A macabre man who lusted after young women and pretzel logs, Alfred Hitchcock made many memorable films including the 1960 shocker Psycho.
Now director Sacha Gervasi lets us glimpse behind the curtain at the making of this masterful movie that came very close to being an animated feature.
Anthony Hopkins stars as the eccentric director on top of his game following North by Northwest.
With a script by John J. McLaughlin and Stephen Rebello (based on his book) the story opens with Hitchcock needing a new film.
Intrigued, Hitchcock toyed with the concept, gradually killing the main characters by drowning them. But the animated process of those days took years from concept to completion.
Aged 60, Hitchcock needed something faster. Alma found just the right property.
In Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho there is a killing in a shower.
Recalling her husband’s work on the animated script, Alma showed the book to Hitchcock. Hitchcock was ecstatic. Initially, he conceived having the character of Marion Crane (Scarlett Johansson playing Janet Leigh) drown in the shower.
But the staging was thought to be too cumbersome. Nevertheless, production was begun.
But trouble arose with the studio. Execs had heard of the Paris cat screenplay and wanted something cute such inserted into the movie to lighten the bleak mood. Hitchcock initially agreed as long as the animals could be drowned. But eventually he realized that singing animated felines undercut much of the suspense.
At home matters grew heated. Arguments erupted between Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock over Hitchcock’s insane love for pretzel logs.
Then something exciting happens. But you must see for yourself.
Side note: the screenplay found by Alma and loved by the studio execs loved was later acquired by Disney, eventually becoming 1970’s The Aristocats.
Average work by George A. Miki as transportation captain. A week before the production wrapped, he was demoted from transportation major. This must have stung and most surely effected his job performance.
Two stars because we know where this is going.
Nonetheless, outstanding performance by Hopkins in a fat suit.