Happy Birthday, You Psycho

Psycho

PSYCHO TURNS 50

Hard to believe it’s been a half century since the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, a horror movie that not only became the template for thousands of slasher flicks, but launched a horror icon in Norman Bates, the loveably warped hotel operator, all of which was brilliantly embellished by one of the greatest horror movie soundtracks ever composed.

Released June 16, 1960, Psycho has gone on to become one of the most recognizable films in cinema history, and nominated Hitchcock for an Academy Award for Best Director. (He didn’t win. He later unleashed Norman on the voting committee.)

There have even been college courses to analyze the groundbreaking film, from the Oedipal overtones to the frame-by-frame breakdown of the infamous shower scene, which has been called one of the most horrifying and scariest moments in modern filmmaking. And to think Hitchcock did it with only a shrieking violin score, sharp editing, implied nudity and barely any blood, all of which was filmed in black and white. Try doing that today and you’ll be laughed and pointed at.

In 2001, AFI [American Film Institute] acknowledged Psycho as being the #1 on a list of all-time most thrilling movies, beating out Jaws, The Exorcist, The Silence of the Lambs, Alien, and even two more of his own (North by Northwest and The Birds).

Watch Psycho and try and figure out how Hitchcock did it – and still continues to do it 50 years later.

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