Director – Alfred Hitchcock
Cast – Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, John Gavin, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam, John McIntyre
Marion is in love and her lover can’t marry her because he doesn’t have the money. Taking matters (and her boss’s money) into her own hands she flees Arizona and heads to California. Along the way she becomes panicky after a policeman starts following her. On a dark and rainy night she ends up at the Bates Motel, where an awkward proprietor takes an interest in her and she has second thoughts about the money.
Why I Love It – This movie didn’t waste a scene, there was no extra fluff. We are introduced to Marion as a woman itching to get married and Sam, a man reluctant because of money issues from the very beginning. Marion surprises us and the tension is ramped up to the point that when she finally arrives at the Bates Motel we take a deep breath. Until we don’t. It was perfect storytelling in my opinion. I know that it differed from the book a bit so I want to give that a read someday.
Not only did I think the thriller was expertly put together, surprise after surprise, the cast was great. Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh had some sweet scenes and some not so sweet ones. Leigh made Marion sympathetic, yet not soft, and Perkins? So good. I also loved the jaded private eye with a heart Martin Balsam as Detective Arborgast.
For an old movie this holds up remarkably well and deserves it’s classic label. And who can forget that shower scene?
See if the Alfred Hitchcock can convince you to watch it…
Here’s the list of my 100 favorite films.