Friday, July 1, 2022

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960) Movie Posters / Wallpapers

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay, written by Joseph Stefano, was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The plot centers on an encounter between on-the-run embezzler Marion Crane (Leigh) and shy motel proprietor Norman Bates (Perkins) and its aftermath, in which a private investigator (Balsam), Marion's lover Sam Loomis (Gavin), and her sister Lila (Miles) investigate her disappearance.

Psycho was seen as a departure from Hitchcock's previous film North by Northwest, as it was filmed on a lower budget in black-and-white by the crew of his television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The film was initially considered controversial and received mixed reviews, but audience interest and outstanding box-office returns prompted a major critical re-evaluation. Psycho was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Leigh and Best Director for Hitchcock.

Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films, and is arguably his most famous work. It has been praised as a major work of cinematic art by international film critics and scholars due to its slick direction, tense atmosphere, impressive camerawork, a memorable score and iconic performances. Often ranked among the greatest films of all time, it set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behavior and sexuality in American films, and is widely considered to be the earliest example of the slasher film genre.

After Hitchcock's death in 1980, Universal Pictures produced follow-ups: three sequels, a remake, a made-for-television spin-off, and a prequel television series set in the 2010s. In 1992, the Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Movie Cast
Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
Vera Miles as Lila Crane
John Gavin as Sam Loomis
Janet Leigh as Marion Crane
Martin Balsam as Private Investigator Arbogast
John McIntire as Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers
Simon Oakland as Dr. Richmond
Frank Albertson as Tom Cassidy
Pat Hitchcock as Caroline
Vaughn Taylor as George Lowery
Lurene Tuttle as Mrs. Chambers
John Anderson as California Charlie
Mort Mills as Highway Patrol Officer
Virginia Gregg, Paul Jasmin, and Jeanette Nolan as the voice of Norma "Mother" Bates (uncredited). The three voices were used interchangeably, except for the last speech, which was performed by Gregg.

Shower scene
The murder of Leigh's character in the shower is the film's pivotal scene and one of the best-known in all of cinema. As such, it spawned numerous myths and legends. It was shot from December 17–23, 1959, after Leigh had twice postponed the filming, first because of a cold and then because of her period. The finished scene runs some three minutes, and its flurry of action and edits has produced contradictory attempts to count its parts. Hitchcock himself contributed to this pattern, telling Truffaut that "there were seventy camera setups for forty-five seconds of footage", and maintaining to other interviewers that there were "seventy-eight pieces of film". The 2017 documentary 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene, by director Alexandre O. Philippe, latches onto this last figure for the production's tagline, '78 Shots & 52 Cuts That Changed Cinema Forever'. But in his careful description of the shower scene, film scholar Philip J. Skerry counted only 60 separate shots, with a table breaking down the middle 34 by type, camera position, angle, movement, focus, POV, and subject. Absent an alternative tabulation, Richard Schickel and Frank Capra, in their 2001 book The Men Who Made the Movies, concluded the most reasonable calculation was 60. Many are close-ups, including extreme close-ups, except for medium shots in the shower directly before and directly after the murder. The combination of the close shots with their short duration makes the sequence feel more subjective than if the images were presented alone or in a wider angle, an example of the technique Hitchcock described as "transferring the menace from the screen into the mind of the audience".

Sequels and remake
Three sequels were produced after Hitchcock died: Psycho II (1983), Psycho III (1986), and Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990), the last being a part-prequel television movie written by the original screenplay author, Joseph Stefano. Anthony Perkins returned to his role of Norman Bates in all three sequels, and also directed the third film. The voice of Norman Bates' mother was maintained by noted radio actress Virginia Gregg with the exception of Psycho IV, where the role was played by Olivia Hussey. Vera Miles also reprised her role of Lila Crane in Psycho II. The sequels received mixed reviews and were universally considered inferior to the original.

In 1998, Gus Van Sant made a nearly shot-for-shot remake (in color) starring Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, and Anne Heche. Van Sant said that his film was "a huge kind of experimental project," and that, though it did not do well commercially or critically, he may do it again, with more changes.

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