1960 motel movie

Rating: 18/20 (Jen: 17/20)

Plot: The new highway's made the Bates Motel a little out-of-the-way, and Norman and his mother try to keep the business afloat. A gal who's just stolen a bunch of money finds her way to the little secluded motel, decides to take a quick shower, and ends up (spoiler alert!) losing all her chocolate syrup!

The IMDB trivia page for this one has a few fun nuggets. Randy ol' Alfred referred to Perkins as "Master Bates" throughout the production. And this is the first ever movie to show a flushing toilet. Oh, and Marion's white car (lots of black and white symbolism in this movie) is the Cleavers' car on Leave It to Beaver.

Well, Jennifer had not seen this movie. Not only that--she had no idea what happened in it. I was a little envious actually. I remember when my father showed me this when I was three. The iconic house, the quick edits during that so-complex shower scene, the shocking ending. I want to see all that for the first time, too! This rolls along like a B-movie directed by an auteur, and its brilliance is really in the chances that Uncle Alfred takes with the story and the breaking of movie conventions. Killing the lead actress off halfway through the movie? C'mon. You're just not supposed to do that. The psychotic mother/relationship that would make Oedipus cringe and Freud demand to be helped out of his underpants? No wonder Walt Disney refused to let Hitchcock film on Disney property because of this "disgusting movie"! Herrman's score is among the best, right up there with Jaws when you're talking about most recognizable and duplicated scores of all time. Unlike some of my favorite Hitchcock movies, this one doesn't get better each time you watch it. It's not without flaws, and without the surprises, it's just not as much fun. You unfortunately can't watch this for the first time more than once. But with its iconic imagery, that incredible score, one of the creepiest villains in movie history, almost overwhelming suspense, and a nipple that I might have only imagined, this is still something that you'll never forget.

Having said that, when I asked Jen for her rating, she at first said, "Psycho? I don't remember it."


cory said...

A 20 for a film that changed movie history.

Barry said...

I give this one a 18...yeah its probably better than that, but I never liked it as much as a lot of other Hitchcock movies. I was entertained by this, and the scene where Perkins is trying to get Janet Leighs car to sink in the bog, and it gets stuck. That is classic Hitchcock manipulation that works incredibly well.

To me this film is as much a technical exercise as Rope was.....except because Stewart was in Rope I was a bit more entertained by it, even though Psycho is the more modern, clean film.

Shane said...

Admit it, just want a Jimmy Stewart shower scene.

Yeah, I love the car scene.