Between the two Duelling Hitchcock films, HE’s money is on the Ryan Murphy/Anthony Hopkins version rather than Number 13, the comedy-thriller about young Alfred (Dan Fogler) finding his style as a British-based filmmaker in the 1920s. I’ve read an early draft of the Murphy-Hopkins script, written by John J. McLaughlin and largely about the making of Psycho.

16-month old draft of John McLaughlin’s ““Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho,” which Ryan Murphy will direct with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock.

The script also weaves in — a bit awkwardly, truth be told — a parallel story about the history of Ed Gein, the Wisconsin mass murderer who was the model for Robert Bloch‘s “Norman Bates” character. I could be reacting too conservatively here. Using the Gein story alongside the Hitchcock saga certainly lifts it out of the usual making-of-a-masterpiece mode a la RKO 281.

The late ’50s period trappings of Ryan-Hopkins film will be easy enough to recapture — the suits, cars, old phones, etc. I just hope that Murphy, a former journalist like myself, will really give it hell as far as putting the audience into the mood and emotions and sub-currents of America in 1959 and ’60. The ground-level enticement in the watching of any period film is that you might have a chance to really go someplace else for a couple of hours. To actually dive into and become part of a past life. Bennett Miller‘s Capote felt like a real time-machine piece; ditto Andrew Dominik‘s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.