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What's it all about, Alfie? Why Hollywood can’t figure out how to portray Hitchcock Add to ...

By a strange coincidence, in the space of mere weeks, two separate films have popped up to tackle the same subject: the life and curious mind of Alfred Hitchcock. One, The Girl, is a BBC/HBO effort that appeared on cable TV; the other, Hitchcock, opens theatrically on Friday. Both show the director hard at work forging a movie – principally The Birds in the former, Psycho in the latter. Both are based on books – Donald Spoto’s Spellbound by Beauty, Stephen Rebello’s The Making of Psycho. Yet each paints a portrait of the director so diametrically different that set side by side – Alfie in white hat, Alfie in black hat – it’s like seeing a photograph and its negative. What’s it all about, indeed. Let’s find out.

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