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Alfred Hitchcock’s classic era was probably the 1950s and early 1960s, when he controlled all the aspects of his movies, a true auteur.  He typically combined a loose plot, usually set off by a “Macguffin” (here, a theft), with a slightly ambiguous leading man (or woman, in this case) in a dangerous position not of his making, and lots of female sex appeal from his blonde leading ladies.

After the plush colours and production values of outings such as To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest, Hitchcock switched to black and white, and shot using essentially tv production techniques for this black comedy (as he always described it).  According to folklore, that was a decision based on economics because the studio didn’t want to finance a film version of Robert Bloch’s shocking novella.  Whether or not that’s the case, this was Hitchcock’s biggest hit, with a masterful marketing campaign (no-one was allowed in after the film started), and that shower scene, that reveal of Mother, that jangling score by Bernard Herrmann, and so much more.

The poster advertising gave nothing away (even when the film was re-released) and always featured the leading lady, Janet Leigh, who would – shockingly – disappear less than halfway through the film.

First release posters are becoming very expensive, and this is an interesting alternative.  It’s the original US One Sheet poster for the film’s third cinematic release (in the days before video, let alone DVD or streaming).  It still features a shocked Janet Leigh, and the admonition that no-one will be allowed entry to the theatre after the film has started, but also includes Anthony Perkins as Norman, Hitchcock himself in classic profile, and a reminder that tv wasn’t the way to watch this film – “Every scene intact!  The version tv didn’t dare show!”.









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Original folded condition with no paper loss, image deterioration or other major flaws



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