Friday, April 19, 2013

MOVIE WEEKEND: HITCHCOCK

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present for your consideration a movie only recently available on DVD: Hitchcock (2012, PG-13).


The great director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) has just had a success with North By Northwest, but he owes a movie to Paramount. Hitchcock wants to make a "horror" movie. He finds a book about serial killer Ed Gein and decides to make a movie based on the book, Psycho. Paramount says NO.

So Hitch decides to finance the movie himself and offers Paramount the opportunity to distribute it and receive a hefty share of the profits. Paramount goes for this offer, and the viewer is tossed into the tumultuous world of Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma (Helen Mirren).

Hitch struggles to finish the movie on time and stay within the budget. Alma struggles with Hitch's obsession with his string of blonde leading ladies. But between the two of them, they make sure the movie is a success.

Hitchcock has a wonderfully creepy and eerie ambiance. Ed Gein even haunts Hitch in his dreams.

Although I have never seen Psycho and don't want to because I don't like scary slasher movies, the story of bringing this classic to the screen is fascinating. Of course, the actors are excellent. It's pretty difficult to do better than Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. The supporting cast is great, too.

I wouldn't watch this movie with children younger than about 12 or 13, but I think it's okay to watch it with teens. In fact, I think it would be an excellent opportunity to introduce them to Hitchcock as a director. My favorite Hitchcock movie is Rear Window. The last time I saw it was a few years ago, and after many viewings, I finally spotted the director's cameo. I also love Strangers On A Train, North By Northwest, Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Shadow of a Doubt. 

I think the first Hitchock film I ever saw was The Birds -- too scary.

But Hitchcock has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval. It's not a brilliant movie, but it's quite good and very entertaining.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

36 comments:

  1. Hitchcock was brilliant, but like many geniuses, had some big flaws. I've always been curious about Alma, and am looking forward to seeing this especially to know more about her.

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    1. Her character is very interesting, too. Alma mentions at one point that she used to be Hitchcock's boss. I would like to see a movie about them that's more of a character study.

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  2. I love sir Anthony Hopkins so I might have to check this out.

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    1. He is great, isn't he? I even love Silence of the Lambs.

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  3. I love that duo as well. I always look forward to Helen all dressed up on the red carpet. To die for bod.

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    1. I wish I looked as good as Helen does.

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  4. I saw this movie recently on the plane home from India and, like you, I found it good and very entertaining.

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  5. This is the best critique I have read of this film. I may reconsider seeing it.

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  6. I loved all of Hitchcock's work!!

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    1. I don't love everything. I shouldn't have seen The Birds when I was so young. It scared the crap out of me. But I think many of his movies are classics.

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  7. I can't imagine Anthony Hopkins being the best choice as a Hitchcock lookalike,but I loved the line from the trailer, when the studio asked Hitch who could afford to write a check to cover the movie and his character said "I can". Oh, to have that kind of power! Oh, to own a DVD player! lol

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    1. I was surprised at what a good job they did of making Hopkins resemble Hitchcock, and Hopkins did the voice very well.

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  8. I saw The Birds when I was about 21, still too young to have seen that. For years, I forced my husband to roll up his car window. We had no ac back then. I screeched and started to cry, so he knew I was serious. Birds sitting on a wire are still really creepy to me if I am driving in a car.

    Psycho is not really what I would call a slasher movie because there is only one brief scene. That frightened me so that I had to sleep with all the lights on in the house. From that day on, I have never had a shower that I did not leave the curtain open and faced the opening. I don't even have a shower, just a clawfoot tub. That one brief scenen, probably one minute long, was a defining moment in my life.

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    1. Hitchcock had quite an effect on your life!

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  9. I LOVE North By Northwest. I haven't seen Psycho either--for the same reasons you described :)
    I'll have to watch this one when the kids are asleep.

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  10. Oh!! This sounds interesting!! Yes, there was something highly disturbing about Birds!!

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    1. I still don't like to see flocks of birds.

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  11. Janie,
    The LOC and I recently watched Rear Window, with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly and it was wonderful. But I guess, Mr. Hitchcock was not a very nice person, from what I have read.

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    1. Yes, as I said, I'd like to see -- or better, read -- a character study that would help me understand him. He seems to have been very selfish, and I'd like to know why he was infatuated with his icy blonde leading ladies. Tippi Hedren says he ruined her career because she spurned his sexual advances. His character says in the movie that he dislikes Vera Miles because he was going to make her a star but she ruined it by getting pregnant.

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  12. I like/love Hitchcock movie. I loved Birds. I would love to watch this movie. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. But... I totally dislike today's horror shows.....

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    1. I don't watch any horror shows -- too creepy.

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  14. I liked the movie, too--but it left me wanting to know more about him, his dark side, and their marriage. It was like a little slice of time with holes, but the acting was marvelous!! :)

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    1. You are exactly right. This film is a little slice of time, and, yes, I'd like more information.

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  15. Who hasn't heard of Alfred Hitchcock but I hadn't heard of this movie and I have not seen may Hitchcock movies

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    1. Yes, I think most people have heard of Hitchcock. I didn't know about this movie until I saw it listed on Netflix.

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  16. Janie, you're an amazing movie and book reviewer. We should pay you "big money" for what you do.

    What a story. He believed in his work.

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    1. Peaches, my love, you should feel free to send me big money anytime you want.

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  17. Hi Janie .. I've never liked scary movies either .. and I missed Hitchcock when it was here - so I need to add it to by 'to see' list ..

    Thanks for reminding me - and jogging the memory bank - there were so many good movies out earlier this year and I saw the trailer quite often.

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I think you'll like Hitchcock, Hilary.

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