Psycho (1998 film)

Psycho (1998 film)

Infobox Film
name = Psycho

caption = Original film poster for "Psycho"
director = Gus Van Sant
producer = Gus Van Sant Brian Grazer
writer = Novel: Robert Bloch Screenplay: Joseph Stefano
starring = Vince Vaughn Anne Heche Julianne Moore Viggo Mortensen William H. Macy
music = Bernard Herrmann
cinematography = Christopher Doyle
editing = Amy E. Duddleston
distributor = Universal Pictures Imagine Entertainment
released = December 4, 1998
runtime = 105 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = $20,000,000 (est.)
preceded_by = ""
followed_by = "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho"
amg_id = 1:174140
imdb_id = 0155975

"Psycho" is a 1998 film remake of the Alfred Hitchcock 1960 version produced and directed by Gus Van Sant for Universal Pictures. Both films are based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch, which were in turn inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.

Although this version is in color and features a different cast, it is nearly a shot for shot remake that copies Hitchcock's camera movements and editing. A few changes are introduced to account for advancements in technology since the original film and to make the content more explicit. Murder sequences are also intercut with surreal dream images.

Anne Heche plays Marion Crane, with Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates, William H. Macy as Milton Arbogast, Viggo Mortensen as Sam Loomis, and Julianne Moore as Lila Crane. Small roles go to Robert Forster as Dr. Fred Simon, Philip Baker Hall as Sheriff Al Chambers, Anne Haney as Mrs. Eliza Chambers, Rita Wilson as Caroline, and Michael Balzary (aka Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) as Bob Summerfield. While in the original, Alfred Hitchcock had a cameo as a man in a cowboy hat outside the bank, director Gus Van Sant has a cameo talking to the man in the new version's parallel shot.

The film's soundtrack, "", included Danny Elfman's re-recordings of some of Bernard Herrmann's score for the original film, along with a collection of songs in genres from country to drum and bass, connected mainly by titles containing "psycho" or other death or insanity-related words. Many of the songs were recorded specifically for the soundtrack, to the extent that a number of them sample Herrmann's score as well.

Plot summary

Differences between the 1998 and 1960 versions

* The credits remain nearly the same with alternative cast and crew mentioned. The lined sequence devised by Saul Bass appear on screen in lime green and the co-starring cast's font is slightly bigger than in the original.
* In the original, there is no nudity in the opening scene. In the remake, the character of Sam Loomis displays rear nudity. There is also heavy breathing from another couple in the next hotel room during the scene.
* In the original, Marion Crane steals $40,000 in cash tendered as payment for a deal at the real estate office where she works, before she leaves for California. In the remake, she steals $400,000 in cash instead.
* In the original, Marion stops off at home and changes before setting out for California. This scene also occurs in the remake, but unlike the original, Marion is seen changing in front of a window, behind which is a tree on which several birds alight (somewhat like the jungle gym scene in Hitchcock's "The Birds").
* In the original, Marion Crane pays $700 in cash for a used car to trade with her car while a suspicious lawman watches her. In the remake, she pays $4000 in cash instead, but the licence numbers on the two cars are the same as in the original: ANL 709 on her first car, and NFB 418 on the new one.
* In the original, Marion Crane has a long talk with Norman Bates in his parlor, which causes her to change her mind and return the money. In the remake, Marion seems to understand that Norman is crazy, and seems terrified of him. But when she announces that she is going to return the money, the sense of their shared understanding is gone.
* In the remake, it is assumed that Norman Bates masturbates while watching Marion Crane through the eyehole, as there is heavy breathing and Norman's body twitches and he rebuckles his belt at the end of the scene. In the original, there is no indication that Norman did anything other than simply watch in this scene.
* In the original, there is little nudity in the infamous shower scene. In the remake, Marion Crane collapses to death after the stabbings, showing rear nudity and some computer-generated imagery stab wounds on her back. Anne Heche revealed on the DVD commentary that she did not know that the computer-generated imagery had been added to the final film.
* In the remake, Gus van Sant has added a few new shots throughout the shower scene. These very brief shots show the image of a violent storm.
* In the original, Marion Crane's sister Lila wears a coat when she enters at the hardware store. In the remake, she listens to a Walkman instead.
* When Lila and Sam are leaving the hardware store in the original movie, Lila says "All right, let me get my coat", and in the remake, she says "Let me get my Walkman".
* In the original, while searching for Marion Crane, her sister Lila apologizes to Sam Loomis for breaking down in tears, just until Milton Arbogast enters the hardware store. In the remake, Lila apologizes to Sam for yelling at him instead.
* In the original, when Lila Crane and Sam Loomis check into the Bates Motel to investigate their suspicions of Norman Bates and his mother, Norman and Lila smile at each other. In the remake, Norman and Lila wink at each other instead.
* As in his version of the shower scene, Gus van Sant added new short shots when Arbogast is stabbed by dressed up Norman. The first shot shows the image of a masked reclining woman, the second shot shows a calf in the middle of a road. Arbogast also has more slash marks on his face as well as a scream when he falls down the stairs in this version.
* In the original, Norman Bates knocks Sam Loomis unconscious with a vase in his parlor during a heated argument which escalates into a struggle then flees to the house to find Lila Crane. In the remake, he knocks Sam unconscious with a golf club and the heated argument never escalates into a struggle.
* When Lila Crane discovers the body of Norman Bates' mother, several white doves suddenly fly up. As birds are a recurring motif in the movie, with Norman's hobby of stuffing dead birds, the sudden unexpected appearance of live birds here may symbolize the approaching end of Norman's presence in the motel.Fact|date=July 2008
* In the original, Lila Crane watches in disbelief as Sam Loomis wrestles the butcher's knife away from Norman Bates and rescues her. In the remake, she kicks Norman in the face in anger instead.
* In the original, there is no neon motel sign on the roof of the motel, in the remake there is.
* In the original, when Marion and Sam discuss seeing each other respectably, Marion says, "We can see each other, but respectably. In my house, with my mother's picture on the mantel, and my sister helping me broil a steak for three", to which, Sam adds, "And after the steak, we send sister off to the movies, turn your mother's picture around...". In the remake, Sam reply changes to, "You know, I kinda like to meet your sister. She anything like you?"
* In the original, the ending shows but a couple of seconds of the car being pulled from the swamp; the remake extends this scene for several minutes at a gradually increasing wide angle, depicting the car being towed out and away, with the police present, against the closing credits.


This version of "Psycho" received negative reviews and was awarded two Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Director (Van Sant).

A number of critics and writers viewed Van Sant's version more as an actual experiment in shot-for-shot remakes. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that the film "demonstrates that a shot-by-shot remake is pointless; genius apparently resides between or beneath the shots, or in chemistry that cannot be timed or counted". [cite news | url= | title=Review of Psycho (1998 film) | first=Roger | last=Ebert | date=1998-12-06 | accessdate=2007-11-03] Screenwriter Joseph Stefano, who worked on the 1960 version, thought that although she spoke the same lines, Anne Heche portrays Marion Crane as an entirely different character. [cite news | title=Psycho Analysis: An Interview With Screenwriter Joseph Stefano | url= | publisher=The Austin Chronicle | date=1999-10-15 | accessdate=2007-11-03] Even Van Sant admitted that it was an experiment that proved that no one can really copy a film exactly the same way as the original. [cite news | title=The odd world of Gus Van Sant | url= | publisher=International Herald Tribune | date=2005-07-15 | accessdate=2007-11-03]

Main cast

ee also

* "Psycho" (1960 film), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
* "Psycho II", a 1983 sequel to the first film (unrelated to the novel "Psycho II")
* "Psycho III", a 1986 sequel to the first film
* "", a 1990 prequel to the first film
* "Bates Motel", 1987 television movie


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Psycho vs. Psycho] Comparison of the Hitchcock original to the Gus Van Sant recreation.

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