View Full Version : PSYCHO (1960)

03-02-2001, 06:30 PM
PSYCHO (1960) If there was one horror movie that was my ultimate fave, "Psycho" would be the one. Alfred Hitchcock, my all-time favorite director, created THE definitive slasher picture, which was revived in 1978 by John Carpenter's instant classic "Halloween", and again in 1996 by Wes Craven's post-modern shockfest "Scream". Without mentioning the now-famous plot twists, all I can say is that no one twitched like the late, great Anthony Perkins. And the only woman to match Janet Leigh's shower scream is her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis of "Halloween" fame. Bernard Herrmann's oft-copied "shrieking violins" score is now legendary. Hitch's use of mirrors as set pieces indicates the multiple-personality disorder motive, and the black-and-white cinematography is the best I've ever seen! Hitch created all of the rules with this one. He was The Master! Carpenter, DePalma and Craven are his most worthy disciples. "Psycho" has earned its place in film history, not only because of the shower scene (the most famous movie murder of all time), but because it was THE FIRST, and THE BEST of this type of film. My grade: A+

[This message has been edited by AntonioDelLago (edited 06-20-2001).]

Hypnotic Eye
03-02-2001, 07:32 PM
Nice summary Antonio, I loved it too. It's my favorite Hitchcock film (that says alot too since I LOVE nearly all of his stuff), and one of my favorite horrors.

the night watchman
03-02-2001, 07:59 PM
Yup. "Psycho" is my second favorite horror movie of all-time. It is nothing less than one artist's complete mastery over a medium. A perfect film. 10/10.

03-02-2001, 10:51 PM
You guys hit the nail on the head..I totally agree with you.

03-03-2001, 08:38 AM
Psycho is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The remake was crap though!

the night watchman
03-03-2001, 01:06 PM
You know, I don't think the remake was crap. It was an interesting experiment that had its moments (the "subliminal" flashes during the murders; the discovery of Mother's corpse) but never worked as well as the first. Why? I think it's simple, really. The story was written in the early 60s. The characters and their actions all take place within a late-50s, early-60s context. 90s characters doing the same things a 60s character would makes them seem a little stupid, or like they ought to know better. (In other words, would a 90s gal actually think she's able to get away with $400,000 by simply taking it and driving away? And wouldn't anyone from the 90s high-tale from the Bate's Motel after talking with Norman for five minutes?)

03-03-2001, 03:25 PM
Just to let everybody know i still have the weirdest taste, i don't like HITCHCOCK. I've only seen PSYCHO and THE BIRDS. I HATED THE BIRDS, and although i admit PSYCHO is a great film made by someone who clearly knows what they are doing, i personally thought it was boring, and not scary, apart from when you can hear his 'mom' talking to him! aaahhh! freaky shit.

I'm just a modern horror boy - i don't know why, i just hate all those old shitty 50's black an white monster movies, all the shitty hammer horror films. Anything that was made roughly before 1974 just bores me. Sorry HITCHCOCK - a great director you may have been, but you couldn't keep my attention if you stuck me in a chair like MALCOLM MACDOWELL from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and forced my eyes to stay open. Give me an 80's slasher anyday. SLASHERS are the BEST type of movies.

P.S. - I also thought CLOCKWORK ORANGE blew as well. Impressed? No.

the night watchman
03-03-2001, 03:59 PM
Well, now that you've brought it up, Morgan, what exactly bores you about older movies? Why do you think slasher movies are superior? Is it the fact that modern day movies have a slightly quicker pace, or that they show rather than suggest? (I remember when I was younger being frustrated by Howard Hawk's "The Thing from Another World" becasue a lot of the really exciting stuff seemed to happen off screen.) I've always been curious as to why certain people have particular tastes.

03-04-2001, 01:13 PM
Yeah, i think pace has a lot to do with it. I have a short attention span and need to be constantly entertained. I also like to either be scared or thrilled by the gore. Dialogue plays a big part. The characters need to talk about stuff that interests me (y'know teen stuff) or the subject at hand. For example, the start of THE FOG where the old sea dog tells that kid the ghost story. Fucking excellence. He sets the scene, doesn't avoid the plotline. He keeps you thinking about what's gonna happen with the ghost dudes.Talk about it!!! DR LOOMIS and his evil speeches - classic! He's sticking to the topic and putting scary, eerie thoughts into your head. PSYCHO didn't hold my attention cos of the whole boring rob the bank shit. She's driving away with this regal non scary music playing, thinking about what has just happened, hearing the bank managers voice an shit. Have a build up atmosphere at least. There is nothing scary about that, the music takes the piss. I think i just need to relate in any way to the people in the movie and what they are going through - e.g. i remember, as a child, having ghost stories told to me and thinking the subject of the story would 'get me'. I remember being told that 'Mr Sandman' will come and get me if i don't go to sleep! I was never told that robbing banks equals death or that birds attack people, that's HITCHCOCK neither scares me or interests me. Besides, i can never understand a word the people in the black n white movies are saying. They're mostly upper class fools that say words like 'delightful'. No thanks losers.

Don't be offended - i can also understand why people like these movies. They're just not my bag of weed.

06-20-2001, 09:29 PM
Since PSYCHO was voted the #1 film on AFI's Salute to the 100 Best Thrillers last week, I thought I'd bring this topic back to the forefront.

Do any of you younger horror fans appreciate this classic, or do you find it overrated? Is the pace too slow? The body count too low? Elaborate on your explanations.

06-21-2001, 09:46 AM
PSYCHO is pure brilliance. Of course I'm 34 and tend to appreciate older movies a little more, but anyhoo...

Much like HALLOWEEN or JAWS, PSYCHO is one of those films that you just never get tired of, and it seems as though you notice something new every time you watch it. Anthony Perkins is perfect in the role of the gosh darn likeable loner; to bad this movie forever stereotyped him as being a few fried short of a Happy Meal.

Herrmann's score is perect, much like HALLOWEEN, in it's bare bones approach. The "slashing violins" have become horror staples, imitated in numerous movies since.

The ending is a bit anti climictic, especially after the no holds barred shower scene, but I found Simon Oakland's psychiatric explanation of Norman to be riveting.

And the very last scene in the picture....need I elaborate?

mary lou 102
06-21-2001, 03:49 PM
oh yea psycho. the first horror flick i ever saw.but why did they remake it . that one totally sucked

06-22-2001, 07:41 AM
Psycho sucks...


06-22-2001, 02:10 PM
Steve, several horror films out there have a love-it or hate-it kind of quality. No one is going to bash you because you hate a classic like PSYCHO. I am interested in your reasons, though. As a horror fan from the "old school", I find it amazing that younger novices don't appreciate the likes of PSYCHO, but prefer the recent crop of SCREAM ripoffs.

[This message has been edited by AntonioDelLago (edited 06-22-2001).]

06-22-2001, 02:43 PM
I like 4 too!

06-22-2001, 04:41 PM
I foun Psycho very boring, and not at all scary.

06-23-2001, 06:37 PM
Upon viewing PSYCHO again since the AFI salute (I watch it at least once a year), I noticed how amazingly subtle the performances were. Janet Leigh was an Oscar-nominee for her sexy Marion Crane role, and Anthony Perkins underplayed his Norman Bates character, which many less-capable actors would have taken WAY over-the-top.

I also noticed: all of those mirrors as set pieces (which are symbolic of the multiple personality disorder motive); the sexy chemistry between Leigh and co-star John Gavin (in a scene that many 80's films would have sleazed-up to attract audiences); the looks of pure menace and evil on Norman's face as the camera zooms in for a close-up at the swamp, and during the final shot, when "Mother" takes over.

Did you know that the voice of "Mother" was provided by Nancy Kelly, who portrayed the mother in original version of THE BAD SEED?

Hitchcock manipulates the audience in so many different aspects of this film: we WANT Marion to get away with stealing the money, and we DIDN'T want Norman to get caught when highway headlights focused on his bloodbath cleanup duties.

During pre-production, Hitchcock put out a fake casting call for the role of Mrs. Bates (in order to elude the press), upon which...Helen Hayes and Dame Judith Anderson attempted to screen test for the role!

[This message has been edited by AntonioDelLago (edited 06-23-2001).]

06-26-2001, 05:08 PM
I believe that younger audience have been exposed to a lot of violence from the media and entertainment, that is one of the reasons that classics like PSICHO do not impress them much.
I'm also from the old school (I'm 33) and I remember watching these movies with my dad on the late, late friday shows when I wasn't old enough to walk and there were some movies that left a huge impact on me (no, I wasn't traumatized by them) I grew up to appreciate a good mystery, a lung ripping scream, a smart whodunnit or an unexpected twist.
So Antonio, if you're interested in why our junior schmoes don't seem to appreciate the classics is also because some of them don't realize that countless elements we see in the new movies were taken from the old school but with a faster pace (I also blame CGI), one clear example, I recently saw "The monster that challenged the world" and there's a scene that looks exactly the same as the opening scene in "Jaws" check it out.

ban all music
06-26-2001, 07:23 PM
While I can see why people think this movie's great, I don't particularly like this movie very much. It was very revolutionary for films, and I would hate to see where horror would have gone without Psycho (although it would be interesting), I just couldn't enjoy this movie nearly as much as most people. It feels outdated to me now, and I don't feel it's Hitchcock's best. My two favorites from Hitchcock are Vertigo and Rear Window. I thought the most suspenseful scene I've probably ever seen in a Hitchcock film is when **minor spoiler** Grace Kelly is in the killer's apartment in Rear Window. **spoiler** The ending scene in The Birds where they are walking to the car and the birds are watching them was fairly suspenseful too.

Hitchcock was brilliant, there's no doubting that...

[This message has been edited by ban all music (edited 06-26-2001).]

07-01-2001, 12:13 PM
If you inspect this film more closely, you will realize that it is actually two films in one (symbolic of the split personality motive): The first half centers around Marion's larcenous activities and escape, and the second half focuses on Norman's attempt to cover up Marion's murder. She carries the first half, he the second.

Also, Marion's actions, which were obviously out-of-character, could be considered "psychotic" as well...since $40,000 was a lot of money to swipe back in 1960. She eventually came to her senses, but paid for her actions (and as many critics suspect, her sexuality as well) with her life.

07-02-2001, 02:49 PM
I loved psycho from the first time i saw it in 1976. But one thing. Whats so famous about that freakin shower death?!

07-21-2001, 11:57 AM
PSYCHO is a true masterpiece if filmaking.

07-21-2001, 09:32 PM
I disagree that most young people don't like PSYCHO because I'm 15 and I LOVE PSYCHO. It is the greatest and scariest film ever made. There is nothing scarier than real-life acting, un-clichéd plot, and a Master Director. PSYCHO had all of this and it was also quite tragic. I didn't want Marion to die, and it was so sad to see her get killed. And that ending still chills me right to the bone. I think if people my age would get over the outdated hairdos and language and get over the other shallow movies that they are used to then they would find out why PSYCHO is not only regarded as the greatest HORROR film of all time, but as one of the greatest films of any genre since the art of movie-making began.

I must also mention the director, of course is Alfred Hitchcock so you'll find genius in everything film he directed but PSYCHO is so special because it is truly the first HORROR film and it is still relevant today. I don't feel that the movie is outdated at all. I'd suggest picking up other films directed by Alfred Hitchcock like: Rear Window, Rope, Dial M For Murder, The Birds, and his masterpiece VERTIGO.