A Study Of Film: Psycho

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The first film I watched in my Film Studies class this semester was Psycho. Now the only Hitchcock film that I had seen before was Rebecca, and what I noticed as that both movies make you feel the haunting presence of an unseen figure. (Either Rebecca or ‘Mother’) But that’s not the only thing to love about this famous thriller.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is running out of town so that she can get some money to her boyfriend. While escaping, she stops by the Bates Motel, run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his sick mother, who lives in the house and is rarely seen. Slowly she starts to realize that something is terribly wrong with the motel, and his sick mother may be mentally sick as well.

The film was nominated for four Oscars, losing all of them. I don’t think that was entirely fair. Hitchcock has been deemed the Master Of Suspense, and I can see why. The film manages to always keep you guessing, the editing, music, and production design manage to ensure that there’s never a dull moment. The highlight may be the black and white photography, which fills every frame with intensity.

And let’s take care of the obvious, Anthony Perkins is so.. so good. While his nervous portrayal does make you feel his abuse and will keep you on the edge of your seat, only a person who knows how it’s going to turn out will understand how wonderful the performance truly is. It stings me that he wasn’t nominated for Best Actor. However the cast wasn’t completely ignored, as Janet Leigh scored a nom for her portrayal of the sympathetic thief Marion Crane.

The only aspect I haven’t really covered is the story, but the thing about Psycho is that the less you know about the film going in, the more shocking what happens on screen will be. It left audiences speechless back in 1960, and it’s still leaving people speechless today. A masterpiece.

*****

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