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HoldenIsHere

PSYCHO

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This flick just has a way of drawing me in!!! I was not really intending to watch this last night, watching some flix from earlier in the week from the DVR instead, but in between flix, the input was back to cable, and natch it's on TCM, this flick was about 15 min in or so...I started watching...and I was toast, man! Completely toast. Couldn't take my eyes off the screen for the remainder of this riveting awesome flick!!!

 

This one is my favorite later Hitch flick, as I tend to like his early stuff best otherwise. Just rocks!

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Well what to you mean by his 'early stuff'? I only ask because in the Rope thread someone said that was his early work and I think Rope is more of his middle period.

 

Of course it all depends on if one includes the films he did before he came to America e.g. his silent pictures.

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I always thought "Psycho" a very interesting little break from what Hitch's Hollywood "momentum" seemed to be. I mean by this that it seemed once he got to Tinseltown, his movies became "bigger", such as larger and larger casts featuring the top A-listers of the time, and production values as great as money could buy.

 

"Psycho", being a pet project of Hitch's and financed by him, was while being a more intimate little film, still featured many of the Master of Suspense's masterly touches, and in a way might be considered a return to his early English roots when his budgets were much meager than his Hollywood years.

 

And while the shower scene is now as closely identified with his work as any, I also thought the violence shown in it(and yes, I know you never actually see the knife touch flesh) was a step away from how he had mostly only implied violence in most all of his previous films.

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Hitch must have been on a tight budget. Notice how all of that stabbing only resulted in a little blood (or chocolate syrup , or whatever).

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Yeah, or maybe the local Alpha Beta near the Universal set had run short of Hershey's Syrup the day the prop man went to get his supplies. ;)

 

My thought would actually be that because this scene being the "granddaddy of gore scenes" which would inspire the gore fests later to come by other directors and which now go WAY over the top with the blood, that Hitch probably thought the amount already sufficient to make his point to the audiences not yet accustomed to such gore in the early '60s.

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Btw, I remember exactly where I was when I first watched this film.

 

Every other Summer my parents would rent a cabin in Bass Lake, CA, a little resort just south of Yosemite N.P., and where some of the scenes in "Let Her to Heaven" were filmed.

 

It was the Summer of '61 in this case, and one evening they had decided to go see "Psycho" at the little rustic theater located at this resort. Always being up for a movie, this then 9 y/o talked Mom and Dad into letting me go see it with them.

 

(...and I remember afterward I didn't sleep a wink that night in my little room of that cabin)

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As far as I remember I watched Psycho for the first time last night and saw THE FULL MOVIE even though my dad wanted me to go to sleep - it was eastern time. I saw Shadow Of A Doubt first, and boy was that a good movie. But anyway Psycho is definitely a true 'cult classic' and I wish I could see Vertigo this Thursday. TCM showing a lot of big movies recently, with Giant next Saturday on the Essentials. I instantly fell in love with Psycho, a true masterpiece by Hitchcock. It's a horror movie as Robert said, but if you don't like horror films that's good because the movie only has two 'very gory' scenes. Great camera movement in both of those and then in the basement the old woman turns and the rest is legend.

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I don't believe that Hitchcock meant the film to be thought of as a "horror" film, remember Hitchcock is all about suspense. The first killing we see is quite a surprise (no one saw that coming) and it seemed graphic in 1960 (very tame compared to future movies) but it was quick and then it was over. Then the story enters a new phase , the sister comes looking for Marion and we the audience don't really know what's going on. The second killing is not quite so much of a shock, when the snoopy detective goes up in the house we know something is going to happen. And little by little we learn somethings about Norman and "Mom" . Hitchcock found the ending to the story to be rather amusing.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Sep 2, 2013 11:55 PM

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I don't think Hitchcock meant the film to be thought of as a "horror" film

 

If he didn't mean for PSYCHO to be a "horror" film, then why out of 1 months filming did he spend 1 week alone out of that 1 month just filming the 'Shower Scene' ?

 

Twink

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That's cool, let us know how your first full viewing goes, what impression it makes

 

I have to say that this movie held me from beginning to end. This is the rare example of a much-ballyhooed film that is truly deserving of all the hype surrounding it. It would have been nice to have experienced the film without any knowledge of the plot twists. Unfortunately, for most viewers the big surprises are not possible since so many of the scenes are part of our popular consciousness (the murder in the shower underscored by the famous music, the reveal of the mother in the cellar, the unswatted fly). There were, however, so many unexpected surprises. The opening scene with Janet Leigh and John Gavin in the hotel room was amazing and (pardon the clich?) so real. Hitchcock (and Janet Leigh) did a brilliant job of pulling us into Marion Crane's story, seemingly setting her up as the "heroine" of the movie and then shifting the focus to the Norman Bates character as the "protagonist" victimized by his insane mother (or so it seemed) and then shifting the focus to Marion's sister's search. I wonder how shocked the original audiences were by the revelation about Mrs. Bates. The movie was adapted from a novel so some audience members would have been familiar with the plot of the book. In the novel, Norman Bates was a middle-aged man. I think it was a brilliant stroke to have the Norman of the film as a man in his twenties (and a handsome one at that). Anthony Perkins is so identified today with his insane role that it was surprising to see how endearingly he played Norman in the early scenes. And he did one of the best stammers I've ever seen in a movie when he was being questioned by the private detective (Martin Balsam). I also wasn't expecting to see how protective the local sheriff and his wife were of Norman when they were being questioned about him and his mother. It really was too bad that I already knew at that point the big secret about the mother. It was a bit like knowing in advance the big reveal in THE CRYING GAME.

Was anyone else amused by Norman's snacking? What WAS he eating in those scenes?

Also, does Hitchcock make an appearance in PSYCHO as he does in so many of his films? If he does, I missed it.

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I believe he walks across the screen in front of Marion Crane's car while she's stopped at a light.

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Hitchcock spent one week piecing together a scene that lasted how many seconds? I think he just liked working in the editing room, or maybe he took a lot of naps?

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...Or !..maybe he liked seeing Janet in the shower ;)

 

I'm Sure he wanted to get in there with her...not enough room for him though !

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@Holdenishere I think I remember Janet Leigh saying that Anthony was snacking on sunflower seeds in the movie. On the other hand, someone else said it was candy corn. I may be confusing the two.

I too wish I could have seen Psycho and, of course, the original Dracula back in the day when they were new, and not so "spoiled". :)

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I believe he walks across the screen in front of Marion Crane's car while she's stopped at a light.

 

Is that the scene where Mort Mills takes the cake?

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>tight budget

It is my understanding that PSYCHO was Hitch's reaction to how expensive making movies was becoming. He was trying to prove a really great film could (& should) be made relatively cheaply even casting "stars". Hitch employed his TV crew to make a feature film.

I assumed that's what the new film "Hitchcock" was about. If they didn't cover that, they were amiss.

 

I agree the opening credits & music by Saul Bass are perfect for warming you up for what you about to see. One of Saul's best openings. It was said Hitch wanted only stringed instruments because they use "guts".

 

And classyteen, I'm pretty offended you use the term "cult classic" for PSYCHO. A cult classic means only a certain group of people (a "cult") enjoy the film, while the general population just don't "get" it. People who truly enjoy Ed Wood or slasher films make them "cult classics" while critics and GP think they're awful.

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Even though I opted out from seeing PSYCO the other night( seen it a gazillion times), I pretty well know it. I even remember the first time I saw it.

 

I never considered it a "horror" movie. "Suspensefull Macabre" would suit me better. The success of the movie is it's ability, even after many viewings, to STILL keep me on the edge of my seat. Both Hitch and Perkins manage to deliver a truly terrorfying personage WITHOUT excessive gore and CGI. There was nothing actually threatening about Bates when you first encounter him, which was actually true about most serial killers in history.

 

Sepiatone

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*So it's like Star Wars--a long time ago, yet somehow in the future?*

 

*No. Star Wars is set in the past but not our past. It is the past of "a galaxy far, far away."*

 

Sorry. I spent too much time watching TV with my son in his teen years. That's actually a quote from the Family Guy version of Star Wars (which is surprisingly funny in parts)

 

 

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Its been a very long time since I saw the *Psycho II* sequel. I remember it as being rather good, Perkins and Vera Miles both replayed their roles. The film was made soon after Hitchcock's death, I wonder if he would have approved?

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Sep 3, 2013 7:28 PM

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Thanks for Posting your response, Holden, I was hoping for the reaction you gave. I also, like so many, remember the "first time". Till this day, I remember an English teacher in High School discussing a book where a shocking situation occurred and he used the analogy of "the shock of the Psycho shower scene on screen". He immediately got the whole classes attention. Never forgot the moment, but be damned if I can remember his name. I am sure the film may diminish over the years and when we "know" what is going to happen, but in that day, in the theater, it truly, truly, took my breath away.

 

Edited by: StBartsActor on Sep 3, 2013 10:34 PM

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One reason it tkes your breath away is that you expect the star of the film to stick around for most of the film, not to get murdered a quarter of the way through the film.

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I read somewhere that Perkins was eating candy corn and that it was his idea. Hitch liked the touch and left it in the film. Hitch is seen (very briefly) when Marion walks into her office after her liason with John Gavin.

 

I watched the film again for the umpteenth time. Dont have much to add to what's been said except the more I've seen the film, the more I enjoy the second part where Vera Miles is bossing John Gavin around and really in everyone's face trying to track down her sister. She has one of the screen's great screams too....

 

Edited by: Hibi on Sep 4, 2013 5:23 PM

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