Saturday, September 19, 2009

Psycho (1960)

TOP 100 FILMS: #81

After stealing $40,000, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) runs off to be with her boyfriend, Sam (John Gavin), and start a new life for herself. Exhausted and amidst a storm, Marion pulls into the roadside Bates motel, where she meets the awkward and shy young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins)... you know the rest.

Perhaps the greatest travesty in all of Academy Award history is that not once throughout his long and amazing career did Alfred Hitchcock ever win an Oscar. That's right, not one. His 1960 masterpiece Psycho wasn't even nominated for best picture! It just goes to show that while the Oscars are great, fun, and exciting, they are by no means the definitive look on a year in film. But I'm not here to talk about the Oscars, I'm here to talk about a film I'm sure you've all seen, Psycho.

Dark, edgy, black and white in time when color was breaking through, violent for its time, creative in its story telling, with a musical score to die for, and dialogue to kill for, Psycho quite literally has it all. Some dark romance sprinkled amidst great tension, a bit of a comical side prevalent throughout Hitchcock's career, all set to the background of one of the most memorable sociopaths in film history. Inspired by the brilliant novel of the same name by Robert Bloch, making a wonderful transition from page to screen.

Not only that but each performance is a exercise in perfection, from top to bottom, each actors personifies their characters. Making for a perfect film, but not perfect careers, Hitchcock is allowed to do what he wants with the cameras without worrying about the actors... perhaps the best gift any actor can give a director. With total freedom, Hitchcock creates a world within the film, a world that absorbs you, twists you around, and plays with your mental strengths. Suffice to say, once you press play on Psycho, Hitchcock owns you, and that's talent.

Let's be honest, there's nothing I can say that does this movie right, it's one of the extreme few perfect horror films ever to have been made, a definitive classic.

1 better thoughts:

LuckyCricket said...

Great review for this Hitchcock classic! I have not seen this movie, surprisingly. Now I definitely have to.

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