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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Last weekend I caught "Psycho" on the big screen with some friends. Every weekend at Clearview Cinema in Ocean Township, they show classics for a lousy five bucks PLUS they raffle off movie swag. So far, I caught "Citizen Kane," "Goldfinger" and "Psycho."

I was crowing about this to Nephew, who's in his sophomore year at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. I mean, here's a kid who's a subway ride away from Film Forum, the Ziegfeld and any number of revival houses and campus screenings. So I put it like this: "Y'all are used to this in the big city, but to us in the 'burbs, it's a big deal."

"Psycho" really stood the test of time. Saul Bass' opening titles STILL looked modern. The soundtrack was nice and loud, though it sounded flat, since it was monophonic (and we modern movie audiences are so spoiled by booming stereo sound).

Janet Leigh's Marion Crane still looked fantastic in and out of lingerie. The steamy post-coital scene at the beginning held up; none of it seemed faked or softened due to studio pressure. Anthony Perkins didn't play Norman Bates as a psycho, but as a seriously repressed -- but somehow charming and disarming -- young man.

Alfred Hitchcock's storytelling was at its apex. The kills, as often as we've seen them, still punch you in the face. How many times have you seen the shower scene? It still rocked. When Martin Balsam's private eye walks up the stairs, you KNOW what's going to happen, but it still makes your heart race.

"Psycho" only got two unintentional laughs.

At the end, when Marion's sister Lila (Vera Miles) asks the psychiatrist (Simon Oakland) if Norman killed Marion, he says, hammily, "Yes -- AND no." Big laugh. Also, the audience cracked up when Marion's boyfriend (John Gavin) asked, "Why does he dress that way?" and a cop blurts out, "He's a transvestite." Other than that, this movie still kicked.

A co-worker suggested that "Psycho" should be included in the list of films with the best closing shots of all time. I have to say it would be a brilliant addition to that list. The final shot is of Marion's car being pulled out of the swamp. Think about it. She's in there, wrapped in a shower curtain, decomposing. And the $40,000 -- which was a MacGuffin throughout the movie -- is right next to her.



Anonymous gail jeanne mcgillicuddy said...

ok - last comment about the Pieogi Making Party - by popular demand (mine of course) date has been changed tentatively to Sat. 11/24, but only if you're in. I'm in.

now back to our regular programing...................

6:36 PM, October 14, 2007  
Blogger Mark Voger said...

I'm in.

6:39 PM, October 17, 2007  

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