N : Norman Bates “Well, a boy’s best friend is his mother.”

Day 17

Norman Bates

Number 2 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Heroes & Villains list.

I’ve been a Hitchcock fan my whole life. Thanks in large part to my parents who have a great respect for the classics. But our favorite has always been The Birds, then Rear Window then Vertigo. It wasn’t until much later that I actually watched Psycho for the first time. My only guess would be my parents were wary of the infamous Shower Scene… It’s still not my favorite Hitchcock film but I do appreciate it a great deal.

Psycho was the last film Alfred Hitchcock filmed in Black & White
as well as his first Horror Film.

As the film opens on Marion (played by Janet Leigh), the book written by Robert Bloch opens on Norman Bates having an argument with his mother. Bates is painted as a much less sympathetic character in the book. He’s a middle-aged, unattractive, overweight, balding middle-aged man. He’s an alcoholic having frequent blackouts and intense misogyny towards all women especially his mother. It was Alfred Hitchcock who thought to make him younger and more sympathetic. Instead of drinking, Bates is seen munching on Candy Corn. Hitchcock portrays his Bates as a perpetual boy, someone lost in childhood, stuck under his Mother’s thumb.

Alfred Hitchcock casted Anthony Perkins in the part of Norman Bates partly because the two characters have so much in common. Both Perkins and Bates were only children whose fathers passed away when they five years old and then raised by their single mothers.

Once on set, Hitchcock started to refer to Anthony Perkins as “Master Bates.”

Although actor Anthony Perkins refused to speak about his role as Norman Bates, he has later stated that he would do the role again in a minute even though he was typecast.

According to IMdb, “When Norman discovers the body of Marion Crane, he shouts, “Mother! Oh God! God! Blood! Blood!” Alfred Hitchcock had the bass frequencies removed from Anthony Perkins‘ voice to make him sound more like a frightened teenager.”

Actress Brooke Smith who played Catherine Martin in Silence of the Lambs plays Sheriff Jane Greene on Bates Motel. (Coincidentally, the murderer Buffalo Bill and Norman Bates are both based on the real life serial killer Ed Gein.
Throughout the film there were many references to Birds,
Marion’s last name is Crane,
Norman’s hobby is stuffing birds,
Norman makes a comment that Marion eats like a bird.
3 years later, Hitchcock’s next film was The Birds.
Coincidence? I think not.
Thank you for Reading!
See you Tomorrow!

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One thought on “N : Norman Bates “Well, a boy’s best friend is his mother.”

  1. Would you believe the first time I saw Psycho was at my high school? At that time and I think even now they showed movies on the last day before an extended break like Thanksgiving or Christmas. The shower scene was in that version we saw.

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