Psycho has become one of the most recognizable films in cinema history, and is arguably Hitchcock’s best known film. The murder of Janet Leigh’s character Marion Crane in the shower is the film’s pivotal scene and one of the best-known scenes in all of cinema history, which became iconic in pop culture because it is often regarded as one of the most terrifying scenes ever filmed. Part of its effectiveness was due to the use of startling editing techniques and to the iconic screeching violins in Bernard Herrmann’s musical score, not to metion the fact that killing off Leigh’s character at the end of the first act. This daring plot device, coupled with the fact that the character was played by the biggest box-office name in the film, was a shocking turn of events in 1960. How many of us have seen at least this scene? Janet Leigh became a household name as well as Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates.
Psycho was nominated for four Oscars; Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography (Black and White) and Best Art/Set Direction (Black and White). It won no Oscars, however Janet Leigh did win a Golden Globe for Supporting Actress.
Alfred Hitchcock was one of the best directors/film-makers, Hollywood has ever had, and unfortunately never won an Oscar for Directing. Psycho should have been his golden boy, and this film was the second highest grossing film of 1960 and wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture!
Anthony Perkins gave a performance of a lifetime as Norman Bates, and was linked to this role his entire career. Hitchcock’s directing and many camera angles were some of the best ever used in film and still are used.
Psycho is definitely, in my opinion the best film of 1960. Even though Psycho is my favorite film of 1960 it is not my favorite Hitchcock film, that would be Dial M for Murder