Psycho (1960)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Von Pein, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Show of hands ..... Who LOVES this Hitchcock classic?! It's one of my faves for sure. How many of you have it in your DVD collection?

    The DVD is very good, with lots of extra materials, including the cool trailer, where Hitch himself gives us a "tour" of the house & motel. Some might consider this trailer cheesy, but I like it. It kind of leads the first-time viewer of the film into a false impression of what might be encountered in the movie, what with this trailer containing some sitcom-type background music and humorous anecdotes supplied by the Master himself (much like Hitch did with his own TV series, when he used music that can also be heard in episodes of Leave It To Beaver). But that uninitiated viewer is in for a surprise. It's no black comedy, like "The Trouble With Harry".

    I think the original Psycho still remains one of the best and well-crafted scary movies ever produced! Don't you?

    Can any of you imagine Psycho in color?? Yuck! The B&W is perfect here. I understand Hitch was considering a color film, but thought it would be "too disturbing" if shot in color.

    My only complaint is that the DVD doesn't have any kind of beefed-up audio track. I imagine the 2.0 Mono track we get was indeed how it sounded in 1960 theaters. But it would have been nice to hear that creepy Herrmann music in at least 2.0 Surround!

    I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts on this Classic movie, plus the DVD. Thanks.

    "NO, I tell you NO! I'll not have you bringing strange young girls in for supper! By candlelight I suppose...in the cheap erotic fashion of young men with cheap erotic minds!!" -- "Mother"
     
  2. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Even though another grand master of cinematic artists in alluded to in my sig, I'm with Edwin (as usual) on this. Yes, I have the DVD (but of course). Yes, this is filmmaking that simply can't be bested in terms of suspense and stomach-gnawing unease. A brilliant, brilliant film.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Psycho is 3rd favorite Hitchcock (5 out of 5 stars, still.) under North By Northwest (2nd) and Vertigo (1st).

    Hitchcock made his best films before 1963 (The Man Who Knew Too Much to The Birds).

    A surround track wouldn't do at all.

    In fact, the mono track is PERFECT for this kind of film. All the surround track would do is make the sound gimicky...

    Plus, I don't think the stems exist for remixing (and we do NOT need a synthesized 5.1 track)
     
  5. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I disagree, Patrick on the sound thing. You don't think Bernard Herrmann's Psycho score would be glorious in Surround? I'd love it. But, like you said, it might not be possible (although Surround mixes have been created for a lot older films).
     
  6. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    Favorite movie of all time! Seen it 126 times as of January 3, 2002.
     
  7. RobR

    RobR Second Unit

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    Psycho is the only Hitchcock film I have in my very small collection, and my favorite of his films. A masterpiece. I'm waiting for them to reissue it in anamorphic.
     
  8. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Psycho is my fave Hitch film, and in my dumb ass opinion, his best.

    BTW, the score does sound glorious in surround. In fact, when I saw the dreadful remake in the theatre, the one part that made me smile my ass off was the opening title sequence with the score in ripping loud multichannel sound. That said, I wouldn't encourage anyone to mess with the soundtrack of the original.

    Psycho is almost a perfect marriage of expert craftsmanship and inspired artistry.
     
  9. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Oh yes, I'm a big Hitchcock fan and Psycho stands as one of his best. I still think about it every once in a while when I'm taking a shower and it's been 40 or so years since I first saw the film. He really, really knew how to get under his audiences skin psychologically. No other film maker even approaches him in this regard. I'm in the process of teaching my daughter why Hitchcock is my favorite director, so we go into Hollywood and check out the DVD of Psycho. I get home and it's the REMAKE. UGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!! They didn't even have the Hitchcock on DVD, so I had to rent The Birds to creep her out on birds the rest of her life. What a great father I am.
     
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Hitchcock's masterpiece, 'Psycho' can still scare the crap out of people 40 years on, watched it so many times, a horror classic by the master of suspence and in my opinion the greatest director in film history.

    My three favorite Hitchcock films...

    Psycho

    North By Northwest

    Rear Window
     
  11. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I just viewed The Conversation recently for the first time. I liked Coppola's homage to Hitch's Psycho with the shower curtain.
    I go back and forth on my favorite Hitchcock - usually, it's the one I've seen last [​IMG]. My top 4: Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. (And yes, all 4 are in my collection.)
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Psycho is #4 on my Hitchcock list after Rear Window, NxNW and Vertigo. A great film.
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    "We all go a little mad sometimes."
    Very true Norman, and one would have to be mad as a hatter NOT to have this classic shocker in their collection.
    Overall, I love the dvd, although I do think that a new anamorphic transfer is in order, but as for everything else, it's a wonderful disc. That is one in depth documentary too, it ranks right up their with some of the best 'making of' docs around, including 'The Beginning' on 'TPM'.
    I have no problem at all with the audio on this disc, it's mono, but it's the films original track, and it's very good at it's job, to scare the daylights out of us! When eh hem, "mother" come running into frame and slashes Det. Arbogast across the face, Bernies music cuts as deep as her knife does.
    I hate to bring that aweful remake into this, but I remembered something Roger Ebert said in his review of the remake. He said that since the remake is a shot for shot clone basically, of the original, where does a films genius reside? If the remake is a dead on shot for shot remake of the original, then it would stand to reason that it shoud be as good as the original, but it obviously isn't. So where does the originals genius reside? Obviously it doesn't reside on the celluloid. He reasons that it's genius is something intangible, in between the lines, under the surface, and not simply at the celluloid level.
    I have to admit though, it was interesting to watch at least once, but it's nothing compared to the masters version.
     
  14. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    It's either my 2nd or 3rd favorite, depending on where my mood is on ranking Vertigo. My first always being Rear Window. But we can all agree on the assessment that that "other" film sucked. It blowed. It sucked and blowed. Is that physically possible? Damn, this flu is killing me.
     
  15. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    I love Psycho a whole lot, too, but at the risk of breaking up the love-in ([​IMG]), does anybody have any qualms with the final scene in the police station? For me-- as somebody who came of age in the 80s and has sat through dozens of psychological thrillers where filmmakers have gone to the other lousy extreme and carelessly tossed off shorthand non-explanations for why killers do what they do (e.g., if there's a priest in the movie, he must have abused the killer at some point)-- there's a bit of overexplanation with the psychiatrist that slows down the effectiveness of the ending. In Ebert's series of "Great Movies" retrospectives, he brought this up as well:
    *************
    "For thoughtful viewers, however, an equal surprise is still waiting. That is the mystery of why Hitchcock marred the ending of a masterpiece with a sequence that is grotesquely out of place. After the murders have been solved, there is an inexplicable scene during which a long-winded psychiatrist (Simon Oakland) lectures the assembled survivors on the causes of Norman's psychopathic behavior. This is an anticlimax taken almost to the point of parody.
    If I were bold enough to reedit Hitchcock's film, I would include only the doctor's first explanation of Norman's dual personality: "Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over, probably for all time." Then I would cut out everything else the psychiatrist says, and cut to the shots of Norman wrapped in the blanket while his mother's voice speaks ("It's sad when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son..."). Those edits, I submit, would have made "Psycho" very nearly perfect. I have never encountered a single convincing defense of the psychiatric blather; Truffaut tactfully avoids it in his famous interview."
    **************
    The article is available in full at the Sun-Times site.
    What's also curious is that many modern viewers might describe the perfect and wholly appropriate ending to Hitchcock's other best-known psychological thriller, Vertigo, as being a bit abrupt. There, there's no mopping up, no offering of explanation or diagnosis. There also wasn't any need for it, but how much need was there for it in Psycho? Does anyone else think he may have nodded a bit there? Was he taking into account a level of sophistication in his audience?
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Russ,

    You've got to remember the times in which this film was made and most people back then weren't really aware of split personalities. This film was some pretty shocking stuff for 1960!

    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I think having the long-winded, arrogant, testimony of the psychiatrist is the perfect set-up for the final shot. He "explains" everything to the gathering, in a very know-it-all mannner. He is so confident that he has analyzed it perfectly. Then we get that final scene and it's obvious that while the psychiatrist has "explained" everything, he really knows nothing about what makes Norman Bates tick. THAT is a chilling thought - the man of science has figured it out, but he really doesn't know...
     
  18. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Peter, I agree with you. I have no problems with the ending, it works very well for me, because I see it as Peter describes it above.

    "Psycho" is a great, great movie, but I don't own it on DVD yet.

    /Mike
     
  19. Rob Daniel

    Rob Daniel Auditioning

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  20. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Definitely Peter. Hitchcock had a great deal of insight into what makes humans tick, one of those things is our obsessive need to explain the world around us. To try to discover definitive explanations to the how's and why's. Of course we rarely know the full story....
     

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