Saturday, 22 March 2014


2013 - Dir.: Sacha Gervasi - 1 hour 33 minutes (UK)
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 29th March, 2014

Sir Alfred Hitchcock remains one of the most famous directors in movie history, not only because of his droll public image, but also because of the enduring appeal of so many of his films. He knew something universal about moviegoers, and it may come down to his most familiar theme: The Innocent Man Wrongly Accused. It's surprising, then, that his most successful and infamous film, "Psycho" (1960), had no leading characters who were innocent, certainly not Norman Bates and not even the purported heroine, played by Janet Leigh. This film tells the story of the making of Psycho from the point of view of Mr & Mrs Hitchcock. It dwells less on Hitch’s supposed obsession with young blonde ladies (as other films and a recent stage play have done) and looks at the strains and stresses placed on the relationship by the creative and financial process of making a film that no-one else wanted made. Who can say if it was actually like this? Perhaps, in the spirit of The Master, we really shouldn’t care if it makes good cinema - and, with two of our most forceful actors on screen, how could it fail to be good cinema? This film received a bit of a lukewarm critical reception - perhaps because it appeared very soon after another film and a TV play about Hitchcock. It certainly takes a different standpoint and, one suspects, it doesn’t take itself as seriously - rather like Hitch himself.
● Real-life serial murderer Ed Gein inspired the character Norman Bates in the original Robert Bloch novel 'Psycho'; Gein also inspired the character of Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) in 'Thomas Harris''s novel 'The Silence of the Lambs'... and Gumb was chillingly played by Anthony Hopkins in the film version.

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