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The 1960 suspense/horror film, "Psycho", is yet another Alfred Hitchcock classic. To say i wasn't completely caught up in it would be a lie. The storyline of this film can simply be described as incredible. With all the twists and turns throughout the whole movie, and as the suspense intensely grew, i just sat there in awe. Hitchcock is a master at what he does, and uses lighting and sounds to his advantage. Even though certain elements of his creations aren't very realistic, they seem to become more scary and memorable. The angles he uses are amazing and he has become one of my favorite directors. I give, "Psycho" 6 out of 6 chicken nuggets.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
None better than this. It had great setting, background score, cast and
acting. There is not a single fault in the movie, except the title
which reveals some of the suspense. But still it is one of the best
horror/thriller. There aren't many killings in the movie but one single
killing should scare you enough of a lifetime.
It just looks like such a simple runaway movie but just explodes suddenly into a real horror movie. The acting was superb from perkins. He just seems at so much ease changing from scared young man to a violent killer. The remaining cast did really well, but they are just so easily outdone by perkins acting.
The background score was excellent, it keeps the thrill during the small amounts of silence in the movie. You can just keep watching it again and again and would still be mesmerised with action every time.
The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, is a director famous for a
great many films. His movies and his passion for the crime of murder
cemented into our collective consciousness images of terror and panic
that even people who have never seen his movies can identify and pick
out. Hitchcock made a stream of remarkable films over the course of his
legendary career including the thrill ride "Rear Window" (1954) and his
ultimate psychological masterpiece "Vertigo" (1958), but the film
everybody remembers and relates to when discussing Hitchcock is his
notorious 1960 box office smash "Psycho" and the scene everybody
remembers is the one that made many people, including one of its
performers, Janet Leigh, think twice before taking a shower again.
"Psycho", adapted from a novel by Robert Bloch, is the classic story of a woman from Phoenix (Janet Leigh) who in order to marry her financially-stressed lover (John Gavin), embezzles $40,000 dollars from her employer's client and finds herself on the run, fearing and panicking every face that looks in her direction. During her flee more or less from her morals, she checks into a desolate motel run by a handsome but strange young man named Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). What follows is the film's infamous "shower scene" and a long chain of thrills, frights, and terrifying images that people, to this very day, never forget.
A film can be viewed as a true work of art when it has the same effect on an audience as it did nearly half a decade again. It has been forty-nine years since "Psycho" was first released and to this day, it still terrifies and appalls people very much like it did in 1960. To some, such as Walt Disney himself, "Psycho" is just too much. It's really the "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) of its day. But to those who can appreciate art and storytelling, this is a motion picture that simply cannot be refused repeated viewings.
The pivotal performance of the film is, without a doubt, Norman Bates by Anthony Perkins. The acting by Perkins is so iconic and so creepy and so off-putting that he really set the standards for slasher villains and frightening characters. It is so ironic that an actor so harmless-looking, so timid-sounding as Perkins could, in an instant, turn himself into the image of a sick, bloodthirsty psychopathic monster. He can become creepy without apparently even making an effort, as though he were in real life as deranged as his character. Perkins' Norman Bates is like the Charles Foster Kane of horror movies. He's been mimicked, but never matched or overpowered. The only real contender for a match is Hannibal Lecter by Anthony Hopkins. Whoever is creepier is up to you, but it's nevertheless a very close match.
"Psycho" is not a film that is about character development, but it doesn't need to be. In fact, extreme character development would get in the way. Norman Bates is strongly developed, but the other characters are established exceedingly well and then play from that point on. Janet Leigh, in particular, who takes up the first third of the movie almost entirely by herself, gives a great performance even though her character is very simple. Hitchcock used Leigh as a personification of the human fears and sins: guilt, panic, fear, envy, and lust. The film also features a well-cast Martin Balsam as a private investigator who tends to, like Hitchcock felt about some of his producers, get in the way too often without understanding fully what or whom he's dealing with.
And of course, we can't leave out the thrills of the movie. Hitchcock used his techniques of shock, horror, and suspense to their fullest in this film. He uses the two main horror procedures: alerting an audience of an impending threat without telling the character or simply having the scare jump out and "render you speechless" as some of the ads for "Psycho" claimed the movie would do. And there is certainly more than just the infamous shower scene. It's not just the brutal killings. Again, there's Anthony Perkins in the landmark role of his career, and the black-and-white photography is notably far more effective than if Hitchcock had decided to shoot the movie in color (look at the dismal 1998 shot-by-shot remake for proof) and of course there's Bernard Herrmann's iconic all-string music score that rivets and lunges out at you.
Although it is an intensely frightening film and ends with one of the creepiest final lines of all time, "Psycho" is so much more than just a horror story. Apart from the dawn of the slasher genre and a montage of spine-tingling images, it is a work of art done by one of the true geniuses of the cinema: Alfred Hitchcock. And while I don't feel this is his all-time best motion picture, it's certainly his most famous and deservedly so. When a film can shock and terrify an audience nearly fifty years since it was first released and tags an excellent story along with it, it deserves to be remembered.
Director : Alfred Hitchcock Cast : Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera
Undoubtedly the most popular movie created by the genius Hitchcock, Psycho is a masterpiece from all aspects of film making, be it the plot, screenplay, cinematography, sound and above all direction. It is a very intelligent thriller and keeps the viewer engaged and enthralled until the last frame.
The plot revolves around a highway motel and it's caretaker and owner Norman Bates, his sick and somewhat spooky mother, a woman who steals large amount of money from her employer to improve her love life with her boyfriend and who comes to stay at this Bates motel . The proceedings that follow are extremely interesting and enthralls the viewer. We get to see perhaps one of the best murder scenes ever shot in cinematic history, the famous shower murder of the lady who stays in the motel . The protagonist of the movie Norman Bates character has been very well written and performed by the actor concerned as well. Sometimes we as an audience feel pity and sorry for him and after knowing his mental condition, this feeling increases even more.
In short, Psycho is one of the milestones of this particular thriller genre. Many thriller movies either based on this or influenced by this have come in many large numbers, but the charm and the greatness of this particular movie will remain in the minds of cinema lovers for eternity.
Rating : 9/10
One of the most famous of all films, so much so that people who have
never seen it know about the shower scene, or can quote, "A boy's best
friend is his mother." Yet, Psycho is so much more than "that scary
movie with the shower scene." In fact, it is not even a horror film by
any stretch of the imagination; Hitchcock was too sophisticated for
that. This is a mystery thriller, the first part being thriller and the
second being mystery.
One of the elements that make this a timeless piece of cinema is the way Hitchcock sets up the back story to the character of Marion Crane and the relationship between her and Norman Bates. From the moment these stories begin, we start to get involved without knowing that Hitchcock is toying with us. I cannot ruin any spoilers, since this is a film to enjoy the first time and then maybe a second time. But, it is important to know that even though this has influenced practically every horror movie since, it is nothing like any of them. Hitchcock shot in black and white to not appear gory and used old-school tricks like music and editing to create images in our mind much scarier than on the screen.
Speaking of music, has there ever been a more perfect score written for a film since this masterful work by Bernard Herrmann? In every scene it is used, it underlies the drama and increases the suspense in a way no modern director could ever do with blood and grotesque imagery.
The cast is wonderful, especially Janet Leigh as Marion and Anthony Perkins as Norman. As good as Leigh is in bringing us to her side, Perkins gives arguably one of the greatest performances in all of cinema. The little details, the stuttering, the twitching, the eyes moving all around go unnoticed the first few times. Then, after awhile you notice it and see that he almost completely makes us sympathize with this character. If you've seen this before, you know what an incredible job it is, although it is a shame Perkins never got out from under Bates' shadow. What is even worse is that they made three sequels to this movie, focusing more on Norman and the violence that I am sure ensued. Forget those attempts to capture your attention and be sure to view this masterpiece at least once. That's all it takes before you will look at your mother a little differently.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Psycho" is a movie nearly everyone has heard of, either through the
movie itself, or through the countless references to it in the media.
And so it should be; it is undeniable one of the best
horror-experiences in cinema ever as well as a timeless cultural icon.
The story about Marion Crane, how she has to run away having stolen 40.000 dollars, leads her to an old motel out of the main road. The owners name is Norman Bates... From here there isn't long until the famous shower-scene, and that's even just the beginning of the movie.
What makes this movie so great is the tension, the uneasy feeling that something isn't right, present throughout the whole feature. The key-factor in this tension is the soundtrack, one of the greatest ever. One would have to be a psycho like Bates himself to not feel uneasy when listening to "Murder" by Bernard Hermann
When I saw the whole movie for the first time last night, I actually knew the story first. Still, because of the immense power of "Psycho" i had trouble getting to sleep. I saw Norma Bates in every corner of my room. This just proves that it is an outstanding feature and the greatest horror flick I have seen. 9/10
"Psycho" is undoubtedly among the tensest films ever created, if not
the tensest. The film's story first introduces Marion Crane, but
eventually leads to the Bates Motel, which acts as a vortex that sucks
a host of characters in.
Anthony Perkins gives an unforgettable nuanced performance as Norman Bates, and develops the character expertly with stutters and expressions as well as dialogue. Janet Leigh is equal to giving a critical performance as the anxious Marion Crane, who carries the first part of the film. The performances of Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam and the supporting cast are also solid.
Other than some brief pauses, this film consistently has heart-throbbing tension. Bernard Herrmann's famous score is an important contributing factor in the near constant tension. However, importantly this film also has an underlying mystery which ensures that the film is fascinating as well as tense.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*SPOILER* "Psycho" is something of a puzzle game, like the '3
dimensional chess' played in the old Star Trek TV show. When we think
the film is moving in one direction, we find it has caught us up from
behind on another level.
On one level, the film is about guilt, but not in any way most people think about it. Janet Liegh's hapless victim is actually guilty of a number of old-fashioned sins - illicit sex, theft, lying, sloth, waste, hubris and self-obsession, all of which is soon to be discovered (after the film's end) when her car is dragged from the swamp revealing the stolen money in the trunk along with her body. Of course, the audience knows that she would have repented, had she lived, but nobody in the film will.
Anthony Perkins' character, on the other hand, is guilty of - nothing. That's right, not a thing, nada, zip. That's because he's crazy: even his voyeurism is merely a manifestation of his psychosis. This is not simply a rule of Anglo-American law, by the way - it dates back at least to St. Augustine's Civitas Dei and his definitive statement that where the will is absent, there can be no guilt. And one cannot have will when the mind is so wholly disordered, it can no longer discern a choice to be made (that part is Aquinas).
Perkins' psychopath thus becomes mere act of nature to the people he kills. If Leigh's character had decided to drive to a church for confession to a priest, and then suffered a fatal heart-attack at the wheel, the moral sociology of this would have been the same for her, discovered in a car with stolen money and no immediate sign that she repented of her sins.
Does this make "Psycho" a heavy lesson in Christian morality? Absolutely not! Because Hitchcock is not playing just the one game, but several. As to the morality, for instance, it would certainly be a heavy message if it weren't so dam'ed obvious that Hitchcock doesn't take it seriously! The Freudian explanation, and Perkins' final dissolution into the persona of the dead mother form a bizarre bit of comic relief, intended to provide quick and easy explanations to any audience needing these.
It may help some viewers to know that Hitchcock said that the only really frightening moment in the film - for him - was the sudden cut to a close up of a state trooper wearing sunglasses when Leigh awakes in her car. Hitchcock was almost paranoid about the police (it actually does show up in a number of films, beginning with "Blackmail" from '29). This is one reason his characters frequently seem to have nowhere to turn when they find themselves in legally questionable or suspect situations. And it is this state trooper who first suggests to Leigh that she ought not to sleep in her car but find a bed for the night - which suggestion finally leads to her decision to visit the Bates Motel....
Well, who's guilty now?
There is no finer example of the craft of film-making than "Psycho." Every aspect of the production is brilliantly executed, and contributes to the film as a whole, rather than detracting from the whole. The script laden with double meanings, the note-perfect acting, the astonishing camera work and editing, the background music, the sleazy, run-down atmosphere - it all coalesces into one unforgettable excursion through the prurient, dishonest, anxiety-ridden substratum that lies just an inch beneath the supposedly placid, polite surface of American society. Hitchcock masterfully manipulates not only the audience's emotional states but its train of thought as well. The viewer is kept in a subtle state of confusion and bewilderment as to what is actually happening, what is going to happen, and what the characters' true motivations are - while at the same time the story is propelled forward at a brisk and steady pace. Even though I have seen this film all the way through 6 or 7 times, I always find myself irresistibly drawn into it all over again whenever it is shown. This is one of the true masterpieces of cinema, in that it exemplifies masterful film-making in all the disciplines required to produce a great film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I recently bought this DVD on Ebay and thought it was a brilliant film. This is my favourite Alfred Hitchcock film. Psycho is one of my favourite movies of the 1960's along with Wait Until Dark, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Two For The Road, The Sound Of Music, Breakfast At Tiffanys, Oliver, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, West Side Story. In my opinion I thought it was more a scarier film than the Audrey Hepburn film Wait Until Dark. Anthony Perkins was great as Norman Bates and I found him scarier than Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark (not that Alan Arkin wasn't scary in Wait Until Dark). The music playing when Marion (Janet Leigh) got stabbed in the shower was freaky.I found the scene where the detective Arbagast (Martin Balsam) gets killed unexpected.
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