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Russian series a homage to Hitchcock

Hitchcock had been banned, believed to be cheap master of horror

MOSCOW — It’s “Hitchcock Presents” — Russian-style.

Alfred Hitchcock is set to receive a centenary tribute from an unexpected quarter later this year in the form of a Russian-made, 21-episode series based on the American thriller and detective stories that Alfred Hitchcock collected and published.

Project, titled “Guardians of Vice,” features some of Russia’s best actors, and has been filming since January at the Odessa and Yalta Film Studios in Ukraine, as well as on location. Series is directed by Victor Nozdryukhin-Zabolotny, and financed — to the tune of $1 million — by Estonian entertainment conglom Prentice.

With more than half of the series wrapped, Prentice prexy and producer Vadim Pavlov is negotiating between Russian national channels ORT and NTV for broadcast rights.

In Soviet times, Hitchcock pics were banned and the helmer was reviled as a cheap master of horror and gore.

His works only became available at the end of the 1980s, garnering immediate popular, as well as critical, success.

“At first I heard plenty of rubbish about Hitchcock — that he shot cheap horror films to cater for the lowest American popular taste,” leading Russian helmer Vladimir Khotinenko said. “When I eventually saw his films, I was stunned. The whole Soviet myth about him vanished in a moment.”

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