‘There was only one psycho when I got hitched’ - Alma Reville
Special powers: Silent Cutter
Comic Release Date: Aug 2014
Alma Lucy Reville, Lady Hitchcock (1899 – 1982) was born in Nottinghamshire and is buried in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles. She left behind not only 30 screen-credits of her own, on a variety of films, ranging from The Ring, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 tale of a love triangle between a girl and two boxers, to her scripts and continuity work on classic thrillers and suspense movies like East of Shanghai, Jamaica Inn and Secret Agent.
Before Reville’s marriage to Alfred Hitchcock at London’s Brompton Oratory in 1926 she was already known for her work as a ‘cutter’, editing silent films. In an LA Times obituary of Reville published in 1982, Charles Champlin summed up her role in Hitchcock’s influential output: “The Hitchcock touch had four hands and two of them were Alma’s.”
Her daughter Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell’s memoir, Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man (2003), reports family friend Connie Erickson’s account of seeing very distinctive begonia flowers at the Hitchcock ranch in California:
“…years later, I flew to London for the Hitchcock hundredth birthday celebration. We took the train to Nottingham where Alma was born. Nottingham seemed familiar to me. It was only then that I realized Alma had used the flowers to recreate the beautiful feeling of the city where she grew up in the house in Santa Cruz.”
In other words, it seems Alma Reville remained a Nottingham girl to the end.
Alma Reville Facts
1: She played the wife of Prime Minister David Lloyd George in a 1918 biopic called The Life Story of David Lloyd George.
2: She has been played onscreen herself, by Imelda Staunton (in The Girl) and Helen Mirren (in Hitchcock). Both films were released in 2012 and presented quite different characters.
3: Alfred Hitchcock’s highest praise for any script or idea was said to be “Alma loved it!”.
4: In the days of celluloid film, editors like Reville were known as ‘cutters’ as they literally cut up and reassembled the film they worked on.
5: She was exactly one day younger than Alfred Hitchcock but outlived her husband by two years.