Alma Reville  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alma Lucy Reville, Lady Hitchcock (14 August 1899 – 6 July 1982) was an English assistant director, screenwriter and editor.

Life and work

She was born in Nottinghamshire, England, the second daughter of Matthew Edward and Lucy Reville (née Owen).

She is best known as the wife and collaborator of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, whom she met while they were working together at Paramount's Famous Players-Lasky studio in London, during the early 1920s. A talented editor, Alma worked on British films with directors such as Berthold Viertel and Maurice Elvey, though her main focus was her husband’s work. Cinema was the couple’s passion. She converted to Roman Catholicism from Protestantism before their marriage. Alma was one day younger than her husband.

They married on 2 December 1926 at Brompton Oratory in London; their daughter Patricia Hitchcock was born on 7 July 1928. Alma became Hitchcock's collaborator and sounding board, with a keen ear for dialogue and an editor's sharp eye for scrutinising a film's final version for continuity flaws so minor they escaped Hitchcock's own notice and that of his crew. It was Reville who noticed Janet Leigh inadvertently swallowing after her character's fatal encounter with Norman Bates' mother in Psycho (1960), necessitating an alteration to the negative. She was particularly good at revising dialogue and spotting inconsistencies in his plots.

Alma Reville died of natural causes at the age of 82, two years after Hitchcock's death. She had suffered from breast cancer some years before her death, but made a full recovery from the illness. She is buried in Los Angeles, California, The USA.

She was played by Imelda Staunton in The Girl (2012), the BBC/ HBO film about the relationship between Sir Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones) and Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) and by Helen Mirren in Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock (2012), about the production of Psycho.

Selected filmography


Further reading

  • Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man by Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell and Laurent Bouzereau (Berkley, 2003)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alma Reville" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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