Blog Entry: Hitchcock Before and After Hollywood: Alma Reville (Part 3)
Alfred Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville had a keen ear for dialogue, and an editor's sharp eye for scrutinizing a film's final version for continuity flaws so minor they had escaped the notice of the director and/or the crew.
Reville noticed Janet Leigh inadvertently breathing after her character's fatal encounter in Psycho (1960), necessitating an alteration to the negative.
Reville co-wrote The Ring in 1927 — the first screenwriting credit she shared with Hitchcock.
She also worked with other directors.
She co-wrote The Constant Nymph in 1928, the first film adaptation of the 1924 best-selling and controversial novel The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy.
In 1929 Reville co-wrote After the Verdict, directed by Henrik Galeen and A Romance of Seville, directed by Norman Walker. \
In 1931 and 1932 she worked with directors such as Harry Lachman, Maurice Elvey and Basil Dean.
In 1933 Hitchcock hired Joan Harrison as his assistant, and she took over many of Reville's jobs within the production. Thereafter, Reville focused primarily on preparing and adapting her husband's scripts, including those for Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent (1940), Suspicion (1941) and Saboteur (1942).
She conitinued to work with some other directors, including Phil Rosen in 1934, Berthold Viertel in 1935 and Richard Wallace in 1945.
Reville worked with her husband on many more scripts in Hollywood. She collaborated with Joan Harrison to create the script for Suspicion, which was completed in 1940. They worked on the script in the Hitchcocks' home in Bel Air as Hitchcock preferred writing within a comfortable and intimate environment rather than an office.
As well as editing, writing and other production roles, Reville also appeared on screen. Early on in their careers, Reville made two film appearances: as an extra in Hitchcock's * The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) and a lead role in The Life Story of David Lloyd George (1918).
Alma, Lady Hitchcock, a breast cancer survivor, died at the age of 82, two years after her husband's death. She was cremated and her ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.