HBO's biographical assassination of Alfred Hitchcock and his relationship to his 'discovery' 'Tippi' Hedren became the subject of a television biopic-short on bio and long on picking at the scab.
It's called The Girl not The Birds revisited.
Those who love Alfie will be subjected to having mixed feelings. Whoever thought Hitch called himself "Alfie"? We are prone to ask ourselves what's this all about, Alfie.
Instead of the macabre uncle we have come to love, Toby Jones gives an uncanny impersonation of a man who may be more dangerous than you suspect. It's like finding out that your favorite old uncle had bodies buried in the cellar and in the closet.
Several times we became breathless at the remarkable depiction by Jones of his Hitch character (following in his Infamous Truman Capote footsteps of a few years ago).
The beautiful Miss 'Tippi' Hedren enjoyed a sympathetic interpretation by Sienna Miller, not a slouch at all in the beauty department. However, at least a dozen times we were struck at her resemblance to Janet Leigh in Psycho, not the small-features we adored on the face of Miss Hedren.
Hedren was handpicked to play the lead in The Birds. She was a New York model, not an actress. But under the tutelage of Hitch, she became a puppet in the mode of Pinocchio and Petroushka. She wanted to be a movie star, whatever the cost-and the price extracted by Hitchcock was more than any star like Grace Kelly or Kim Novak would have tolerated.
The movie tale attributed no storyline to anyone other than writer Gwyneth Hughes, though the heavy hand of Hedren seems to have the last say.
Hitch is gone, unable to defend his reputation, though we would not be surprised at the accuracy of the slimey Limey depiction and attitude. Hitch often looks like he is about to stalk Hedren and accost her in the shower with a large knife.
Directors may do much to achieve the effects they desire. If so, Hitchcock was ruthless and cruel, a sociopath and cold-blooded, like a Ripper editing celluloid.
It's worth examining an alternative view of the Master. This movie isn't Vertigo. It isn't even in the class of Marnie, no masterpiece from the Master, despite the statement on the final credits.