January 11th, 2013, by Rob


Hitchcock

Hitchcock is a 2012 American biographical drama film directed by Sacha Gervasi and based on Stephen Rebello’s non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The film was released in selected cities on November 23, 2012, with a worldwide release on December 14, 2012.

Hitchcock centers on the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the making of Psycho, a controversial horror film that subsequently became one of the most acclaimed and influential works in the filmmaker’s career.

 

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Movie2k Watch Movies – Hitchcock – Plot

In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock opens his latest film, North by Northwest, to considerable success, but is troubled by a reporter’s insinuation that it is time to retire. Seeking to reclaim the artistic daring of his youth, Alfred turns down film proposals like adapting Casino Royale in favor of a lurid horror novel called Psycho by Robert Bloch, which is based on the crimes of the serial killer, Ed Gein.

Alfred’s wife and artistic collaborator, Alma, is no more enthusiastic about the idea than his appalled colleagues, especially since she is being lobbied by their writer friend, Whitfield Cook, to look at his own screenplay. However, she warms to Alfred’s proposal, suggesting the innovative plot turn of killing the female lead early in the film. The studio heads prove more difficult to persuade, forcing Alfred to finance the film personally and use his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television crew to produce the film.

However, the pressures of this self-financed production, such as dealing with Geoffrey Shurlock of the Motion Picture Production Code, and Hitchcock’s notorious lecherous habits, such as when they confer with the female lead, Janet Leigh, annoy Alma beyond endurance. To find a release, Alma begins a personal writing collaboration with Whitfield on his screenplay at his beach house without Alfred’s knowledge. Alfred eventually discovers his wife’s activity and suspects of her of having an affair. This concern affects Alfred’s work on the film, such as giving Psycho’s famous shower scene particularly ferocious ambiance even as he imagines Gein speaking to him.

Despite this tension, Alma’s loyalty is such that she personally takes over production of his film when Alfred is temporarily bedridden after collapsing from overwork. Despite this, Alfred eventually confronts Alma and questions her activities with Whitfield. Alma, profoundly insulted at being accused of adultery after all her work with her husband, angrily denies it and their marriage is badly shaken.

Events take a turn for the worst with Alfred’s rough cut of Psycho being poorly received by the studio executives while Alma discovers Whitfield philandering with a younger woman at his beach house. With both feeling chastened by these developments, Alfred and Alma reconcile and set to work on improving the film. Their renewed collaboration yields results, culminating in Alma convincing Alfred to accept their editor’s suggestion for adding the famous harsh strings score for the shower scene, making it a bracingly effective moment of cinematic horror.

After maneuvering Surlock into leaving the film’s content largely intact, Alfred learns that the studio is only going to exhibit the film in a handful of theaters with minimal marketing. To compensate, Alfred arranges for special theater instructions to pique the public’s interest in the film such as forbidding admittance after the film begins. At the film’s premiere, Alfred waits in the lobby for the audience’s reaction and is rewarded with a raucously enthusiastic reception.

With the film’s screening being so well received, Alfred publicly thanks his wife afterward for helping make it possible and they affirm their love. At the conclusion at his home, Alfred addresses the audience noting Psycho proved a major high point of his artistic career and he is currently pondering his next project. At that, a crow lands on his shoulder as a reference to his successful follow-up effort, The Birds, before turning to meet with his wife.

 

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Movie2k Watch Movies – Hitchcock – Cast

Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock
Helen Mirren as Alma Reville
Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh
Toni Collette as Peggy Robertson
Danny Huston as Whitfield Cook
Jessica Biel as Vera Miles
James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins
Michael Stuhlbarg as Lew Wasserman
Ralph Macchio as Joseph Stefano
Kurtwood Smith as Geoffrey Shurlock
Michael Wincott as Ed Gein
Richard Portnow as Barney Balaban
Wallace Langham as Saul Bass
Richard Chassler as Martin Balsam
Josh Yeo as John Gavin
Paul Schackman as Bernard Herrmann

Movie2k Watch Movies – Hitchcock – Production

Hitchcock – Development

In 2005, it was reported that the Arts & Entertainment Network would produce a television film or miniseries based on Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. Subsequently, the book was optioned as a major motion picture. In 2007, The Montecito Picture Company, owned by Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock, set up a first look deal with Paramount Pictures, the original distributor of Psycho. However, after four years of development at Paramount, production moved to Fox Searchlight Pictures.

On November 20, 2011, Sacha Gervasi was announced as being in negotiations to direct the dramatic motion picture. Earlier the next month, Gervasi signed on as director with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren attached to star as Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville, respectively.[4] Black Swan co-writer John J. McLaughlin wrote the first screenplay drafts; subsequently, Stephen Rebello wrote additional drafts that shifted the story’s focus to the complex personal and professional relationship of Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, during the filming of Psycho.

Hitchcock – Casting

Much of the film’s casting was announced in March 2012. On March 1, 2012, Scarlett Johansson and James D’Arcy were announced to play the stars of Psycho, Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Later that month Jessica Biel was cast as Vera Miles. Following, additional cast members were announced that included Toni Collette as the director’s trusted assistant, Danny Huston as screenwriter-playwright Whitfield Cook, Michael Stuhlbarg as powerful agent and studio boss Lew Wasserman, Michael Wincott as serial killer Ed Gein (the inspiration for Robert Bloch’s character Norman Bates in the original Psycho novel), Ralph Macchio as screenwriter Joseph Stefano, Richard Portnow as legendary Paramount Pictures boss Barney Balaban, and Wallace Langham as graphic designer Saul Bass. Although the film of Psycho was based on the book by Robert Bloch and much of the plot of Hitchcock deals with the making of the film, there was no role cast for the character of Bloch in the movie.

 

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Hitchcock – Filming

Principal photography for the film began on April 13 in Los Angeles, with the film retitled as Hitchcock. Filming was wrapped up on May 31 after the completion of a scene set during Psycho’s New York City premiere on June 16, 1960.

Hitchcock – Music

On September 12, 2012, it was announced that Danny Elfman will compose the film’s score. Previously, Elfman re-recorded Bernard Herrmann’s original score to Psycho in 1998 for Gus Van Sant’s 1998 shot-for-shot remake.

The soundtrack album to the film was released by Sony Music on December 14, 2012.

Movie2k Watch Movies – Hitchcock – Release

Fox Searchlight Pictures announced on September 20, 2012, via their Twitter page, that Hitchcock would open in limited release on November 23, 2012, in order for the film to contend during Oscar season. The film had its world premiere as the opening film of AFI Fest 2012 on November 1 with a gala at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The first trailer for the film was released on October 10, 2012.

Movie2k Watch Movies – Hitchcock – Reaction

Hitchcock – Box office

As of January 3 2013, Hitchcock has earned an estimated $5,337,378 worldwide. During its opening on Thanksgiving weekend, the film debuted in 17 theaters and grossed an average of $17,706 per-theater. The film will expand to more theaters in weeks to come.

 

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Hitchcock – Critical response

The film received mixed to positive feedback from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 66% based on reviews from 122 critics, with a rating average of 6.3 out of 10. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 56% based on 29 reviews.

Soon after the film’s world premiere at the AFI Fest 2012, the first reviews of Hitchcock were published. Tom O’Neil of the The Huffington Post wrote, “When the film unspooled at AFI Fest on Thursday night, the audience burst into wild huzzahs at the end. This Hitchcock is so well made, so much fun and so suspenseful that it would make the original Hitchcock proud … It’s a serious contender for Best Picture, lead actor, lead actress, adapted screenplay, makeup, music score, and maybe art direction.” John Patterson of The Guardian called the film “clever and witty”; “the making of Psycho is depicted in detail without our seeing one frame of the completed movie” and concluding “it lives and breathes through Hopkins and Mirren.”

Upon its theatrical release, Hitchcock received more reviews by critics. Mary Pols of Time called the film “a feel-good frolic, which is fine for anyone who prefers their Hitchcock history tidied up, absent the megalomania, the condescending cruelty and tendency to sexual harassment that caused his post-Psycho blonde discovery Tippi Hedren to declare him “a mean, mean man.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a positive review and felt that the film depended most on Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Alma Reville, which he found to be “warm and effective.”

The Atlantic’s Govindini Murty called the film “smart and entertaining” and also provided a cultural guide to the themes, personalities, and cinematic references in the film, from German Expressionism to the paintings of Edward Hopper.

Many critics compared the film to the HBO biopic The Girl, which was released a month earlier and detailed Hitchcock making The Birds and Marnie. Justin Chang of Variety wrote that “the comparatively frothy Hitchcock offers a more sympathetic, even comedic assessment of the man behind the portly silhouette.” Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter also made note that the film “brings a measure of authenticity entirely missing from The Girl.” When writing about the film as a whole, McCarthy said, “Hitchcock might be a work of fantasy and speculation as much as it is history and biography, but as an interpretation of a major talent’s inner life and imagination, it’s undeniably lively and provocative.”

 

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