The first 45 minutes are a total masterpiece, right up to That Shower Scene which somehow still manages to be so intense and shocking all these years later. This part is all A+! And then the 2nd half is pretty much a different movie, solidly entertaining, creepy, and cool but not quite amazing. This part gets a B. It's tough to rate this one as a whole but I'm going B+.
One of those films I've watched almost annually since I was 14 or so. It still gets me to shut out the rest of the world and really engage with it to the point where there are new discoveries with each viewing. The denouement scene feels like an appendage to what's otherwise one of the most effective thrillers ever. An experiment in audience identification, beautifully appropriate given Bates' split identity.
Hitchcock's decision to shoot in black and white lends the film a sense of intimate voyeurism, and the mise-en-scene is incredibly detailed. The scene of Vera Miles scavenging through the Bates' home is one of the greatest in film history. Also, Janet Leigh might be the first person to ever say "I'll lick the stamps" as a term of endearment.
Yep, I do have to watch this again. Because, unlike... everyone I know, I don't really like Psycho that much. And I want to understand if it's because the film is so good that it makes me unconfortable, or because I just don't identify with what it's about.
Analiticamente misterioso desde a aproximação superficial do cliente, a passar pela conversa com o polícia e o frame de captura da cara dele, até ao dono do Bates Motel. Sempre ansioso depois da chegada de Janet, deixa-a nervosa e assustada com a circunstância sinistra em que ela se coloca. Antecipa-se o mistério certo mas com a intuição errada. Conta com a ajuda duma banda sonora terrivelmente boa para a produção!
I was torn between a 4 and 5-rating on this one. I realized because of my over-familiarity with it, I was shortchanging its contributions to the genre ... and even cinema in general!!! Anthony Perkins is brilliant in this! And what Hitchcock does with both precision AND minimalism should be studied. In today's era of overindulgence in every capacity, Hitch is the Master in regards to Economy of Story!
A classic. I honestly had no memory of the touching scene in which Vera Miles explores the stunted adulthood of Bates' playroom/bedroom; and what does she see in that untitled book that makes here eyes widen? I also love the little secrets of the film, the slight tinge of red in the water as it makes its way toward the shower plughole, or the mother's wizened corpse face underlaid on Bates's own at the film's close.
The first 45 minutes is perfect and almost surprisingly humane for Hitchcock as he avoids characterising Norman Bates as a complete psychopath. I felt sorry for him as he was talking to Janet Leigh. Everything was so good. And then, Hitchcock realised he needed it to be longer so he padded it out with WHO GIVES A SHIT characters and plot twists that even blind man could see coming. It's so mundane and boring.
This is my personal favorite film of all-time, certainly the one that has impacted me the most as a film lover, and shaped my attitudes about the medium. On the surface, it's an expertly-made, truly scary thriller (it is Hitchcock, after all). But, the more times I see it, the more I regard it as a penetrating character study that's disguised as a thriller. Whatever your approach, it's a phenomenal piece of work.