The Girl

 (341)
6.21 h 27 min201213+
[HBO] HD. Iconic director Alfred Hitchcock's obsessive relationship with actress Tippi Hedren is the focus of this HBO Films drama.
Directors
Julian Jarrold
Starring
Toby JonesSienna MillerImelda Staunton
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Carl BeukesPenelope Wilton
Producers
Christian AssangeDianne BeattyAlex GrahamGenevieve HofmeyrAmanda JenksLeanne KleinLucy RicherMarvin Saven
Studio
HBO
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
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Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

341 global ratings

  1. 61% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Crow-ConspiratorReviewed in the United States on June 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Probably True, Well-Made, but Hitchcock at His Lowest Point
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If you believe Tippi Hedren's account (and, given what we know about Hitchcock, there's not much reason to dispute it) this is a very sad tale of Hollywood abuse. There is no question The Birds was traumatic for Hedren. (The film doesn't even cover how live birds were attached by lines to her to keep them near her body.) Everyone told Hitchcock the honeymoon rape scene in Marnie didn't fit and shouldn't be included, but he insisted. Toby Jones makes a convincing, pathetic and perverted Hitchcock, and wife Alma is not played by someone ridiculous like Helen Mirren (Hitchcock). Sienna Miller is even prettier than Tippi Hedren, and when she make her appearance to the set with a crow perched on her shoulder she owns the movie.

If there's a small regret, it's that some will see this movie and think this is all there is to know about Hitchcock. The obsession with Tippi Hedren was the culmination, late in his career, of a perhaps unhealthy, but hands-offf, admiration for cool blonds like Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly. (He was hardly alone in that department: David O. Selznick became similarly obsessed with actresses.) Sadly, it came to a personal meltdown and marked the begin of his professional decline. Whie Hitchcock was vulgar in speech and enjoyed shocking his actresses to get a reaction for the camera, this was his absolute low point.

Don't judge Hitchcock by the worst moment in a very long career. The man was a filmmaking genius. But you might not forgive him for the way he abused Tippi Hedren.
26 people found this helpful
Martial ArthurReviewed in the United States on May 31, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
One dimensional malicious muckraking of the maestro.
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Oh boy. Where to begin? This was one of the most one sided "she said/she said" pieces of muckraking I've ever witnessed. Anybody who was alive during Hitchcock's lifetime (or who's seen any of of his work, interviews, other biographies) will be wondering why is Toby Jones playing Hitchcock like Norman Bates and what on Earth were the makers of this film trying to do other than shoehorn Hitch into being one of today's "me too" movement monsters and trying to taint his career in the process. They've removed EVERY ounce of humor from the man (which was a VERY vital part of his personality) and try their hardest to make you believe that he talked to a skeleton with a wig on it in a run down motel. I was seriously waiting for him to start slicing, dicing and strangling people before burying them in his backyard in this so-called "bio" pic. It was like watching Silence Of The Lambs without the actual slaughter.

While Toby Jones got the voice downpat, the only thing about him that resembled Hitch was his rotundity and baldness. Toby's a great "creep" character actor as he's proved time after time (after time after time), but his portrayal of such a multi-dimensional man as Hitchcock was so one dimensional as to be downright embarassing. I seriously think he was playing Hitchcock playing Norman Bates and not playing Hitch the man himself (or maybe he got the wind up that Anthony Hopkins was playing Hitchcock that same year so he anticipated beating him to the punch and played him a la Hannibal Lector). But Mr. Jones cardboard caricature looks like Olivier compared to Sienna Miller's zero dimensional do nothing portrayal of Tippi Hedren. Granted, she got the "wooden" part of Tippie Hedren's acting abilities down cold, but she really REALLY latched onto the true words of Hitchcock to actresses which is to "do nothing" and let the camera and editing do the work. While that works when there's a great director and editors behind the scenes, it sure didn't work here. Ms. Miller was as stone faced as Buster Keaton the whole time but this wasn't slapstick. If you've ever seen The Birds, you'll instantly know Tippi Hedren's "acting" style and Ms. Miller's ain't that. Hedren's voice was super distinctive albeit not very engratiating (like a school marm cartoon), but Ms. Miller sounds like one of those Brit's in a BBC mystery who's TRYING and failing miserably to sound like an American. One minute she sounds South African, the next Southern belle, the next robot, but not once like a midwesterner. It was like thick stale maple syrup being poured onto a pizza.

On the DVD, Tippi Hedren admits that the film didn't have time to portray a full picture of Hitchcock nor her relationship with him which was it seems in fact full of many more ups than downs, and that had he acted to her like Toby does to Sienna in this film that she would have walked in a nanosecond. Well, that right there tells you the film-makers have done a total hit piece on the man. Everybody on planet Earth has met somebody they liked who didn't like them back and vice versa, and that usually brings out the worst of both sides, but this portrait was like a bad Lifetime movie. The villain (in this case Hitchcock) may as well have tied the "hero" (Tippi) onto the railroad tracks while his mouse of a wife Alma (not at ALL like the real life Alma who all Hitchcock fans know was a vitally important part of his life) sat there keeping mum. No this was a real dud unless... you take it as a totally fictitious Hallmark channel suspense thriller where the baddies are super over the top and the goodies are bland as vanilla line readers who don't really try to come up with fleshed out characters and who are the good guys "just cuz" that's what the script dictates. The re-creations (also fabricated big time to become little horror vignettes themselves) are kind of cool and the sets/costumes are well done (although it's a bit annoying that Hitch's leading men are basically hidden face stand-in's), but that's not enough to make this worth anybody's time.

See Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins (ironically playing Hitch nowhere near as Cannibal Lecter as Toby did) and Helen Mirren instead, although that one's flawed and dramatized up the wazoo as well. Yeah, these modern day biography movie makers don't know that the whole truth makes for a better movie than latching onto a small piece of a person's makeup and trying to make that all the person's about.

Better yet, if you want a real picture of Hitchcock the man, see his movies and watch his interviews. That guy was anything BUT a one dimensional predator on the whole. I'm sure he DID make comments that made good looking women cringe (the same comments they'd lap up if made by somebody the woman found physically attractive), but that's not exactly a unique trait. I venture to say that EVERY woman on the planet can say the same things Tippi Hedren has said about Hitchcock about a man in their life who found them attractive but the feeling wasn't mutual. In fact, men can say the same thing about women who've hit on them who've made them feel queesy. It's a part of life and being human. But to take a man who lived such a full and artistically productive life, who was full of insight and wisdom (and HUMOR!), and to focus solely on Ms. Hedren's only sometimes perceived notions of their relationship (she's admitted he's not the monster the movie made him out to be, but that he did say some of the things in the movie to her) while other times praising him to no end, again, oh boy.

I really hated that they made this film knowing he wasn't here to defend himself. This was tabloid sludge and if you believe Toby's portrait is what Hitchcock really was on the whole... you'll love the movie Chained starring two real life Siamese twins in a vaudeville love triange tragedy. Sure the two sisters were playing fictional parts written by screenwriters that had nothing to do with their real life story, but at least they played the parts like themselves and as real human beings instead of other actors playing darkly distorted caricatures of them.
4 people found this helpful
CrazyBearUSAReviewed in the United States on July 3, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
I give the acting 5 stars a story of the times in Hollywood's dark past
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The acting was simply fantastic, I was browsing came across this and totally unexpected. the movie is dated 2012, I am little shocked about Hitchcock's behavior, I never knew from other reviews saying it was true. The movie portrays Hollywood in a time when many woman knew they had to sleep with men of power to get some place. What I sit here and ponder is the more recent scandals of sexual abuse /rapes in Hollywood the Me Too movement but those woman who more recently in years never spoke out when IT was NOT okay to force sex on a actor for power. We all know who they are both female and males currently on trail and the females who made their carriers/money on the knees .
Those same people try to tell us of morals the country should follow I am living in absolute poverty a result of a mugging by illegals ending my nursing career, schooling for a masters in Molecular Bio . because of past presidents having special forces guard the poppy fields my medications have been cut in 1/2 that created the Heroin epidemic the HRC foundation 1600 workers fired were ready for massive government rehab contracts after her loss
So this movie, script, acting ,are all great but I can not say anything for current day Hollywood or their opinions on this subject Yes I will still watch his movies with great love of them since today's writers film actors have little to no talent when compared to this great director People want even stop celebrating Washington's birthday because he owned slaves We learn from mistakes made in our history hiding from it or changing it to ones agenda is wrong
sexual harassment of any kind is wrong But Hollywood has always and still does live with sex drugs and lies . after all they are roll playing people never living they real world but behind gated security fences the 1% of 1% of people in the USA trying to tell us right from wrong . live in the Real USA before you lecture me or earn your degrees honestly not having Mommy pay for it
7 people found this helpful
BlueknightReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Film about a Classic Movie
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If you're a fan of The Birds, the recently revealed story regarding Tippi Hedren harassment by Alfred Hitchcock is worth viewing. Although a genius of cinema, Mr. Hitchcock is depicted as a cruel, manipulating, emotionally disturbed man. His fetish with the archetypal beautiful, cool blonde exemplified by Grace Kelly was heightened when he met Tippi. I came away with a new found respect for Hedren's courage and resilience in an age where there was no Me Too movement for women.
9 people found this helpful
cottontail farmReviewed in the United States on September 18, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
excellent movie; local angle
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Don't know how this 2012 movie did not hit my radar before, but thought it was very well done. Sienna Miller was spellbinding as Tippi Hendren and I love Toby Jones always. I personally hate Hitchcock movies. Blame my parents for dragging my brother and I to all of his movies at way too young of an age to see scary stuff. We lived near where The Birds was shot in Sonoma County, California. Many weekends, we drove past the schoolhouse and site of many shots in the movie on our way out to see the Pacific Ocean waves crash in to Bodega Head. To this day, my husband and I go to The Tides; the same restaurant the film crew and Hitchcock often ate at. You can see photos of Hitchcock, Tippi, and other stars and the film crew up on the walls. Tippi returns (annually?) for appearances and to sign autographs. I have a new respect for her in standing up to Hitchcock; the original "me too 'er".
5 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Hitchcock's obsessive and abusive relationship with Tippi Hedren
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Sienna Miller is Tippi Hedren and Toby Jones is Alfred Hitchcock. The movie begins with Hedren being hired for The Birds her first movie. The story focuses upon the relationship between the two that went from admiring to controlling.

The movie does a good job showing how Hedren felt about working with Hitchcock. At first she’s smitten by the fact that she will be in a movie. You can tell in her face however that she quickly began to question what exactly the famous director’s intentions were. Her fears were quickly realized with treatment during the filming that was outright abusive. There was one time she was covered in blood after doing a scene. There was also the sexual harassment. As the story of Harvey Weinstein shows this happens today as well as the past in Hollywood but is most often hushed up as part of the business run by men.
2 people found this helpful
Maria Kathleen TenneyReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Girl
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Glad that the truth was revealed, especially for those who did not know, of Alfred Hitchcock's creepy obsession for Tippi Hedren. I don't want to give too much information as to spoil it for those who have not seen this movie! It is a must-see.
C. SantasReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Yes, it was that bad....
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I saw "The Girl," directed by Julian Jarrold, and starring Toby Jones as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren, and I found this--as did my partner, both lovers of Hitchcock--quite disturbing. Though I had read Spoto's "Spellbound by Beauty" and was duly warned as to the contents of the movie, it still was quite shocking to see this anomalous relationship develop from the beginning. Though the movie was made as a low budget film, intended for TV (HBO), it does an amazing job in concentrating on the essentials, basically the beginning of Hitchcock's discovery of Hedren in a TV ad, his hiring her, assigning her the role of Melanie Daniels in "The Birds," a film that was not easy to make, and subsequently using her in "Marnie," which some consider HItchcock's last materpiece. "The Girl" concentrates almost exclusively on the relationwhip of Hitchocock to Hedren, and it provides concrete and undisputed evidence that HItchcock DID indeed harrass Hedren, making his intentions known from the start, citing obscene limericks to her and attempting to kiss her in his car, and subsequently tormenting her on the set, unleashing a relentless barrage of real birds in the famous attic scene, reaching up to 43 takes, and causing her untold physical torment. In "Marnie," she asks out of her contract, when he asks her to "touch" him, but he refuses, stating that's the end of her career. She shows her revulsion of him in no uncertain terms, but she continues to work on the movie, defiantly,knowing full weel that is the end of her. The movie offers more highlights of their head to head collisions, and sometimes it is hard to watch. Hitchcock fancies himself as Pygmalion, the ancient sculptor who fell inb love with his statue of Galatea, and the gods granted him his wish and she came to life. Hedren tells him that he took a "live, breathing human being" and turned her to a statue. Sienna Miller is just fine in the role, and Toby Jones comes off as a diminutive pervert, shorter that the full-bodied HItchcock, definitely looking more sinister than the Master ever did. He lacks Hitchcock's devilish charm, and phlegmatic, laid-back hypnotic delivery that drew in audiences in his famous TV shows prologue. JOnes delivers only an intimation what Hitchcock would look like when propositioning, or sadistically tormenting Hedren on the set, in full view of his associates, many of whom were amazed at his obvious cruelty to her. Admirers of Hitchock may be revolted by the tearing down of their image of "The Master of Suspense," so adored by critics for what looks like a a century now. I am an admirerer of Hitchcock's art, and "The Birds" is actually one of my two or three favorite Hitchcock films. But make no mistake. Donald Spoto is a good film historian, and he would not make up this as a fantasy. There is something very disturbing here,regardless as to the merits of the movie, which by the way received three nominations in the Golden Gloves, Best Picture being one. Tippy Hedren appears in a (too) brief interview in the extras, and she confirms for the most part what is said in the movie. NO matter what Hitchcock's post-mortem is on this matter, Hedren still lives, and not even Miller's worthwhile efforts can recreate the image of the statuesque beauty, the classy lady that shows up in a small fishing village, only to it torn apart by nature's fury. In "Marnie" too Hedren was superrb. She was a novice, yes, but she stands out as one of the blonde sirens Hitchcock brought on the screen--Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak--Hedren will stay up there with them.The film also shows that she had the guts not to quit.
16 people found this helpful
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