I am probably not old enough to make a bucket list, but if I did, watching an Alfred Hitchcock film on the big screen would at or very near the top. About fifteen years ago, I made plans to see Rear Window at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, but life got in the way, as it always does when I make plans.
I was watching Turner Classic Movies recently–nothing new there–and I saw that they were teaming up with Fathom Events and Universal Pictures to bring Psycho to theatres. Yay? My excitement was tempered due to my previous experience. But fortune–and a good friend–smiled upon me, and I actually got to see the darn thing. It was everything I wanted it to be, and more.
So much more.
To be honest, my first choices would have been North by Northwest or Vertigo. But if you are going to see a Hitchcock film with an audience, it’s hard to beat Psycho. Actually, I have seen the cropduster scene from North by Northwest with a small crowd. I won’t go into it, since I already wrote about it in a post entitled “Film is a Visual Medium.”
I am one of the first people to complain about spoilers, but I am also someone who often reads the novel before seeing the movie; but that’s another story. When I first saw Psycho on TV in the Seventies, the main reason I tuned in was because of the infamous shower scene. Much like “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane, Marion Crane’s death in Psycho is something everyone knows about even if they have never seen the movie.
So, what would cause someone to go to a theatre to watch a film they have seen multiple times, and own on blu-ray? If you have to ask… It’s the thought of seeing it on the big screen with an audience, the way God and Hitchcock intended. Believe me, after seeing Psycho, it makes all the difference in the world. Sure, the picture quality is slightly better at home, but who cares? I thought I hadn’t seen Psycho until I saw it on blu-ray, but I was wrong. Just as wrong as I was when I saw it on DVD for the first time.
The thing about Psycho (for me anyway) is that after watching it so many times, I feel the story doesn’t really start until after Marion’s death; that is when it becomes a mystery. I am sure that what I just said is sacreligious, but it’s how I feel. I still love it though.
After I returned home, I put on the blu-ray because I wanted to see some of the special features. The weird thing is that the movie seemed… small. It’s not that I have screen envy, it’s that my perspective has changed. It’s one thing to see a film in a theatre, then watch it at home a few months later, but to do it on the same day is somewhat surreal.
But I am not going to let that deter me. I am hoping to see more classic films in a theatre. I don’t want to say which ones, because I don’t want to jinx it. Let’s just say that some of them are Hitchcock movies and leave it at that.