Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Night 13 of "The 31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest"

I've joined in the fun over at Domestic Witch's October Blog Party. You can find a list of participating blogs that are having fun celebrating the season of Halloween. When you're done here take a broom ride over to her site and you'll see the list of blogs on the right side bar.
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Here at The Lounge we will have a "31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest". Check back each day to see which movie is featured and some days you may get more than one. They will be a random selection of my favorites. You can see all past selections on the sidebar.
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Make sure to leave a comment for each movie as one lucky person will win their choice of pendant from Laughing Vixen Lounge at the end of the film fest. Please see rules at end of post.
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Night 13...."Psycho"

What can I say? This is about as good as it gets.
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Alfred Hitchcock directed this film version of the novel by Robert Bloch. Released by Paramount Studios (but actually owned by and filmed at Universal Studios) on August 25, 1960. Secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) decides on a whim to steal $40,000 and run off to be with her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin). She may have gotten away with it if she had not made one fatal error...stopping at The Bates Motel for the night. Caretaker Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his "Mother" make this an unfortunate night for Marion. Can her sister Lila Crane (Vera Miles) and Sam solve the mystery of the missing Marion or will they fall prey to The Bates Motel too?
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I simply adore this movie. The black and white is gorgeous and the music is divine. It truly is one of the scariest scores out there. The fact that it's almost 50 years old, there is no gore and not a lot of violence, and it can still scare you is a testament to how well made it is.
Anthony Perkins is brilliant as the overgrown child Norman Bates. His dialogue with Marion in the parlour is engrossing. He goes from innocent to dark and back again with ease (this probably should have been her cue to leave right then and there!). The whole scene where he cleans the bathroom just makes my skin crawl.
I know I'm probably the only one that actually liked the Gus VanSant remake of Psycho but Vince Vaughn did a great job at the role of Norman. It always tricky stepping into an iconic role like that but I think he did good at capturing Anthony Perkins' Norman while still making it his own. Either way you look at it it's still creepy watching either of them eating those candy corns with that slightly evil smile.
And there's the house. I love the shots of it and the motel. Just plain creepy and wonderful!
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Some trivia about the movie....
1. Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.
2. Alfred Hitchcock's cameo is about four minutes in wearing a cowboy hat outside Marion's office.
3. Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie "Psycho".
4. In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black.
5. Marion's white 1957 Ford sedan is the same car (owned by Universal) that the Cleaver family drove on "Leave It to Beaver" (1957).
6. First American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen.
7. The novel "Psycho", written by Robert Bloch, was actually part of a series of pulp novels marketed in conjunction with the popular spooky radio show "Inner Sanctum".
8. To ensure the people were in the theaters at the start of the film (rather than walking in part way through) the studio provided a record to play in the foyer of the theaters. The album featured background music, occasionally interrupted by a voice saying "Ten minutes to Psycho time," "Five minutes to Psycho time," and so on.
9. The Bates house was largely modeled on an oil painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The canvas is called "House by the Railroad" and was painted in 1925 by American iconic artist Edward Hopper. The architectural details, viewpoint and austere sky is almost identical as seen in the film.
10. In the murder scene in the shower, we never see the knife actually touching the victim's body.
11. The last shot of Norman Bates' face has a still frame of a human skull superimposed on it, almost subliminally. The skull is that of Mother.
12. Alfred Hitchcock strictly mandated, and even wrote into theater managers' contracts, that no one arriving after the start of each showing of "Psycho" would be admitted into the theater until the beginning of the next showing.
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Rules for pendant giveaway...
(1) comment about a movie per movie.
(1) extra entry by following this Blog and (1) extra for following on Twitter (You can only take the blog and twitter entries once for the whole contest).
(1) extra entry for Tweeting about this. Please use this message -Check out the "31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest" to win your choice of pendant from @LaughingVixen http://bit.ly/2WQ8Ek -- 3 Tweets a day max and no more than 1 an hour.
(1) extra entry for guessing the next film. I will tweet hints on Twitter about the next days movie and you can post your guess as a comment. Doesn't have to be right just your best guess.
Make sure to post each entry as an individual comment on any of the movies comment pages. You can comment on past movies. Make sure you can be contacted from your post.

15 comments:

  1. Best guess Evil Dead with Bruce Campbell (totally yummy!) I just loved how it was pretty action packed. You didn't want to take a potty break for fear you'd miss the next scare! And the Book Of The Dead? Brilliant =) The Hills Have Eyes Poster in the basement when they first found the tape & the clock were a few neat fun things in the movie!

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  2. This movie is amazing...and I actually agree with you, I liked the remake too. Which is unusual. But I like Vince Vaughn and I thought he did a fine job.

    )O(
    boo

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  3. My guess: Evil Dead. Or Evil Dead II, the not-exactly-sequel-not-quite-remake.

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  4. By the way, the tiny link you have up there did not bring me here from Twitter (where I follow you - ha! another entry)
    The shortenings seem to only work through Twitter (or facebook if you're linked) Copy and paste from and on Twitter. You have to copy from the original shortened link, it seems.
    Otherwise, it's kind of like using an html of a Flash movie without the swf.
    If that makes sense.

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  5. that ending was craaaaazy. way to get us Hitchcock!

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  6. http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/4849103161

    tweeted!

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  7. tomorrow's movie is...The Cabin in the Woods

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  8. tweet 2! http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/4851085442

    my guess is the Evil Dead...I totally forgot the 1980s bit. Haha The Cabin in the Woods seems like another cheesy remake of Evil Dead though!

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  9. I follow here and on twitter. :)

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  10. One of my all time favorites!!

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  11. I like both Psycho movies but the original is very creepy!! I have been enjoying reading your facts!! I am looking forward to watching this again soon!
    cyclona66(at)aol(dot)com

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  12. I am a follower
    cyclona66(at)aol(dot)com

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  13. I think I dated someone like this! :D

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  14. Oh, who doesn't love a good Hitchcock movie?? I always love to keep trying to see where he will appear on screen!

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