Uncle Sid Returns with a Hilarious “Review” of Anthony Hopkins’ Turn as the Master of Suspense
What sport! I recently took in a bit of cinema and was struck by the trivia that came to mind: Hitchcock, chronicling the prolific director’s personal & professional battles with making the now-legendary “Psycho” – features British Knight and servant to HMQE Anthony Hopkins as the titular obese genius.
He was, of course, also in the actual film Psycho as Norman Bates; then just an American fairy-boy known as Anthony PERKins [he changed his name whimsically upon his move to the United Kingdom, quipping: “There were regrettably few ‘Perks’ in Hollywood; so I decided to “‘Hop’ the Pond”, as it were.”]*
However, Sir Anthony is not the only cast member of Hitchcock to have worked on the film which spawned its story… devoted cinephiles will note the ‘Karate Kid’, himself – Ralph Macchio (64) – onetime 80’s heartthrob cursed with Galapagosism; which causes one to age at ¼ the normal rate – doing a cameo as screenwriter Joseph Stefano.
Macchio [pronounced MAH-kee-oh], then a precocious 12-year-old, was employed as the Knife Wrangler on the original Psycho; a cheeky job based on his experience since age four with his family’s troupe of daredevil Italian acrobats, The Flying Vacchios – a favorite of Janet Leigh’s.
In his ongoing quest to ‘pursue’ her, Hitchcock had the youngest Vacchio brought on as a surprise (and ice-breaker) just prior to the infamous ‘shower scene’. Ironically, Ralph was too young to be on set during the filming of the scene; and had to deliver his knives to a side-door of the sound-stage once making his initial appearance (to the delight of Ms. Leigh). Stemming from Hitch’s coy claim to the starlet: “It can never be said that Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t give a ‘Flying Vacch’” – as well as an infamous flub by Ed Sullivan – Ralph’s migration to the surname “Macchio” transpired within the year.
It is also speculated that his association with Psycho – however staged and fleeting – helped propel his career in Hollywood. This comes as no surprise to many psychologists and others in the ‘soft sciences’ [e.g. Sociology, Blanketology, Contemporary Cotton Studies] – who claim that it was his perpetual ‘boyhood’ and industry knowledge that he was exposed to such graphic material that led producers and casting agents to keep him in a state of ‘protectedness’ by continuing to employ him in the fantasy-world of motion pictures. Those studying the disease itself – such as cellular biologists and others in the ‘hard sciences’ [Trigonoculus, Granitism, Bonerology] – offered that it was Macchio’s stalwart and unflinching work ethic and shady connections to a bunch of Dago heavies that perpetuated his success.
In any case – a stellar film all ‘round.
*noted Hollywood bad-boy and Tony Perkins peer Dennis Manischewitz folded this name-change into his own stage handle; Dennis HOP-PER.