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Monthly Archives: November 1999
Psycho (Gus van Sant), 1998
The chief question running through reviews of Gus van Sant’s remake of Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho has been a simple one: Why? The suggested answer has often been a cynical one: the film was financed as an easy way to cash in on the continuing popularity of horror movies and utilise the Psycho trademark now that the sequels have run their course. The response from most critics ranged from bewilderment to contempt.
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock), 1960
I’m told that a small boy who stayed up to be scared by this masterpiece said afterwards “I liked it, but it made me want to sleep in Mummy’s bed.” – Kenneth Tynan(1)
If you were to pick the most famous single scene from movie history, you’d probably have to choose the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Film buffs might shout “Odessa Steps” at you, but while Eisenstein’s bravura sequence is more important (if only for being earlier, and arguably a model for Hitchcock), I doubt any other moment in 100 years of cinema has been the subject of as many imitations, homages, and parodies. The whole film, in fact, has been so endlessly reworked, remade, and revisited, that today’s viewers will usually come to Psycho with much of the film already in their head.