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"Psycho" Was a Comedy...


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...but few people saw the humor.

Why do I call it a comedy?

Because that's what Hitchcock called it!

Think about it; it's really funny, right down to the dialogue.

How that movie could frighten anyone...

How really could any film scare people? It's a movie!

"The Exorcist" was another comedy, if you really bother to look at it. Funniest movie of the 1970's.

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When I first saw it on the big screen in a dark theater, it was not a comedy, and it was scary.


Today, on TV, after seeing it many times, it is a comedy. However, I still lock my bathroom door every time I take a shower.

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There were some low budget horror and murder films in the 1950s that had some serious stabbing scenes, but what was surprising about Psycho in 1960 was that it was a top A film with a good cast and directed by the famous Hitchcock. So we went to the film thinking it was some kind of "mystery" movie.


He misled the audience with the theft of the money and that long sequence. The audience was so convinced that this would be a chase type film while the cops tried to catch up with the money thief. So the shower scene was very startling, especially with that screechy music in the background.


And then he led us through all those creepy slow walks around the old house and up and down the stairs.


People in the audience were literally closing their eyes and plugging up their ears toward the end of the movie, because they just couldn't take any more shocking scenes.


Mainly kids and teenagers went to the low-budget slasher movies, while mainly adults went to Hitchcock movies. So here with Psycho he lured in the adults and then showed theme slasher scenes that they never expected.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I don't want to get you overly concerned, but is there a window in your bathroom?


Yes, but a very small one. And I always look behind the shower curtain before I undress. And if I hear any unusual noise, like a click or a bump, I look over to see if the door is opening. I use mostly clear shower curtains so I can see through them.


I'm sure it's some kind of "post traumatic stress" disorder related to the movie.


Oh, and I won't stay in any motel that looks like the Bates Motel.

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Psycho does have it humorous moments. There's the close-up of Perkins'

under jaw as he eats that snack, scarfing it down like a little birdie. I always

get a laugh out of the my mother's a in-in-in-invalid (um...she don't get around

too well) line.

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Seeing all those Tony Perkins films yesterday reminded me what a really great actor that guy was. He was handsome, subtle, and could manipulate the audience into liking him/hating him/sympathy or fearing him.

It's very sad to think PSYCHO ruined his career. But no one else could have made that charactor as great as he did. Much of the reason it was such a success was due to Perkins acting prowess (of course Hitch's direction is the other element) along with his handsome looks and frail vulnerability.


And if you view PSYCHO as a comedy, Perkins was the perfect straight man too. He played it with all seriousness. As mentioned before, that sandwich eating scene was played brilliantly. "...a false, false, falsity. Actually birds eat a tremendous lot." Just perfectly awkward.

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I wouldn't say *Psycho* is a comedy per sec, although I'm not at all surprised if Hitch himself referred to it that way. It's definitely got some funny scenes in it; a lot of them are as creepy as they are funny. Even the final scene, Perkins/the mother, wrapped in a blanket in the jail cell, talking to him/her self , nutty as a fruitcake, as they say, makes me laugh, though uneasily. The creepy smile he gives into the camera at the very end says it all.


*Psycho* is not a "comedy" if we're talking labels and genres and all that. I"d say it was a horror/suspense film that thinks it's a comedy sometimes.

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Psycho is not my favorite Hitchcock but it did scare the living daylights out of me when I was younger even when I knew the twist (because unfortunately it's one of those twists that everyone knows now even if they haven't seen the movie). I just think Anthony Perkins portrayal has to be one of the creepiest things ever. That last image of him *shudders*


But as for the movie being funny well isn't that true for most of Hitchcock's films? Hitchcock had a wonderful black sense of humor. I feel this humor is always there in all of his movies to a point.


But the humor doesn't take away from the fact that Psycho is still pretty darn scary (although I could handle it a bit more as an adult LOL)

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I wouldn't call it a comedy, but a suspense story with humorous moments,

like many of Hitch's films. One of the best known is the whole business

with Janet's car taking so long to finally go under. The look on Norman's

face is priceless.


Psycho must have been kind of a two-edged sword for Tony Perkins. It's

his most famous role, but led to a certain degree of type casting. In the movies

I've seen he did a good job. I think TCM showed Pretty Poison a while

back. That's a good offbeat movie. Hope they'll show it again sometime.

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> {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}

> Anthony Perkins portrayal has to be one of the creepiest things ever. That last image of him *shudders*


That's because "mother's" skull is superimposed onto Norman's face as it fades off. One of the very best uses of subliminal images I've ever seen.


We spent an inordinate amount of time in film class on PSYCHO. We were told Hitch wanted to make a low budget film using sets & staff from TV studios. He also wanted to use common TV techniques such as sublimination. It was kind of to prove you didn't need a lot of money to make a film that makes a lot of money.

My memory could be very mistaken, but that's what I remember (from 30 years ago)

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I'm sure they weren't meant to be, but each has a certain exaggerated quality

that is funny at times. I think with both these films you can take them straight up

or with a twist, depending on the mood you're in.


I've read in a few different places that Hitch wanted to do Psycho on the cheap

and quick, using his TV crew. It certainly worked out well-both artistically and financially.

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> {quote:title=scsu1975 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > And I always look behind the shower curtain before I undress.


> Thanks for that image. Now we can't shower, bathe, or sleep.


I meant that just before I take a shower, I look behind the shower curtain before I undress for the shower. As a matter of fact, I usually leave the shower curtain fully open when I'm not using it.


The shower curtain doesn't have anything to do with going to sleep. But before I get undressed to put on my pajamas to sleep in, I lock the deadbolt on my bedroom door, from the inside. :)


I find that installing a deadbolt is easier than crumpling up newspapers and spreading them out on the floor.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I think we're now getting into "more than we need to know" territory.


Well, I'm still under the influence of "Dangerous Corner". :)


Anyway, it was actually Floyd Thursby who used the crumbled up newspapers, according to Ruth Wonderly.


And also, this is an old reporter's trick. When interviewing a criminal who won't talk to anyone else, you tell him some secret stories about yourself. Doesn't matter if they are true or not. The stories usually cause the criminal to want to counter with an equally lurid story, and eventually he wants to brag.

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