Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Movie Review: Hitchcock

The movie Hitchcock tries to tell the story of the making of the movie Psycho along with two other stories, but fails to tell any of them well.

The story of the famous "Hitchcock Blondes" started, largely, with Grace Kelly about eight movies earlier, and climaxed with Tippi Hedren two movies after Psycho, leaving this story with neither a beginning nor an end. The female lead of Psycho was Janet Leigh, who had no problem with Alfred Hitchcock, and in support was Vera Miles, whose problem with him was over.

So the story of Hitchcock's marriage is reduced to his wife's admittedly fascinating work with him on every aspect of movie making, from initial idea, through screenwriting, to directing and editing. But she gets slighted in favor of a story that this movie's chronology will not allow to be told.

And the also fascinating story of Paramount Studio's resistance to the making of Psycho lacks detail and is limited largely to problems of censoring the infamous shower scene and the initial love scene, which stories lack visual detail and are somewhat inaccurate, as shot analyses of Psycho have proved.

All of which are less important than the grotesque face the makeup people have imposed on Anthony Hopkins, who looks like himself with a serious case of mumps. Alfred Hitchcock had an elfin charm in his face, which had an element of chubby humor and did not look scarred. Even Hopkins' impressive acting ability cannot get through the disfigurement.

Helen Mirren inherits what remains of Hitchcock, which is historically fascinating but a little static. There is some interesting comment on studio censorship and some mystery about why Hitchcock had so much trouble financing his movie. But, chiefly, Hitchcock is a lost opportunity.