Monday, November 1, 2010

1960 - PSYCHO, 50th Anniversary

A film that has been written and analyzed about for 50 years, here's my 2 cents worth to the discussion.

Hitchock got along very well with Janet Leigh

Probably a film that could only have been made as a more open era in film making was approaching.  This was the dark film about the human condition that Hitchcock had been circling around his entire career.  Traces of Psycho can be seen in Vertigo, Suspicion, Strangers On A Train and Shadow of a Doubt.  Hitchcock was the master of entertaining high gloss thrillers during the 1950's and at the age of 61 he was clearly looking to stretch himself in a completely different direction.

Laughing it up on the Bates Motel set
Psycho was made a on relatively modest budget, but it was still a Hitchcock picture, he had top Hollywood talent working for him, this is a very skillfully made film which benefits from having a group of technicians able to execute Hitchcock's visual ideas.

Hitchcock never a director known for kissing actors butts, assembled a first rate cast.  Janet Leigh was the kind of actor Hitchcock liked working with, a good looking glamor girl in the 1940's and 50's,  she was also a seasoned professional who had no problem responding to the director's concept of the film.  Anthony Perkins had been groomed by Paramount throughout the 1950's to be one of those heart throb types, Hitchcock clearly saw a more complex performer than anyone else realized.

More hilarity with Janet Leigh
Bernard Herrmann's music is a very big deal in Psycho.   This is his last great score for Hitchcock before he sank into movie music parody for the remainder of his career.  In the opening credits for Psycho, Herrmann gets a large title card to himself just before the director's credit. 

Psycho is an important film in the development of contemporary American cinema and Alfred Hitchcock is an important film maker.

109 minutes.

1 comment:

long live rock 'n' roll said...

His performance in Psycho is much better then his performance in Tin Star.
Which Perkins performance do you like better?