Catching the Classics: Psycho

PsychoSince 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list is updated regularly and is currently more than 1700 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.

Out of all the films reviewed here, Psycho may be the least in need of an introduction. Everybody knows Psycho, whether they’ve seen it or not. We all know about the shower scene. We all know the “Psycho strings” sound that goes with it. I’m not even sure it gets passed down, exactly; I think it spontaneously forms in peoples’ heads sometime in grade school along with the Jaws theme. It’s almost impossible to discuss Psycho without discussing the plot twists, but that’s OK because everybody knows the plot twists. It’s not even possible to surprise somebody with them by sitting them down to watch it without telling them and skipping over the title, because they’ll get to that shower scene and say “Oh, this is Psycho!” It’s hard to remember sometimes that this isn’t how Hitchcock intended it be. Continue reading

Movies That Everyone Should See: “Psycho”

The year is 1960. It’s an election year. Kennedy narrowly defeats Nixon. The civil rights movement is underway. Elvis returns from Army Duty. He would chart a major number one song that year with “Are You Lonesome To-night?” Meanwhile, “The Beatles” are still playing in Germany. It is the first appearance of a U.S. flag with 50 stars, Hawaii having achieved statehood in the previous year. The Flintstones and the Andy Griffith show make their first appearances. “Gunsmoke”, “Father Knows Best” and “Dennis the Menace” are all top 20 tv shows. “Leave it to Beaver” is in the middle of its six-year run. The highest grossing movie of that year? Disney’s “Swiss Family Robinson”.

Into this Americana mix, Alfred Hitchcock released Psycho. A tale about Norman Bates.


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