Psycho (1960)

There isn’t enough to say about Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological masterpiece psycho. Psycho is one of the most discussed films in the history of modern cinema. This is with good reason of course. I, like the billions of others, am going to attempt to discuss the film. I mean why not discuss Psycho, it really was THAT good.

The film stars Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane. Perkins in his career defining role, plays a psychopathic motel owner. He and his lovable “mother” run the property and live in a house directly across from the motel. Perkins and Leigh meet under interesting circumstances. Leigh’s character Marion steals a large some of money from her workplace, and leaves for greener pastures. She stops at a motel in the midst of her escape for rest, it just so happens she had to stop at the Bates Motel. Wheres a Holiday Inn when you need one! I’m sure she was thinking that while getting brutally murdered by Norman *Cough*…..his mother.

I loved Hitchcock’s use of foreshadowing in the film. Before being hacked to death in the shower by Bates, Marion happened to experience a taste of Hitchcock’s masterful foreshadow technique. Rather she fell victim to it. On her drive following the car switch, it began to rain. A torrential downpour plagued Marion while she was driving, and she did what we all would have down while driving in a thunderstorm, use our windshield wipers. So there she was looking at a windshield with water plastering all over it, and a wiper screeching back and forth, wiping the water away. Look/Sound Familiar? Just a few short scenes later Marion finds herself looking eye to eye with a shower head pouring water onto her face, and there comes Bates with the knife. The rain meant to signify the shower, and the wipers meant to signify Bates’ thrashing knife. Now how awesome is that.

This was definitely spoken about trillions of times before, but who cares! I love the movie, and have seen it along with many other Hitchock films numerous times before, but now I get to talk about it.

Great movie, one of my top five favorite Hitchcock films along with Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Birds, and Dial M for Murder. I know its not the conventional top 5 Hitchcock movies but  Grace Kelly happens to be my favorite actress of all time. Put Vertigo and The Man who knew to Much (1956) on the list too. Hitchcock plus Jimmy Stewart (and/or Grace Kelly)=unforgettable classics.

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5 Comments so far

  1.   ekestler on November 17th, 2010

    Great analogy about the shower/knife and the rain/wipers…sadly I hadn’t thought of that myself. I just watched Vertigo because we were studying Hitchcock and I really enjoyed it. But I enjoyed Psycho much more!

  2.   Jenny Lu on November 18th, 2010

    I agree with the person above. I think you did an amazing job coming up and comparing the scene where Marion was in her car during the storm and when she was in the shower. I didn’t catch that foreshadowing. And I completely agree with you, this movie was really fantastic. It was also my first time watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie so I was amazed. Over the weekend I watched Rear Window. I found that film to be quite entertaining and Hitchcock made great use of voyeurism.

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