Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #415

In a rare moment of reflection, one that may or may not have been carefully devised by publicists, director Alfred Hitchcock and star Anthony Perkins discuss their current project, a lovely dissertation on misplaced values known as “Psycho”…

Alfred: “So, Tony, how do you think the shoot is going? Am I correct in assuming that you find the experience far more satisfying than most of the sordid sexual encounters you will have until you finally marry a woman and completely not dispel any of the rumors swirling about you.”

Anthony: “Well, since the cameras are rolling even though they aren’t supposed to be, I’ll have to say that I’m having the best time of my life. Couldn’t be happier.”

Alfred: “Cameras? I assure you this is an entirely private moment. I truly care about all of the cattle, I mean actors, who appear in my movies, and I would never manipulate any of the herd just to get what I want out of a scene.”

Anthony: “Then what’s that thing over there? The thing the cameraman is holding and pointing at us while the lens fluctuates almost as much as your popularity at the box office? That thing.”

Alfred: “You silly man. That’s just a prop camera. There’s no film in it, and it doesn’t even work, just like most producers and many politicians.”

Anthony: “Something tells me you might be fudging a bit. Like when you told Janet Leigh that the shower scene would only take a few minutes. Then you had the poor water-logged wretch flopping around for three days while she desperately tried to keep her nipples covered.”

Alfred: “That seems a bit harsh. I sense that you have some unresolved issues. Perhaps there was an incident in your childhood that didn’t quite go your way and you’ve wanted to take revenge ever since?”

Anthony: “No, that sounds more like your journey. What happened to you that makes you want to put ice-blonde actresses in peril over and over in your movies? Was there a nanny who made you go to bed early when you wanted to stay up and play with your strangers-on-a-trainset? A gal named Rebecca in high school who didn’t give you the time of day or an invitation to Manderley? An unrequited infatuation with a young actress who proclaimed that she would rather have chlamydia than have you? Wait a minute. Was your mother blonde?”

Alfred: “You have gone entirely too far, Cattle Man. I may have to kill you off earlier in the movie than Janet, and that icy nanny bites it before the opening credits have finished scrolling.”

Sigmund Freud, wandering onto the set even though he has been six feet under long before this scene took place. (It’s Hollywood, just go with it.): “Firstly, Anthony, you need to eat more. You don’t even have an actual waist and you won’t survive walking across a cattle guard. Secondly, Alfred, put down the donuts, they can see your waist from Jupiter. Thirdly, this entire movie is all about misogyny, stunted sexual development and an obsession with death that we haven’t seen since the Egyptians got bored and decided to build pyramids. Fourthly, what the hell is that thing over Alfred’s head?” 

Cameraman: “Mr. Hitchcock, do you want me to get Freud in the shot as well?”

Alfred: “It doesn’t matter. Freud is already in every scene I’ve ever directed.”  

Previously published, minimal changes made. Random reflection: I just now noticed the odd thing just below and to the right of Anthony’s non-existent waist. What IS that? And why does it appear to have a reverse shadow of Alfred’s waist but not the rest of his body? There is clearly some malfeasance going on in this situation, beyond just my warped dialogue and questionable life choices…

30 replies »

    • I fully approve of Janet’s plan. Plan carefully, get the money, and then douse. Of course, that’s the same plan she had in the actual movie. Plan carefully, steal the money, and then take a shower at a creepy motel. Hmm. Maybe she should reconsider…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. *cue Twilight Zone music and Rod Serling* because Freud is in a lot of random discussions in Bloglandia right now, not just in Bonnywood. O_o I was going to make some remark about Alfred’s figure (up top). He appears to need one of those steel bras that were made popular in the 50s, and which might put someone’s eye out if the bra owner didn’t aim those things carefully. The ‘thing’ above Alfred’s head is a boom mike, carefully disguised as a branch from a long dead tree. The designer was fired later for having too much imagination. The thing behind Anthony (aside from the “Star trailer” which contains no doubt green M&Ms) appears to be some sort of device, which when attached to the actor (Stick man as he might be known) makes their performance seem like it was done by a ‘real’ boy. Manipulation is the actual industry of Hollywood. That silver screen has tarnished and I would hire someone to go polish the damned thing. We’re all going blind trying to see behind it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really, Freud is trending right now? I’m sure HE’s not surprised, but I am. Anyway, I like the “steel bra” angle, as it would explain everything about Hitchcock movies that Freud couldn’t. (Alfie terrorized all those blondes because he wanted their undergarments but he didn’t know how to simply ask politely.)

      I’m also with you on the boom-mike angle, as it’s long been true that people who try to be creative are usually shunned in Hollywood. Follow the proven formula or you’re fired, end of story. But I’m on the fence with your suggestion that a machine exists which can make an actor seem better than he actually is. Oh, wait, my bad. There IS such a machine. It’s called Social Media… 😉


  2. Sooooo many subliminal messages to decipher in this photo. I’m obsessed with what I can only assume is the Bitch Cochair Mobile just under the alien anal probe that is below and to the right of Anthony’s non-existent waist. Who is the bitchy co-chair on this set? Is it the ice-blonde actress or somebody else worthy of this personal mode of on-set transportation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are exactly right. The subliminal aspects of this photo are a cornucopia of everything wrong in modern society, even if said photo is over sixty years old at this point. If only the movie critics in that day had paid more attention to the apocalyptic warning signs instead of whining about the fact that Janet Leigh was too pretty to have ever stopped at a motel involving questionable displays of taxidermy…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love Alfred Hitchcock’s black and white wonders. Maybe I should binge Hitchcock shows during the holiday season. Love the ending. It is true. Freud is everywhere in Hitchcock’s production. What’s the secret about Anthony. Now you piqued my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I might binge some Hitchcock as well, as I haven’t seen one of his movies in a while. As “mydangblog” points out below, he made some really terrific movies but he was a terrible person, with a lot of issues. Of course, some folks might say the same about me, so I suppose I shouldn’t judge. As for Anthony’s secret, it’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to the rumors at the time that he was gay. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I’m gay myself.)

      Of the Hitchcock movies that you’ve seen, what might be your favorite?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You remind me of the Seinfeld episode that I love most. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it.” It send me into a fit of laughter whenever I hear it. Too bad Seinfeld didn’t explore it in-depth.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m kinda wondering what that full word is that’s partially behind Tony’s leg, half shadowed. I see “ITCHCOC”… Now we could assume it’s “Hitchcock” (which is a word to ponder all on its own), but we all know what happens when we assume… especially if we happen to be blond in the portly fella’s vicinity 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that I was equally infatuated with the “ITCHCOC” lettering. So many things I could do with that, and I originally had a ribald paragraph in my little story about the possibilities. But that paragraph broke the flow of the narrative and I eventually yanked it out. Perhaps it will appear in the inevitable rewrite of this little drama? We shall see…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A wandering Freud would do a lot for many of the movies being written and filmed these days. Maybe he could decipher the mysterious “PSY-F3” in the corner of the picture. I had thought that the item looming over Sir Alfred’s head might be a hammer ready to fall, but I like the shower nozzle suggestion better. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you mentioned the “PSY-F3”, as it caught my eye as well. (I initially planned to include that cryptic bit in the story, but things just didn’t work out.) But just now, after seeing your comment, I googled “meaning of PSY-F3 in Psycho”, just for grins. The initial returns were boring and uninspiring. So I changed the filter to just “images”, and in THOSE results was a meme stating “Curvy women may be more intelligent than skinny women due to fatty acids in their hips that improve their mental abilities, a study found.”

      What in the world? THIS is why people should never google anything, ever. Just go to the local library and do real research. That worked fine for thousands of years…

      Liked by 1 person

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