Over at Retrospace they had a post that was movies that made you want to take a shower. This got me to thinking of movies that made you afraid or happy or any other emotions. So I wanted to do a post on that from time to time. Here is one that made everone afraid to take a shower. PSYCHO!!!
The one directed by Hitchcock is the best. In the hands of a lesser director it may have come off as campy and been laughed at. Especially seeing Anthony Perkins in a dress near the end.
The movie became part of Hitchcock's crown jewels and made a star of Anthony Perkins. However, Perkins was typecasted in this role forever. He must not have minded as he was the star of the sequals that were made years later. He also played similar type charaters in other movie and TV shows.
The movie starts out like it is a simple caper movie. Vera Miles is a secretary who steals money from her company so she can afford to get married. You could have gotten a good crime drama out of just this. However, things take a twist when she stops at an out of the way hotel. It is run by Perkins playing Norman Bates. This is the part were audience members got so scared that they wouldn't take a shower for quite some time. Norman enters her room. She can't hear over the sound of the shower. He sneeks upon her and stabs her to death. To this day some people of that generation would rather take a bath then a shower.
Based on the novel by the same name, writer Robert Bloch sold the movie rights to Alfred Hitchcock for $9,000. B grade movied but producers like Roger Corman and others were getting bad reviews but making lots of money. It was also cutting in on major movies made by great directors like Mr. Hitchcock.
Hitchcock liked the story as it started as a simple theft but turned to murder. He liked out the murder in the shower came from out of the blue.
According to Wikipedia the film was nearly censored. Not because of the brutal murder. It was because of glimpses of parts of Janet Leigh's body. Hitchcock waited a few days and resubmitted the film and it was passed without censorship.
Like the B grade slasher movies it got bad reviews. When the movie was a hit beyond anyones wildest dreams it was "re-reviewed" and then they were good. (I have little respect for critics who do this. Stand by what you say to begin with if you really don't like the movie. Some critics did this when Star Wars came out in the 1970's.)
The movie became a popl culture hit and is show in film courses across the nation.