Anthony Perkins

Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they try to paint a smile on the face of Alfred Hitchcock‘s most terrifying chiller. In the #34 (tied) movie on the list, taxidermy enthusiast Norman Bates struggles to run a small roadside motel, but his life is turned upside down when a beautiful young woman on the run with some money rents a room and steals his heart. When his overbearing mother disapproves, she’ll threaten to tear his love apart. But why is it one of the best movies of all time?

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commentary-psycho

Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock has many connections to this week. First of all, this past Tuesday was “National Alfred Hitchcock Day,” during which cinema fans revisit the master’s masterworks. Also, the biopic Hitchcock released on Blu-ray and DVD earlier this week. Easily the most famous and most recognizable Hitchcock film was the 1960 thriller Psycho, which helped revitalize his career and changed the face of horror movies in general. Considering that Hitchcock tells the story behind Psycho, and it’s based on the book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” (whose author, Stephen Rebello, performs the commentary here), it seems fitting to look at this classic thriller. Rebello’s commentary is available on the 2010 Blu-ray and subsequent DVD releases.

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If you pay attention to these things, you’d know that June 16th was the 51st anniversary of the release of Psycho – a movie that changed one man’s legacy, the fate of a genre, and the creation of a new subgenre. So why didn’t I post the trailer then? Probably the same reason I didn’t post anything at all yesterday: we all go a little crazy sometime. In this phenomenal, long-form teaser trailer, Alfred Hitchcock takes us on a tour around the Bates Motel as well as the house on the hill where he explains that a few horrific events have taken place. It’s a promise that we’ll get to see those events when the movie hits theaters. Yet, no one will be allowed in after the movie starts. (Another thing this movie changed forever.) If you dig this trailer (you will) and the movie (you do), you’ll enjoy this coming Wednesday’s episode of Reject Radio where I’ll be discussing Psycho‘s production and legacy with expert Stephen Rebello. Tune in and find out what Janet Leigh did to John Gavin on the bedroom set. For now, just enjoy Hitch’s soothing voice:

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Psycho Alfred Hitchcock 50 Years

In 1999, I was suffering from the early waves of insomnia. Almost every night, I would try to count sheep or hum softly, but on most nights I succumbed to turning on my television to see what might lull me into sleep. Fortunately, my insomnia lasted well into the Fall when I ended up turning on the television one particular night and catching a black and white film that would change my life.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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