(WLTX) - Everyone knows the legend - but few know the man. Alfred Hitchcock has been described in many different forms over the years. Just how flattering that description is, would depend on who is relaying the information. But whose opinion of him is accurate? Well, it would appear that all some degree.

"Hitchcock" is a movie based on the circumstances revolving around the filmmaker's biggest success, "Psycho." Having just finished the very popular "North by Northwest," Hitch is wanting to challenge himself by bringing an artistic touch to the horror genre. The studio heads are very uneasy about this new creative endeavor and encourage him to make another spy thriller. But the director's obsession is no passing fancy. He's so determined that he's willing to fund the project with his own money. In the end, he's guaranteed that the movie will play in only two theaters. From that point, his future will either flourish or fumble depending on the audience's reaction.

Though it is only a small window of time that we are exposed to, all the various aspects of the man's personality are recognized. His insecurities are displayed through gluttony and jealousy. His twisted sense of humor is a constant and his rumored controlling nature over his leading ladies is played out through his relationship with Vera Miles.

There are also several surreal fantasy moments where the director is conversing with Ed Gein, the man who inspired "Psycho." He didn't look a thing like Norman Bates (but their mothers were practically identical). While these vignettes almost take us into Lifetime movie territory, they don't last long and aren't nearly as inferior to the film as they could be. One could say the same about the entire flick. Great performances (especially Helen Mirren) are what make this watchable...and you can wait for the DVD for that.

By Lee O. Smith, News19 Movie Reviewer