Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Psycho (1960)

Starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
(actor & director credits courtesy

A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer, and drives off to use it to start a new life with her boyfriend, but makes the mistake of stopping for the night at the Bates Motel.

Hitchcock's classic shocker, so influential in ways both good (inspiring countless horror films to come), and bad (launching the "slasher" genre and with it numerous uninspired gorefests), still holds up, thanks to good performances from Perkins, Miles, and Balsam, Bernard Herrmann's unnerving score, and skilled editing, photography, and direction.  It's a little dated in some respects, but it's not hard to imagine the impact the picture had on audiences of the time.  Although the famous horrific shower scene is what's most remembered today, the rest of the film is artfully assembled, and packs enough suspense to be ranked among the best of Hitchcock's classic potboilers.

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