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Released shortly after the TV drama
, in which canonised director Alfred Hitchcock is portrayed as little more than a sadistic lech, this more agreeably comic portrayal acts as a salve, if little else. Under a mound of make-up, Anthony Hopkins gleefully plays the man as a stubborn, lugubriously wisecracking old teddy bear whose worst crimes are overeating and petty jealousy. But the film runs no deeper than that. Screenwriter John McLaughlin is surer on the making of
- Hitch's belligerent reaction to the success of
North by Northwest
, self-financed because of studio disinterest and an unhelpful censor - than the unconvincing love triangle also involving Mrs Hitchcock, Alma Reville (a miscast Helen Mirren), and
Strangers on a Train
adapter Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston). Sacha Gervasi, making his narrative directorial debut after rockumentary
Anvil: the Story of Anvil
, struggles to bind the two strands to a misjudged fantasy element in which real-life serial killer Ed Gein becomes Hitchcock's ghoulish confidant. Despite amusing moments and a sprinkling of catnip for film buffs,
is disappointingly inconsequential.
Premiere. Fact-based drama about the making of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The film-maker is forced to fund the controversial project personally in the face of disinterest from the studios, while the financial strain and his lecherous behaviour begin to take their toll on his relationship with wife and creative partner Alma Reville. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.
Cast & Crew
20th Century Fox
Swearing, sexual references.
DVD and Blu-ray
8 Feb 2013
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