`Psycho' given a curtain call as best Hitchcock movie

PSYCHO, THE terrifying tale of Norman Bates and his mother, has been voted the best film Alfred Hitchcock ever made by a distinguished panel of directors.

The 1960 film, most memorable for the shower scene in which Janet Leigh is attacked by a mystery knifeman, received almost double the votes of Vertigo, Hitchcock's other leading film. Critics have long fought about which of the two films is the master's greatest.

Psycho, which has been the subject of numerous sequels and re-makes, tells the story of secretary Marion Crane, played by Leigh, who steals $40,000 from her boss and escapes to the out-of-the way Bates Motel, run by the creepy, oedipal Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins.

The panel voting for their best film was put together by the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine to mark the centenary of Hitchcock's birth next week.

Those voting for Psycho included such illustrious directors as Martin Scorsese, who made Goodfellas, Atom Egoyan, director of Exotica and Bruce Robinson, director of Withnail and I.

Vertigo was made two years before Psycho and is, if anything, an even more psychological thriller. It starred James Stewart as an ex-policeman who falls in love with Kim Novak, who plays the apparent double of Stewart's lover who has supposedly killed herself. Vertigo was the favourite Hitchcock movie of film-makers such as Milos Forman, who made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Baz Lurhmann, who made Strictly Ballroom, and John Carpenter, who directed Halloween.

The surprise of the list is Rear Window, Hitchock's masterpiece of voyeurism, which starred James Stewart as a photographer trapped in a wheelchair in his room trying to uncover a murder. The film is usually considered one of Hitchcock's best but came only in joint fifth place with a long list of other films.

Notorious and The Birds came in third and fourth place and North by Northwest, famous for Cary Grant scaling Mount Rushmore to escape James Mason, also tied in fifth place.

"Throughout the Sixties and Seventies Psycho was regarded by critics as a sensationalist slasher movie," says Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound.

"Hitchock himself was not regarded as an artist until the French New Wave made him one of their own. Before that he was thought of as just a good Hollywood director, but not a Renoir or a Fritz Lang.

"Even when he started to be regarded as an artist, Psycho was still looked down on. In recent years it has become a highly venerated work. Every frame is magnificent and it is considered probably the most influential film made after Welles' Citizen Kane."

Hitch's

Ten Greatest

1. Psycho

2. Vertigo

3. Notorious

4. The Birds

5. North by Northwest

6. Shadow of a Doubt

7. Foreign Correspondent

8. Frenzy

9. The Lady Vanishes

10. Marnie

Scene By Scene: The Directors' Choice

PSYCHO: "There are those insinuating camera movements - the camera that moves around Janet Leigh's bedroom, picking up every detail. You see that she is packing to leave, you see the money in an envelope. It is pure soundless exposition - what makes it so disturbing is the feeling that there's someone else in the room" - Martin Scorsese

NORTH BY NORTHWEST: "Hitchcock's POV [point of view] sequences are seminal in the development of the language of cinema, and the crop-dusting sequence is the most brilliant of these. Cary Grant's near fatal encounter with a biplane is still unsurpassed as the greatest action sequence ever" - John Carpenter

VERTIGO: "Vertigo opens with a thief being chased by Jimmy Stewart and a policeman over rooftops. Then Jimmy slips and hangs from a gutter and we get the `vertigo shot': the background receding rapidly to the look of horror on Jimmy's face" - Baz Luhrmann

THE LADY VANISHES: "The most chilling moment is when Michael Redgrave notices the faint imprint of Dame May Whitty's writing on the train window, this trace of a casual gesture being the only evidence of her existence" - Scott Hicks

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

SAS Developer - DI Studio - Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Developer, Chester, Banking, DI Studio, £450-...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone