It seems Alfred Hitchcock was quite a popular topic for films to explore in 2012. While Anthony Hopkins portrays him in a somewhat cartoon-like fashion for the making of Psycho in the film Hitchcock, Toby Jones portrays the famed director as a creepy, disturbed individual who made Tippi Hedren’s life miserable during the filming of The Birds and Marnie in the made-for-HBO film The Girl.
The fact that the film is dark and difficult to watch is a testament to Jones, who offers Hitchcock as a sadistic man, and Sienna Miller, who portrays a strong, resilient Tippi Hedren. What starts off as a dream job as the lead in The Birds for Hedren, a model turned actress, quickly turns into a nightmare. Hitchcock’s infatuation with blondes is well known and well documented — just watch any of his films — but Hedren was open with just how far that obsession went.
Most disturbing and difficult to watch in The Girl is the filming of one of the closing scenes in The Birds. While Hedren was only supposed to spend a day with mechanical birds, she ended up spending five days with real birds and left traumatized and physically injured. Although Hedren does her best to ignore or rise above his come-ons and subsequent attacks as retribution.
The film The Girl will certainly change opinions on Hitchcock. Was he merely an eccentric and odd old man or was he a disturbed individual who caused distress to others? This film argues for the latter. And it’s truly shocking what The Girl claims. And certainly worth exploring for fans of classic cinema.