(Thank you and have a nice day)
Mention has to be made of the cast. Everybody's terrific, but Anthony Perkins is so good he never played another normal human being again. Towards the end of his life when asked if, knowing the effect it would have on his career he would do it again, his reply was "In a heart-beat." His fidgeting, shimmying Norman is one of The Great Performances. Only one of the great failings of Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot color remake was Vince Vaughn's inability to evoke anything nearly as good--but then all the actors failed at that. You remake masterpieces at your peril...even if you do have the blue-print at hand.
"The Master of Suspense" can't keep his own composer awake...
Hitchcock and Herrmann in happier times
* "Of Marginal Interest" are two very important video's: one, the first episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," a truly creepy tale unmistakably directed by the Master himself; the other an excellent documentary on Hitchcock's musical muse, Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann doesn't come off very well in this (and he rather deserves it), but Hitchcock's treatment of him is treated with contempt--"Hitchcock had the loyalty of an eel," sneers the usually very gentlemanly David Raksin.
** The director's was the lovely and very creepy "Shadow of a Doubt" written with Thornton Wilder. We'll get there, eventually.
*** And the director makes the point with the "Vertigo" shot, which he'd been trying to perfect since "Rebecca," a simultaneous zoom-in, and track-back that prismatically warps space--it has been used endlessly by directors trying to convey disorientation or shock. Hitchcock never used it again--he kept coming up with new innovations.
**** Herrmann's score is similarly muted, more textural--to be felt rather heard--not unlike his final score, "Taxi Driver," twenty years later--and only "breaks out" as source music at the Club.