Hitchcock (2012)

When Psycho was released in 1960, some critics observed that the film confirmed the negative influence Alfred Hitchcock's television show had exerted on the master filmmaker. It is therefore somewhat fitting that the closest this biopic comes to capturing the Hitchcock we remember is in its opening and closing sequences when Anthony Hopkins imitates the director's introductions from 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'.

Throughout the rest of the film, despite layers of make-up and a reputation as a skilled mimic, Hopkins' voice and mannerisms permeate his portrayal of Hitchcock. Similarly distracting is a subplot in which Hitchcock suspects his wife of having an affair.

 

The film ends a quote from Hitchcock's acceptance of his Lifetime Acheivement Award, in which he stated that he shared the award, as he had his life, with his wife Alma. It is indicative of the movie as a whole that the filmmakers didn't use a more typical Hitchcockian quote, from earlier in the speech, that better explained the couple's relationship -


"I ask permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor. The second is a scriptwriter. The third is the mother of my daughter, Pat. And the fourth is a fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville"

cast, Anthony Hopkins, Alfred Hitchcock, Scarlett Johansson, Janet Leigh
Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins

as Alfred Hitchcock

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Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

as Alma Reville

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Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson

as Janet Leigh

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Jessica Biel
Jessica Biel

as Vera Miles

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According to Hitchcock biographer Patrick McGilligan, Hitchcock didn't take a mortgage out on his house to finance the movie.


Alma did not go to the studios while Hitchcock was sick at home in bed and direct the scene in which Arbogast goes up the stairs.


At odds with their relationship depicted in the film was Vera Miles' defence of Hitchcock against the allegations in Donald Spoto's book "Dark Side of Genius" -

 

"They were unfactual gossip... I never gave him an interview. What he says about the making of The Wrong Man and Psycho is all wrong. It's the kind of book in which the author waits until a famous man dies and then hits him with what can only be guesses"

Vera Miles

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Clip courtesy of Dimitri Bitu

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