You have probably heard about the film version of author Stephen Rebello’s marvelous book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, entitled simply Hitchcock. This film will not be released until 2013, but is already garnering buzz for featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hitch, Helen Mirren as Alma Reville Hitchcock, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins (… what, they couldn’t get Andrew Garfield)?
Rebello’s book is a fascinating look at the making of Hitchcock’s most notorious film (oddly, not Notorious), and goes into rich detail about how the 60-year-old director wanted to prove that he could make the scariest film of all time on a shoestring budget, and how he came to cast boyish Tony Perkins as the soon-to-be-infamous Norman Bates. I’m not sure how this nonfiction book will translate to the screen, but I am eager to find out.
For much more about the making of this iconic film, read my article Psycho Babble – The Legacy of Norman Bates.
The other Hitchcock biopic, this one soon to air on HBO, I am definitely NOT eager to see. This one, entitled The Girl, takes place during production of The Birds, and is based on star Tippi Hedren’s allegations of sexual harassment from her famous director. Ms. Hedren made two films for Mr’ Hitchcock, The Birds and Marnie, and has said for years that he “ruined her career.” In 2011, Ms. Hedren told TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz that this career stalling was because she had refused the sexual advances of Mr. Hitchcock.
Whether or not this is true, I do not know. What I do know is no one from Mr. Hitchcock’s camp is around to defend his reputation. And since the whole unsubstantiated thing stinks of desperation and headline grabbing, I will stand by one of my favorite directors.
The Girl, starring Toby Jones as Hitch and Sienna Miller as Ms. Hedren, airs on HBO in October. Though I do not wish to promote it, the film’s trailer – which makes the legendary director look as creepy as one of his own villains – can be found here.
Is this sensationalistic trash and a desperate grasp for attention by an aging actress? Or do Ms. Hedren’s allegations hold water? As I stated, until there is proof of such, I’m in the former camp.
What say you? Sound off below.