Wednesday, October 5, 2011


After a tryst in a hotel room, a dissatisfied young woman returns to her job and impulsively steals $40,000 from her employer. Exhausted and on the run, she stops for the night at a vacant hotel off the old highway and makes the unfortunate acquaintance of Norman Bates, the young and effeminate hotel manager with mommy issues, to put it lightly. Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" is one of the most referenced and most influential films in the history of  the cinema. A masterwork if there ever was one, every shot and beat is carefully calculated by The Master is a work of sheer precision. Containing great performances from Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh as well as Bernard Herrmann's unforgettable, pulsating score, "Psycho" is a hair raising knockout which hardly any subsequent imitators have been able to replicate. The shower scene is arguably the most famous sequence in history, but consider these other definitive moments: the parlor scene between Perkins and Leigh in which she presses some wrong buttons and his vulnerability surfaces . Martin Balsam falling down the staircase after having his face slashed. "Mrs. Bates" delivering her eerie closing monologue. "Psycho" is a film that knows exactly what its doing and plays out brilliantly like a perfectly orchestrated medley.