually become Psycho (1960). For maximum impact, he wants to buy up whatever existing copies of the book are on the market so that the public will have no idea what to expect with the movie when it's released, and to have the set closed. While Alma does faithfully support Hitch in this endeavor, Barney Balaban, the President at Paramount, and Geoffrey Shurlock with the Censor Board, do not, the former who refuses to finance the movie leading to Hitch needing to find alternate financing or self-finance which would result in financial ruin if the movie does not make money, and the latter threatening not to provide certification over the proposed shower scene. These are only two of the external obstacles beyond some on-set problems, including Hitch's mutual dislike of co-star Vera Miles due to their previous working situations. Through it all, there may be issues at home as Hitch suspects Alma of having an affair with writer Whitfield Cook, who wanted Hitch to use his latest manuscript as the basis for that follow-up to NxNW, while Alma, long having despaired over Hitch's obsessions with his leading ladies, most specifically Grace Kelly, just wants something in her life separate from Hitch.
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