AFI 100 Progress: Psycho
“She might have fooled me, but she didn’t fool my mother.”
With Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam and Janet Leigh.
Mysterious, suspenseful and haunting. Psycho is the epitome of terror. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to see it. I was absolutely amazed by it. Everyone talks about the famous shower scene, but the thing I was most taken by was the way the movie completely shifted angles halfway through the film. We go from following Marion as she tries to escape with her stolen money to focusing on Norman Bates as he tries to get away with her murder. The only movie I can think of that did something similar was The Constant Gardener. I don’t think Anthony Perkins gets enough credit for his acting in this movie. The way he displayed Bates’s nervous tics and obsessive-compulsive tendencies was just outstanding. The use of music in this film did a really effective job of heightening the mood as well. I rank this with Rear Window as Hitchcock’s finest work.
RIYL: Sunset Boulevard, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (original), The Night of the Hunter.