Friday, 4 July 2014

The Girl (4 Stars)

Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.

This is a television film about Tippi Hedren, the actress who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's films "The Birds" and "Marnie". She was a model with no acting experience when Hitchcock first saw her in a television advert. He was so impressed by her looks that he invited her to audition for him, and he gave her a seven-year contract within a few weeks of meeting her.

The film sparked massive criticism when it was shown on television. In the eyes of cinema fans, Alfred Hitchcock is an icon that everyone should look up to with the highest reverence. Instead of this we see the story of his obsession with a young starlet. At the time he met her Hitchcock was impotent, so his interests in women were founded on sadism. He took great delight in making his actresses suffer, but he still wanted them to love him. His wife knew about his unhealthy obsessions, but she tolerated them, because she knew that no woman would stay with him.

After three years Tippi refused to work with Hitchcock any more. Even though she made no more films for him, he refused to release her from her contract. Over the next four years he ruined her career by turning down any film offers made to her.

It's unfortunate to hear that Alfred Hitchcock was abusive to his actresses, of whom Tippi Hedren was the last. It's something that people kept quiet about for years, even though his film crew knew about it. Tippi was the only woman who spoke out, and everyone tried to silence her. Now, 30 years after Hitchcock's death, we live in a more enlightened age, in which sexual harrassment is no longer acceptable, whoever the perpetrator is. Several of the people who worked with him have finally confirmed that Tippi is telling the truth. Nevertheless, we can appreciate his films, however great his personal failings were.

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