‘Hitchcock’ reveals production of classic film

Trisha Chaudhary

Last summer, my family and I watched all of the creations of the great Alfred Hitchcock. I’d heard his name, of course, but I had no idea that he was the one responsible for coining the famous shower murder scene and the creepy stabbing music or even the film The Birds. After watching all of his films, however, I became an avid fan. So after finding out that there was a movie coming out about Alfred Hitchcock, I couldn’t resist.
The movie, called Hitchcock, focuses on Alfred Hitchcock’s production of his most famous film, Psycho, which contains the shower murder scene. Though in actuality, Psycho was the filmmaker’s greatest success as a director, the movie uncovers the true hardships that the Hitchcocks (Alfred and his wife, Alma) faced during its making. Psycho was the first “different” film that Alfred Hitchcock attempted. If you watch his earlier films, such as Vertigo or North by Northwest, though there is always that element of mystery, Alfred Hitchcock focused more on romance. He wanted to challenge all of that with his making of Psycho, something which the film community at that time did not support.
Towards the beginning of the movie, Paramount Pictures decides not to fund Psycho, so the Hitchcocks decide to fund it on their own, and Hitchcock follows the struggles that they endure from having to mortgage their house to the strain it puts on their marriage and even to the media’s loss of faith in the great director. The conservative ’60s lead to numerous scandals throughout the film, from the suggestion of nudity in the shower scene (which if you watch carefully, you’ll see there is no nudity), to Alfred Hitchcock’s almost obsession with his “Hitchcock Blondes” and the raging suspicions of affairs.

Image used under fair use doctrine
Image used under fair use doctrine

I don’t want to give everything away, but I thought the movie was excellently made. Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal), who plays Alfred Hitchcock, does a marvelous job of embodying his slightly quirky and obsessive personality and even Alfred Hitchcock’s obesity.
Hitchcock not only reveals the importance of Alma Hitchcock, played by Helen Mirren (The Queen), in the production of Alfred’s movies, but also the importance of her opinion of and faith in her husband, though she often got left in the shadows. Even Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation), whom I usually dislike in movies and who played Janet Leigh, Psycho‘s leading lady, was likable in  Hitchcock.
What makes this movie so great is that it’s real. The makers of Hitchcock have shown the Hitchcocks as real people with real problems, and the movie even has underlying themes of the dark side of human nature. There’s a little bit of thrill, suspense, action and romance in Hitchcock.
When watching Psycho now, it’s often hard to imagine that such a huge movie success could have been so doubted and could have caused so many problems. Realizing the amount of thought and effort that Alfred Hitchcock put into creating the crazy complicated plots for his movies gives his films so much more depth than my previous misconception of them just being movies that someone who was “off their rocker” created. Watching Hitchcock  showed me that Alfred Hitchcock really wanted to challenge conventionality, and not only that, but always top his last creation. I learned about the ins and outs of the 1960s movie industry and what it really took to be as successful as Alfred Hitchcock was.

By Trisha Chaudhary