You can practically hear the screeching violins now.
Today at 7 p.m., the IU Cinema is honoring Halloween with a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic “Psycho.”
The screening might be sold out, but anyone interested is still invited to wait for standby seating.
For those privileged to attend, there are a few things to know about the film, and who better to tell them than Hitchcock himself?
The IDS collected quotes from Hitchcock about the film, and further explained them.
1. “It is required that you see ‘Psycho’ from the very beginning!”
“Psycho” broke ground in the way American audiences went to the movies. For decades, patrons would come into a movie at their leisure and remain through the next screening until they had seen the entire film. Hitchcock feared audiences would feel cheated if they came late,
expected to see star Janet Leigh and never did because she had already been killed in the now-famous
“The manager of this theater has been instructed at the risk of his life not to admit to the theater any persons after the picture started. Any spurious attempts to enter by side doors, fire escapes or ventilating shafts will be met by force,” promotional posters read as a way to build
tension for “Psycho’s” now-widely known twists.
2. “It wasn’t a message that stirred the audiences, nor was it a great performance. They were aroused by pure film.”
Only one year before “Psycho” was released, Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest” was made for an estimated $4 million. “Psycho” was shot in black and white for roughly $800,000.
To make a movie that was purely cinematic, one free of gory special effects or elaborate chases like in “North By Northwest.”
Rather, “Psycho” was filmed with the small crew on his TV show “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Their goal was to deliberately make it resemble a cheap exploitation film, yet the stark lighting and cinematography is powerfully chilling.
3. “You might say I was playing them — like an organ.”
Hitchcock used “Psycho” as a way to direct and manipulate his viewers in ways few films had before, but it is not an organ that strikes the spine-shivering chord.
Named the fourth best film score of all time by the American Film Institute, Bernard Hermann’s score immortalized the shower scene that Hitchcock initially intended to be silent, and even indirectly inspired the orchestral backing to The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby.”
Sources: Alfred Hitchcock, NBC Universal