Despite having been a major star for decades and having a lead a life
of controversy and personal obstacles and challenges, it seems
surprising that there has never been a book about the films of Anthony
Perkins that examined his work in detail. That dilemma has finally been
resolved with the release of "More Than a Psycho: The Complete Films of
Anthony Perkins" by husband-and-wife writing team of Dawn and Jonathon
Dabell. The authors refreshingly concentrate on examining each of the
actor's individual feature films and TV productions in detail, offering
fascinating background information and astute evaluations of each title
from classics such as "Friendly Persuasion" and "Murder on the Orient
Express" to television fare such as "How Awful About Alan" There is a
biographical section, to be sure, that provides meaningful details on
Perkins' life and career but the primary emphasis is on the quality of
his individual films. In this regard the book resembles those marvelous
old Citadel Press "Films of..." titles that still adorn the bookshelves
and libraries of movie lovers worldwide. The book is also profusely
The Dabells succeed in their quest to prove that Perkins should be
judged by other achievements that just his signature role as Norman
Bates in "Psycho" but it's not without irony that the role that
stereotyped him to a degree was one he would return to many years later
to exploit in sequels based on Hitchcock's original premise. The book
makes it clear that, for the most part, Perkins' considerable talents
were generally under-utilized by the film industry. He would
occasionally land a supporting role in an "A" list feature film but more
of than not he top-lined a good deal of mediocre fare. Nevertheless, he
always gave it his best effort and this very worthy book pays homage to
his impressive achievements.
Here is an official announcement about the release of the book:
Perkins is best known for playing Norman Bates in Psycho. Its notoriety and success ensured he remained one of
filmdom’s most recognisable faces for the rest of his life… and beyond. Yet
there were those (Perkins included) who felt he never truly shook the screen
persona of the knife-wielding, mother-obsessed, cross-dressing psychopath, and
he was often labelled on the strength of his most notorious role – thus giving
a distorted view of a career which spanned four decades and almost sixty
More Than a Psycho: The Complete Films Of
Anthony Perkins, Dawn and Jonathon Dabell take a closer look at the actor’s
entire body of work. Their book provides cast and crew details, an extensive
image gallery, background information and considered critical analysis for
every title. Perkins was, they argue, more than just a prominent screen villain
– his talent and versatility went much further, his wider oeuvre encompassing
everything from romance to comedy, from war to westerns, from musicals to sci-fi.
a foreword by highly regarded film and pop culture historian Paul Talbot, this
is the essential guide to the career of Anthony Perkins.
commissioned cover by artist Paul Watts.
and edited by Darrell Buxton.
and crew information on every film, including films where Perkins was
screen-writer or director only.
balanced critical analysis of every film.
by Paul Talbot, author of Bronson’s Loose, Bronson’s Loose Again! And Mondo
written-about titles explored in never-before-seen detail.
first -and currently only - book devoted specifically to an examination of Anthony