At the BAFTA awards in London, Hitchcock drama The Girl lost out in every category – Best Single Drama, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Toby Jones and Sienna Miller joined the stars on the red carpet in the rain, only to lose out to Ben Wishaw for his stunning portrayal of Richard II and Sheridan Smith for her role in Mrs Biggs. The television drama, a joint production between the BBC and HBO, has been mired in controversy ever since its release last autumn. Associates close to Hitchcock, including cast and crew, have angrily defended the director, saying that the drama was one-sided and inaccurate in its portrayal. Although being nominated 8 times, The Girl only won an award for production design.
The Girl is nominated for 4 Baftas at this weekend’s TV awards. Here are 10 good reasons why we think it shouldn’t win.
- Crew members from The Birds and Marnie who were interviewed for the TV drama, Rita Riggs and Jim Brown’s widow, deny the sensationalist portrayal of Hitchcock. Other crew members who were not interviewed – Virginia Darcy, Lois Thurman, Hilton Green and actress Louise Latham – have also spoken out against the drama.
- The film has deeply upset the Hitchcock family, including grandchildren and great grandchildren, who have chosen to remain silent instead of justifying the movie with a response.
- Scenes suggest that Hitchcock put his leading lady in physical jeopardy, while the production records show that all due care was taken on the set, for both cast members and the trained birds. The American Humane Association was on set all the time when birds were used.
- The depiction of the telephone booth and attic filming is contradicted by the production archives at the Margaret Herrick Library and also on-set witnesses Virginia Darcy, Rita Riggs and Lois Thurman.
- Production was not shut down after the infamous filming of the bird attack in the attic. Co-star Veronica Cartwright confirms that they carried on filming while the leading lady recovered. Production records also show that the movie’s secretary Suzanne Gauthier reported she wasn’t harmed but needed three work days of rest, returning on Thursday 7th June 1962 to film the sand dune scene.
- Hitchcock producer Norman Lloyd called the TV movie ‘basically bullshit’ to Variety magazine – here speaks the wisdom of a 98 year old.
- The script is one-sided masquerading as objective truth. There is no mention of Noel Marshall, who the leading lady was engaged to at the time, which was a major reason for Hitchcock being upset, leading to the famous falling out.
- Star Kim Novak has publicly defended Hitchcock: “I never saw him make a pass at anybody or act strange to anybody. And wouldn’t you think if he was that way, I would’ve seen it or at least seen him with somebody? I think it’s unfortunate when someone’s no longer around and can’t defend themselves.”
- Hitchcock never raped or intentionally injured anyone – unlike some other directors. He lived his life in fantasy which is reflected in his movies. Vertigo has been named the Number 1 film of all time.
- “Hitch was in fact a wonderful human being as well as a master filmmaker,” says Norman Lloyd. “He deserves to be remembered that way.”