Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Psycho (Collector's Edition)
#18 (1998) and #14 (2007) on the AFI 100 Best Films Lists
Psycho is a 1960 American suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh. The screenplay by Joseph Stefano is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The novel was loosely inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein, who lived just 40 miles from Bloch.
The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who goes to a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter.
Psycho initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations. Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art by international critics. The film spawned two sequels, a prequel, a remake, and a television movie spin-off. In 1992, the film was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress at the National Film Registry.
* Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
* Janet Leigh as Marion Crane
* Vera Miles as Lila Crane
* John Gavin as Sam Loomis
* Martin Balsam as Det. Milton Arbogast
* John McIntire as Sheriff Al Chambers
* Simon Oakland as Dr. Fred 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 patrolman
* Virginia Gregg, Jeanette Nolan, and Paul Jasmin (all uncredited) as the voice of Norma Bates
* Ted Knight (uncredited) as a police officer
The success of Psycho jump-started Perkins's career, but he soon began to suffer from typecasting. However, when Perkins was asked whether he would have still taken the role knowing that he would be typecast afterward, he replied with a definite "yes".
Until her death, Leigh continued to receive strange and sometimes threatening calls, letters, and even tapes detailing what they would like to do to Marion Crane. One letter was so "grotesque" that she passed it along to the FBI, two of whose agents visited Leigh and told her the culprits had been located and that she should notify the FBI if she received any more letters of that type.
Norman's mother was voiced by Paul Jasmin, Virginia Gregg, and Jeanette Nolan, who also provided some screams for Lila's discovery of the mother's corpse. The three voices were thoroughly mixed, except for the last speech, which is all Gregg's