By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 27, 2012 at 1:00PM
The American Film Institute (AFI) is closing AFI FEST with Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" and opening on November 1 with Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock."
Now that Fox Searchlight has opted to open November 23 this slice of Alfred Hitchcock's life on the set of the 1960 classic "Psycho," starring Anthony Hopkins as the iconic director and Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator Alma Reville, the company is booking the film into festivals. The first is the AFI FEST.
Scarlett Johansson also stars in this love story as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Hitchcock's agent, Lew Wasserman. From a screenplay by John J. McLaughlin, the film is based on the book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello. The film is produced by Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Joe Medjuck of Montecito Picture Company, along with Tom Thayer and Alan Barnette.
Hitchcock, who taught a Master Seminar at the AFI Conservatory in 1970, also received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979. His "Vertigo" recently unseated "Citizen Kane" on the Sight and Sound Top 50 Films of All Time list. Four Hitchcock movies rank in AFI’s 100 Years...100 Movies: "Vertigo" is #9, "Psycho" is #14, "Rear Window" is #48 and "North by Northwest" is #55. "Psycho" was ranked #1 on AFI’s list of "most heart pounding American films," and Perkins' Norman Bates was ranked #2 on AFI’s Top Villains list – just behind Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs."
For the fourth time AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings.