Lurking behind Alfred Hitchcock, cinema's "master of suspense" -- the extraordinary film icon known for orchestrating some of the most intense experiences of menace and intrigue audiences have ever seen, was a hidden side: his creatively explosive romance with his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville.
Now, for the first time, Fox Searchlight's searing drama “Hitchcock” lays bare their captivating and complex love story. It does so through the sly, shadowy lens of their most daring filmmaking adventure: the making of the spine-tingling 1960 thriller, “Psycho,” which would become the director's most controversial and legendary film. When the tumultuous, against-the-odds production was over, nothing about movies would ever be the same - but few realized that it took two to pull it off.
Starring Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren as Alfred and Alma, respectively, “Hitchcock” will be shown starting Feb. 6 exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide. Moviegoers can catch the film at Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, Alabang Town Center, Market! Market!, Ayala Center Cebu, Marquee (Central Luzon), Abreeza (Davao), Harbor Point (Subic) and Centrio (Cagayan de Oro).
The film also stars Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel and James D'Arcy.
In the world of Alfred Hitchcock's movies, chaos, danger and sinister evil hide in the shadows of his characters' ordinary lives. But what about Hitchcock's own everyday life? The consummately skilled director carefully cultivated a public persona - constructed out of his portly silhouette and macabre wit - that managed to keep his inner psyche tightly under wraps. But for decades the question has lingered: might there be a way to get inside Hitchcock not as an icon but as a person?
For “Hitchcock” director Sacha Gervasi, the answer lay in a woman. Not one of the notorious "Hitchcock Blondes" whose cool, aloof beauty and power graced and haunted his films, but a woman who has been largely unknown to the world: his talented wife, Alma, who from behind the scenes deeply influenced Hitchcock's work, penetrated his defenses and became his silent modest co-creator.
"I always felt the core of `Hitchcock' had to be the love story between Alfred and Alma," Gervasi comments. "They had this dynamic, complex, contradictory, beautiful, painful relationship that was not just a marriage but a real creative collaboration. I was really interested in how these two very strong-minded people lived with each other and created together and that brought a whole new perspective to the story of how `Psycho' was made. Without Alma at his side, Hitchcock would not have been as brilliant, or would not have pulled off `Psycho.'"
On paper, Gervasi might have seemed an unusual choice to take on the inner sanctum of the "Master of Suspense." A journalist who made his screenwriting debut with Steven Spielberg's “The Terminal,” he is best known for directing the acclaimed documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” the funny, raucous, bittersweet account of an aging metal band's refusal to give up their rock n' roll dreams.
Gervasi's take was that the drama in Alfred and Alma's marriage - the real-life union between an imperious director known for his dark obsessions and a ferociously intelligent woman who was a pioneer at a time when women had almost no visible power in Hollywood - would be as suspenseful, entertaining and raw as many of Hitchcock's best films.
Producer Tom Pollock admits there were a lot of other directors interested in the job who had far more experience, but Gervasi's take was hard to resist. "Sacha had a real vision of the film as a distinctive kind of love story and he also understood that the story had to have a lot of humor," says Pollock.
Adds producer Tom Thayer: "Sacha found a contemporary relevance in the Hitchcock story that resonates for an audience. He made it the story of a marriage, framing their relationship against the gauntlet Hitch encountered developing `Psycho': an artist trying to reinvent himself in an industry that wanted more of the same. It was Sacha mining the complexities of Hitch and Alma's relationship through this lens that brought so much to the surface."