Despite the popularity of his earlier films, including the, then, recent success of North By Northwest, Hitchcock had to fight against the management of Paramount Pictures, the critics and the censors to get Psycho greenlighted. He, finally, had to mortgage his own home to get the funding to produce it.This is the story of great tenacity to create something totally different than what, to that time, had been imagined or allowed. I remember taking a date to see it the week it opened and she actually went to the floor and hid under her seat at least twice during the screening. And, she wasn’t alone. There was absolute pandemonium in the theater!
Backed by the superb Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife Alma, Anthony Hopkins turns in a stellar performance as the great director. I found myself trying in vain to picture the real Hitchcock in my mind because Hopkins embodied him so completely. Scarlett Johannson was, also, better than the real-life Janet Leigh.
Those who were around when Hitchcock was alive will enjoy this film the most. There was a lot of laughter from this segment of the audience, who understood the milieu in which Psycho was created.
I give Hitchcock a 3+ out of 5 with Mirren and Hopkins getting a 4+ for their performances.