Reville, Alma (1900–1982)

views updated

Reville, Alma (1900–1982)

English screenwriter and screen editor . Name variations: Alma Hitchcock. Born in England in 1900; died in 1982; married Alfred Hitchcock (the director), in December 1926; children: Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell (b. 1928, an actress who appeared in Strangers on a Train).

Selected filmography:

The Ring (1927); Juno and the Paycock (1930); Murder (1930); The Skin Game (1931); Rich and Strange (1932); Waltzes from Vienna (1933); The Passing of the Third Floor Bank (1935); The 39 Steps (1935); Secret Agent (1936); Sabotage (1936); Young and Innocent (The Girl Was Young, 1937); The Lady Vanishes (1938); Jamaica Inn (1939); Suspicion (US, 1941); Shadow of a Doubt (US, 1943); It's in the Bag (US, 1948); The Paradine Case (US, 1948); Stage Fright (1950).

British-born Alma Reville broke into films in the early 1920s, working as an editor's assistant. She was the "script girl" for Alfred Hitchcock on two of his very early directing projects: The Pleasure Garden (1925), and The Lodger (1926), which turned out to be his first commercial success. She married the director in 1926 and subsequently edited many of his films. She also collaborated as a screenwriter with him, earning story credits on 16 of Hitchcock's films, and collaborated with other directors as well. Some film historians believe that the characters of Gay Keane in Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1948), Alma Ketter in I Confess (1953), and the wife of Detective Oxford in Frenzy (1972) are based on Alma Reville. When Hitchcock received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1979, he dedicated it to Reville, noting that without her, "I probably would have ended up at this banquet as one of the slower moving waiters." She died three years later. In 1997, the Alma and Alfred Hitchcock Chair at the University of Southern California was endowed by their daughter Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell.