Search This Blog

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Psycho (1960)

Out of frustration, a young woman (Janet Leigh in an Oscar nominated performance) steals $40,000 from her employer (Vaughn Taylor) with the intent of going to her lover (John Gavin) who needs the money. But rain forces her to stop at a secluded motel for the night. What can one say about an iconic film like PSYCHO that hasn't already been said. Has any other film been more analyzed, dissected, poured over and picked over than Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece? 57 years later, it remains a compelling and complex piece of cinema. It's easy to overlook how revolutionary the film was in 1960! There hadn't been anything like the shocking violence of the shower murder in a mainstream Hollywood film up to that point, not to mention the killing of the film's naked leading lady (and the film's biggest star) halfway through the movie. Incredibly it's also the first movie to show a toilet in a bathroom which had never been done at that point. The film features a magnificent performance by Anthony Perkins, a performance so iconic that it typecast him forever. Hard to believe that although it was embraced by the public which made it a huge hit, it received mixed notices including one from the clueless Bosley Crowther of the New York Times. The legendary score is by Bernard Herrmann. With Vera Miles, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson and Patricia Hitchcock.


  1. Fascinating indeed that its the first time a toilet is flushed in a mainstream American film. Also, that Marion only steals $40,000 - hardly a large amount these days!. And the opening credits state the date is 11 December, but the only sight or mention of Christmas is that one shot of Marion leaving Phoenix and we momentarily see some street christmas decorations. The build up of tension too, as she needlessly changes cars with that cop watching her, and that driving in the rain, and the great score creating that mood of approaching doom. The brilliantly shot and edited shower scene and close up of the eye stuns us every time, as the leading character we were rooting for is suddenly no more. There is a lot of sly wicked humour too - I like how Martin Balsam says "Someone always sees a girl with forty thousand dollars". Janet Leigh is totally perfect as Marion - Hitch told her he knew she could act and left the character up to her, as long as he got what he wanted for his camera setups.

    1. Hi Michael! Nice to hear from you! I apologize for taking so long to respond. I've been terribly lax about publishing and responding to comments. Something I hope to rectify. Say hi to Timshelboy for me!