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Local actor and old friend George Weinberg-Harter beat me to it with his response to my review of Hitchcock posted on Facebook: "Hopkins looks neither like himself nor like Hitch. An excellent actor who might have been perfect in the role, without special make-up, is Timothy Spall, alas."

News first leaked that two Hitchcock biopics were in the works around the time The King's Speech, which features Spall as Winston Churchill, was released. I remember thinking what a great Hitchcock he would make.

Instead of going for corporeality they slap a corpulent costume on a known commodity. Anthony Hopkins is a household name and Timothy Spall is a "the name sounds familiar, but I cannot place him."

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The British character actor is probably best known as Peter Pettigrew in a pair of Harry Potter films, but having never made my it all the way through one of them, I find myself in no position to comment.

My Spall of choice is Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman, the true-life story of Britain's most productive (and commiserative) executioner.

Toby Jones came closer to capturing the look and sound of Hitchcock in the equally dreadful, The Girl. The made-for-cable biopic also got it right by casting Imelda Staunton as Alma Reville aka Mrs. Hitch.

As for the bold and beautiful Helen Mirren as the big screen's answer to the unassuming Mrs. H, I guess we should be thankful that Fox Searchlight didn't go with Selena Gomez.

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Comments

GWH Nov. 30, 2012 @ 2:12 p.m.

Further irony is that Spall and Staunton have been together in several films, mainly directed by Mike Leigh, and sometimes, I believe, portraying married couples. Another one of Spall's excellent character portrayals may be seen in the 1999 BBC film SHOOTING THE PAST.

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Colonna Nov. 30, 2012 @ 6:07 p.m.

WOW! That profile pic of Spall is frighteningly close!

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