The Girl

The Girl
Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Wide-eyed model Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) can’t believe her luck when she lands the coveted role of Melanie Daniels in Alfred Hitchcock’s follow-up to Psycho, The Birds. “I’ll make you so proud of me,” she trills. “I’ll be putty in your hands.”

Poor Tippi comes to rue the day she uttered those words as Hitch (Toby Jones) is an old perv who develops a fixation on the beautiful, unattainable actress. Writer Gwyneth Hughes’s script doesn’t add much to what has become a well-known, even notorious story — after being rejected repeatedly by Hedren, Hitchcock becomes sadistic towards his star, making sure she’s pecked by real birds and is thoroughly terrified. There isn’t much for Miller to do except look both wooden and frightened, but Toby Jones does an eerily good impersonation of the director. And those birds really are scary.

About this programme

Toby Jones and Sienna Miller star in this one-off drama based on the story of director Alfred Hitchcock's obsession with Tippi Hedren, leading lady of his 1963 thriller The Birds. The film-maker was at the height of his fame when he chose the fashion model to star in his latest production, sculpting her into the perfect blonde of his imagination. But before long, he became determined to win her love, a pursuit that would end in bitter disappointment. Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton co-star.

Cast and crew


Alfred Hitchcock
Toby Jones
Tippi Hedren
Sienna Miller
Alma Hitchcock
Imelda Staunton
Peggy Robertson
Penelope Wilton
Jim Brown
Carl Beukes
Evan Hunter
Conrad Kemp
Angelina Ingpen
Josephine Milton
Candice D'Arcy
Rita Riggs
Kate Tilley
Ray Berwick
Leon Clingman
Bob Boyle
Patrick Lyster
Maitre 'd
Aubrey Shelton


Julian Jarrold
Executive Producer
Leanne Klein
Executive Producer
Lucy Richer
Amanda Jenks
Gwyneth Hughes