The Boyish Killer: Anthony Perkins’ Performance in Psycho

Pale Writer


As many know, Alfred Hitchcock making Psycho was never a sure thing. The studio, and apparently his wife, weren’t too keen on the Master of Suspense adapting a novel that people thought was cheap sensationalism. Robert Bloch’s book was based on the infamous Ed Gein murders, which had been grisly national news a few years before. Like Norman Bates, Ed Gein had an unhealthy relationship with his mother, who he later dug up and kept in his house as his sole companion. But Hitchcock saw great potential in the story, an opportunity to make an entirely new kind of film, one that, like Val Lewton’s The Leopard Man, explored the darker, terribly lonely and compulsive urges of the serial killer.

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