Starring Anthony Hopkins as the man himself and Helen Mirren as his wife, Hitchcock (2012) shows the man’s strengths, foibles, and ambition as well as how much he depended on his wife’s knowledge and experience of play-writing and movie-making. Having just completed North By Northwest, Hitchcock becomes obsessed with story of murderer Ed Gein as written in the book by Robert Bloch called Psycho. He is so determined to make this his next movie that when the studio refuses to back it, he mortgages his house, cuts back expenses, and finances it himself for a percentage of the return. When the cast is assembled, he swears them all to secrecy about the ending of the movie, the script of which is still missing the last 11 pages.
This movie reveals Hitchcock as a man continually obsessed with his current leading lady, whoever she might be at the time. His wife, an extremely well-credentialed screenwriter and at one time his boss, is at times his partner in the making of the movie, and at times, a woman left out in the cold who seeks to busy herself in a career of her own, working with a charming but flighty author to convert his book into a screen play. She understands but doesn’t like her husbands obsessions whereas he begins to suspect that she’s having an affair since she’s been keeping her activities under wraps.
During the making of this movie, Hitch has trouble with the studio head, the ratings board, one of his stars, and after the preview for the studio people, he declares his movie stillborn! So he and his wife set out to rescue it with superb editing and when the studio announces they’re going to give it to a limited number of theatres and no advertising, Hitch creates a handbook for the theatre owners which creates such a stir, the theatres are packed and reporters cover the event like it was a Hollywood premier. The film is a huge success. Don’t miss the symbolism at the end when he announces he’s looking for his next movie subject — it’s not too subtle! A superb movie with great performances by Hopkins and Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. * * * * *
Available to watch on Netflix!