Why it’s famous:
By far one of the most influential films of its genre, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho not only offers audiences an unparalleled, perfectly crafted psychological thriller, but also established a long line of firsts in filmmaking.
Norman Bates: A boy’s best friend is his mother.
Norman Bates: I think I must have one of those faces you can’t help believing.
Norman Bates: It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?
Why you haven’t seen it:
Horror movies from the ‘60s and ‘70s don’t always have the greatest reputation. Most of us know them as campy flicks with bad effects and boring, predictable storylines. You can’t really blame yourself for thinking this one is like the rest.
Why it might be tough to get through:
Make sure not to confuse Psycho with American Psycho. It’s not gory, it’s not a dark comedy, and it’s going to be a little slow if you’re used to modern-day Hollywood excitement and tempo.
Why you should see it anyway:
Not only is this an unavoidable classic for any thriller aficionado, it is actually incredibly engaging, beautifully shot, and features fantastic performances from actors that defied the norm of their time.
You might start out a bit bored, but you’ll soon realize that in a movie like this, every detail matters. You’ll find yourself with your face barely an inch away from the screen, completely captivated.
- Psycho was the first American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen.
- Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.
- Paramount gave Hitchcock a very small budget to work with because of their distaste for the source material. They also deferred most of the net profits to Hitchcock, thinking the film would fail. When it became a sleeper hit, Hitchcock made a fortune.