Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Psycho’ tops list of thrillers

June 13, 2001

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— The mother of all slasher films, "Psycho," topped the American Film Institute list of 100 most thrilling movies, with "Jaws" and "The Exorcist" coming in second and third.

"Psycho" director Alfred Hitchcock and "Jaws" director Steven Spielberg combined for 15 films on the list released Tuesday.

Hitchcock placed nine movies on the list, with two others in the top 10 "North by Northwest" at No. 4 and "The Birds" at No. 7. Spielberg had six films, including "Raiders of the Lost Ark" at No. 10.

The rest of the top 10 were: No. 5, "The Silence of the Lambs"; No. 6, "Alien"; No. 8, "The French Connection"; and No. 9, "Rosemary's Baby."

The rankings were announced in a special aired Tuesday night on CBS. The institute began issuing an annual list on different movie themes three years ago, with a roster of the top 100 American films.

The thrillers' list was chosen by about 1,800 directors, actors, studio executives, critics and others in Hollywood, who voted from a field of 400 nominated movies.

Considering that 16 Hitchcock films were nominated, there was little doubt he would fare well. And it's small surprise that "Psycho" led the way, considering that even co-star Janet Leigh was so affected by her death scene in the shower that she only takes baths to this day.

"'Psycho' scared the hell out of me when I saw it finished. Making it and seeing it are two different things," Leigh said. "That staccato music and the knife flashing. You'd swear it's going into the body. I still don't take showers, and that's the truth."

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