Although a boy’s mother may be his best friend, Variety has picked Alfred Hitchcock’s groundbreaking proto-slasher Psycho as the most excellent movie ever.
There isn’t a single frame of Alfred Hitchcock’s apocalyptic slasher masterpiece Psycho that isn’t iconic, Variety notes in the opening of their review. If you don’t trust us, think about these things: Eyes. Holes. Birds. Drains. Windscreen wipers in the washroom. The torso is a blade. Blut, Blut! An old-fashioned staircase. Mom is rocking in her chair.
Variety concluded that Psycho is a movie you can see repeatedly, probably more than any other ever filmed.
It’s a movie that, more than ever, speaks to us because it demonstrates to us, in every teasingly sinister scene, how life itself comes to resemble a funhouse perched atop a precipice.
That ought to provide ample evidence of Psycho’s influence, not to mention that the American Film Institute named it the most exhilarating film ever created.
Psycho was included in Sight and Sound’s Top 100, although it was listed at #31 alongside Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky and 8 12 by Federico Fellini. Psycho “combines tension, Gothic horror, dark humour, and rich ironies to spectacular effect,” according to the journal. The best movie of its genre, Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, was described as “maddening at times but never less than captivating.” But it’s not exactly the best movie ever made.
The British Film Institute’s selection, which listed the French movie as the best movie ever made, is being poked fun here (but in a kindly way, perhaps?). They ranked it at #36 in their 2012 survey, which was a big improvement. However, Psycho is ranked first in Variety.
The following films round out Variety’s top ten: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction, and The Wizard of Oz. It’s a Wonderful Life, All About Eve, A Space Odyssey, and Saving Private Ryan.
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