Anyone who has taken the Universal Studios tour knows that “Psycho” was filmed there. However the movie “Hitchcock” shows the famous director making his most famous movie at Paramount Pictures. It’s one way of reminding viewers that the new movie is not a documentary but an imagining of Hitchcock’s life, especially his relationship with his wife Alma.
The film speculates that Hitch and Alma had marital strife during the making of “Psycho.” Hitch did actually have some strife with Paramount, which caused him to move his production offices to Universal. I overlooked the liberties taken with history and thoroughly enjoyed the film. My wife and I were never able to forget that Anthony Hopkins was under the Hitchcock fat suit.
The crimes of Ed Gein were so heinous that only a few aspects of them were used as inspiration for Norman Bates in “Psycho.” Thirty years later, some of Gein’s other crimes were used as inspiration for Buffalo Bill in “Silence of the Lambs.” In one scene, Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock reminded me of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. When Hitch was directing Janet Leigh as she drove away from Phoenix toward the Bates Motel, he spoke to her rapidly, describing the thoughts and emotions that are causing her to worry. To me, he sounded a bit like Lecter talking to Clarice Starling.
An article in the Wall Street Journal describes a fascinating fact about Hitchcock’s later years. He returned to Catholicism and arranged for priests to celebrate Mass in his home. The last paragraph is amazing:
One of Hitchcock’s biographers, Donald Spoto, has written that Hitchcock let it be known that he “rejected suggestions that he allow a priest… to come for a visit, or celebrate a quiet, informal ritual at the house for his comfort.” That in the movie director’s final days he deliberately and successfully led outsiders to believe precisely the opposite of what happened is pure Hitchcock.