AFI Top 100: No. 14 Psycho

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The best part of my quest to finish the AFI Top 100 is discovering directors I like. He may have been a terrible human being but Hitchcock’s movies are genius and I am so happy we still have one more to watch. One of the unfortunate things about a well-known movie like Psycho, is that I knew of the plot twists long ago.

What I did not know, was how it all started. I had no clue the beginning took place in Phoenix, nor that the opening scene was as risque for the time as it was. Hitchcock did not shy away from portraying unmarried couples in sexual relationships and the fact he opened with a couple sneaking away to a hotel room (which by the way, is right across from ASU downtown) would have been quite controversial.

Going back to the Phoenix locale, as someone who has lived in the Valley of the Sun for the past 10 years, I was pretty excited to see the views of Camelback and the Westward Ho. I also understood Marion’s frustration towards her employer, who on the surface seemed polite. It was obvious that was not the first time a client had treated her terribly and to top it all off, he kept the air conditioning only in his office and not for his two poor secretaries. As someone who just experience two straight 118* days, that is NOT ok!

Of course, stealing $40,000 is not ok to do either and Marion was completely shady the entire time. The only time she acted comfortable was when she finally decided to go back to Phoenix. The symbolic washing away of her sins was obviously interrupted by the infamous shower scene, one of the many scenes of this movie I had viewed again and again during Halloween specials, commercials, etc.

It is interesting to watch a movie where the main character of the beginning of the film dies in the middle. The story you believed you were following shifts and you have to refocus your vision. Hitchcock truly excels at twists and Marion’s death was not the sole surprise in Psycho. The edge of your seat has quite a dent in it by the time Psycho’s final credits roll. The music is fantastic. It truly heightens the fear you feel for every character and I know I jumped once or twice.

This movie is so groundbreaking and a fantastic thriller. Even if you know the end, I suggest you check it out because there may be a thing or two that surprises you.

Next Up: No. 13 Star Wars

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2 comments

  1. You’re so right about this: knowing the ending beforehand really didn’t spoil the movie. That’s what makes it so brilliant I guess. I can watch it numerous times and never get bored.

    1. Precisely! I knew exactly what was going to happen when “Mother” turned around and I still jumped! It’s just a fantastic movie.

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