Friday, September 12, 2014
Classic Cinema Spotlight: Psycho
Psycho (1960) is now known as one of Hitchcock's best films. Starring Janet Leigh as Marion Crane and Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the films centers on Marion's embezzlement of $40,000 and her hiding out at the Bates Motel where Norman works.
Prior to this film Hitchcock never made a film like this before. A woman desperate to steal from her employer so she can marry her lover, a motel owner who mind is unraveling, and an old woman who we only see as a shadow. Is she real or is she a figment of the viewers imagination?
Marion hides out at the Bates Motel and decides to return the money she stole. Before she can do that the infamous shower scene (which is one worth seeing rather than reading about) ensues. Who is that shadowy figure? We don't find out until the end of the film but so much suspense builds up until then. It's fantastic!
Eventually a detective named Arbogast (Martin Balsam) becomes suspicious that Marion stole the money and begins to investigate. Joining the suspicious Arbogast are Sam Loomis (John Gavin) and Marion's sister, Lila Crane (Vera Miles). They begin their own investigation worrying that something may have happened to Marion.
The shower scene in this film is so iconic and well known that most people forget that it was just the beginning of the film and there is a whole rest of the film with Balsam, Miles, and Gavin in it (Aborgast, Lila, and Sam).
If you want to watch something spooky in preparation for Halloween, this will fit the bill nicely. And keep in mind that although you may know about this famous scene and you may know the identity of who the killer is, watching this film in its entirety will still leave you with chills going up your spine. Hitchcock never disappoints!
Have you seen Psycho? What do you think of Hichcock's take on psychotic murders? Did the ending shock you, surprise you, give you goosebumps?