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ALL SCRIPTS





                                  HITCHCOCK



                                 Written by
                         
                             John J. McLaughlin
                         
                         
                         
                         
          Based on the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by

                               Stephen Rebello




                         FADE IN:
                         
          EXT. MARSHLAND - DUSK
                         
          We move across smoldering embers and reach a small grass
          fire. Dirt is thrown over the flames before a BOOT finishes
          stamping them out.
                         
          SUPER: PLAINFIELD, WISCONSIN, 1944
                         
           HENRY GEIN (O.S.)
           We're just lucky it didn't reach the
           trees...
                         
          We move up two dirty pairs of overalls to find HENRY and ED
          GEIN sweating away as they continue shovelling out the
          flames. Both are in their forties and wearing flannel shirts.
          Ed wears an Elmer Fudd hat.
                         
           HENRY GEIN (CONT'D)
           There's gonna be a lot more jobs at that
           factory by Milwaukee come June. I could
           put in a word.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           You can't leave us, Henry. She needs both
                          OF US--
                         
                          HENRY GEIN
           Can you stop being a momma's boy for one
           second?
                         
          Henry looks at Ed and he shrinks back.
                         
           HENRY GEIN (CONT'D)
           I'm not trying to hurt you but Jesus you
           got to live your own life someday. That
           woman can take care of her own goddamn --
                         
          CLANG. Henry is hit by the shovel in the back of the head and
          goes down.
                         
          Ed steps slowly forward and puts down the shovel. The look on
          his face isn't anger. It's BLANK. He pulls at the flaps of
          his Elmer Fudd hat... then calmly walks away.
                         
          The camera pans until we discover :
                         
                         ALFRED HITCHCOCK
                         
          in his trademark black Mariani suit. He's been watching the
          whole thing, standing in the smouldering field only a few
          feet away, holding a rose-patterned cup and saucer of tea...
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He takes a sip and turns to address the camera --
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Good evening.
                         
          He places his cup daintily back on the saucer.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Brother has been slaying brother since
           Cain and Abel, yet even I did not see
           that coming. I was as blind-sided as poor
           Henry over there.
                         
          He glances back over at the murder scene.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Apparently the authorities shared my
           naivete and believed the young man's tale
           that Henry fell and hit his head on a
           stone and died of smoke asphyxiation.
                         
          He shrugs: `Who would've thought it?'
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Of course if they hadn't believed him, Ed
           never would have had the opportunity to
           commit the heinous acts for which he
           became famous... and we wouldn't have our
           little movie. Instead, we'd have more
           nice, safe, predictable ones like
           these...
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          A RAPID MONTAGE OF CLIPS
                         
          from various Technicolor Films of the era: Peyton Place, with
          Lana Turner and Betty Field. Pillow Talk with Doris Day and
          Rock Hudson. A Summer Place with Sandra Dee --
                         
          EXT. MARSHLAND - AS BEFORE
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Mere Technicolor baubles.
                         
          He shudders with distaste. As if on cue the sky THUNDERS
          LOUDLY above him. He looks up and from behind the tree stump
          produces an umbrella.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Ah. A bit of doom and gloom. Now, that's
           more like it.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          As Hitch opens his brolly and the RAIN starts to bucket down
                         WE --
                         
                          CUT TO :
                         
          EXT. MARQUEE OF UNITED ARTISTS THEATER, CHICAGO - NIGHT
                         
          Equally torrential rain lit up by rotating KLEIG LIGHTS as
          they scan a MARQUEE: "WORLD PREMIERE! NORTH BY NORTHWEST.
          DIRECTED BY ALFRED HITCHCOCK." JOSTLING CROWDS run the length
          of the block.
                         
          SUPER: JULY 8, 1959.
                         
          A PUDGY HAND discreetly squeezes a tiny, delicate one.
                         
          ALFRED AND ALMA HITCHCOCK
                         
          Step out into a sea of FLASHBULBS. Hitch basks in the
          limelight while Alma, his razor-sharp, charming wife of over
          30 years stands in the background, uncomfortable with all the
          attention.
                         
          Hitchcock's agent LEW WASSERMAN, 45, dynamic, charismatic,
          comes into view.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           This thing is going to be gigantic. I
           wish I had twenty percent of the take.
                         
          Lew hustles them through the throng of REPORTERS and
          PHOTOGRAPHERS under their BLACK UMBRELLAS.
                         
                          REPORTER ONE
           Does tonight's incredible reaction
           surprise you, Mr. Hitchcock?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No, when I was planning North by
           Northwest I could already hear the
           screams and laughter.
           (then, to a BEAUTIFUL
                          BLONDE FAN)
           Any questions, my dear?
                         
          The blonde fan, holding out her autograph book, shakes her
          head `no' and giggles.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           A pity.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          The reporters crack up. Alma manages a polite smile as Lew
          helps her into the limo, leaving Hitchcock alone for a moment
          to sign his autograph for the blond fan...
                         
                          REPORTER TWO
           Mr. Hitchcock, you've directed forty-six
           motion pictures. You host a hit TV show
           seen around the world. You're the most
           famous director in the history of the
           medium... but you're sixty years old.
           Shouldn't you just quit while you're
           ahead?
                         
          HOLDING ON HITCHCOCK
                         
          motionless and quietly devastated as FLASHBULBS CRACKLE over
          his face. The whiteness transforms into...
                         
          INT. THE HITCHCOCKS' BEL AIR HOME - BATHROOM - MORNING
                         
          THE GLEAMING WHITE TILES of a bathroom. We move past chrome
          fixtures that evoke those in Spellbound and Psycho and arrive
          at that same pudgy hand pouring CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC '53 into
          a cut crystal glass.
                         
                         HITCHCOCK
                         
          soaks in the tub. The champagne glass beside him, his
          corpulent frame is covered only by the London Times he's
          reading. Even in this deeply vulnerable state, he maintains
          the air of a haughty mischievous emperor.
                         
          At the sound of a bedroom bureau being opened, Hitch's eyes
          shift to the FULL-LENGTH MIRROR on the bathroom door.
                         
          IN THE MIRROR
                         
          We catch fleeting glimpses of Alma in a white half-slip and
          matching bra. She takes out some NYLONS and holds them up to
          the light.
                         
          Hitchcock watches enthralled. He puts down his glass and
          shifts a little in the tub, causing the water to lap against
          the sides.
                         
          BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Alma pauses when she hears the small splashes. Neither upset
          nor amused she continues about her business, taking a skirt
          from the drawer.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALMA
           Muhammad had the eyes of peeping Toms
           gouged out with arrows.
                         
          Hitchcock clears his throat, rattling his paper as if he'd
          been reading the whole time.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Talking of arrows, did you read Mr.
           Weiler's review in the New York Times?
           Apparently, he found "the climax" to be --
           and I quote -- "overdrawn."
                         
                          ALMA
           I doubt whether Mr. Weiler has had a
           climax in years.
                         
          Alma steps into her skirt as Hitch opens the London Times.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           And how about this little grenade?
                          (READING)
           North by Northwest reminds us of
           Hitchcock's earlier, more youthfully
           inventive spy thrillers."
                          (BEAT)
           And just to drive the nail into the
           coffin, there's a handy accompanying
           guide to the new masters of suspense.
                         
          Hitchcock zeroes in on the photographs. They're all young.
          Thinner. And with hair.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Why do they keep looking for new masters
           of suspense when they still have the
           original?
                         
                          ALMA
           Don't be maudlin, you know how much it
           aggravates me.
                         
          He catches his reflection in the mirror again and sinks
          further down into the water to hide his protruding belly.
                         
          Alma comes in, takes the newspapers from him and puts them on
          the side.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Stop reading them. You've been reading
           them for a week now.
                         
          She puts down the TOILET SEAT and sits on it.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Tell me, dear. Am I really too old?
                         
                          ALMA
           Yes. A true relic. And lest we forget, a
           notably corpulent one.
                         
          She comes over and kisses the top of his head.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           You always know precisely where to plunge
           the dagger, don't you?
                         
                          ALMA
           Right between the shoulder blades. I
           learned it from your pictures.
                         
          She moves off to the mirror to apply lipstick and Hitchcock
          surreptitiously picks up the papers again...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Where are you off to?
                         
                          ALMA
           I'm seeing Whit for brunch after I drop
           you off at the studio. Why don't you join
           us?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We've just established that I'm too
           corpulent to be seen in broad daylight.
                         
                          ALMA
           You'll feel better as soon as you find a
           project. Hasn't Peggy unearthed any
           decent books yet?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Sleeping pills with dust jackets.
                         
          Alma steps back to inspect herself in the full-length mirror.
          Today's outfit is, we sense, rather more stylish than what
          she would ordinarily wear.
                         
                          ALMA
           Well?
                         
          Hitch's gaze never leaves the photo gallery of his younger
          rivals in the `New Masters of Suspense' article...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Very presentable.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (3)
                         
                         
                         ON ALMA
                         
          As she elegantly masks her hurt.
                         
                          ALMA
           Hurry up, darling. You're pruning.
                         
          She leaves. Hitch grumbles and tosses his paper aside. He
          rises from the depths but suddenly loses his balance and
          grabs onto the SHOWER CURTAIN, wrenching it from the METAL
          RINGS on the rod.
                         
          A GOD'S EYE view, looking down, as Hitchcock stares up at the
          metal rings SPINNING NOISILY on the metal rod.
                         
          EXT. THE PARAMOUNT STUDIOS, BRONSON GATE - DAY
                         
          The FAMOUS MOUNTAIN TOP icon looms large. TWO GUARDS snap-to
          for the arrival of Hollywood royalty.
                         
                          FIRST GUARD
           Mr. Hitchcock. Mrs. Hitchcock.
                         
          Alma waves from the wheel of a GLEAMING BLACK 1957 CADILLAC.
          Hitchcock sits next to her. He has his two SEALYHAM TERRIERS
          on his lap. He nods, awaiting more.
                         
           FIRST GUARD (CONT'D)
           (to the dogs)
           Sirs.
                         
          EXT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS, PRODUCERS' BUILDING - DAY
                         
          The Cadillac pulls up. Alma notes Hitchcock's look of
          frustrated envy as CREW MEMBERS bustle in and out of STAGE
          15. It's a hive of activity.
                         
                          ALMA
           There's a story out there waiting for you
           somewhere, Hitch. I promise.
                         
          He gives her a good-bye peck and opens the door.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Don't forget your lunch.
                         
          Alma hands him a compact Fortnum & Mason basket and pats him
          on his girth. He opens it to discover CELERY AND CARROT
          STICKS wrapped in Saran.
                         
                         OMITTED
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - DAY
                         
          Luxurious, wood-paneled and very British. Hitch sits
          restlessly behind his desk, receiving his morning shave from
          his private barber, SILVIO. His longtime assistant, PEGGY
          ROBERTSON, 40s, crisp, British, fiercely protective of her
          boss, is going through a list of potential projects.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Fox is offering you The Diary of Anne
           Frank for the third time.
                         
          Hitch directs his response to Silvio.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           The audience would spend the entire
           picture waiting for Miss Frank to
           discover the corpse I'd hidden in the
           attic. Wouldn't you agree, Silvio?
                         
                          SILVIO
           Si.
                         
          Hitch reaches for a carrot stick and CRUNCHES it.
                         
                          PEGGY
           MGM wants you for the Ian Fleming book,
           Casino Royale, with Cary Grant.
           Definitely your style.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           (again, turning to Silvio)
           Doesn't she know I just made that movie?
           It's called North by Northwest. And
           "style" is merely self-plagiarism.
                         
          Silvio nods, then recommences the shave.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I'm treading water, Peggy. I need
           something fresh. Something different.
           Without expensive stars like Cary Grant
           or Miss Kim Novak to pretty it up.
                         
          Silvio unintentionally nicks Hitch's face.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           A nice, clean, nasty little piece of
           work.
                         
          Silvio hurriedly dabs away a speck of BLOOD.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          PEGGY
           I'll see what I can find.
                         
          Hitch motions for the barber to hold up the mirror. The image
          of his face overflows the small frame. Repulsed, he leans
          back his head and makes a hand motion for Silvio to SLIT HIS
          THROAT.
                         
          CONTAGIOUS LAUGHTER (PRE-LAP)
                         
          INT. CHASEN'S RESTAURANT - DAY
                         
          Alma lunches with screenwriter-novelist WHITFIELD COOK.
          "WHIT," 50s, is Hitchcock's physical opposite -- dashing,
          razor-sharp and sophisticated. In fact he'd be at home in one
          of his movies.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           ... Thank God I had a pocketful of
           pretzels. I was hiding in that props
           cupboard all night.
                          (THEN)
           That'll teach me to use a bedroom set
           instead of the real thing.
                         
                          ALMA
           Serves you right.
                         
          They laugh uproariously, quite at ease with each other.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Hitch always said your private life was
           in danger of being more entertaining than
           any of your plots.
                         
          He pours Alma another glass of wine, not remotely insulted.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I can't believe he let me have you all to
           myself for a whole afternoon. Especially
           looking this beautiful.
                         
          He clinks her glass.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           Très chic.
                         
          Alma turns to look at the menu again.
                         
                          ALMA
           All this relentless sycophancy is giving
           me indigestion.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
                          (A SMILE)
           What are you after?
                         
          He laughs, his eyes straying to a PRETTY WAITRESS passing by.
          Alma notices.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           And how is your wife?
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Elizabeth?
           (his eyes return to Alma)
           Over the moon since I promised her the
           dedication in my new novel. So what are
           you working on these days?
                         
                          ALMA
           Hitch is going out of his mind looking
           for his next project. You know how
           unbearable he is when he doesn't have
           something lined up.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Almost as unbearable as when he does.
                         
                          ALMA
                          (LAUGHING)
           Almost.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I meant you. What are you working on?
                         
                          ALMA
           I'm satisfied spending time in my garden.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           That is one lucky garden.
                         
          Whit brings out a set of galleys and slides them across the
          tablecloth to her.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           Actually, I was hoping you might be able
           to apply your considerable pruning skills
           to this.
                         
          She looks down and reads the cover page. "Taxi to Dubrovnik.
          By Whitfield Cook."
                         
                          ALMA
           Ah. All is finally revealed.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
          He touches her hand, affectionately. She brushes it away,
          affectionately...
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           The most fun I ever had was working with
           you.
                         
          She looks through the opening pages... taking her time...
          enjoying making him wait...
                         
                          ALMA
           I suppose I could give it a look.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - DAY
                         
          Hitchcock peeks avidly through the blinds at a smartly
          dressed KIM NOVAK-TYPE WOMAN hurrying along to some
          appointment or assignation... Hitch cranes to see who she's
          meeting, but she moves tantalizingly out of sight.
                         
          Hitch turns back with a sigh towards his desk, covered with
          discarded newspaper clippings and boring story proposals.
                         
          He sweeps them off his desk into the trash.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OUTER OFFICE - A MOMENT LATER
                         
          A SHADOW looms over Peggy at her desk as she sifts through
          another round of story ideas. It's Hitchcock. He startles
          her.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Anything. Anything at all?
                         
          He starts sifting through her tray. She notices the glass in
          his hand.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Nothing suitable. Is that water or do I
           need to call Alma?
                         
          He drains it playfully.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Gin. Mother's ruin.
                         
          But something's caught his eye. A circled review of Anthony
          Boucher's column "CRIMINAL MINDS" in the New York Times
          Review of Books. He picks it up.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Boucher says this "Psycho" book by Robert
           Bloch is `fiendishly entertaining'.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          PEGGY
           It sounds ghastly. Everyone in town's
           already passed.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           And who is everyone?
                         
                          PEGGY
           The story department finished the
           coverage this morning.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Is this the one based on Ed Gein, the
           serial killer?
                         
          He takes the coverage and reads for himself.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           "Graphic elements of brutal violence,
           voyeurism, transvestitism and incest."
           Certainly not your average run of the
           mill nutcase, is he?
                         
          He gives a grunt of approval.
                         
                          PEGGY
           You're kidding.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Peggy. This is the boy who dug up his own
           mother.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S STUDY - THE NEXT NIGHT
                         
                         ON HITCH
                         
          Completely engrossed as he sits reading "Psycho" in a chair
          by the fire of his elegant Bel Air home. He takes another
          gulp of wine when he hears Alma enter and slides the wine
          glass out of view. Alma pops her head in the door.
                         
                          ALMA
           Hungry?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Famished.
                         
          She disappears to take off her coat.
                         
           ALMA (O.S.)
           If you're good, maybe you can have a
           grapefruit later.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          She comes back in again carrying some galleys, notices the
          title of Hitch's book -- some trash called "Psycho."
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Whit gave me the galleys of his new book
           yesterday at lunch. I've already got some
           ideas on how you could adapt it.
                         
          Hitch continues reading.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           It's elegant, sophisticated, full of
                          INTRIGUE --
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           The book or Mr. Whitfield Cook?
                         
          She taps Hitch's book dismissively with the galleys of "Taxi
          to Dubrovnik."
                         
                          ALMA
           This might be the one, Alfred.
                         
          He finally looks up.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Leave it on the night stand.
                         
          As she leaves she points to Hitch's `hidden' wine glass.
                         
                          ALMA
           There are calories in that, you know.
                         
          But Hitch ignores her and turns to look out the window, his
          imagination starting to turn...
                         
          INT. GEIN HOUSE, PLAINVIEW, 1945 - NIGHT
                         
          Ed enters the bedroom. His mother, Augusta, is in the bed,
          faced away from him.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           Aren't you cold, ma?
                         
          She doesn't answer. We follow him to the dresser where he
          lingers a little too long over his mother's open underwear
          drawer before grabbing the blue coverlet on the side.
                         
          He comes over and spreads the extra blanket over her. Still
          wearing his jacket, he takes off his shoes, gets into bed and
          crawls up next to her.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           Don't be afraid, ma... I'm here...
                         
          As he puts his arm around her and pulls her close, we reveal
          his mother's ghoulishly embalmed face.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT
                         
          A slant of moonlight finds Alma fast asleep until a FINGER
          nudges her awake. She lifts her satin sleep mask to see
          Hitchcock holding out his copy of "Psycho."
                         
                          ALMA
           Oh God.
                         
          The look of obsession on his face is unmistakable.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Read the bit in the motel bathroom.
                         
                          ALMA
           Now?
                         
          He switches on the light by her bedside. She sits up, puts on
          her glasses and reads from the opened page.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           "Mary started to scream, and then the
           curtains parted further and a hand
           appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It
           was the knife that, a moment later, cut
           off her scream... and her head."
           (handing him back the book)
           Charming. Doris Day should do it as a
           musical.
                         
          She hands him back the book.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           This is nothing but low-budget horror
           movie claptrap.
                         
          She turns off the light again and goes back to bed. A deep
          voice sounds from the darkness...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           But what if someone really good made a
           horror movie?
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK'S GARDEN - MORNING
                         
          The Hitchcocks eat breakfast on the terrace watching the
          GARDENERS trim the bushes and rake leaves from the pool.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Just think of the shock value. Killing
           off your leading lady halfway through.
                         
          Alma can feel Hitch looking at her, waiting for a response.
          Clearly he isn't going to let this one go.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           You're intrigued. Admit it.
                         
          She butters her toast, casually taunts him by adding a large
          spoon of marmalade.
                         
                          ALMA
           Actually, I think it's a huge mistake.
                         
          Hitch falls silent, a chastised schoolboy.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           You shouldn't wait till halfway
           through... Kill her off after 30 minutes.
                         
                         OMITTED (SCENE 17)
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - DAY
                         
          Hitch enters with purpose, carrying a stack of photos and
          articles.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Peggy, I want you to summon your
           minions...
                         
                          PEGGY
           Minions. Certainly. And who might they
           be...?
                         
          Hitch heads for his office, in no mood for wise cracks. He
          spreads out the articles on the desk. Photos and magazine
          articles about Ed Gein...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Get them started buying copies of
           "Psycho."
                         
          Peggy stands in the doorway, watching --
                         
                          PEGGY
           How many do you need?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           All of them. I want every copy,
           nationwide.
                          (MORE)
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Have them scour every book shop and
           library. "Psycho" is my next picture, and
           I don't want anyone to find out the
           ending until they see it in the theater.
                         
          Peggy shakes her head.
                         
                          PEGGY
           All that celery's affecting your brain.
                         
          She walks over, notices the LIFE MAGAZINE headline : "HOUSE
          OF HORRORS STUNS NATION." Stark black and white photographs
          expose the nightmarish decay of the Gein house...
                         
                          PEGGY (CONT'D)
           Are you sure about this? This is so
           unlike you.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           That's exactly the point, my dear.
                         
          Peggy watches uneasily as Hitchcock pores over the articles
          with delight.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - A SUNDAY AFTERNOON
                         
          A PIANIST plays a polite version of Al Jolson's "My Mammy".
          CLOSE ON A MANILA ENVELOPE clutched in one hand behind
          HITCHCOCK'S back as we follow him travel through the party.
          The clink of champagne glasses as we reveal the GUESTS saying
          HELLO as he passes...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (PRE-LAP)
           And when the Wisconsin Police department
           raided his farmhouse in Plainview...
                         
                         HITCHCOCK
                         
          Is now in position in front of the fire place. Around the
          coffee table are INVITED GOSSIP COLUMNISTS, including a HEDDA
          HOPPER-TYPE. They take in the gory LIFE MAGAZINE article.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (PRE-LAP) (CONT'D)
           ..they opened the door only to discover -
           voila...
                         
          He produces the manila envelope from behind his back and
          empties THE HORRIFICALLY GORY CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHS inside
          onto the coffee table.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           ... Ten female heads with the tops sawn
           off, a dozen masks of human skin, and a
           pair of lips on a drawstring for a window
           shade.
                         
          Hitch looks down sweetly at the circle of quietly horrified
          expressions...
                         
           HEDDA HOPPER TYPE
           Is this really going to be you're next
           picture, Mr. Hitchcock?
                         
                          HITCHCOCK
           That is my intention, madam. Yes.
                         
          Hitch taps the photo of ED GEIN.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I only wish he looked more like William
           Holden and less like Elmer Fudd.
                         
          The other columnists scribble down the quote.
                         
           HEDDA HOPPER TYPE
           Am I the only one who finds this
           offensive?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I was hoping everyone would. I mean life
           is deeply offensive and disgusting, isn't
           it?
                         
          Hitch glides off without missing a beat, past the Servers
          arriving with more hors d'oeuvres from the kitchen.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Try the finger sandwiches -- they're real
           fingers.
                         
          He snags a martini and collars Peggy while he's at it.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Peggy. I'm going to need some research
           detailing a typical unmarried 30-year-old
           secretary from Phoenix, Arizona.
                         
          He looks over at the pantry, where Alma can be glimpsed
          through the swinging door, putting food onto trays.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Her monthly rent, what she wears, what
           she reads, which scent or perfume she
           prefers...
                         
          Hitch sees WHIT lean into view and innocently whisper
          something into Alma's ear making her laugh.
                         
                          PEGGY
           ... How she deals with a demanding boss
           when she's trying to relax on her
           weekends off?
                         
          Hitchcock doesn't notice the joke. He now only has eyes on
          the pantry ahead.
                         
          He forges on through the guests only to get waylaid by Lew.
          It is a classic Hitchcock moment, a character needing to get
          someplace being held up by someone who wants to chat --
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           (re: the faces of the
                          GOSSIP COLUMNISTS)
           I told you, Hitch. This thing's strictly
           for the drive-in crowd.
                         
          Hitch smiles tightly and extricates himself, heading on to
          the kitchen through more annoying guests --
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, PANTRY - SIMULTANEOUS
                         
          Whit leans against the stove watching Alma expertly arrange
          the next round of hors d'oeuvres coming in from the kitchen.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Now, if this were a Hitchcock picture
           what would two characters like us,
           married to other people, be saying?
                         
                          ALMA
           You don't have to pretend you're not
           upset he hasn't read it yet, you know.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I'm a big boy. I can take it.
                         
                          ALMA
           Well, I loved it. What terrific fun it
           must have been to research.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Certainly more fun than reading those
           reviews.
                          (MORE)
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
                          (THEN)
           Do you think he really will read it?
                         
          Suddenly, over Whitfield's shoulder, Alma sees Hitch looming
          in the doorway. Whit notes the tiny change in her eyes and
          turns.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           Speak of the devil.
                         
          Hitch stares blankly at him while Alma turns and busies
          herself over the sink, hiding an almost imperceptible blush.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           I have to admit, Hitch, I ran all over
           town looking for a copy of "Psycho" but
           couldn't find a single one.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I wonder how that could have happened.
                         
          Hitch sips his martini, a picture of innocence. Then leans in
          to Whit's ear and whispers - just like Whit leaned into
          Alma's ear a moment earlier.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Don't stop looking on my behalf.
                         
          Peggy appears in the pass-through, beckoning Hitch to hurry
          back into the living room.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitch returns to see the other GUESTS are now passing around
          the GEIN PHOTOS. They look utterly confused and horrified...
          a couple of them are even gathering their coats.
                         
          ON LEW, PEGGY AND HITCH
                         
          standing together watching.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           I've seen happier faces on a school bus
           going over a cliff.
                         
                          PEGGY
           I told you it would be too much.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           But they can't stop looking, can they?
                         
          He slurps his martini, sharing a smile with Lew.
          INT. PARAMOUNT BOARD ROOM - DAY
                         
          Paramount President BARNEY BALABAN, 70s, ferocious,
          righteous, sits behind his impressive desk flanked by two
          CONSERVATIVELY-ATTIRED EXECUTIVES.
                         
          Hitchcock and Wasserman sit across from them.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Audiences want to be shocked, Barney.
           They want something different. And this
           is it.
                         
          He gestures to the untouched copy of "Psycho" in front of
          Balaban.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           The truth is, Hitch, every time you want
           to do something "different" like The
           Wrong Man or Vertigo, someone loses
           money.
                         
          Hitchcock stares unblinking, giving nothing away.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           So we should stop trying to give them
           something new?
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           You owe Paramount one last picture,
           Hitch. Can't you do something like North
           by Northwest but for us this time instead
           of for MGM?
                         
          Hitch's stare remains inscrutable.
                         
           BARNEY BALABAN (CONT'D)
           We've offered you dozens of perfectly
           good properties.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
                          (IMPERIOUSLY)
           "Psycho."
                         
          Wasserman gives Balaban the same glacial stare. The Paramount
          executives shift uncomfortably.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           No one respects the name Hitchcock more
           than Paramount. But even a talented man
           sometimes backs the wrong horse.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Are you telling me "no?"
                         
          Balaban maintains a calm, pleasant front.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           I think you know me better than that,
           Hitch. I would never say "no" to you.
                         
          Hitch's suppressed rage is building...but Balaban says
          nothing.
                         
          EXT. PARAMOUNT COURTYARD - DAY
                         
          Hitch and Lew walk down the stairs and through the leafy
          courtyard past Hitch's office.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           What a putz. You know what his family did
           before they built those movie palaces?
           Ran a grocery store.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           My father ran a grocery store.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           Exactly. That's what I'm saying. He
           should show some respect.
                         
          Hitch turns to Lew.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           They think I've lost my touch, Lew.
           My association with television has
           cheapened me.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           Are you referring to that deal I got you
           where Bristol-Meyers pays you twenty-nine
           grand an episode and you own the
           negative? That's my kind of cheap.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           They just want the same thing over and
           over. They've put me in a coffin and now
           they're nailing down the lid.
                         
          Lew puts a comforting hand on him...
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           Hitch, I will never let that happen.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Hitch doesn't respond, Lew sensing the true depth of his
          friend's melancholy.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (CONT'D)
           How much do you think you can make this
           picture for?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Eight hundred thousand... Give or take.
                         
          Lew digests the figure...
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           I have whisky in the car.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, SWIMMING POOL - A FEW DAYS LATER
                         
          ALMA does afternoon laps in the pool. A contemplative
          Hitchcock wanders down to the pool side wearing black
          sunglasses and a business suit. He watches Alma a moment.
          Finally she notices him.
                         
                          ALMA
           You're back early.
                         
          He shrugs, then sits at the table to pour himself a glass of
          lemonade. Alma gets out and towels herself off.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           I'm disappointed you didn't give Whit's
           book a chance.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What about him?
                         
                          ALMA
           He knows you well enough.
                         
          She sits down next to him, noticing a tiny hole in her
          swimsuit. It's starting to look a little threadbare.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Enjoy the pool now. We might not have it
           for that much longer.
                         
          He looks off cryptically.
                         
                          ALMA
           Why?
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Paramount refuses to finance the movie.
           Imagine -- The studio that brought you
           Martin and Lewis and The Greatest Show On
           Earth considers Psycho distasteful.
                         
          He brushes some fallen leaves off his chair.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Lew can't find the money. Not quickly
           enough at least.
                         
                          ALMA
           Why not wait?
                         
          He doesn't reply. She knows him well enough too and doesn't
          question him further.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We're going to have to go it alone, old
           girl.
                          (BEAT)
           We'll finance the movie ourselves.
                         
                          ALMA
           Are we going to have to sell the entire
           house or just the pool?
                         
          She looks at Hitch but he's not joking. She turns to survey
          their beloved home and gardens.
                         
          A long pause.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Tell me and I won't ever ask again. Why
           this one, Hitch? It's not just because so
           many people are telling you 'no,' is it?
                         
          Pause.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Hitch?
                         
          Without turning he takes her hand.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Remember the fun we had when we started
           out and there was so little money and
           time? We took risks, we experimented. We
           invented new ways of making pictures
           because we had to.
                         
          A long moment as he gazes across the pool.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I want to feel that kind of freedom
           again.
                         
          He turns to look into her eyes for the first time. A glimpse
          of the real Hitchcock. Someone even his wife doesn't see that
          often...
                         
          EXT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS - DAY
                         
          The famous gates and the executive building beyond it.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (PRE-LAP)
           Barney, we're about to propose a
           restructured deal for "Psycho"...
                         
          INT. BALABAN'S PRIVATE OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - DAY
                         
          Balaban watches Hitchcock and Lew closely. Hitchcock again is
          like a waxworks Buddha, revealing nothing.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           We finance it. Independently. Paramount
           only distributes it...in exchange for 40
           percent of the profits.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Interesting. But tell us, what exactly is
           Paramount distributing? Is this still a
           picture about a queer killing people in
           his mother's dress?
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           What this picture is about is the
           reputation of Alfred Hitchcock.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           No-one's arguing that.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           Barney, it's very simple. This is Mr.
           Hitchcock's next film. Are you in or are
           you out?
                         
          A long silence.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Well, obviously you have a lot of passion
           for this project. Let me talk it over
           with a few people internally and I'll get
           back to you.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           No. Now.
                         
          Balaban takes in their inscrutable stares. Not unimpressed by
          their chutzpah, he leans back and puts his hands behind his
          head, a king in his counting room.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Fine. We'll take that deal. If you can
           get the money...
                         
          Finally, Hitchcock speaks up :
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We've already got it, Barney.
                         
          He pulls out his PERSONAL CHECKBOOK and opens it on the desk.
          Barney watches as Hitch takes the onyx fountain pen from its
          mount.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Who do I make it out to?
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
                         
          Hitch and Alma lie side by side in their separate beds. A
          copy of "The Dance of Death" by Strindberg lies on Hitch's
          bedside table. All traces of his bravado are gone...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           If this picture fails, Alma, we'll be in
           for a long, humiliating bout of crow-
           eating.
                         
                          ALMA
           The movie will be splendid.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Are you sure?
                         
                          ALMA
           Of the movie? Not in the least. But of
           you? Unquestionably.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - DAY
                         
          PUDGY FINGERS part the slats of the blind. Hitch stares out
          hoping for some human moment to spy on. He's restless...
                         
          Peggy ushers JOSEPH STEFANO, 30s, into Hitch's office.
                         
                          JOSEPH STEFANO
           Joe Stefano. Good to meet you.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Hitchcock leaves Stefano's hand dangling in mid air and sits
          down at his desk.
                         
           JOSEPH STEFANO (CONT'D)
           Sorry I was late. My shrink session ran
           overtime. I see him every day and it's
           still not enough.
                         
                          PEGGY
           I thought only director's assistants
           needed psychiatrists, not writers.
                         
          Stefano laughs off the barb and takes a seat as Peggy slips
          out.
                         
          The two men stare at each other but Stefano's not remotely
          intimidated.
                         
                          JOSEPH STEFANO
           Do you see a shrink, Mr. Hitchcock?
                         
          Hitch's eyes follow a plume of cigar smoke curling up to the
          ceiling...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No.
                         
          His gaze remains pointedly fixed on the ceiling.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I must say it boggles the mind to imagine
           what you and your "shrink" could possibly
           talk about daily.
                         
                          JOSEPH STEFANO
           The usual: sex. Rage. My mother.
                         
          Hitchcock lowers his gaze, suddenly intrigued.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY
                         
          Alma sits with the Hitchcocks' ACCOUNTANT who's consulting a
          ledger. She sits at her desk in the corner of the kitchen.
                         
                          ACCOUNTANT
           There's still the federal income tax
           payments... the property taxes... Not to
           mention the absence of any salary while
           he's actually making the film...
                         
                          ALMA
           Stop waffling, Donald. Give it to me
           straight.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          The Accountant takes off his glasses, plucking up the courage
          to look his favorite client in the eye.
                         
                          ACCOUNTANT
           Hitch wasn't exaggerating. If the film's
           a flop, you're going to have to sell the
           house.
                         
          Alma digests this.
                         
                          ALMA
           Where do you suggest we cut?
                         
                          ACCOUNTANT
           Anywhere you can.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
                         
          Alma's moved to the kitchen table and is sorting through the
          accounts herself, the dogs at her feet. Her face is now
          properly filled with concern.
                         
          Hitch enters, holding out some typed pages. Alma covers her
          worry. He puts the pages on the table next to her.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I got Joe Stefano to write out the first
           few scenes. Why don't you take a look?
                         
          Alma takes Stefano's pages and starts to read...Hitch goes to
          the fridge and opens the door.
                         
                          ALMA
           We're about to have dinner. You don't
           need anything else.
                         
          He shuts the door. Leans against the fridge door. Hitch waits
          but she gives nothing away...until she off-handedly places
          the pages on the table...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Well?
                         
          She doesn't look up...
                         
                          ALMA
           Hire him.
                         
          INT. UNKNOWN ROOM - DAY
                         
          Close on a blank page being fed into a Corona typewriter.
          FINGERS pound out "PSYCHO"
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          BY JOSEPH STEFANO.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE - MORNING
                         
          The door opens and Hitchs step outside. The Cadillac is
          waiting.
                         
          Alma follows him out and makes a final adjustment to his tie.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           The only thing worse than a visit to the
           dentist is one to the censor.
                         
                          ALMA
           Whatever you do, Alfred, don't lose your
           temper.
                         
          INT. PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION OFFICE - DAY
                         
          The intimidating plaque for the MPAA's "PRODUCTION CODE
          ADMINISTRATION OFFICE" on the wall.
                         
          Stefano's TITLE PAGE is tapped angrily by GEOFFREY SHURLOCK,
          70s, the much-feared administrator for the Motion Picture
          Production Code. He sits at the head of a big table with TWO
          ASSISTANTS. Sitting opposite are Hitchcock, Peggy and several
          silent PARAMOUNT EXECUTIVES.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           The Code will absolutely not permit you
           to show a knife penetrating a woman's
           flesh.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I assure you, Geoffrey, my murders, are
           always models of taste and discretion.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           Is there any improper suggestion of
           nudity in this murder scene in the
           shower?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           She won't be nude. She'll be wearing a
           shower cap.
                         
          Shurlock makes a note. A man utterly devoid of any sense of
          humor.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           We might accept a shot from outside the
           bathroom window with Marion in silhouette
           above the shoulders -- provided the glass
           is frosted.
                         
          Hitch greets the suggestion with barely concealed contempt.
          Shurlock turns the page.
                         
           G EOFFREY SHURLOCK
           Then -- this scene with the toilet.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's completely necessary. Marion flushes
           evidence later found by her sister. It's
           a clue to the girl's disappearance.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           No American movie has ever found it
           "necessary" to show a toilet, let alone
           to flush it.
                         
          Hitch turns to Peggy and a Paramount Executive.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Perhaps we ought to shoot the film in
           France and use a bidet instead?
                         
          No response from Shurlock's end of the room. Peggy stares
          down at the table.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           Mr. Hitchcock, if this office denies you
           a seal, and we're certainly heading in
           that direction, your movie will not be
           released in a single theater in this
           country. Will you be making jokes then?
                         
          Hitchcock gives a slow but meaningful shrug.
                         
           GEOFFREY SHURLOCK (CONT'D)
           Good. Now why don't we go all the way
           back to page two...
                         
                         ON HITCH
                         
          boiling with rage as we hear the flurry of script pages --
                         
          INT. PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE, BEVERLY HILLS - DAY
                         
          Sunlight filters through sheer curtains revealing Hitchcock
          trying his best to recline on an ANALYST'S COUCH.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Everyone in Hollywood resents me. I make
           them millions... and yet every year I sit
           at those dreadful award show dinners,
           waiting for them to say, just once,
           "You're good."
                         
          He looks around the luxurious office.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           They take sadistic pleasure in denying me
           that one little moment.
                         
                          ANALYST'S VOICE
           That must hurt.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Deeply.
                         
          Hitch fumbles for a handkerchief and mops his brow.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           You'll have to excuse me, doctor. I'm not
           used to this... process...
                         
                          ANALYST'S VOICE
           Take your time.
                         
          Now Hitch claws at his tie. It's hot in here.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's just that, more and more lately,
           I've been having these... impulses.
                         
          The analyst's MONTBLANC pen makes a note on a pad. We notice
          that his hands are surprisingly coarse.
                         
                          ANALYST'S VOICE
           What kind of impulses?
                         
          Finally Hitchcock is still. He stares up at the ceiling.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Strong ones.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
                         
          A FRIDGE DOOR SNAPS OPEN to reveal Hitchcock's FACE in the
          darkness. He's in his pajamas. His hand trembles next to a
          stack of chicken breasts and moves to an upturned GRAPEFRUIT
          HALF at the back of the shelf.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He pulls it out it to reveal a hidden stash of foie gras
          under the hollowed out grapefruit.
                         
          He's about to devour it when he catches sight of his
          DISTORTED REFLECTION in the chrome shelving.
                         
          He backs away, disgusted at this monster before him, the
          light of the fridge illuminating his expression.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, STUDY - NIGHT
                         
          A door is quietly shut and locked. The bottom drawer of a
          filing cabinet is inched open. A hand rummages deep inside
          and teases out a bulging MANILA FOLDER. A hidden stash of
          some kind.
                         
          The DESK LIGHT is switched on revealing HITCH. He carefully
          extracts the contents of the folder and lays them onto the
          desk.
                         
          A MASS OF PHOTOS OF ALL HIS BLONDE LEADING LADIES
                         
          A personal collection lovingly kept. He settles in to study
          it, picking out his favorites, arranging them in order.
          They're all in the same pose, all with hair pinned up into a
          perfect bun.
                         
          He looks at each image with intensifying desire. He's created
          all of them. Every detail.
                         
          But it's no longer enough...
                         
          THE ROW OF GLOSSY PERFECT BLONDES
                         
                          DISSOLVES TO :
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - SAME TIME
                         
          A row of HANDSOME ACTOR HEADSHOTS on a table. HITCH glares at
          the waiting ACTORS in the hallway through the blinds. He
          turns back to Peggy and Alma and pulls a face.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Send them all back to Glendale.
                         
          Hitch returns to the table to ponder yet more headshots.
          Peggy shares a glance with Alma, then slides over RODDY
          MCDOWELL'S HEADSHOT.
                         
                          PEGGY
           The Lazar Office tells me he's crazy to
           work with you.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Well, tell "Swifty" he shouldn't have
           overexposed his client on television.
                         
                          ALMA
           Unlike certain people we could mention.
                         
          Hitch ignores the barb. Undeterred, Alma pushes her ace card:
          a photo of ANTHONY PERKINS, radiating offbeat sensitivity and
          teen idol looks.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Think of the duality he could bring to
           Norman. The rage lurking behind that
           little-boy-lost grin. The winsome charm
           he uses to keep from being found out.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Why, Alma, you're not suggesting that Mr.
           Perkins is -- ?
                         
          She raises her pinky finger just slightly. Alma nods without
          judgement.
                         
                         ON HITCHCOCK
                         
          Pondering...
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, PARAMOUNT - NEXT DAY
                         
          Anthony Perkins now sits across from Hitchcock.
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           I can't count how many times I've seen
           Strangers On a Train and Rope.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Well, Norman is the logical extension of
           the boys in those movies. Appealing,
           sensitive, suffering the terrible burden
           of being forced to pretend to be
           something he is not.
                         
          Hitchcock's deeply-felt remark lands with Perkins.
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           My only worry is that playing Norman
           might cut too close to home.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           How so?
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Hitch's calmness is strangely reassuring to the young
          actor...
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           I was incredibly close to my mother. So
           close I remember wishing my father would
           drop dead. And then when I was five, he
           did just that...He keeled over from a
           heart attack.
                          (LAUGHING NERVOUSLY)
           You see I've been guilty my whole life,
           Mr. Hitchcock.
                         
          Hitch is enthralled.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Try to remember this is all just make
           believe.
                         
          Perkins wishes he could be more reassured...
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           Not to be prudish, but how far do you
           plan to push Norman's relationship with
           his mother?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Further than you can possibly imagine.
                         
          On Perkins uncertain expression -- what is he letting himself
          in for?
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, GARDEN - DAY
                         
          Hitchcock's RED SWEATING FACE as he grunts and heaves. He's
          dressed in gardening gear, laboring in the full bloom of the
          rose garden. Alma pushes a WHEELBARROW filled with manure.
                         
          She shovels the manure around the rosebushes.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I'm getting blisters just looking at you.
                         
                          ALMA
           Stop grumbling. A bit of fresh air and
           exercise is exactly what you need.
                         
          He holds his PRUNING SHEARS menacingly over a deep red
          Sydonie rose.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           If I could get Grace Kelly to play the
           girl, they'd let me get away with
           anything.
                         
                          ALMA
           Well you can't. She's a princess now
           which makes her permanently unattainable.
                         
          Hitchcock beheads the ROSE, muttering to himself.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           And all the more desirable.
                         
          His shears are now poised over a yellow specimen.
                         
                          ALMA
           Lew suggested Deborah Kerr.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Too... Scottish.
                         
          Hitchcock cuts it too and moves on to the stem of a perfect
          pink rose.
                         
                          ALMA
           What about Janet Leigh? She's always the
           `good girl' but she did awfully well in
           Touch of Evil. Lew mentioned her name. Do
           you remember how you always remarked on
           her figure at the Wassermans' parties?
                         
          As the shears hover on the stem, unsure whether to cut...
                         
           MATCH CUT TO:
                         
          INT. CHASEN'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT
                         
          THE SLENDER WAIST AND AMPLE BOSOM OF JANET LEIGH as she
          elegantly enters the dining room of Chasen's.
                         
          Hitch stands to greet her, his eyes follow her across the
          room in some private rapture..
                         
          Alma watches as Janet removes her glove and shakes Hitch's
          hand...before he guides her to the spot to his left, across
          from Alma.
                         
          INT. CHASEN'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT
                         
          Hitch finishes telling his story...
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Of course the real secret of Mrs.
           Simpson's appeal to the Duke of Windsor
           was that she could make a toothpick feel
           like a cigar.
                         
          He's so deadpan... it takes a moment before she laughs.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           You know, I've been so immersed in
           preparing to play Marion I'd almost
           forgotten how to laugh.
                         
          Hitch summons the waiter with a snap.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Now, you must try the banana shortcake.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Nothing for me, thank you. I'm watching
           my figure.
                         
          Alma watches all this with a fixed smile.
                         
                          ALMA
           You're not the only one.
           (to the waiter)
           We're fine, thank you.
                         
          Hitchcock ignores Alma, gesturing to the waiter again.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Bring her the banana shortcake, George.
           In fact make it two large portions.
                         
          He pointedly shifts to face Janet.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           So do tell me, how else have you've
           prepared to play Marion?
                         
          Janet hesitates.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I've written a complete history for
           her...It seems silly, but it helps me.
                         
          She turns to pull a LEATHER NOTEBOOK from her handbag,
                         
          Hitch's gaze locks onto her silken blonde hair, tied
          immaculately into the classic `Hitchcock bun'.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It doesn't sound silly at all. Tell me
           one of her deepest secrets.
                         
          A quick look to Alma, as if to ask for permission before :
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           She leads a double life. For instance,
           when she works at the Lowery office, she
           wears Tweed perfume. But, when she and
           Sam are together, she recklessly breaks
           out her one expensive bottle -- "My Sin"
           by Lanvin.
                         
          She notices Alma's expression.
                         
           JANET LEIGH (CONT'D)
           But...I do have a concern or two. I'm an
           actress but I'm also a wife and mother
           first, so I'm wondering just how you'll
           do that shower scene.
                         
                          ALMA
           You and the Shurlock Office.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           It's just... I mean even if you shoot me
           from here --
           (she indicates a spot just
           above her bosom)
           -- well it's not as if my figure is
           boyish.
                         
          Hitchcock looks down at her torso, as if noting it for the
          first time.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Allow me to put your mind at rest.
                         
          Alma reacts as Hitch reaches over and gives Janet's hand a
          reassuring squeeze.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           May I show you some of Mr. Saul Bass's
           marvellous story boards?
                         
          Hitch pulls out his folio case and shows Janet the
          storyboards (which we don't see).
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I plan to shoot quick bits of film from
           various angles.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (3)
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Cut together, this montage will suggest
           nudity and violence but nothing will
           actually be shown.
                         
          Janet studies them, deeply impressed. And relieved.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           And having you in the shower will make it
           all the more tit-illating --
                         
                          ALMA
           If you'll excuse me.
                         
          Alma's had enough. Janet's smile falters as she watches Alma
          get up and head to the restroom. She's unsure of what just
          happened but Hitch carries on regardless, either entirely
          oblivious or not caring at all...
                         
          INT. CHASEN'S RESTAURANT, LADIES ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Alma enters and looks in the mirror, quietly devastated. She
          looks up to find another reflection in a mirror behind her.
                         
          FULL LENGTH MIRROR
                         
          Alma is SUDDENLY TRANSFORMED into a Technicolor Hitchcock
          blonde. In a beautiful Edith Head gown, her skin is velvet
          perfection, her hair blonde and impeccable.
                         
                          ALMA
           Oh, come off it, old girl.
                         
          A bitchy STUDIO HEAD'S WIFE snaps Alma out of her reverie,
          joining her at the sink to powder her face.
                         
           STUDIO HEAD WIFE
           Alma, dear, how lovely to see you.
                         
                          ALMA
           Hello Lillian.
                         
           STUDIO HEAD WIFE
           You're looking a little pale. No wonder
           with that thing your husband's working on
           now. You can't possibly approve.
                         
          She's had a drink too many but the throwaway comment still
          hits Alma hard.
                         
           STUDIO HEAD WIFE (CONT'D)
           Why are you letting him do something so
           tasteless?
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALMA
           Don't upset yourself, darling. It's only
           a bloody movie.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, GARDEN - DAY
                         
          PERFECT PINK ROSEBUSHES
                         
          Like in a Douglas Sirk movie. The same roses that are the
          `color' of Janet Leigh. Alma hovers with her secateurs for a
          moment and then starts SNIPPING off their heads with a
          Caligula-like lack of mercy.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - MORNING
                         
          A vase of flowers, none of them pink, in the center of the
          table. Hitch STARES into a refrigerator filled with boring
          tasteless health-conscious food.
                         
          Alma enters briskly and holds up a handwritten LIST.
                         
                          ALMA
           I've made a list of places where we can
           tighten our belt.
                         
          She places the list on the table.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           It wouldn't hurt for us all to learn the
           art of self restraint.
                         
          Hitch goes over and picks it up, and reads.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           The gardeners only once a week and
           weekends off for the driver? No.
           Absolutely not. We'll find other places
           to cut.
                         
                          ALMA
           There aren't any other places. And
           furthermore, they'll be no more shipments
           from Maxim's either. We can't afford it.
                         
          She snatches the list out of his hand.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           The foie gras at Chasen's is more than
           adequate.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           But those geese are from Barstow not
           Marseilles.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          She turns back to him.
                         
                          ALMA
           We all have to make our little sacrifices
           for the greater good, don't we, Alfred?
                         
          She leaves Hitch to resume contemplating the contents of the
          fridge...but there's nothing there to satisfy his growling
          hunger. He SLAMS the fridge and --
                         
          INT. ED GEIN'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Suddenly we're moving through an empty living room, prowling,
          just like in a Hitchcock movie as we hear CLUNKING, then move
          over to catch a glimpse of Ed as he drags A WOMAN'S BODY,
          feet-first up the stairs. The clunking is from her head on
          the steps, which is wrapped in her dress.
                         
          INT. ED GEIN'S HOUSE, BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Ed approaches the shower curtain, then yanks it open with a
          METALLIC SCREECH. He pushes the body into the tub. Pulls the
          dress off her head and drops it on the floor.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           Stay here. I'm going to get the knives.
                         
          We pan to REVEAL HITCHCOCK standing in the corner. He looks
          terrified but completely enthralled -- he can't resist
          creeping forward for a thorough inspection. Hitch's POV as he
          steps closer to the tub and glimpses the woman's blood-
          spattered WHITE BRA and GIRDLE.
                         
          Suddenly -- FINGERS CLUTCH the rim of the tub.
                         
                          DEAD WOMAN
           Help me.
                         
          Hitch recoils but she LURCHES UP and GRABS his throat.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Ed! Ed!
                         
           SMASH CUT TO:
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Hitchcock bolts upright in bed, face beaded with sweat in the
          moonlight.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Ed... Ed...?
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          It takes a moment to get his bearings.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Am I making a mistake?
                         
          Alma stirs in her bed.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           What if it's another Vertigo?
                         
                          ALMA
           Oh, shut up. Just get the first take
           under your belt you'll be fine.
                         
          But Hitch isn't looking convinced.
                         
                         
          EXT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          A sign posted outside the soundstage reads, "PRODUCTION
          REHEARSALS 9401. ABSOLUTELY NO VISITORS!" It only makes
          passing REPORTERS AND WORKERS more curious.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Inside, it's a hive of quiet purposeful activity. A.D. HILTON
          GREEN escorts VERA MILES across the far side of the stage.
          She's 30, a classic blonde porcelain beauty in the Grace
          Kelly mold.
                         
                          PEGGY
           I still can't believe you cast Vera Miles
           as the sister.
                         
          Hitch sits in his director's chair reading a copy of the
          London Times.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I've still got her under contract. I may
           as well get something out of it.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Rather a thankless role, don't you think?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           For an utterly thankless girl.
                         
          But he still watches VERA over the top of his newspaper as
          the A.D. leads her through the maze of hazardous cables and
          light stands towards the fitting room.
                         
          She passes an actor in a HIGHWAY PATROLMAN'S UNIFORM trying
          on various sunglasses with the prop master.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          PEGGY
           Shurlock's office called again. They want
           to know when you'll be making the changes
           to the script.
                         
          Hitch gets up from his chair.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           The more we frustrate them the more their
           interest will wane.
                         
          He goes over to specify the correct sunglasses that should be
          worn. The Cop puts on the MIRRORED shades. Hitch nods his
          approval.
                         
          INT. BEVERLY HILLS STORE - DAY
                         
          CLOSE ON A RAIL OF SWIMSUITS. Alma browses through them
          carefully. They are all perfectly nice, if a little staid.
                         
          Her eyes suddenly catch a COLORFUL SWIMSUIT on the end of the
          rail. It's striking, even a little risque. She looks at the
          price tag. It's insanely expensive.
                         
          She turns to go... stops... then impulsively turns back and
          grabs it, heading into the changing room and closing the door
          behind her.
                         
          IN THE DARKNESS
                         
          light blasts through A TINY HOLE in the wall. An EYE
          positions itself in front of the peephole.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          We hear the VOICES of two women quietly conversing on the
          other side.
                         
                         HITCH
                         
          Strains to get a better view.
                         
          THROUGH THE HOLE
                         
          We catch teasing glimpses of golden girl Vera Miles stripping
          down to bra and panties.
                         
          INT. WARDROBE FITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          HITCHCOCK'S EYEBALL fills the frame as he peers through the
          tiny hole. We reveal Vera with sharp, bohemian costumer RITA
          RIGGS, 27, who drapes taupe-colored fabric to Vera's
          contours.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Break it to me gently. Am I playing a
           lesbian librarian?
                         
                          RITA RIGGS
           (re: the fabric)
           He chose it himself and had it imported
           from Paris.
                         
          Vera laughs dryly at a WIG on a dummy head.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           If I wear that, I'm going to look like
           George Washington.
                         
                          RITA RIGGS
           Wait until you see the undergarments he
           picked out for you.
                         
          Vera tosses off her shirt.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           I just have to keep telling myself, one
           more picture and I'm free as a bird.
                         
          She unhooks her bra and crosses to hang it on a hook right
          near the HOLE where we just saw Hitchcock's eye. His eye is
          gone, only darkness from the other side. Vera feels a chill
          and instinctively covers her breasts with her arm.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           Is there a fan blowing somewhere?
                         
          Rita returns with a punitive bra and girdle.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           Wow. The old man really is unhappy with
           me, isn't he?
                         
          EXT. JANET'S DRESSING ROOM, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitch knocks at the door.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Are you decent my dear?
                         
          JANET steps out dressed in a crisp, sexy white shirt and
          pencil skirt. She does a twirl for him. The effect is
          stunning. Even the stagehands stop to watch.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Am I alright?
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          His picks a tiny piece of lint on her sleeve.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Perfect.
                         
          As he escorts her onto the soundstage, Tony comes up to greet
          them.
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           I want to thank you again for this
           opportunity, Mr. Hitchcock.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's just "Hitch", Tony. Hold the cock.
                         
          Janet caught that -- she's clearly amused. Tony gives her a
          gracious peck on the cheek.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Look at you two. America's favorite boy
           and girl nextdoor...
                         
          Janet flicks a glance back at Hitch.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           And we're about to move to a whole new
           neighborhood.
                         
          Already, Tony can't help feel a little excluded from Hitch
          and Janet's little clique. Hitch ushers them across the
          soundstage where the crew are assembling.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Morning Janet. Morning Tony.
                         
          Vera Miles marches up in her frumpy tweed suit and wig.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           "Thanks" for the wardrobe, Hitch.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           (already moving past her)
           That's hand-woven imported camel hair
           from Rodier. Don't you approve?
                         
                          VERA MILES
           You're the genius.
                         
          She checkmates him with a ravishing smile.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           One thing, though. My script is missing
           the last ten pages.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Everyone's is. Until Alma finishes the
           revisions. Now hurry along, Vera. You're
           just in time for the oath.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           The what?
                         
          He steers her towards a line of laughing CREW MEMBERS forming
          a circle with the rest of the cast.
                         
          He takes Janet by the hand, placing her right next to him and
          officiously raises his right hand. The cast and crew duly
          follow suit, all except for Vera.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I solemnly promise...
                         
                          CREW
           I solemnly promise...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           (ignoring Vera's sarcasm)
           That I will not divulge the plot nor the
           many secrets of Psycho...
                         
                          CREW
           That I will not divulge the plot nor the
           many secrets of Psycho...
                         
          WE SEE VERA'S CROSSED FINGERS BEHIND HER BACK
                         
          Then tilt up to Janet's look of mock disapproval. Vera pokes
          her tongue out.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           To friends, relatives, trade reporters or
           columnists -- not even to outgoing
           President Dwight D. Eisenhower, God bless
           him.
                         
          Everyone cracks up, but Hitchcock's only interested in the
          reaction of his new blonde, standing in pride of place, right
          beside him.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - SAME TIME
                         
          ALMA sits at the desk typing away at the revisions for
          "Psycho." -- we see the title page.
                         
          A tiny solitary figure with nothing for company but a vase of
          wilting flowers...
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          She pauses, takes off her glasses and pushes aside her
          corrections, suddenly fed up with the all the work.
                         
          She looks out at the swimming pool, sparkling in the
          sunlight... then turns to the expensive-looking SHOPPING BAG
          half-open on the side...
                         
          We hear a LOUD SPLASH --
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, POOL - DAY
                         
          As Alma plunges into the water wearing her striking new
          swimsuit. She breaks into a front crawl. Her strokes are
          vigorous, surprisingly so.
                         
          She drives the length of the pool, her arms slashing through
          the water with increasing speed, her feet kicking out with
          rising intensity... harder and harder... faster and faster...
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitch guides Janet and Tony across the sound stage to the set
          of Norman's parlor.
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           Now, Hitch, explain to me why I'm
           watching Marion undress?
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I feel like I should take offense at
           that.
                         
          She and Tony laugh. Hitch's eyes light up at this display of
          mischief from her.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I don't know...Perhaps as a boy, Norman
           secretly watched his mother preparing for
           her nightly bath.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Maybe there was a transom over the
           bathroom door?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Yes -- one he could access with a chair
           so long as he was stealthy.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Well, a boy's first glimpse of a naked
           woman is usually his mother.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ANTHONY PERKINS
           So...I'm reliving the past, repeating a
           ritual with Marion?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           You're the actor. You figure it out.
                         
          Tony flinches at Hitch's brusque response.
                         
          They arrive at the set wall, where Hitch removes a painting
          to reveal the PEEPHOLE.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Hitch, I have a question. Why is the hole
           much larger on this side?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           All the better to see you at the greatest
           possible angle my dear...
                         
          Janet simply steps up and presses her face to the hole. Hitch
          studies her profile, quietly thrilled at her curiosity. Tony
          hangs back, watching Hitch watching her...
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Wow. You really do your research, don't
           you?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's just my Jesuit work ethic.
                         
          He takes a quick peek through the hole now too...then puts
          the painting carefully back into place over it.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (PRE-LAP) (CONT'D)
           The truth is... I'm only happy when I'm
           working...
                         
          INT. PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE, BEVERLY HILLS - DAY
                         
          Hitch lies on his Analyst's couch.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           ... and if I'm not working then I'm
           nothing. I'm not even a person. I'm just
           a collection of molecules. A useless
           cylinder of ugly flesh.
                         
          The Analyst circles one of his notes on a pad with his
          Montblanc. Again, we notice how rough-hewn his hands are.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           ANALYST'S VOICE (O.S.)
           What about your mother? Let's go back to
           her.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           My mother? Yes.
                         
          Hitch looks over at the unseen analyst and considers him.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           She was an extraordinary person. She
           exposed me to Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw.
           She hoped I would go into engineering --
           carry a lunch pail, gold watch at fifty.
                         
           ANALYST'S VOICE (O.S.)
           She didn't approve of your career?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           To her, movie people were akin to thieves
           and prostitutes.
                         
          He turns back to look out the window.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           If I misbehaved, she'd make me stand at
           the foot of her bed and discuss how I
           planned to become a better boy.
                         
          The Analyst leans forward and we see his dirty, worn-down
          fingernails.
                         
           ANALYST'S VOICE (O.S.)
           Have you ever considered that your deep
           desire to gain the approval of your
           industry represents a textbook case of
           transference?
                          (THEN)
           The Oscar is your mother.
                         
          REVEAL THE ANALYST
                         
          It's ED GEIN. In his Sunday best, his shovel leaning against
          the mahogany-paneled wall in the background.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           You're a fine one to talk.
                         
          INT. WARDROBE FITTING ROOM, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitchcock leads Janet to a row of brassieres, all laid out
          for inspection. They are all white with recognizable labels:
          Berlei, Triumph, Marks & Spencer. He picks out one of them.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           You will be wearing a white bra like this
           for the opening scene on the bed. And
           then after you've stolen the money...
                         
          They move on to a second row of brassieres - all dark.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I switch to one of these.
                         
          He nods, correct. She moves over to a mannequin displaying
          the iconic jet black brassiere.
                         
                          RITA RIGGS
           Are you sure you don't want to look at
           something a little more elegant?
                         
                          HITCHCOCK
                          (SHARP)
           No. They have to look like they were
           bought at Sears and Roebuck. I want every
           woman in the audience to look up at Janet
           having sex with John Gavin and think,
           `that could be me'.
                         
          Janet reads the label. It's "Maidenform."
                         
                          JANET
           This is the brand I wear.
                         
          Hitch digests the information and turns to Rita.
                         
                          HITCHCOCK
           We're ready for a fitting.
                         
          As Rita starts to measure Janet's chest, Hitchcock lifts his
          hands and `frames' her...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O. PRE-LAP)
           We travel across the rooftops of downtown
           Phoenix and finally, through the heat,
           pick out a certain hotel window...
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Close on Hitchcock's FRAMING HANDS as they now travel up to
          an open window with blinds half down...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We go under the blinds and match dissolve
           into the room itself...
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, BEDROOM SET - LATER
                         
          HITCHCOCK'S HANDS have now become THE CAMERA, recording the
          scene already underway and now watched by HITCHCOCK, his
          DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY and CREW from across the stage...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           We pan over and discover John and Janet
           on the bed.
                         
          ...the camera moves to Janet and John making out on the bed.
          It's serious stuff.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           She'll be wearing only her undergarments
           and a large glow of satisfaction...
                         
          JANET smiles up at John contentedly.
                         
                         ON HITCH
                         
          watching from his directing chair. Peggy stands next to him.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Cut.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Good luck getting this one past the
           censor.
                         
          EXT. STUDIO GATES, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Alma drives the gleaming black Cadillac through the UNIVERSAL
          GATES and pulls up to the production office outside the
          stage.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Alma collects the script pages off the front seat and walks
          into the production office just missing Whit as he strolls
          back towards the writers building with a couple of pretty
          SECRETARIES.
                         
          Whit pauses when he spots the Hitchcocks' CADILLAC.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           You girls go on ahead.
                         
          The PRETTIEST ONE stops to make Whit light her cigarette
          before catching up with the others.
          INT. HITCHCOCK OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Peggy reads the final pages while Alma inspects the
          production boards.
                         
                          PEGGY
           If you ask me, the credits should read
           "Screenplay by Joseph Stefano and Alma
           Reville."
                         
                          ALMA
           The people who matter know. That's all
           that counts.
                         
          As she makes a few more changes to the schedule. Alma turns
          to Peggy whose face tightens as she continues reading.
          Clearly it's strong stuff.
                         
                          PEGGY
           I'd hate to see Shurlock's face when he
           reads this.
                         
          She puts the pages down.
                         
                          PEGGY (CONT'D)
           Alma, you always know the answer. Is this
           really going to work?
                         
          A candid moment between the two women... but Alma doesn't
          answer, just leaves.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Alma emerges into the sunshine and looks across at the
          soundstage, wondering whether she should go over there...
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Hello, stranger.
                         
          She turns to see Whit leaning against the Cadillac.
                         
                          ALMA
           Whit.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Where have you been hiding yourself?
                         
                          ALMA
           I've been doing the revisions on...
                         
          She points to the PSYCHO HOUSE on the ridge.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Psycho.
                          (THEN)
           And how is the old boy?
                         
                          ALMA
           In a state of unbridled ecstacy now that
           he's back on the set.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           And you? How are you?
                         
                          ALMA
           Not bad. I've got eight hundred words to
           do for Reader's Digest on what it's like
           to be married to a man obsessed by
           murder.
                         
          He looks at her a moment.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I've got a better idea.
                         
          He steps closer.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           Why don't we drive out to Santa Barbara?
           We'll have Emilio fry up those juicy
           steaks we like at El Encanto.
                         
          He playfully tugs at her sleeve.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           No shoptalk ... No silly magazine
           articles...just a wonderful meal...
                         
          Alma's expression gives away nothing as we pan over to the
          WINDOW of the production office and notice the tell-tale BEND
          in the blinds.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - SAME TIME
                         
          Hitch looks out at Whit and Alma through the window, just
          like he did with the other couple earlier. Except this little
          interaction is far from dull.
                         
           A.D. HILTON GREEN
           We're ready for you on the set, Mr.
           Hitchcock.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I'll be right there.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          But Hitch doesn't move.
                         
           A.D. HILTON GREEN
           Mr. Hitchcock?
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, FOYER - DAY
                         
          ALMA enters the silent, empty house smiling to herself. She
          walks through to -
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY
                         
          - and puts the grocery bags down on the counter. She listens.
          The house is eerily quiet, until, from behind --
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Was there a line at the market?
                         
          Alma looks up, but doesn't turn round, well used to Hitch's
          cryptic ways.
                         
                          ALMA
           No. Actually, I'm back sooner than I
           expected.
                         
          She puts on an apron and gets to work, preparing dinner.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Would you like a cocktail?
                         
          He heads for the liquor cabinet.
                         
                          ALMA
           No.
           (he starts to head off)
           And you shouldn't either.
                         
          Hitchcock stops. Pulls out a CELERY STICK from one of the
          bags and bites it.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Those haven't been washed yet.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
                          (CHEWING)
           I don't care.
                          (THEN)
           I was filming all day with John Gavin --
           a good-looking chap but, really, plywood
           is more expressive. His love scene with
           Janet may be most horrifying thing in the
           picture.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He takes another BITE, searching her face for some tell-tale
          sign of guilt.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Even your friend Whitfield Cook would be
           better in the scene.
                         
                          ALMA
           You should tell Whit that. He'd be
           flattered.
                         
          She gets to work preparing a salad. Hitch studies the back of
          her tiny, vulnerable neck, the delicate sinews and muscles as
          they rise and flex.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Hitch arranges his pillows and settles into bed while Alma
          finishes getting ready.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Maybe I was too dismissive about your
           friend Whitfield's book. Perhaps he and
           Elizabeth could come over this weekend
           and he can walk me through it.
                         
          Alma's radar activates but Hitch continues oh-so-
          nonchalantly.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Lovely woman, Elizabeth...
                         
          He carefully folds his blanket as if wrapping a murder
          victim. She's not exactly sure what he's implying but she
          knows she doesn't like it.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I was hoping you could come by the set
           tomorrow.
                         
                          ALMA
           I'll see how my day shapes up.
                         
          She turns onto her side away from him. Pulls the blankets
          around her, her eyes still WIDE OPEN.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (PRE-LAP)
           You think you can get away with it but
           you can't...
                         
          Alma's eyes become HITCHCOCK'S EYES, staring ahead intently.
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - CAR SCENE - DAY
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           ... You think they can't tell... but they
           can. They know. It's all closing in on
           you. The noose is tightening...
                         
          As he continues, we pull back and see:
                         
          THE REAR-PROJECTION SET
                         
          Janet emotes for Hitchcock's CAMERA while "driving" a PARTIAL
          CAR, being rocked by STAGE HANDS.
                         
          Peggy and other CREW time and mark the takes. ELECTRICIANS
          AND GAFFERS turn mounted lamps that rake across Janet's
          worried face like car headlights.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           You could return the money secretly, but
           what would be the point?
                         
          He wipes his brow, getting more intense...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           You, Marion Crane. The prim and proper
           girl who's always been so tight and
           respectable. So perfect and untouchable.
           Well, they know all about your dirty
           little secret, don't they? Your messy,
           sticky lunchtime trysts. Yes, your boss
           Mr. Lowery could even smell the sex on
                          YOU--
                         
          SUDDENLY THE REAR SCREEN film breaks and a frame burns.
                         
          It's a good thing because Janet is starting to look a little
          uncomfortable -- was that meant to be funny? As technicians
          yell and hustle, Hitchcock turns to Peggy --
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Circle that.
                         
          INT. JANET LEIGH'S DRESSING ROOM - DAY
                         
          As Janet gets changed, Vera hangs up her frumpy coat on a
          rack, looking over a little enviously at Janet's good
          girl/bad girl underwear hanging nearby.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Have you talked to him much about your
           personal life?
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Not really...
                         
                          VERA MILES
           I'd keep it that way if I were you.
           (Off Janet's look)
           He starts by choosing your hairstyle and
           clothes and then he wants to choose your
           friends and decide how many children you
           should have.
                         
          Janet finds this a little hard to believe. Vera leans in,
          lowering her voice.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           That poor, tortured soul Jimmy Stewart
           played in Vertigo? That's Hitch, only
           younger, slimmer and better-looking.
                         
          That may well be true but it doesn't bother Janet.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Compared to Orson Welles, he's a
           sweetheart.
                         
          They both turn, sensing something -- and see HITCHCOCK'S
          DISTINCTIVE SHADOW PROFILE in the hallway. The shadow
          lingers, then recedes like in a scary ghost story.
                         
                          VERA MILES
                          (WHISPERS)
           See? He's always watching.
                         
          They laugh nervously.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
                         
          Alma comes in from her gardening, and settles on the sofa
          with a cup of tea, a circled copy of TV Guide next to her.
                         
          On television -- the 1950 Hitchcock classic Stage Fright.
          The credits come up: "Screenplay by Whitfield Cook,
          Adaptation by Alma Reville."
                         
          Alma watches, thrilled at the sight of her name and Whit's
          together.
                         
          ON THE TV
                         
          The words "DIRECTED BY ALFRED HITCHCOCK" overwhelm the small
          screen. Alms puts down her fork, no longer hungry.
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, HALLWAY - DAY
                         
          ALMA heads back to the kitchen, only to pause at the open
          door to Hitch's study -- there's something on the desk.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, STUDY - CONTINUOUS
                         
          THE HITCHCOCK BLONDES
                         
          Hitch's personal collection. Alma enters and starts to go
          through them. Each photo is turned over a little more roughly
          than the last. It's hard to tell whether she's more angry at
          the photos or the fact that they've been deliberately left
          for her to find...
                         
          Alma takes off an earring, picks up the phone and starts to
          dial...
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - SAME TIME
                         
          As the crew prepares the car set to go again, Hitch strides
          over to PEGGY who's dialing a phone.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What's the hold up?
                         
                          PEGGY
           It's still engaged.
                         
          He takes the phone himself just as Vera Miles emerges from
          her dressing room, script in hand.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Hitch, I'm stuck on Lila's first scene. I
           don't know how strongly I should confront
           Sam and the detective and I --
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
                          (ACIDLY)
           Fake it.
                         
          He turns his back on her and dials. The ENGAGED TONE blares
          in his ear. His eyes narrow at some crew members fussing with
          bits of LIGHT and SOUND EQUIPMENT.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Does it really require two men to carry a
           light stand?
                         
           A.D. HILTON GREEN
           I'll take care of it right away, Mr.
           Hitchcock.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He rushes off to fix it. Off Peggy's questioning look.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's different when their pay is coming
           out of your own pocket.
                         
          He raps the receiver button, more intensely this time, and
          redials.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, STUDY - DAY
                         
          But Alma's still on the phone to Whit, basking in his charm.
          Her feet are up. There's a drink in her hand.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (ON PHONE)
           Well, I think that sounds like a fabulous
           idea. We'll have a late lunch. I'll make
           the reservation for one thirty.
                         
                          ALMA
           What would I do without you?
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Till then, bye.
                         
          She hangs up, toying with her earring, feeling better already
          when the PHONE rings again very quickly. She picks up without
          even thinking --
                         
                          ALMA
                          (LAUGHING)
           What did you forget now?
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Pudgy fingers clench the coiled PHONE CORD as we move up to
          Hitch's face. He's silent as a burglar, not even daring to
          breathe...
                         
           ALMA (ON PHONE)
           Whit? Is that you?
                         
          The blood drains from Hitch's face as he very slowly and
          carefully replaces the receiver. His mind starts to spin.
          He's got to get out of there...
                         
          CROSSING THE STAGE
                         
          Hitch lurches towards the production office, starting to
          sweat, but his path is blocked by GRIPS laying cables. The
          set is suddenly a cacophony of noise and chaos.
                         
          A PR FLACK appears --
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          PR FLACK
           Mr. Hitchcock, every press outlet is
           driving us crazy for photos --
                         
          Hitch brushes past him to find another route but more grips
          are moving a ladder. He turns, kicks a platter of healthy
          snacks out of the way, only for an ARCLIGHT to swivel in his
          face and blind him.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Are you okay? You've gone very pale.
                         
          Peggy's face suddenly comes into focus.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Stop trailing me like a puppy dog and get
           me something long, cool and wet.
                         
                          PEGGY
           It's not even three.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Give me the key!
                         
          He snatches it and pushes past her, leaving her flat.
                         
          EXT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY - CONTINUOUS
                         
          HITCH exits the soundstage doors, only to find the humorless
          face of BARNEY BALABAN blocking his office door.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Hello, Hitch. How's the picture? I'm
           hearing interesting things...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's a wonder you can hear anything over
           the noise coming from the Shurlock
           office.
                         
          Balaban offers up his handkerchief. Hitchcock waves it away
          even though he's now covered in sweat.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           I shouldn't be in a position of just
           hearing things, Hitch. It's time you
           showed me some footage.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Why?
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           To see if you're making a picture
           Paramount can actually release.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           As you well know, Barney, my contract
           guarantees me final cut.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Your contract also says Paramount isn't
           required to distribute any film that
           could cause us embarrassment.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Unlike the last five Martin and Lewis
           pictures you're all so proud of.
                         
          He slams the door in Balaban's startled face.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitchcock loosens his collar and catches a glimpse of himself
          in a mirror. He's unraveling and it shows.
                         
           BARNEY BALABAN (O.S.)
           I demand to see some footage, Hitch.
                         
          Hitch lowers the window blinds over Balaban's face and
          fumbles for the phone.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Connect me to Maxim's of Paris.
                         
          He takes the key and opens the liquor cabinet ignoring the
          INSISTENT KNOCKING at the door --
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
                          (ON PHONE)
           Yes, it's Alfred Hitchcock in Hollywood,
           California, Jean-Claude. I need three
           pounds of foie gras sent on the next
           flight out.
                          (THEN)
           That's correct. Three.
                         
          He pours himself five fingers of scotch.
                         
          EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - DAY
                         
          A majestic view of the coastline as Whitfield Cook's Cream
          MERCEDES 190CL, zooms along, top down. Alma wears white-
          rimmed sunglasses and a head scarf.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Whitfield, in true Hitchcock leading man style, has the
          perfect amount of wind blowing through his hair.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Those steaks haven't changed at all, have
           they?
                         
                          ALMA
           It's so nice not to have to take care of
           someone, even if it's just for an hour or
           two.
                         
          She takes in the sparkling scenery whipping past.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Whit, where are we going? You still
           haven't told me.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I have a little surprise.
                         
                          ALMA
           A surprise. How fun.
                         
          Whit just smiles as he jams the acceleration and the car
          ROARS off down the highway.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitch stands in the parking lot tapping his foot impatiently
          near the parked Ford Fairlaine police car used in `PSYCHO'.
          Janet watches him, sitting behind the wheel of her VOLKSWAGEN
          BEETLE. After a moment she toots her horn and drives up.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           What happened to your driver?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I've been asking myself the same thing.
                         
          She smiles.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I can give you a ride if you want.
                         
          Hitchcock raises an eyebrow at the tiny car, and then, with
          great effort inches his massive frame through the open door.
          INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Did you know Adolf Hitler sketched the
           design for this car on Ferdinand
           Porsche's cocktail napkin in a Berlin
           beer garden?
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I didn't.
                         
          She turns to see Hitch wedged uncomfortably into his seat.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's only now that I truly appreciate
           just how diabolical Herr Hitler was.
                         
          She notices him eyeing the half-eaten bag of CANDY CORN on
          the dashboard (the kind Norman Bates enjoys throughout
          "Psycho".)
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           May I?
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Help yourself.
           (letting him in on it)
           I pinched them from Tony's dressing room.
                         
          He takes one and chews it curiously.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           So this is what they eat at the drive-
           ins...
                         
          He takes the whole bag and sets to work, popping them in one
          after the other.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I thought you only ate Fauchon chocolate.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Needs must when the devil drives, my
           dear.
                         
          He's so deadpan but now there's no way to tell if he's joking
          or not. She puts the car into gear, sensing his despair.
                         
          EXT. SANTA BARBARA BEACH - DAY
                         
          TWO PAIRS OF FEET
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          nesting in the sand. Alma and Whit sit out watching the surf.
          The water laps over their toes.
                         
                          ALMA
           I don't mind that he uses his obsession
           to fuel his art. I just don't like it
           when he uses it against me.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           He's like any great artist. Impossible to
           live with but worth the effort.
           (he throws a rock into the
                          SEA)
           Van Gogh wasn't exactly a walk in the
           park either.
                         
                          ALMA
           Did you know when we started out I was
           his boss? He didn't even dare ask me out
           until he'd worked his way up to assistant
           director.
                         
          Whit watches as she picks up some sand, lets it run through
          her fingers...
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           What do you think of that place over
           there?
                         
          He nods to a SMALL BEACH HOUSE up the way.
                         
                          ALMA
           Looks nice. Terrific location. Why?
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           It's mine.
                         
          She looks at him askance. Is he joking?
                         
                          ALMA
           I just saw Elizabeth. Why on earth didn't
           she tell me?
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           She doesn't know about it.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE - DAY
                         
          The sun is setting on the Hitchcocks' driveway. The VW pulls
          to a stop in front of the front door.
                         
          INSIDE THE CAR
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Janet looks over -- decides to risk it.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           So what did happen between you and Vera?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I was going to make her star. But she
           chose the life of a housewife.
                         
          He stops chewing. We push in as his features turn reflective.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I cast her as the lead in Vertigo. Then
           two weeks before filming she told me was
           pregnant.
                         
          He screws up the empty bag of candy and looks over at Janet.
          Then, almost like a child --
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Why do they do it? Why do they always
           betray me?
                         
                         ON JANET
                         
          As she looks across and sees the lonely abandoned little boy
          just sitting there...
                         
          EXT. SANTA BARBARA BEACH - SUNSET
                         
          Alma enters the beach house cautiously and looks around. It
          is old and falling apart with only a few functional
          furnishings.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I'm just leasing it for the offseason. A
           place to get away from the wife and kid
           and write.
                         
                          ALMA
           Very Bohemian.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           You might find that room interesting.
                         
          Alma looks. The door is partially open -- she sees the one
          conspicuously new item of furniture. A double bed.
                         
                          ALMA
           Whit. I hope you haven't got the wrong
           idea.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He gives her a rakish grin, then pushes the door open further
          to reveal the deck beyond.
                         
          TWO MAUVE CORONA TYPEWRITERS
                         
          Sit on a table facing each other.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           If you were serious about helping me
           adapt my book, I thought it would be the
           perfect hideaway.
                         
          She lets this sink in, entranced by the incredible view and
          the crashing surf.
                         
          Then, she steps out onto the deck and up to one of the
          typewriters. Gives the key an approving TAP.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, FOYER - DAY
                         
          Hitch enters the empty house at dusk. The dogs greet him. He
          listens a moment... then walks through to the study.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, STUDY - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitch pours himself a brandy and downs it in one. He goes to
          pour himself a second, when he notices something on the desk.
                         
          It's his collection of PHOTOS by the TELEPHONE. They're all
          neatly stacked.
                         
          With a SINGLE GOLD EARRING on top.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Hitch lies in bed, his thoughts racing as he waits for Alma
          to come home.
                         
          Finally, the sound of the car comes up the driveway.
                         
          He turns onto his side and pulls up the blankets, listening
          to the sound of the front door ... and Alma's footsteps down
          the hall.
                         
          She quietly slips into the bathroom and shuts the door before
          turning the light on. He watches her shadow through the strip
          of light at the bottom of door.
                         
          When the bathroom light switches off again Hitch hurriedly
          closes his eyes.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Alma emerges in her nightgown and stops at his bedside,
          peering down on him. She's not completely sure that he's
          actually awake, but she suspects.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT (LATER)
                         
          Hitch eases himself up and looms over Alma to make sure she
          is safely asleep.
                         
          He silently picks up her HANDBAG and takes it to the window.
          Using the moonlight he searches its contents. Car keys.
          Lipstick. Purse.
                         
          And the first few pages of a story outline:
                         
          "TAXI TO DUBROVNIK"
                         
          The pages vibrate in his hand as his gaze lowers to reveal
          the rest of the TITLE PAGE: "STORY TREATMENT BY WHITFIELD
          COOK & ALMA REVILLE."
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT (LATER)
                         
          A GLISTENING MOUND OF FOIE GRAS spooned into Hitchcock's
          mouth straight from the MAXIM'S OF PARIS tin. Hitch stands in
          the glare of the open fridge, a beast feeding in its cave,
          shoving in mouthful after mouthful. It's almost pornographic
          in its indulgence.
                         
          GEIN steps out of the shadows and puts a comforting hand on
          Hitch's shoulder.
                         
          We hear the civilized CLINK of cutlery against china...
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, DINING ROOM - DAY
                         
          Hitch and Alma sit at the table having lunch. Alma eats a
          pork chop while Hitch defiantly nibbles at his healthy salad.
          He has a nice big glass of red wine which Alma ignores.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           So I read your finished treatment. "Taxi
           to -- " Where was it?
                         
                          ALMA
           Dubrovnik.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           That's it. Dubrovnik. Care to hear my
           opinion?
                         
                          ALMA
           Yes. Naturally.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           There's no other way of saying it. It's
           stillborn. Dead in the water.
                         
          Alma blinks, unable to hide her shock.
                         
                          ALMA
           How so?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           (with mock compassion)
           The plot's a muddle. Some of the jokes
           are awfully like things we already did
           better hundreds of years ago in The Lady
           Vanishes. And your villain is weak. But
           the biggest failure is the relationship
           between the hero and heroine.
                         
          He picks up a radish and bites into it.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           If you weren't so smitten with your
           friend Whitfield cook you'd probably see
           that.
                         
          Alma is entirely stunned. Hitchcock has delivered the killer
          blow he intended. He gets up and goes over to the garden
          door.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Women never really care to face the truth
           when their hearts are involved, do they?
                         
          As he steps out into the garden --
                         
                          ALMA
           How would you know what really goes on
           between a man and a woman?
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, GARDEN - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitch searches his pockets for his lighter but can't find it.
          His annoyance only increases when he notices the SCATTERED
          LEAVES `contaminating` the surface of the pool.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Look at this mess.
                         
          He grabs the net and starts scooping them out.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Bloody belt-tightening.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          He can't get the net into the inflow filter so he gets down
          on his hands and knees and starts PULLING OUT the leaves with
          his hands.
                         
                         ALMA
                         
          watches from the window... then turns away.
                         
                         HITCH
                         
          Pulls out handful after handful of wet leaves, clawing away
          at them like a madman...
                         
          A TEMPERATURE DIAL INCHES INTO THE RED
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - SET
                         
          Stage hands and engineers test a row of HOT WATER TANKS
          installed on the set.
                         
          WE FOLLOW the sound of rushing water through a PIPE as it
          snakes across the set floor and passes through a fake wall to
                         
          A SHOWER HEAD
                         
          Unleashing a stream of STEAMING HOT WATER. The SET HAND gives
          the thumbs up.
                         
                          SET HAND
           Tell the boss we're ready.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Peggy and A.D. Hilton Green exchange a glance as Hitchcock
          paces up and down in the corridor, eager to get to work.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What's the hold-up? Call time was two
           hours ago.
                         
          Peggy nervously knocks on Janet's door and peers inside --
                         
          INT. JANET LEIGH'S DRESSING ROOM - DAY
                         
          Rita Riggs is hard at work molding MOLESKIN PATCHES to
          Janet's nipples.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           And you're sure this moleskin will stay
           put?
                         
                          RITA RIGGS
           Mr. Hitchcock promised.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Neither woman looks convinced but they proceed with blind
          faith.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           It better. I'm going to be taking a
           shower all week.
                         
          As Janet slips on her robe, a MOLESKIN TRIANGLE PLOPS onto
          the floor. Rita and Janet share a worried look.
                         
          EXT. BEACH HOUSE, SANTA BARBARA - DAY
                         
          Alma sits at her typewriter while Whit stares off, looking a
          little uncertain.
                         
                          ALMA
           Forget what Hitch said. He's just feeling
           his age. He'll come around.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           But he's right. It does need more
           feeling.
                         
          Alma ponders the problem. Finally --
                         
                          ALMA
           So why don't we put some in?
                         
          She gets to her feet and starts to pace...
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           All we need is a better catalyst. Some
           innocuous little trigger to release all
           that underlying desire.
                         
          The soothing sound of the ocean gives way to the relentless
          HISS of SHOWER WATER --
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - MOTEL SHOWER SET - DAY
                         
          Janet nervously removes her bathrobe and heads toward the
          MOCK SHOWER STALL.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Good morning.
                         
          He takes her hand and guides her into position.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           As I explained earlier, this scene will
           be made up of many shots from Mr. Bass's
           boards. A series of looks - actions...
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Well, you're the professional. You'll
           know how to do it.
                         
          Around them, the crew frantically finalize the CAMERA and
          LIGHT SETUPS. MALE CREW MEMBERS look uncomfortable and
          excited by the unprecedented sight of a virtually nude movie
          star.
                         
          Saul Bass comes over with his boards and Hitch and he discuss
          the planned shot a moment.
                         
           FIRST A.D. HILTON GREEN
           Tony's stunt double is ready.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Ah. There's our murderess.
                         
          Into frame steps Anthony Perkins' FEMALE STUNT DOUBLE, MARGO,
          wearing a gingham dress, silver wig and BLACK MAKEUP TO MASK
          HER FACE. She wields a large PROP KNIFE and almost blocks our
          view of Janet in the white-tiled stall.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
                          (TO JANET)
           Are you ready for our little bloodbath?
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           My mother always said, "Have confidence
           in yourself and you can lick anything."
                         
          Hitchcock takes Janet's hand, and with tremendous sincerity :
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           My mother used to say the same thing.
                          (THEN)
           Let's go for a take. Quiet everyone.
                         
          Over and over, Margo attacks with the knife and Janet tries
          deflecting the blows but both women are timid and Janet is
          clearly guarding her modesty and covering her body.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Cut. More intensely. Let's go again.
                         
          Margo's KNIFE comes at Janet uncertainly and every which way.
          Naked and exposed, Janet defends against the knife blows as
          they come at her but Margo's still pulling her punches--
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           No. More angry. You are possessed with
           unbridled homicidal rage.
                          (LEAPING UP)
           Cut. Cut camera.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
          He charges over to Margo to demonstrate the savage stabbing
          gesture he demands.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Does no one understand what I'm trying to
           accomplish here? I'm older than anyone on
           this stage and I'm still standing.
                         
          Everyone falls silent, unsure how to respond. Hitchcock HOLDS
          OUT HIS HAND.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Give me the knife.
                         
          Margo places the knife in Hitchcock's palm.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Props. Bring in more blood.
                         
          A FEMALE MAKEUP ASSISTANT squirts more CHOCOLATE SYRUP
          "blood" onto Janet from a PLASTIC BOTTLE OF BOSCO.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Roll camera.
                         
          As the scene is marked, we see Hitchcock's anxiety. There is
          NO SOUND except Hitchcock's ragged breathing.
                         
                          CREW MEMBER
           Ready, sir.
                         
          Hitchcock nods. The camera whirs. Hitchcock hoists the knife
          into the air with terrifyingly convincing power and
          malevolence.
                         
          THE SHOWER CURTAIN GETS YANKED BACK --
                         
          We see in the shower from Hitchcock's POV not Janet but
          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK. Hitchcock SLASHES the censor a killer blow
          that sends him reeling.
                         
          THE SHOWER CURTAIN GETS YANKED BACK AGAIN --
                         
          Shurlock is replaced by BARNEY BALABAN. Hitchcock stabs him
          with unleashed fury and hate.
                         
          THE SHOWER CURTAIN GETS YANKED BACK AGAIN --
                         
          WHIT turns, he's naked and smiling. Hitch plunges the knife
          into his back, and he drops, revealing ALMA, arms around his
          waist.
          THE SHOWER CURTAIN GETS YANKED BACK AGAIN --
                         
          We're back in the real moment -- JANET LEIGH SCREAMING as she
          gives the `performance' of a lifetime.
                         
          Hitchcock stops stabbing. His heart pounds. He's soaked with
          sweat. The only sound is the drip-drip-drip of the shower...
                         
                         ON HITCH
                         
          As he realizes EVERYONE is staring at him. He straightens his
          tie, attempting to regain some semblance of control.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Print. We've got it.
                         
          He exits quickly.
                         
          Rita escorts the shaken and exhausted Janet off set, passing
          Vera who's witnessed the whole thing. She's wearing a
          bathrobe. Janet gives her a look as if to say `Now I
          understand.'
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE - UNIVERSAL REVUE - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitch shuts his office door and leans back against it. He
          closes his eyes, nauseated and dizzy. He doesn't even need to
          open them to know who's there, waiting for him.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Not now, Ed. It's really not a good time.
                         
          He staggers towards the water cooler, fumbling for a cup.
                         
          Ed steps forward and pours him some water, pats his shoulder.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           You just can't keep this stuff bottled
           up.
                         
          But before Hitch can drink it he crashes to the floor.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE - UNIVERSAL REVUE - SAME TIME
                         
          Peggy and Perkins to react to the noise...
                         
          HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE - UNIVERSAL REVUE - SAME TIME
                         
          They come through the door to see Hitch lying on the floor.
          He looks like he's dead.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Oh God...
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Peggy rushes forward to help. Perkins just stands and stares,
          as if paralysed in some Freudian nightmare.
                         
                         A TELEPHONE
                         
          starts to ring.
                         
          EXT. BEACH HOUSE, SANTA BARBARA - DAY
                         
          It is inside the beach house, and partially drowned out by
          the sound of the crashing waves. Alma and Whit are on the
          deck, acting out the scene as they write, too engrossed to
          notice.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           What if Helen and Michael try and get
           into the cab at the same time?
                         
                          ALMA
           Even better, what if they reached for the
           cab door at exactly the same time?
                         
          Alma demonstrates so that their hands touch.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           That way, we could start close on the
           hands...
           (tracking the movement)
           ... and then tilt up to the eyes.
                         
          They stare into each other's eyes, lips just inches apart...
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           That feels better already.
                         
          Finally, the phone intrudes.
                         
                          ALMA
           Are you going to get that?
                         
          With some effort, Whit goes inside and picks it up.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (O.S.)
           Hullo?... Yes... Hold on.
                         
          He comes outside, holding out the receiver for Alma.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           It's for you.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Peggy grips the phone, her face full of concern.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          PEGGY
           I know you told me only to call in an
           emergency, but I'm not sure how else to
           describe this.
                         
          Hitch lies slumped on the floor. A compress over his
          forehead. His head lolls to one side as he slips in and out
          of consciousness...
                         
           FADE TO BLACK.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Disarray on the set.
                         
          MARTIN BALSAM watches as SAUL BASS, cameraman JACK RUSSELL
          and A.D. HILTON GREEN argue about the best way to proceed
          with the staircase sequence. Hitch is conspicuous by his
          absence.
                         
          As they bicker we find Tony Perkins off to one side, sitting
          in his Mrs. Bates costume, unable to cope. He puts the wig
          back on his head. There, that feels better...
                         
          Balsam's finally had it with all the arguing. He walks off
          past Peggy who's arriving with the PHONE.
                         
                          MARTIN BALSAM
           It's official. The inmates are running
           the asylum.
                         
          Peggy hands Hilton the phone.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Hilton. I have Mr. Hitchcock for you.
                         
          She gives him a warning look. "Watch out. He's in a terrible
          mood." He waves away her concern. It can't be that bad.
                         
                          HILTON GREEN
           Hey there, Hitch. We're still working on
           it.
           (looking over at the
                          CONTINUING ARGUMENT)
           Everyone misses you.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - SAME TIME
                         
          Hitch, in bed and sick as a dog, has the script, notes and
          boards on a bed tray. The phone receiver is pressed to his
          ears.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I've told Peggy and now I'm going to tell
           you. You have to get this sequence shot
           today. What's the hold up?
                         
                          HILTON GREEN
           We tried it ten different ways and it
           looks terrible. Why don't we use inserts?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No. It has to be a high angle. You'll tip
           off the big surprise! Just get the
           process shot.
                         
          Hitch slams down the phone.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - CONTINUOUS
                         
                         ON HILTON
                         
          Still clutching the phone, a little nonplussed. Peggy gives
          him a look: "What did I tell you."
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - SAME TIME
                         
          Alma removes the phone from Hitch's grasp. Touches his
          forehead.
                         
                          ALMA
           No more phone calls. You're burning up.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Burning up our money. We're two days
           behind and I'm stuck in bed.
                         
          Hitch swings his legs out of the bed.
                         
                          ALMA
           Where do you think you're going?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           To the set. We can't afford to lose any
           more time. Two more days of this and the
           whole production goes under.
                         
          He shakily tries to get to his feet.
                         
                          ALMA
           You stay in bed. I'll deal with it.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I'd hate to take you away from your
           writing partner.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          She pushes him back against the pillows. He's too weak to
          resist.
                         
                          ALMA
           Under the blankets. Now.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Crew members sit around eating donuts. Assistant director
          Hilton Green and cameraman Jack Russell are still arguing
          over the mechanics of the shot with more crew members joining
          in. It's near pandemonium.
                         
          Then Alma steps in the door, and everything stops. Every crew
          member snaps to attention as Alma passes by. It's like the
          school principal arriving after the substitute teacher has
          lost control.
                         
                          ALMA
           Don't stop work because of me. I'm only
           here as one of the two people paying your
           salaries.
                         
          Alma takes a seat in Hitch's DIRECTOR'S chair. As her eyes
          dart around the set, it's clear that she IS TAKING EVERYTHING
          IN. Peggy flanks her.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Scene?
                         
                          PEGGY
           One seventy three.
                         
                          ALMA
           Storyboards?
                         
          Peggy hands the boards to Alma. She and Hilton quickly review
          the boards.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Start with the overhead. We'll cut before
           the fall. Then we'll put Martin in a
           chair under the camera.
                         
          Hilton looks at Russell. Perfect. He sets ANTHONY PERKINS in
          his dress into place.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           (to the cameraman)
           And that lens should be a thirty-five.
                         
          Peggy mouths Alma a silent "THANK YOU" for restoring order.
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - DAY
                         
          Hitchcock lies in bed, tossing and turning, the fever only
          making his thoughts darker and more obsessive.
                         
           ED GEIN (O.S.)
           You forgot to look in the bathroom.
                         
          Hitch notices the SHADOWY FIGURE standing at the end of his
          bed.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           A man like you... Missing the vital clue
           like that...
                         
          He blearily sits up and sees Gein's impassive rustic face.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What do you mean?
                         
          Gein steps over to the bathroom and pushes open the door.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           My mother always said if you're going to
           do a job, do it right.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Hitchcock enters the immaculate white and chrome room and
          inspects it... but nothing seems out of place.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           Check the floor.
                         
          He looks down but again, nothing.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           Closer.
                         
          Hitch gets down on his hands and knees. He runs his
          fingertips across the smooth white tiles. They start to
                         COLLECT --
                         
          GRAINS OF SAND
                         
          Sprinkled all over the floor.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           You still think they're just writing
           together?
                         
          Hitchcock's face hardens. His lip trembles.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           So what are you going to do about it?
                         
          Hitch gets up, opens the medicine cabinet and takes out a
          BOTTLE OF BAYER ASPIRIN.
                         
          He empties the tablets into the sink and very carefully,
          sweeps the SAND into the aspirin bottle. He caps it, slips it
          into his robe pocket and turns off the light.
                         
                         OMITTED
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - SAME TIME
                         
          Alma spots the towering figure of Balaban stride onto the
          stage accompanied by a MAN in a cardigan.
                         
                          ALMA
           Barney.
                         
          He sees her and bristles, clearly surprised to see her there.
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Alma.
                         
          Alma takes in Balaban's companion, and the viewfinder round
          his neck.
                         
                          BARNEY
           You know David Kirkpatrick. He's working
           on Jerry Lewis' next picture.
                         
          She does. They nod politely -- then stand there.
                         
                          BARNEY (CONT'D)
           So he's free to help...
           (a sly smile)
           if you need it...
                         
          Silence. Just the bustle of crew members in the background.
                         
                          ALMA
           That won't be necessary.
                         
                          BARNEY
           But you're nearly three days behind.
                         
          He takes a step towards Hitch's empty chair, but Alma moves
          to block his path. It may be a small gesture, but it's highly
          charged.
                         
          Barney stares down at her.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           Alma. We both know what kind of film this
           is.
           (then, closer)
           The smart thing to do would be to help
           Hitch finish it.
                         
                          ALMA
           Thank you for your concern, Barney.
                         
          She moves closer to him, holding his gaze, not bending one
          bit...
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           But on a Hitchcock picture, there is only
           one director.
                         
          The anger flashes on his face as she faces him down, the
          entire crew behind her now, holding firm...
                         
          EXT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Balaban, incensed, leaves the stage with Kirkpatrick. Alma
          steps out into the sunlight not far behind them. As she
          watches them leave, she lets out a breath.
                         
          A voice calls out to her --
                         
                          WOMAN'S VOICE
           Mrs. Hitchcock?
                         
          She turns to see Janet walking over in Capri pants and a
          sleeveless top. She's carrying an elegantly wrapped package.
                         
                          JANET
           I hope you don't mind. I heard Hitch was
           sick so I got him a little something.
                         
          She hands Alma the gift. A bag of candy corn tied with a
          ribbon.
                         
                          ALMA
           That's kind of you.
                         
                          JANET
           Well, he's been very considerate with me.
                          (A BEAT)
           I haven't always had that from my
           directors.
                         
                          ALMA
           Janet, you've been very... professional.
           It hasn't gone unappreciated.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Alma takes in Janet's unaffected natural beauty -- and her
          sincerity.
                         
          She can't help but notice the second glances Janet is
          provoking from passers-by now...
                         
          She's an impossible rival for any woman.
                         
          BEETHOVEN'S 3RD SYMPHONY, `EROICA'
                         
          Blares deafeningly...
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, BEDROOM - DAY
                         
          On the stereo. Alma finds Hitch on the sofa swaddled in a
          blanket and eating ICE CREAM.
                         
                          ALMA
           May I turn that down?
                         
          She silences the stereo. Hitch doesn't react.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           You'll be pleased to know order has been
           restored.
                         
          He still doesn't look at her, masticating loudly.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           A thank you would be nice.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We're still two days behind and sixty
           thousand over budget.
                         
                          ALMA
           I already cancelled the wrap party.
           That'll save us two thousand right there.
           And you won't be tempted by any champagne
           and cake.
                         
          She pulls at the bowl of ice cream. He refuses to let go.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Beware -- all men are potential
           murderers.
                         
          She yanks it from his grip.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           With good reason.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALMA
           Alright, what's this about?
                         
          He slowly pulls the ASPIRIN BOTTLE from his robe pocket,
          building suspense as he unscrews the lid and pours SAND into
          a tiny pile on the coffee table in front of him.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Spending a lot of time at the beach?
                         
          He puts down the bottle, looking for a reaction.
                         
                          ALMA
           That's where Whit and I are writing. He's
           rented a place.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Hardly the ideal setting to avoid
           distractions.
                         
                          ALMA
           Actually, it's very conducive to creative
           collaboration.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I already told you -- that treatment is a
           waste of time.
                         
                          ALMA
           Didn't everyone say the same thing about
           "Psycho"?
                         
          She reaches for the ASPIRIN BOTTLE to throw it away but Hitch
          grabs it first --
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Are you and Whit having an affair?
                         
                          ALMA
           Don't be absurd. He's working on
           something new and needs a little help,
           that's all.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What a coincidence. I'm working on
           something new and I could use a little
           help too.
                         
                          ALMA
           What do you think I've been doing?
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Then why are you spending all hours of
           the day and night with some overage,
           talentless mamma's boy?
                         
                          ALMA
           Because it's fun.
                         
          He quivers, livid.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I am under extraordinary pressures on
           this picture, the least you can do is
           give me your full support.
                         
                          ALMA
           Full support? We've mortgaged our house.
           My house.
                         
          Alma's eyes flash with unaccustomed hurt and fury.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Might I remind you that I have weighed-in
           on every aspect of this film so far, as I
           have done on every picture you've done in
           the last three decades. And the first
           time you show the film, it will be my
           notes that you want. I celebrate with you
           if the reviews are good and I cry for you
           if they are not. I host your parties and
           put up with those fantasy romances with
           your leading ladies. And when you're out
           promoting this film around the world, I
           will stand beside or, rather, slightly
           behind you, smiling endlessly for the
           press even when I'm ready to drop, being
           gracious to people who look through me as
           if I were invisible because all they can
           see is the grand and glorious "Alfred
           Hitchcock."
                         
          Hitchcock is stunned and silent.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           Now, for the first time in years, I dare
           to work on something that isn't "an
           Alfred Hitchcock Production" and I'm met
           with accusation and criticisms. This work
           I'm doing with Whit gives me pleasure and
           purpose.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (3)
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           And even though that takes absolutely
           nothing away from you, please consider
           this a reminder: I am your wife, Alma
           Reville, not one of the contract blondes
           you badger and torment with your oh-so-
           specific direction.
                         
          She turns and, with great dignity, leaves Hitchcock sitting
          in the gathering gloom. He's not the only one who can deliver
          a killer blow.
                         
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
                         ON HITCH
                         
          with that same lost expression on his face, only now dark
          shadow and harsh light alternate across his features.
                         
          A NAKED LIGHT BULB dangles from the ceiling as STAGE HANDS
          prepare the film's climactic scene in the cellar.
                         
          Hitch watches as VERA reaches out to touch the shoulder of
          Mrs. Bates. We zoom in on her as she reacts in silent horror,
          her HAND flying up to hit the light bulb, throwing crazy
          shadows all over the set.
                         
          We push in on Hitchcock's face as the strobing light briefly
          illuminates the image of -
                         
          A SMALL BOY
                         
          at the foot of his mother's bed.
                         
          INT. VERA MILES' DRESSING ROOM - LATER
                         
          A WIG on a stand. A frumpy woman's outfit on a hangar. Vera
          sits in front of the mirror and unties her own hair.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Free at last.
                         
          Rita collects Vera's detested wardrobe to take back to
          wardrobe.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           Thanks Rita.
                         
          Vera rubs cold cream into her face to remove her make-up. In
          the mirror, she sees Hitch in the doorway as Rita squeezes
          past him on her way out.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           (wiping off her make-up
           with a Kleenex)
           Hello Hitch.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Well, Vera. You always make it look so
           easy.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Oh, it was nothing, Hitch. I just faked
           it.
                         
          She gives him a dazzlingly ambiguous Miss America smile.
                         
           VERA MILES (CONT'D)
           Well, I guess this is au revoir...
                         
          Hitch comes and stands behind her chair, gazing at her in the
          mirror.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Why didn't you stay with me? I would have
           made you as big a star as Grace Kelly.
                         
          She considers the question and the man asking it, sensing
          something different about him now. She continues wiping off
          her make-up.
                         
                          VERA MILES
           Unlike Grace Kelly, I can pick up my dry
           cleaning. I've got a family, Hitch. A
           home. That will always mean more to me
           than all of this.
                          (THEN)
           That blonde woman of mystery you're
           after? She's a fantasy. She doesn't
           exist.
                         
          He studies her a moment.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           There was a time when I thought I
           understood you so completely --
           understood women....
                         
          Hitch gives a very slight bow, touches her on the shoulder,
          then leaves. Vera watches him go, struck by his rare show of
          vulnerability.
          EXT. BEACH HOUSE, SANTA BARBARA - DAY
                         
          Wind blows sand off the dunes. Alma sits in the parked car
          outside the beach house, contemplating the typed pages on the
          seat next to her. An inkling that they may not be as magical
          as she had hoped.
                         
          No matter. She checks her reflection in the rearview and
          applies some lipstick, readying herself.
                         
          She collects the pages and heads up the steps to the deck.
          She sees two typewriters and paper, but no sign of Whit.
          Something doesn't feel right.
                         
          She turns and in the bedroom, through the window, she sees
          Whitfield Cook making love to a young woman -- it is the
          pretty SECRETARY from the studio lot. Alma and Whit's eyes
          meet. Whit is horrified at being caught.
                         
          Alma ducks her head, wheels around in shock.
                         
                         ALMA'S CAR
                         
          She yanks open the door and gets in. Whit runs half dressed
          from the house...
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           Alma, I thought you were coming later
           tonight.
                         
                          ALMA
           I thought you rented this place so we
           could write.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I did. I swear -- this just happened.
                         
          She struggles to get the key in the ignition. He puts his
          hand desperately on the car door.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           You won't say anything, will you?
                         
                          ALMA
           Don't worry. I won't tell Elizabeth.
                         
                          WHITFIELD COOK
           I mean to Hitch.
                         
          Whit smiles feebly.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           We can't all be geniuses.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Alma tries to hide what a body blow this is.
                         
           WHITFIELD COOK (CONT'D)
           Alma -- you're incredibly talented. But,
           after all... we want him to read the
           script with an open mind.
                         
                          ALMA
           Oh, I wouldn't worry about that, Whit.
                         
          She starts the car and drives off.
                         
          Whit watches, deflated, knowing he's ruined everything, his
          receding figure swallowed up by flickering white light...
                         
          INT. SCREENING ROOM, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS - DAY
                         
          WE PLAY THIS SCENE ONLY OVER THE FACES OF A SMALL INVITED
          AUDIENCE -- THEIR EXPRESSIONS TELL US THAT THE FOOTAGE THEY
          ARE SEEING IS NOT GOING OVER WELL. NOT AT ALL.
                         
          Lew sits with Barney Balaban and two executives. Lew
          discreetly checks his watch out of boredom. Shurlock and his
          two Assistants look appalled. Composer BERNARD HERRMANN, late
          40s, prickly, sits in the back row looking suicidal. He
          glances back at Hitchcock who stands near the screening room
          door looking worse, if that could be possible.
                         
          EXT. SCREENING ROOM, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS - LATER
                         
          Shurlock exits and approaches Hitchcock who's waiting in the
          foyer.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           You're going to have to cut all that
           nudity.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What nudity? It was suggested.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           I definitely saw that knife jabbing her.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We did no such shot.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           I'd stake my reputation on it. I'm
           recommending you cut the shower scene
           entirely.
                         
          Hitchcock is livid but holds his tongue.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I'll go over it frame by frame and set up
           another screening.
                         
          But Shurlock is already walking away...
                         
          Wasserman emerges from the screening room conversing with
          BALABAN. Hitch searches their expressions for some indication
          but Balaban strides off without saying a single word to him.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           What's the verdict?
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           Let's just say it was a four-letter
           review and it wasn't `good'.
                         
          The harsh reality devastates Hitchcock.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (CONT'D)
           Screw him. It's too late for Paramount to
           back out no matter what Balaban says.
                         
          Hitch just stands there.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (CONT'D)
           The other route is to recut it as a two-
           parter for the TV series. Because of the
           budget and the Hitchcock name, we stand a
           good chance of breaking even.
                         
          Still, Hitch doesn't say a word.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (CONT'D)
           Look, I made Jimmy Stewart a millionaire
           of Winchester 73 and that was a dog. At
           least I could sit through your picture.
                         
          Hitch stares bleakly off. He can't help noticing the KIM
          NOVAK-TYPE he spied on earlier outside, hand in hand and
          kissing her date.
                         
           LEW WASSERMAN (CONT'D)
           More importantly, what does Alma think?
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY
                         
          Alma sits with the Hitchcocks' ACCOUNTANT going over the
          books again, looking at the revised figures. They close the
          books and sit back and look at each other.
                         
                          ALMA
           Is there anything else we can do?
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Silence. This time he can't bring himself to look her in the
          eye.
                         
                          ACCOUNTANT
           We'll just have to wait and see how the
           movie turns out.
                         
          Alma gets up and crosses to the window. Stares out at the
          pool reflecting a leaden sky... and the clumps of dead leaves
          floating across its surface...
                         
                          ALMA
           Well, it is only a house.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, STUDY - NIGHT
                         
          The dogs, GEOFFREY and STANLEY, lap away at a water bowl in
          the study. A splash or two of something is added to the bowl
          from above. It's being poured from Hitch's brandy glass.
                         
                         HITCH
                         
          pours himself another glass, leaving the dogs lapping happily
          away as he goes over to the Steinway Grand. There's a bank of
          silver-framed PHOTOS on top. He pauses to take a proper look
          at them.
                         
          His and Alma's life together in movies. Smiling at Premieres
          with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. On vacation with Jimmy and
          Gloria Stewart. At a black tie event with Ingrid Bergman and
          Gregory Peck.
                         
          But it's the PHOTOGRAPH tucked away at the back that he wants
          to see most.
                         
          A BLACK AND WHITE PUBLICITY STILL taken on the set of The
          Mountain Eagle in 1926. He picks it up and looks at it:
                         
          The young Hitchcock in front of the camera, dramatically
          calling "Action!" on his first film. His eyes don't have to
          move far to find ALMA, standing just behind him, making notes
          on her clipboard, the same intense, serious look on her face.
                         
          They look so young...
                         
          Hitch turns to look out the window, thoughtful -- Hitch's
          POV. It's SNOWING outside.
                         
          INT. GEIN HOUSE, BASEMENT - NIGHT
                         
          We pull back to discover the window is now in a basement lit
          by a single oil lamp.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          We find Gein sitting at his workbench. Hitchcock is perched
          on a stool nearby watching him.
                         
          Trash and newspapers are piled everywhere. There is grime and
          dark stains on the cabinets and counters.
                         
                          ED GEIN
           This is my favorite place. I just shut
           the doors and leave the world behind.
                         
          Hitch watches Gein as he threads a needle, stitching
          something expertly together. He notices there's no hint of a
          tremble in Gein's hands.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           Pass me that bag, will you?
                         
          Hitch passes over the shopping bag... then pulls up his coat,
          feeling a chill.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Don't you get lonely out here sometimes?
                         
                          ED GEIN
           I can always talk to my mother.
                         
          HEADLIGHTS SUDDENLY RAKE THE ROOM
                         
          As we hear CARS pull up -- a lot of them. The sound of MEN,
          shouting. Flashing RED AND BLUE LIGHTS. LOUD KNOCKING at the
                         DOOR --
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           That's strange.
                         
          FOOTSTEPS thunder above him. DOZENS OF OFFICERS are fanning
          out all over the house.
                         
           CAPTAIN SCHOEPHOERSTER (O.S.)
           Jesus Christ.
                         
          Hitch watches as Gein just sits there and the sound of
          SHOCKED reactions and horrified GASPS continue above...
                         
           CAPTAIN SCHOEPHOERSTER (CONT'D)
           I think we found his hiding spot.
                         
                          ED GEIN
                          (SOTTO VOCE)
           They can't go in there. That's my
           mother's room...
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
          CAR HEADLIGHTS blast through the window and Hitchcock finally
          sees the basement room properly for the first time; KNIVES of
          all shapes and sizes...JARS OF PRESERVED BODY PARTS...and TWO
          SEVERED HANDS, FOLDED IN PRAYER.
                         
          FROM UPSTAIRS the sound of splintering wood.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           They can't go in there!
                          (CALLING OUT)
           That's my mother's room!!
                         
          Ed springs to his feet, screaming it out as he BOLTS UPSTAIRS
          and the pandemonium continues (o.s.)
                         
          WE PUSH IN ON HITCH'S FACE
                         
          As the bleak reality of Gein's lair hits him...
                         
          It's more profound and horrible than he could ever have
          imagined.
                         
          A lush ROMANTIC SCORE starts to SWELL, mercifully drowning it
          all out...
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Titles from a dark 1946 romantic melodrama fill the screen.
                         
          "THE SECRET HEART"
                         
          "SCREENPLAY BY WHITFIELD COOK."
                         
          Alma sits watching the afternoon movie alone, brushing the
          dogs on the sofa next to her.
                         
          ANGLE ON DOORWAY
                         
          Hitchcock reads Alma's fragile emotional state and enters. He
          sits down beside her and studies the screen for a moment.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           An odd little movie. Of course, Colbert
           is wonderful.
                         
          Alma nods. They watch for a beat longer.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           How was the beach?
                         
                          ALMA
           Cold and miserable.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Just like Barney Balaban's face.
                         
          He indicates the over-ripe dialogue coming from the TV.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Whit isn't worth a damn when he's not
           working with you.
                          (PAUSE)
           And neither am I.
                         
          Alma takes in his reflective expression, but says nothing.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I didn't pull off the picture this time.
           It just sits there, refusing to come to
           life.
                          (THEN)
           There's no other way to say it... It's
           stillborn.
                         
          ALMA turns away.
                         
          Hitch sits there bereft in the lonely silence.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I let you down, my love.
                         
          He moves closer and takes her hand. Gives it a small squeeze.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           You deserved better.
                         
          She still doesn't move. After a moment Hitch gets to his
          feet.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I'll go and feed Geoffrey and Stanley,
           shall I.
                         
          He exits with the dogs padding after him. She turns back to
          the screen and more of that stilted, mannered dialogue.
                         
          Tears well in her eyes.
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          A full moon. The ONLY LIGHT from inside the house is the one
          in the kitchen.
                         
          We glimpse the figure in the window. A corpulent man in
          profile, like a Hopper painting.
          INT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, KITCHEN - LATER
                         
          Hitch sits in his nightgown, pushing some VEGETABLES around
          his plate -- his healthy midnight snack.
                         
          Alma enters in her robe. Hitch watches her. She goes to the
          fridge, opens the PRODUCE DRAWER and from under the brussel
          sprouts pulls out a tiny hidden jar of BELUGA CAVIAR.
                         
          She gets the crackers, a plate and a spoon and sits down at
          the table next to him.
                         
                          ALMA
           I don't think I can stand both of us
           being maudlin.
                         
          She fixes several crackers, each with an appropriate dollop
          of caviar on top, and puts the plate in the middle.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           There is one solution to all this, you
           know.
                         
          She offers him one of the crackers.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           We could both get to work -- together.
                         
          Tentatively, Hitch accepts it.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           That tiresome little Hitchcock imitation
           I've been helping Whit finish is done.
                         
          Hitch remains quiet, delicately consuming his cracker.
                         
                          ALMA (CONT'D)
           So I suggest, for everyone's sake, we
           start whipping Psycho into shape
           tomorrow. You may not be the easiest man
           to live with but you know how to cut a
           picture better than anyone.
                         
          Hitch puts the lid back on the caviar.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Except for you.
          INT. EDITING ROOM - NEXT DAY
                         
          A series of quick shots as the editing room comes to life :
          CANS OF FILM ARE BROUGHT IN BY ASSISTANTS, STRIPS OF
          CELLULOID ARE PULLED OUT, INSPECTED AND MARKED WITH CHALK
          WHILE OTHERS ARE SPLICED TOGETHER.
                         
          HITCH and editor GEORGE TOMASINI wait quietly like
          schoolboys, while Alma reviews the footage on the Moviola.
                         
                          ALMA
           You'll need to cut those six or seven
           frames where she blinks after she's
           supposed to be dead.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We've seen the footage a thousand times.
           She doesn't blink.
                         
          Alma gives him a look ...
                         
          INT. EDITING ROOM - LATER
                         
          FILM HANGS EVERYWHERE IN BINS
                         
          FOUR ASSISTANTS are working on MOVIOLAS. Alma and Hitch work
          their way down the line, inspecting each new assembly.
                         
                          ALMA
                          (FIRST MOVIOLA)
           Take thirty frames off the head...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No, no, the second take, the light is
           better on his hands.
                         
                          ALMA
                          (NEXT MOVIOLA)
           Only cut back to Janet once the car's
           already moving.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Cut it tighter. The minute I lose one
           person I've lost the whole audience.
                         
          TWO PAIRS OF HANDS. Hitchcock's and Alma's. They work like a
          pair of twenty-year-olds at a pair of MOVIOLAS cutting the
          picture.
                         
          ANGLE LOOSENS -- to reveal George Tomasini has dozed off,
          exhausted.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALMA
           You imp. You got nudity in there.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Her breasts are very large, dear. It was
           a challenge not to show them.
                         
          INT. EDITING ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Editor GEORGE TOMASINI works at the Moviola, sleeves rolled
          up.
                         
                          GEORGE TOMASINI
           I'll be damned. She did blink.
                         
          INT. EDITING ROOM, CORRIDOR - DAY
                         
          Peggy stands with a pestering PR FLACK.
                         
                          FLACK
           How's it going in there with Mr.
           Herrmann?
                         
                          PEGGY
           Swimmingly.
                         
                          FLACK
           Everyone's saying it's a dog with fleas.
                         
          Before Peggy can deny it the argument flares through the
          wall.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (O.S.)
           Absolutely not...
                         
          INT. EDITING ROOM - SAME TIME
                         
          Bernard Herrmann is pressing his point hard with Hitchcock.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           ...I don't want music in the shower
           murder.
                         
                          BERNARD HERRMANN
                          (FRUSTRATED)
           But what Alma and I talked about is
           really going to play.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No. This isn't Vertigo, Bernie. This is
           different. The images have to work on
           their own.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          ALMA
           You can't scare people just by going,
           "Boo!" You have to tell them what's
           coming, make them anticipate it --
                         
                         OUTSIDE
                         
          The PR Flack shares a despairing look with Peggy.
                         
                          FLACK
           Thank God we've got Cinderfella for the
           holidays.
                         
                         OMITTED
                         
          BERNARD HERRMANN'S ICONIC SCORE RISES as
                         
          INT. EDITING ROOM - DAY
                         
          We move across HITCH, ALMA, TOMASINI and PEGGY'S faces as
          they watch the Moviola.
                         
          The impact of the music is instant and unimaginably powerful.
                         
          They are all moved. Gripped. Stunned.
                         
          Hitchcock looks down. Peggy is gripping his arm tightly.
                         
                          GEORGE TOMASINI
           What do you think?
                         
                          PEGGY
           I think I'm never going to take a shower
           again.
                         
                          GEORGE TOMASINI
           Hitch?
                         
          They look at him...
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           It's getting there.
                         
          Alma turns to him and Hitch nods slightly. Was that the
          tiniest acknowledgement that her instinct may have been
          right?
                         
          INT. PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION OFFICE - DAY
                         
          ON SHURLOCK'S HUMORLESS FACE
                         
          Hitchcock sits opposite him at the big conference table.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           I told you, I distinctly saw both the
           stabbing and the nudity. We're denying
           your seal, Mr. Hitchcock.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I take your opinion very seriously. But
           what you think you're seeing is purely
           informed by the power of suggestion. I
           assure you that once you view the final
           version with Mr. Herrmann's lovely,
           lyrical score...
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           A "lyrical score" won't change my
           opinion. All that innuendo and half-naked
           groping -- really, Hitch.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Would you mind if we had a word in
           private, Geoffrey?
                         
          Shurlock gestures his staff out. Hitch moves closer.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I have a modest proposal to make. If
           you're willing to leave the shower
           sequence as it is, I will reshoot the
           opening love scene to your exact
           specifications.
                         
          Shurlock reacts with surprise.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           In fact, I'd welcome your personal
           supervision on the set.
                         
          Shurlock is more flattered than he'd care to admit.
                         
                          GEOFFREY SHURLOCK
           My specifications?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           If only audiences could fully appreciate
           how tirelessly you work to help us
           entertain them while protecting them from
           filth and indecency.
                         
          Shurlock studies Hitchcock's sphinx-like expression.
          INT. SOUNDSTAGE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitchcock and Peggy confer. John Gavin and Janet Leigh,
          wearing robes, chat while lying on a bed. Crew members wait
          impatiently. Peggy checks her watch.
                         
                          PEGGY
           He's been harassing you since you
           announced this project, you invite him to
           the set, and he doesn't even show up?
           What did you tell him?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           That I respected him. Deeply.
                         
          Peggy laughs. Now she understands.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Ladies and gentleman, that is a wrap.
           Thank you all.
                         
          The crew starts breaking things down. The actors are baffled.
          Janet walks over to him.
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           I thought we were reshooting the scene.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           No need. The charade is over.
                         
          Hitch holds out his arm for her and walks her back to the
          dressing room.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           See, I wasn't that much of a monster to
           work with, was I?
                         
                          JANET LEIGH
           Not at all.
                         
          He offers his hand and she shakes it, determined to be
          professional to the end.
                         
           JANET LEIGH (CONT'D)
           I just hope I was sufficiently loyal to
           the cause.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Worthy of a Purple Heart, my dear.
                         
          She leans in and gives him a peck on the cheek. A moment of
          unexpected heaven that leaves Hitch speechless.
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          She walks away to her dressing room. Hitch watches as she
          steps inside and closes the door.
                         
          After a moment we hear a PIERCING SCREAM --
                         
          INT. JANET LEIGH'S DRESSING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
                         
          Janet recoils at the sight of A MRS. BATES PROTOTYPE "PROP
          MASK" grinning lewdly from her chair, and wearing one of
          Janet's brassieres.
                         
          Hitchcock peeks inside as crew members come running.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I hope you don't mind, I told Mrs. Bates
           she could have your dressing room.
                         
                         ON JANET
                         
          She can't believe she's been caught out. She closes the door
          on everyone... and then after a moment SCREAMS AGAIN... but
          this time not out of shock.
                         
          INT. HITCHCOCK'S OFFICE, UNIVERSAL REVUE - DAY
                         
          Hitch sweeps in. Lew is waiting for him.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           We have our seal from Shurlock's office.
                          (DEVILISHLY)
           Now, we lead the lambs to the slaughter.
                         
          Hitch turns to Lew for the latest news.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           The front office confirmed. They're only
           opening the movie in two theatres, as we
           suspected. And no premiere. If we don't
           get word of mouth we're dead.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Then we'd better get started. Peggy, take
           a memo...
                         
          Peggy whips out her steno pad.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           We're going to write a manual on exactly
           how to sell Psycho.
          INT. PRINTING PRESS - DAY
                         
          BOOKLETS make the rounds on a conveyor-like contraption. As
          the booklets are bound by swift-moving WORKERS, we see
          Hitchcock's photo on a cover and his "advice" to theater
          owners.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           My first instruction to Theater Owners:
           Hire Pinkerton guards to strictly enforce
           our unique admission policies.
                         
          INT. NEW YORK THEATRE - FLASH FORWARD
                         
          A MANAGER opens up his PSYCHO PROMOTIONAL HANDBOOK and starts
          to read, totally baffled.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           Furthermore, because Psycho is so
           terrifying and unique, the guards can
           help you deal with customers who run
           amok.
                         
          INT. NEW YORK THEATRE - FLASH FORWARD
                         
          The manager introduces the PINKERTON GUARDS to his equally
          bemused STAFF.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           Post our special lobby clocks to remind
           audiences of the starting times for
           Psycho.
                         
          He oversees as they hang a ridiculously large PSYCHO CLOCK in
          the lobby.
                         
          EXT. NEW YORK THEATRE - FLASH FORWARD
                         
          Hitch's voice booms from LARGE SPEAKERS MOUNTED UNDER THE
          MARQUEE.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           The manager of this fine motion picture
           theater has been advised not to allow
           anyone to enter the theater once Psycho
           begins.
                         
          We PAN DOWN to the STAFF and GUARDS as they test out the
          RECORDED message that will be played for the ticket holders
          line. A couple of PASSERSBY listen, perplexed...
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           Should you be so foolish as to attempt to
           slip in by a side entrance...
                         
          INT. HOLLYWOOD RECORDING BOOTH - PRESENT
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           ... a fire escape or through a skylight,
           you will be ejected by brute force.
                         
          Hitch lays down the track into a large microphone while Alma
          watches from the recording desk.
                         
                          ALMA
           More playful, darling.
                         
          INT. EMPTY NEW YORK THEATRE - FLASH FORWARD
                         
          A row of life-size HITCHCOCK STANDEES are carried in through
          the door one by one. Posters are hung in the theatre lobby.
          The letters hoisted up and hung on the marquee outside.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (V.O.)
           "To further emphasize the sheer,
           unrelenting shock and suspense of Psycho,
           right after the closing title "THE END,"
           we strongly recommend that you close your
           house curtains over the screen for a full
           thirty seconds."
                         
          Inside the theatre, the manager makes sure the CURTAINS open
          and close correctly then turns to face the vast, empty
          auditorium.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S VOICE
           "By doing so, the horror of Psycho will
           be indelibly etched in the mind and heart
           of your audience."
                         
          He anxiously surveys the hundreds of seats that will have to
          be filled.
                         
          INT. BOARD ROOM, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS - DAY
                         
          Now Barney Balaban is reading Hitchcock's publicity manual to
          the board.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          BARNEY BALABAN
           "Absolutely never, ever will I allow
           anything to follow Psycho -- no previews
           of coming attractions, no newsreel, no
           short subject and certainly no double-
           feature. Sincerely, and, emphatically,
           Alfred Hitchcock."
                         
          Balaban shuts the pamphlet. Silence. Then turns to the stone-
          faced board members :
                         
           BARNEY BALABAN (CONT'D)
           At the end of the day, it's a minor
           Hitchcock movie. One week, and it'll be
           gone...
                         
          He tosses the pamphlet into the trash.
                         
           BARNEY BALABAN (CONT'D)
           Like a bad dream.
                         
                         138 OMITTED
                         
                         
          INT. LIMO - DAY
                         
          ON HITCH AND ALMA'S SILENT TENSE EXPRESSIONS as they drive
          through the frenetic madness that typifies Times Square,
          1960.
                         
          EXT. NEW YORK THEATRE - DAY (LATER)
                         
          A DAZZLING MARQUEE for "ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S PSYCHO." The car
          pulls up. Hitch and Alma step out. There's a long line of
          people outside the theatre.
                         
                          ALMA
           Well, at least there are some people
           here.
                         
          But Hitch's nerves are hardly soothed. The people in line
          start to notice the Hitchcocks...is it really them?
                         
                         PEGGY
                         
          Comes over to greet them with the THEATRE MANAGER.
                         
                          PEGGY
           We can go through the side entrance.
                         
          As the theatre manager ushers them through the side alley --
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
                          THEATER MANAGER
           Right this way, Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock.
                         
          Hitchcock turns to Alma.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Ready for the gallows?
                         
                         
          INT. NEW YORK THEATRE, LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER
                         
          The atmosphere is tense as people hurry to their seats. Lew
          greets them.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           We've roped off some seats for you.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           You go on ahead.
                         
                          ALMA
           Are you sure?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I'll join you in a minute.
                         
          Off Alma's look.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I want to double check the print.
                         
                          ALMA
           Fine, darling. I'll save you a seat.
                         
          Lew escorts Alma and Peggy into the auditorium.
                         
          INT. NEW YORK THEATER, PROJECTION BOOTH - NIGHT
                         
          The soothing whir of the projector as Hitchcock stands next
          to it... but the sound of the audience below TITTERING
          NERVOUSLY is anything but reassuring.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           (under his breath)
           But they're laughing too much.
                         
          He peers down through the tiny window but can't see a bloody
          thing.
          INT. NEW YORK THEATRE, DOWNSTAIRS LOBBY - A MINUTE LATER
                         
          Hitch inches open the door and PEERS THROUGH THE CRACK at the
          audience but now he can't read them. Are they gripped with
          suspense -- or do they just hate it?
                         
          From the lobby we see
                         
                         HITCH
                         
          as he closes the door and leans back against the wall of the
          empty corridor. A scared, lonely, corpulent figure. Totally
          powerless.
                         
          There's nothing for him to do but wait.
                         
          And wait.
                         
          And wait.
                         
          Across the foyer, a spotty young THEATRE EMPLOYEE sweeps up
          ticket stubs and empties ashtrays, quietly going about his
          business, entirely oblivious...
                         
          ON HITCH'S FACE
                         
          As he grips the railing. This is taking far too long.
                         
          And then -- finally -- the sweetest sound in the world A
          BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM.
                         
          Soon the WHOLE AUDIENCE SCREAMS IN TERROR... then breaks into
          LAUGHTER again... nervous laughter this time, the best kind.
                         
                         HITCH
                         
          As he gestures with his hands, a conductor leading his
          orchestra, raising them up again as the audience STARTS
          SCREAMING AGAIN right on cue
                         
          PUSHING TIGHTER ON HITCH
                         
          As the dam breaks and all the pent-up emotion floods out...
          leaving only relief and satisfaction... and making way for a
          smile... the largest of his whole career.
                         
          INT. NEW YORK THEATRE - LATER
                         
          Hitch, Alma and Peggy are led out into the foyer by the
          theatre manager. There are still SCREAMS in the theatre as
          the show continues.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          Lew can be seen on the phone in the theatre manager's office
          in the background as Hitch, Alma and Peggy walk past the line
          of ticket buyers to get to the front doors. There is great
          excitement now as more and more people recognize the
          Hitchcocks...
                         
           WOMAN WAITING ON LINE
           Mr. Hitchcock, how does it end?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           I promised Mother I wouldn't tell.
                         
          He gets a laugh. Hitchcock walks alongside the Theater
          Manager who's not going to miss out on having his own moment
          with the crowd.
                         
                          THEATER MANAGER
           Mr. Hitchcock, what do I do now that my
           wife won't take a shower after seeing
           your movie?
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Have her dry-cleaned.
                         
          Laughter as Lew appears.
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           I just got off the phone with Balaban. I
           couldn't resist telling him we're sold
           out for the next two weeks.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           What did he say?
                         
                          LEW WASSERMAN
           He said "Tell Hitch congratulations. A
           well deserved triumph as we always knew."
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           "As we always knew..."
                         
          The two friends a look.
                         
                          PEGGY
           Does this mean I can take the weekend off
           now?
                         
          Hitch playfully shrugs, "we'll see".
                         
                          THEATRE MANAGER
           I'm sorry, Mr. Hithcock but there are
           photographers outside. They heard you
           were here.
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
          The theatre manager ushers them towards the exit doors.
                         
          EXT. THEATRE - DAY (LATER)
                         
          A few photographers snap Hitch as he emerges and heads past
          the line of ticket buyers towards the waiting car. Hitchcock
          gestures for Alma to take her place next to him instead of
          behind him. She shyly waves him away but eventually, and
          appreciatively, relents.
                         
          As the flashbulbs start to POP --
                         
                          ALMA
           This could be the biggest hit of your
           career, Alfred.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           Our career, Alma.
                         
          He looks into her eyes with nothing but deep, intense
          gratitude and joy. As more flashbulbs pop --
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           I've realized I'll never be able to find
           a Hitchcock blonde as beautiful as you.
                         
                          ALMA
           You do realize I've been waiting decades
           to hear you say that.
                         
          He gives her a gentle peck.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           And that, madame, is why they call me
           "The Master of Suspense"...
                         
          He helps her into the car.
                         
                         145 OMITTED
                         
                          DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          INT. CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL WARD - DAY
                         
          It is a utilitarian institutionalized dining room. Several
          nonviolent INMATES eat at different round tables around the
          room.
                         
          An ATTENDANT watches, and an ORDERLY mops the floor (there
          are NO female patients nor staff members.)
                         
          THE REAL ED GEIN
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          is at a table with two other patients, including a soft
          spoken older man, CHET. Ed is heavier, his hair is whiter,
          and he is much more at ease than we've ever seen.
                         
                          ORDERLY
           (to the Attendant)
           Guess what I'm doing this weekend?
                         
                          ATTENDANT
           What?
                         
                          ORDERLY
           Claudine and I are driving to Chicago
           with her folks to see that Psycho movie.
                         
          The Attendant pulls the orderly aside, and whispers to him,
          nodding toward Ed. The Orderly's jaw drops! It is the coolest
          thing he's ever heard. He looks at Ed like he's a movie star.
          Meanwhile, Ed yawns, content. Utterly oblivious.
                         
                          CHET
           I think you're the happiest guy I've ever
           known, Ed. How you do it?
                         
                          ED GEIN
           I'll tell you. You live your life, and
           it's unbearable sometimes but there's
           this secret, Chet; a big secret no one
           else knows or wants to tell...
           (he leans a little closer)
           ... there is a God and he's so big and
           powerful, he doesn't always remember
           you're there...
                         
          He takes a huge bite blueberry pie.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           ... but if you can get his attention and
           he sees you're suffering, he'll notice
           and he'll take care of you. My mother
           used to tell me -- she's passed, God
           bless her -- the one thing God truly
           loves and understands is suffering.
                         
          He takes a long drink of milk.
                         
           ED GEIN (CONT'D)
           After all, he invented it.
                         
          We pan to discover HITCHCOCK has been watching all this. He
          turns to the camera.
                         
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED: (2)
                         
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           And so, gentle viewer, Psycho -- the
           picture everyone predicted would bring me
           to wrack and ruin -- was such a hit that
           Alma and I got to... Well, let's just say
           that we got to keep our house -- and the
           swimming pool. And the same critics who
           despised it went on to call it one of my
           greatest achievements.
                         
          He produces a CIGAR and wanders towards the exit doors.
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Of course for me, it was just another
           "moo-vie."
                         
          As he strolls through the door --
                         
          EXT. HITCHCOCK HOUSE, GARDEN - DAY
                         
          -- and seamlessly appears in the beautifully tended gardens,
          as if having walked through a portal.
                         
                          ALFRED HITCHCOCK
           But you know what they say in Hollywood:
           "You're only as good as your last
           picture." So, now, if you'll excuse me, I
           must toddle off to begin the exhaustive
           search for my next project.
                         
          He holds out his cigar towards something we don't yet see...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Unfortunately I find myself once again
           bereft of all inspiration. I do hope
           something comes along soon...
                         
          A SMALL BIRD
                         
          Alights on his cigar tip and FLAPS its wings. Hitchcock can't
          resist blowing a sadistic plume of smoke at the bird which
          promptly flies away. He gives the camera a final
          characteristically deadpan look...
                         
           ALFRED HITCHCOCK (CONT'D)
           Good evening.
                         
          The distinctive THEME TUNE to his TV show starts up and Hitch
          toddles back up the front lawn and toward the terrace, where
          Alma can be seen laying out a delicious healthy lunch...
                         
                          DISSOLVE TO:
                         
                         
                         
                          (CONTINUED)
                         CONTINUED:
                         
                         
          ALFRED HITCHCOCK MADE SIX MORE MOVIES AFTER PSYCHO. HE DIED
          AT HOME IN BEL AIR IN 1980, WITH ALMA BY HIS SIDE. ALMA
          HITCHCOCK DIED TWO YEARS LATER.
                         
                          FADE TO:
                         
          ED GEIN LIVED IN COMFORT IN MENTAL INSTITUTIONS UNTIL HIS
          PEACEFUL DEATH IN 1984.
                         
                          FADE TO:
                         
          ALFRED HITCHCOCK NEVER WON AN OSCAR. IN 1979, WHEN HE
          ACCEPTED THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE'S LIFE ACHIEVEMENT
          AWARD, HE DEDICATED THE HONOR TO HIS WIFE, SAYING, "I SHARE
          MY AWARD, AS I HAVE MY LIFE, WITH ALMA."
                         
           FADE OUT.
                          


Hitchcock



Writers :   John J. McLaughlin  Stephen Rebello
Genres :   Drama


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