Touch of Evil (1958)

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A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (IMDb)
Brilliant cinematography and editing, from the opening 3 minute take (and many other mesmerizing tracking shots to follow) to the ingenious overlapping of scenes (a character in the background of one becomes the focus of the next) to the stark use of shadow and light. It’s got a solid noir plot, too, with a unique focus on the cops, not the crime, though here a white-washed lead role, a cringe-y damsel-in-distress, and some questionable performances from the supporting cast mar things a bit.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Psycho (1960)

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A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (IMDb)
The fugitive first act offers solid suspense, but the film reaches another level of intrigue with Marion’s arrival at the isolated Bates Motel run by the charmingly chatty yet discomfortingly awkward and odd Norman (Perkins’ detailed portrayal is superb–see his nervous candy eating). With some disconcerting slow pans and zooms and a few unsettling edits (see the shower murder), Hitchcock adds just the right amount of flair to the perfectly paced mystery as it builds to its shocking conclusion.
8.5/10 (Amazing)