With the arrival of Hitchcock on DVD and Blu-Ray, those who missed an instant classic when it arrived in theaters should get right in line to pick up this astounding story of how the suspense master made Psycho. Anthony Hopkins is astounding as Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary director also responsible for classics North by Northwest and The 39 Steps.
But, the key to the resonance of Hitchcock is not necessarily the insight it gives into the man's filmmaking brilliance, it is the relationship he had with his wife. As played by Helen Mirren, Hitch's wife Alma had her own career and was quite the independent woman, especially for the period. As teased in the Hitchcock trailer, the film master relied heavily on his bride for advice, on and off the screen.
It was her who encouraged him to not listen to the detractors who told him it would be a disaster to make Psycho. The rest, as they say, is history as Psycho turned out to be Hitchcock's most successful movie of his entire career.
Fans of not only Hitchcock and his work, but anyone who appreciates the art of filmmaking will treasure the Hitchcock DVD and Blu-Ray for their collection. It is masterful in how it shows how films got made in the 1960s. It has changed in many ways than the way things are now, but in so many other ways, it is still the same.
The studio system was still somewhat viable and that is shown with the actresses Hitch works with on his films. Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel are expertly cast as Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, respectively. The film also does not shy away from the director's obsession with his leading ladies and how his wife handled it.
The extras on the DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack that Movie Fanatic received only further enhance our love of the film, as stated in our original Hitchcock review.
There is one deleted scene, which is a rare joy given that many home video releases flood their package with unnecessary scenes that were cut. Many were cut for good reason, and with the single deleted scene in Hitchcock, the audience gets an interesting view of why the scene is relevant, yet not necessary for the theatrical release.
The documentary Becoming the Master: From Hopkins to Hitchcock is absolutely fascinating. Both men are movie marvels and witnessing one becoming the other while simultaneously discovering what was so truly special about the filmmaker makes this featurette pure gold. If you're a fan of the filmmaker, then you do not want to miss the short feature Obsessed with Hitchcock.
An interesting extra that we've never seen before (at least in this format) comes from the director of the film, Sacha Gervasi. His feature Sacha Gervasi's Behind the Scenes Cell Phone Footage gives the viewer a proverbial birds-eye view of the filmmaking process. And given that the crux of the story deals with the lifelong love affair that existed between Alfred and Alma, the documentary Hitch and Alma is not to be missed.