Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece crime horror drama, PSYCHO, turns 50 years old today. It holds up as a great film today because it was so revolutionary in so many ways. It is one of the greatest films ever made.
Hitchcock threw away convention to weave an extremely bizarre crime tale of a twisted personality who took over the persona of his mother and murdered guests at the family motel. To this day, just the image of the Bates motel or home on the hill still evoke cold chills.
Part of what was so unconventional for Hitchcock was to hire a big name actress like Janet Leigh and to mislead the audience into believing that her theft at her job was going to be the main storyline. However, her shocking murder early into the story by lunatic Norman Bates proved completely shocking. It was real unconventional of Hitchcock to kill off the lead actress shortly into the film.
Strangely, after Hitchcock was known for several elaborate color films in previous years. PSYCHO was shot on black & white for a mere $800,000. It was a great film shot to look like a cheaper B grade film, which was another interesting quirk about the film.
In many ways Hitchcock's great film became the godfather to the slasher film genre. However, none of the inspired films have been able to match the greatness of this film which was woven together with a great and memorable soundtrack as well. The unique music writing only helped to underscore the great shock value that this film had. No film has been able to craft pure unexpected shock value as well as this film did.
Hitchcock created a real masterpiece here.