The other day I was saying to a friend that in 1960 industry attitudes about films like Psycho (shock and scare, psychologically twisted protagonist, knife murders and perversion) were regarded as basement-dwelling genre films, and that the most that could happen, even with Psycho‘s phenomenal financial success, were Oscar nominations and not wins.
The friend reminded that Bernard Herrmann‘s Psycho score, easily one of the most distinctive and influential ever composed, wasn’t even nominated. Obviously a major snub — Herrmann’s score should have won.
All I can figure or theorize is that Herrmann might have been personally disliked or otherwise regarded askance by colleagues. (Or something in that realm.) I’ve never read a biography of the man. Has anyone?
Alfred Hitchcock was handed a Best Director nomination that year, but Billy Wilder won for The Apartment. Janet Leigh was nominated for Best Supporting Actress (an odd call as she didn’t deliver in any kind of striking way), but Elmer Gantry‘s Shirley Jones won. Psycho was also nominated for best black & white cinematography (John Russell), but Freddie Francis won for Sons and Lovers. Psycho‘s black & white art direction and set decoration was nominated (Joseph Hurley, Robert Clatworthy, George Milo), but the Oscar was won by The Apartment‘s Alexandre Trauner and Edward G. Boyle.
Incidentally: Whatever happened to the idea of Universal releasing a Bluray of the slightly more risque German version? I’d buy it without blinking.