Psycho (5/15/12)

PsychoMovie One Hundred Nineteen

Psycho is considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest films and to date stands as one of the best thrillers ever made.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) steals $40,000 from a client at her office and flees from Arizona to California to be with her lover. After being paranoid about the police after a brief run-in with an officer that follows her, Marion finds herself at the Bates Motel. She soon meets Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and before spending some time talking with him, hears Norman’s mother from the house behind the motel. While taking a shower, Marion is stabbed to death and the mystery of the Bates Motel begins to unwind as people begin looking for Marion and the stolen money.

Psycho is a timeless film and considering its age, holds up remarkably well considering the myriad of horror films that we have been inundated with since. Hitchcock builds a distinct level of tension and mystery very early on and holds it until the finale. While many of you are likely aware of the ending, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it.

As with other Hitchcock films there are many hidden layers that reward multiple viewings of Psycho. Things like all the references to birds or the shots through mirrors may not be picked up at first but are a delight. My grandparents went to see Psycho in the theaters and they still talk about how it was the only movie they’ve ever walked out of. Considering the shower scene alone, I’m not surprised. Even though it is fairly tame by some of today’s standards, it still evokes a heart-in-your-throat reaction for me. For fans of Psycho, I would also highly recommend Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques, which came out about 5 years prior to Psycho and shares many similarities. In fact, Clouzot got the rights to Les Diaboliques as Hitchcock was trying to. Oh, and do not bother with the 1998 remake, it is awful.

For those who have not yet seen Psycho, it’s a must. Very few films come close and even fewer thrillers, including some of Hitchcock’s own, match it.

I give it 5 Bates Motels out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


15 responses to “Psycho (5/15/12)

  1. “Psycho” is remarkable in so many ways (one of which is the fact that Hitch used the crew from his TV series to shoot fast with a low budget). What’s inexplicable is that when it came to home video, Universal submitted it to the MPAA, which gave the film an R rating despite the fact that it was made during the days of the Hayes Code and had only implied violence, little blood, no nudity or sex (again, implied), and no bad language. Apparently the subject matter was still considered shocking.

  2. If you’ve seen either one of my blogs you know what this movie means to me. So I want go into here because I could ramble all day about Psycho.

    Let me just leave it with this – once again great review.

  3. This is the first R rated movie I ever saw; it was when I was eleven years old. And I was shocked by how much of a PG- or PG-13-rated movie it looked like. I guess you couldn’t add as much violence, nudity, and swearing in movies in 1960 as you can now. They made that slightly clearer with the (awful) shot-for-shot remake in 1998. Still, it’s one of my favorites, because it has the ability to build major suspense without the slightest bit of violence, nudity, or swearing. Great review.

  4. This is one of my Hitchcock films, though I like both Rear Window and Vertigo a little more. I’m glad he filmed it in black and white because I think the film would be too gory in color and also lose some of the suspense.

  5. Pingback: May Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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