Around The Hoop

Killing time during Aspen's off-season, aka going 'Psycho'

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenOctober 11, 2012
Off-season has us contemplating death here at Real Aspen headquarters.

Leaves are dropping like flies, several of our favorite restaurants are temporarily closing down until the tourists return and with snow in the forecast this weekend, the Roaring Fork Valley's autumn splendor should soon boast a landscape befitting of a winter wonderland.

But, alas, the chairlifts are void of life and, in Aspen, they won't get cranking until Nov. 22.

It's enough to drive a ski bum mad. Psycho, if you will.
The shower scene ...

Which leads me to this moribund segue about one of my all-time favorite movies and, now, coming to limited theaters near you the day after the Silver Queen Gondola comes alive for the upcoming ski season, is the movie about the movie. It is simply titled: Hitchcock.

In the just-released trailer below, a portly Anthony Hopkins plays a convincing master of suspense in Sacha Gervasi's drama about the famous English filmmaker's gamble on the 1960 classic, Psycho.

"All of us harbor dark recesses of violence and horror," he says. "I'm just a man hiding in the corner with a camera — watching."

The film tells the tale of how Psycho went from a low-budget flick that Paramount and others didn't want to make to a cinematic masterpiece. Despite riding a killer wave of success in the 1940s and 1950s, Hitchcock had a hell of a time getting people on board with a voyeuristic film that zeroes in on a schizophrenic serial killer who impersonates his dead mother and murders a beautiful nude woman before moviegoers have had a chance to swallow their popcorn.

The movie took creepiness to new heights.

The "shower scene" spans three minutes, featuring scores of camera angles, and extreme close-ups of Norman Bates' handiwork.

The censors went, well, nuts. Their cheeks were already flush and their eyes aghast after watching an unmarried couple roll around in the same bed, Marion Crane wearing a bra no less. It was racy stuff at the time.

Seeing her bare-naked body butchered in the shower really drove the censors crazy.

Audiences ate it up, of course, and Psycho lives on as one of the most highly acclaimed films ever.

This new movie, due out Nov. 23, is worth a look. The witty banter between Hopkins and Helen Mirren, playing Hitchock's wife, Alma Reville, appears worthy of the price of admission. It's too bad Sir Alfred isn't around to make his routine cameo. Still, Psycho's backstory is bloody interesting — and it may even deliver a few chills in time for winter.

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