Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hitchcock: Movie Review.


Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren

Writers: John L. McLaughlin (Screenplay), Stephen Rebello (Book)

Director:Sacha Gervasi

**'s out of four.

The movies of Alfred Hitchcock were full of surprising twists and turns that made them exciting to watch.  He would sometimes even put you inside the minds of some of his villains and have you become worried for them at moments.  When it was announced that they were going to do a biopic about the making of one of his greatest movies ever "Psycho", I got excited.  I have seen a documentary about how difficult it was to get this movie on to the screen, and thought that it would be very nice to see a fictional approach to that story.  Instead the movie "Hitchcock" seems more interested in showing us Alfred's problems with his wife Alma then the making of the movie.

After the success of ""North By Northwest"  Mr. Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) wanted to take a risk and adapt the book based on serial killer Ed Gein to the big screen.  Paramount refused to finance it, so Alfred and his wife had to do it themselves. They made the movie on a very small scale, using only the crew from his television series "Alfred Hitchcock: Presents to help make it.    This type of movie making seems rare in today's big budget blockbuster environment.  I admired the moment when Hitch explains to Alma why he wants to do this one because it seemed to be screaming out for all directors everywhere to take more chances with their films.  The basic set up makes this look like it would be about one guy up against a major studio who refused to give him any help.  Only to have it become one of the most successful movies ever made.   I liked seeing the private moments in Hitchcock's life, but I felt that they overpowered the story more.  If this was a biopic about the man's life that would be great. But this was suppose to be a fictional account on the making of a horror classic, and I felt I never got that.    It should also be noted that several times during the movie.  Alfred has a conversation in his mind with the ghost of Ed Gein.  It's never really explained why it's in there and I feel these moments slowed the movie down.    

There are some great behind the scenes moments of "Psycho" in this, but the most famous one (The Shower Scene) is cut down to a series of quick montages.  Now I understand that they were trying to replicate the quick cutting of that scene but there was a lot more they could have done with it.   It would have been nice as well  to get a little bit more in depth with the actors playing these iconic roles.  I'm not saying that it has to go into great details, but it would have been more interesting  to give them a little bit more of a back story then it did.  Also when behind the scenes footage was shown.  I would have loved to see these actors perform those moments to see how accurate they were to the source original.

This brings me to my biggest praise about the movie and that is it's cast.  Anthony Hopkins channels Hitchcock's personality so very well, and he gets that dry sense of dark humor that he had too.   Helen Mirren is astounding as his wife Alma and her scene where she expresses her frustration with being his wife brought a tear to my eye.   I was a bit skeptical of having Scarlett Johansson play the role of Janet Leigh, but she looks identical to that actress.  Even the scream in the shower scene was convincing even though her sultry low voice did still shine through.   James D'arcy who plays Anthony Perkins was so good, I wished he was in that god awful remake instead of Vince Vaughn.   The actress who played Vera Miles surprised me because I had no idea at first that it was Jessica Beil.  I looked at some still photos of the original actors and their counterparts, and they look very identical.  I give major props to the make up department for working their best in making them look authentic.


If you are a fan of "Psycho" and of Alfred Hitchcock it's worth seeking out.   But I would highly recommend checking out the documentary located on the DVD  because it will give you way more insight into the making of this movie then "Hitchcock" did.


  1. Loved the review. I still think I'll check it out, but now I know what to expect. I wasn't too sure of Scarlett Johanssen either (I don't think she's a very good actress), but I'll give her a chance. Thanks for another great review!

    1. She does look like Janet Leigh so maybe I'm praising it a bit on how she looks but I think her performance is still worth checking out. Thanks for commenting Miss Jolly

  2. Good review Vern. Not a perfect movie, but in terms of entertainment, it's a lot of fun and you could do a lot, a lot worse around this time. Hopkins is great and I think he has some Oscar-buzz going for him, but I also highly doubt he'll be getting a nomination.

    1. I will agree with you that Hopkins will not get a nomination this year. That privlage would go to Helen Mirren instead. Thanks for the comment Dan

  3. Great review! I'm really looking forward to seeing it, Psycho is one of my favorite movies and the trailer for this one looked pretty fun.

    1. Thank you. I still need to see "The Girl" to get a different perspective on Mr. Hitchcock. Thanks for reading Margaret.

  4. I'm a big fan of Hitchock aand "Psycho" so I still plan on seeing this. Though hearing that he ha imaginary conversations with Ed Gein's ghost is rather off-putting. Great review.

    1. They were trying to put a Hitchcock like mystery inside the plot line of this and it fails in my opinion

  5. That's too bad about the level of insight into the making of Psycho. That's really what I was looking for. I'll probably still try to see this when it comes to my area.

    1. Thank You Max. When you see who they cast to be the actors in Psycho. You will scream out that they didn't use them in the remake.

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