Hitchcock – Directed By Sacha Gervasi

Hitchcock” gives us a stylish and darkly tongue-in-cheek peek at the professional and personal measures Alfred Hitchcock took when he decided to make his film “Psycho”. Even though his last picture “North By Northwest” was a huge success,  in 1959 Studios and backers all turn away when he reveals the grim details of mass murder Ed Gein.


The heavily made up Anthony Hopkins looks more like a caricature of Alfred Hitchcock and his performance reflects this as he stomps around his home and film sets with a charming mix of petulance and genius. Helen Mirren plays his long suffering and supportive wife Alma Reville (they had been married since 1926) with cool level headedness. Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Toni Collette, and James D’Arcy (with a lovely nervous portrayal of “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins) are all very good in the supporting roles.

My favourite supporting performance comes from Michael Winnicot who plays Ed Gein (his ghost haunts Hitchcock as he struggles to make the unwanted film).

The film presupposes you have some knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock and certainly that you have seen “Psycho”.

Taking that into account we are given an entertaining insight into Hitchcock’s character, how much he relied on his wife Alma, his creepy obsessions with his leading ladies and his battles with Studios execs and the censor board. It is fascinating to see how he understood his audiences and the masterful stokes of marketing manipulation he took when the studio decided to open the film in only two cinemas. Of course we see how he really filmed the famous shower scene.

With all his professional problems there is a heavy emphasis on the relationship with Alma and the impact his film-making had on his marriage and vice versa.

Director Sascha Gervasi stretches this  homage beyond the dark humour of the script as he gives the film a distinct feel of Hitchcock’s own style of directing;  engineered frights, close ups of telephones being disconnected etc.

I recommend this for fans of Hollywood, Hitchcock and “Psycho”.


11 responses to “Hitchcock – Directed By Sacha Gervasi

  1. Did you see Toby Jones’s hitchcock; creepy with a capital C

  2. I thought Toby Jones was great, but the script was a bit weak. The real problem I had with it was Sienna Miller. She wasn’t The Girl.

  3. I agree with Liz about Jones – both he, and The Girl, imho gave a far better insight into Hitch and his world. But, truth to tell, I’m not a film “fan” – in the sense I’m actually not all that interested in the bio-pic elements. I want the films to speak for themselves as works of art/entertainment. As the late, great Archibald MacLeish observed [in the context of another art form] “a poem should not mean, but be.”

  4. Good will definitely hunting. Sorry silly twitter film game flash back 🙂

  5. I felt the Toby Jones piece was really gunning for Hitch, trying to debunk that macabre but avuncular personality — like a genial late-night horror host — that he’d achieved on American series television. I haven’t seen the Hopkins yet. But I love both the movies emphasized: THE BIRDS in the former, PSYCHO in the latter.

  6. What did you think of think of the very last line in the movie Ben? 😉

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