What better way to celebrate this Halloween than to scream along with Janet Leigh (Touch Of Evil, The Manchurian Candidate) during the infamous shower scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful suspense thriller, Psycho? Each nail-biting moment comes to life more vividly with Bernard Herrmann’s bone-chilling, iconic score performed in its entirety by the LA Opera orchestra and conducted by Louis Lohraseb in the cavernous Spanish-Gothic Theater at the Ace Hotel (built in 1927) in Downtown L.A.
With a movie like Psycho the music score is integral to the film, creating much of the tension and drama, and often anticipating a darker or more intense moment. Alfred Hitchcock himself remarked that “33% of the effect of Psycho was due to its music.” The music score was flawlessly executed (note by note), interweaving a range of screeching violins, violas and cellos with the movie’s dialogue track.
Psycho was released in 1960 and managed to shock audiences worldwide. To ensure moviegoers were treated to the full effect of the story, Hitchcock demanded that nobody was allowed into the theaters once the movie started. Superbly adapted for the screen by Joseph Stefano and Robert Bloch, this is the story of a young office worker in Arizona, Marion Crane (Leigh), frustrated by her day’s events in both her work and personal life, steals $40,000 from her employer’s client and decides to run away. Exhausted, she ends up checking in to a remote motel. The Bates Motel is managed by an unusual, shy young man, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins, Mahogany, The Trial), who seems to be dominated by his invalid mother. A week later, back in Phoenix, her sister, Lila (Vera Miles, The Wrong Man, Autumn Leaves) arrives to report that Marion has disappeared and an investigation begins culminating at the Bates Motel.
Rewatching the shower scene, it seems clear now that Leigh’s character was going back to confess and return the stolen money, and that the shower functions as some kind of “cleansing” of her guilty conscience.
— Victor Riobo
Runs through October 31st at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Get tickets HERE.