"You shouldn't wait until half way through. Kill her after thirty minutes."Hitchcock
— Alma Reville Hitchcock
is a 2012 biographical film by Sacha Gervasi about none other than Alfred Hitchcock
, one of the most prominent film directors of the 20th century, and stars Anthony Hopkins
as the title role and Helen Mirren
as Hitchcock's wife Alma. Hitchcock
revolves around the creation of one of Hitch's most prominent works, Psycho
from its inception as a titillating book he is reading to watching the first theater goers scream in fright at the infamous shower scene.
The film also deals with his relationship with his wife Alma, their struggles with each other and the occasionally petty jealousies that can drive them apart. The film does justice to them as a great couple though and shows their ability to work together to create great works, as well as their ability to work apart and create, not so great works.
This Film Contains Examples Of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Alfred Hitchcock puts the decayed corpse prop used as Mrs. Bates in Janet Leigh's room. Janet screamed and ran out of her room, demanding an explanation from Hitchcock. "I hope you don't mind. Mrs. Bates asked if she could take a nap in your room. I told her that would be fine." Despite the fact that Janet still looked rather mad, we see her grin a little and roll her eyes before she walks off, suggesting this trope.
- Adaptation Displacement: An unusually literal version in-universe, as Hitchcock tries to buy up every available copy of Robert Bloch's novel.
- Book Ends: The film starts and ends with Hitchcock speaking directly to the audience about a production he will soon start on.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Hitchcock will occasionally speak directly to the audience as he was known to do in real life. The Book Ends are the most direct example.
- Control Freak: Hitch. It's why Vera Miles opted for marriage and motherhood.
- Deadpan Snarker: Hitch, of course! It was one of his trademarks in real life! Alma is also great at this.
Hitchcock: I'll never be able to find a Hitchcock blonde as beautiful as you.
Alma: I've waited thirty years to hear you say that.
Hitchcock: And that, my dear, is why they call me the Master of Suspense.
- Did They or Didn't They?: Alma and Whitfield go off to work on a story at his beach house, Hitchcock accuses them of having an affair, to which she responds by attacking him for putting her in that situation, but never denies the affair.
- Truth in Television: Both Alma and Whitfield would, after Hitchcock's death, admit that they did in fact have a brief affair during the production of Psycho.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Discussed while editing the film as Alma notices a bit of nudity in a few frames of the shower scene.
- Also this Stealth Pun when Anthony Perkins insists on referring to Hitch as "Mr. Hitchcock":
You may call me Hitch. Hold the Cock.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Hitchcock's investment pitch includes graphic photographs of Ed Gein's victims, or what remains of them. We never get a good look at what's in the photographs.
- Hard Work Montage: The film editing sequence.
- The Hays Code: Censors almost refuse to certify Psycho, which would have left the film unviewable in the United States.
- Oedipus Complex: Noted by many male characters brought into the Psycho production.
- The Peeping Tom: It shows up constantly as a theme for Hitchock himself.
- A small hole in the trailer walls allows Hitchcock to do this to his female starlets.
- Prima Donna Director: Arguably applies to Hitchcock.
- Psycho Strings: Hitchcock initially rejects them, then changes his mind when he realizes how effective they are.
- Sanity Slippage: Happens to Hitch as he suffers from some Hallucinations as his stress level increases during the filming and due to the perceived infidelity of Alma.
- Shout-Out: The Book Ends, as well as the closing credits music, reference Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- A scene where Hitchcock is silhouetted on a door also references the series.
- A non-Hitchcock example has Hitch needling the financiers by saying the finger cakes are actually fingers. Charming, Dr. Lecter....
- Sleeping Single: Hitchcock and Alma, who are also in a Sexless Marriage.
- Stalker with a Crush: Vera Miles (Jessica Biel) accuses Hitchcock of being one.
- The One That Got Away: Grace Kelly's marriage and abandoning of acting has cast a long shadow over Hitch's movies and his marriage.
- Trailers Always Lie: The trailer makes it seem as though Alma suggests killing off Janet Leigh's character midway through the film as a grudge against Leigh herself. Not only is that not the case, but also Alma carefully compliments Leigh at the end on her "professional" behavior—that is, on her ability to resist Hitchcock's attempts to seduce her.
- Transparent Closet: In-Universe, Anthony Perkins is relatively commonly known to be homosexual. In Real Life this claim is a... contentious subject. And that's all that need be said on that front.
- Weight Woe: Hitchcock is on a perpetual diet, alternating with bouts of binge eating when under stress.
- What Could Have Been: An In-Universe example: Hitch turns down Ian Fleming's Casino Royale. He could have been the first director of the James Bond series.
- Your Cheating Heart: Hitchcock and Alma are both thinking about it, although neither has much success. Whitfield, by contrast, cheats on both his wife and on Alma.