Retro Reviews: Psycho (1960)

Retro Reviews: Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Marion Crane is making a lot of mistakes lately. Her first one was stealing $40,000 dollars from her employer, but the real one is stopping for the night at the Bates Hotel when she becomes too tired to continue. Poor Marion. And the rest is really history.

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Hitchcock at His Best

Alfred Hitchcock was already a household name when he directed this horror/thriller movie- Psycho (1960) in all it’s black and white glory. It reads at first like a seedy, low-budget film but this is just part of Hitchcock’s genius to build mood and authenticity. Emitting the feel of film noir, it was extremely low budget- costing only $800,000- cheap even by the standards of the day.

Retro Review: (1960)

Shower Scene

Hitchcock perhaps didn’t expect it though, to become the landmark game changer it did, for the horror film genre. But perhaps he did know millions of women would be afraid to take a shower after watching the movie, right up until the present day. From the classic, ground-breaking editing of the shower scene, right on through to finding out about mom, the movie builds and takes us on a horror ride that is edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Janet Leigh as the unfortunate Marion Crane, Anthony Perkins as the unforgettable Norman Bates, John Gavin,
Vera Miles, Martin Balsam as Inspector Arbogast- all have become their Psycho characters over the years and are inseparable from the parts they played. Yet it’s Anthony Perkins’ performance that truly has made him one with the troubled character of Norman Bates forever. His brilliant portrayal of the likeable Motel manager with boyish charm is the foundation of everything else that it is to come in the movie.

Most everyone has already seen Psycho (1960), maybe even a few times, but it may be time to view it once again- this time from the perspective of Hitchcock’s masterpiece direction as well as the character that is Norman Bates. Psycho plays on our fears- and maybe, like Marion, our guilts. It exemplifies how we never really know what is waiting for us at the next motel stop of our journey.

I give this film 9.3/10 because it still stands alone and is one of Hitchock’s best.

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    • Lin Jenkinson

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