We’re consolidating our posts on the BAFTA nominated The Girl to make room for Hitchcock the movie but if you’re still looking for information on the BBC/HBO drama we suggest you check out the following websites:
Not what you might want to hear, However:
My father was Michael Wilding’s chauffeur from just after the war to when he went to the USA so was working with him during Stage Fright. Dad was highly moral and found some ‘difficulties’ with his duties. He was especially struck by Dietrich whom he suggested was a lady amongst the rats. However, he saved one of his worst comments for Hitchcock, calling him ‘distasteful’, a very strong criticism for him. I spoke with Wilding’s secretary about Hitch some years later, when she returned to England from Hollywood. She said he made her flesh creep.
I remain a fan of his films, as indeed my father was, taking me to see Psycho even though I was underage. Dad appreciated his genius, pointing out to me his methods and style, something which has stayed with me for 50 years.
So the criticisms of Hitch were from people who found difficulties with the lifestyle of those in the movies of those days. Something else I inherited from my father.
Separate the man from his work. The world of film would be poorer, much poorer, without Hitch, although some individuals might have felt better off.
It was a different world then. I could tell stories about my father and three stars of the era taking a converted motor torpedo boat form the Pool of London through he French canals to the Riviera one summer, but only from the point of view of someone who was shocked by their antics.
I feel I want to know the worst about Hitchcock–whatever that is; it may be that some, at least, of the allegations in the film are true, but it still seems a very one-sided piece of work. Derek Smith’s father found him distasteful, but other people, including actresses, appear to have genuinely liked him, and found him good company. As Ken Mogg says: “I remind everyone that human perception is fallible and subjective”; he also says“The Hedren matter (as I call it) is a very small part of the total picture of Hitchcock that some of us have built up over the years. “
John, I accept, indeed agree, with what you say. My father’s views were personal to him. His standards might seem old-fashioned today. However, his job, running various stars, and those aspirants to the position, about in Wilding’s Rolls Royce gave him intimate knowledge of their behaviour. He was generally uncritical of his boss, but he found the conduct of some less than comfortable. I always found his standards reasonable. That said, I’ve been told nothing of Hitch’s conduct towards Hedren.
DVD oblivion? It’s only just been shown on BBC, and no doubt will be repeated. It does raise important issues about Hitchcock; the abuse of Hedren appears to be widely accepted as fact; even Ken Mogg believes that the allegations are substantially true, although distorted, “perhaps unforgivably,” by the film. i have complained to the BBC about it, and I expect others have as well.