Better Know Your Hitchcock: Psycho
Dr. Girlfriend and I are on a major Alfred Hitchcock kick, and we thought we’d take you along for the ride. We’re going on a tour of some of his most famous films, a journey that’s sure to be filled with thrills, chills and other stuff that people thought would look good on a movie poster. I’m not going to bother scoring or all out reviewing Hitchcock’s movies because they’re all great, all classics – this is more of an awareness campaign reminding you to check ’em out. Today, we’re taking a look at Psycho.String Section! Shower! Naked Woman! Knife!
Nothing says classic film quite like 1960’s Psycho. Janet Lee was billed as the film’s star (just look at the poster), but we all know now it’s really Anthony Perkins who runs the motel and the show, despite his late introduction into the film. (NOTE: if you’ve never seen this film, stop reading this and go watch it. I’ll be right here when you get back.) Everything about this movie is so different, daring, even. There just isn’t another movie like it… except 1998’s Psycho, which is a remake in the extreme order of nearly being shot for shot. Sure, it’s in color and they rerecorded the original score and changed up the arrangement, but it’s a tremendous waste of time. (Vince Vaughn has Norman Bates? Vince fucking Vaughn?)
Psycho starts out as though it’s just another Hitchcock movie – the drama, the suspense, the tension… but then, suddenly, no more protagonist as perhaps the most famous scene in cinema history develops. The shower scene is an amazing 3 minute sequence with over 50 cuts, which is almost as fast as baseball on TV cutting, where they cut from one camera to the next just about every 3 seconds. Now that Lee’s Marion is gone, Perkins’ Norman takes over, and I love even when I know the ending, I can’t help but root for Norman when he’s pushed Marion’s car into the swamp. Crazy.
Again, I’m not going to go on and on about one of the best films every, but I’ll just say again that if you haven’t seen it, see it! And if you have, watch it again! This movie never gets old.
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