Thursday, September 17, 2015

Psycho: Alfred Hitchcock takes you on a Tour in this Vintage #ThrowBackThursday Trailer


Here's one of those 'back in the eighties I used to—' posts. So let's get to it, back in the 80's I used to ride past the Psycho house all the time. I was a Universal Studios tour guide and I can tell you, in all the hundreds of times I pointed out the decrepit house on the hill looming over the Bates Motel on the backlot, the original structures from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960's thriller, not once did I mention that the film was based on a book, a 'chiller' by Robert Bloch. I didn't know. Back in those pre-internet days, information wasn't as easy to come by. I would have had to make real effort to find out that factoid; these days I just plug Psycho into my browser and well, you know, there is more than enough material to keep a reader/writer going for decades. Or at least an afternoon.


Back then, I could have used that info on those long, hot summer days when the tour trams were often delayed behind lines of other trams stuffed with tourists, forcing us to stall for time. One of our tour guide stall stories was how Alfred Hitchcock got thousands of letters about the shower scene, including one from a disgruntled father, complaining that Psycho had freaked his daughter out so much, she refused to take a shower. Hitchcock's response? 
Dear Sir, I suggest she take baths instead.


These days the trams have built in screens and all the spoiled brats tour guides have to do is punch a button; back in my day (she creaked) we had to talk for the entire two hours. Ah, you kids, you don't know how lucky you are! Back in my day (she creaked) if we wanted to see an old movie, we had to wait for it to come on television, but you, you get to stream it for a few bucks on Vudu, GooglePlay, iTunes or Amazon.


Janet Leigh turned in one hell of a performance, winning the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. She even garnered an Oscar nomination, as did Hitchcock, his cinematographer and production design team, quite a feat considering the Academy rarely honors that type of horror film even with nominations, the last I find being The Exorcist in 1973. Have I forgotten one? Let me know.



Better than any tour I could take you on, is this vintage 1960 extended 'trailer' in which Hitchcock walks you through the Psycho house and the Bates Motel. It's not really a trailer, it's a weird and wonderful and spoilery promo piece, just over 6 minutes long. Enjoy!



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You might want to read Meltdown Moments; a companion piece of sorts, 
inspired by Dennis Quaid's meltdown, 
about watching the actor Bud Cort shoot a scene from The Bates Motel circa 1987.

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