Anthony Perkins Movies

Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld in 1968's Pretty Poison....a cult classic....that got ignored back in the 1960s.

Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld in 1968’s Pretty Poison….a cult classic….a movie that sadly got ignored back in the 1960s.

Want to know the best Anthony Perkins movies?  How about the worst Anthony Perkins movies?  Curious about Anthony Perkins’s box office grosses or which Anthony Perkins movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Anthony Perkins movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

This Anthony Perkins movie page comes from a request from a huge Perkins fan, Gene S. from California.  Anthony Perkins career was like a roller coaster.  Lots of highs and lots of lows.  The highs became legendary….while the lows are pretty much forgotten.  Perkins was a very talented performer.  Besides acting….he was an accomplished singer, a talented writer and even directed a couple of movies.  Mainly known for his role as Norman Bates….I think you will see when looking at the following table that he gave many fine non Norman Bates performances.

His IMDb page shows 66 acting credits from 1953-1992. This page will rank 33 Anthony Perkins movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television appearances, some of his movies made outside of the Hollywood system and his straight to DVD movies were not included in the rankings.

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Anthony Perkins in 1979’s The Black Hole….his only science fiction movie and one of his biggest box office hits.

Anthony Perkins Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by actual domestic box office grosses
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Anthony Perkins movie received.
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by Cogerson Movie Score.  Cogerson Movie Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
RankMovie (Year)Co-Star or DirectorActual Domestic Box Office (Millions)Adjusted Domestic Box Office (Millions)Critic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinCogerson Movie Score
Psycho (1960)Directed by Alfred Hitchcock$32.00$376.8092.0%04 / 0074.60
Friendly Persuasion (1956)Gary Cooper & Dorothy McGuire$11.11$164.0083.0%06 / 0073.85
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)Ingrid Bergman & Sean Connery$42.07$182.7078.0%06 / 0167.84
Catch-22 (1970)Alan Arkin & Orson Welles$27.50$143.7079.0%00 / 0056.39
The Black Hole (1979)Maximilian Schell & Ernest Borgnine$56.42$182.6551.0%02 / 0055.59
On the Beach (1959)Gregory Peck & Fred Astaire$10.51$142.1071.7%02 / 0054.70
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)Paul Newman & Ava Gardner$17.82$85.3070.0%01 / 0042.16
Psycho II (1983)Vera Miles & Meg Tilly$34.73$89.3061.5%00 / 0039.38
The Trial (1962)Directed by Orson Wells$2.20$23.5084.0%00 / 0034.10
The Last of Sheila (1973)Screenplay by Anthony Perkins$4.84$21.9082.0%00 / 0033.08
Goodbye Again (1961)Ingrid Bergman $2.97$32.5071.5%00 / 0031.52
Fear Strikes Out (1957)Karl Malden $1.82$26.0075.0%00 / 0031.45
Tall Story (1960)Jane Fonda & Ray Walston$3.52$41.4065.0%00 / 0031.03
Pretty Poison (1968)Tuesday Weld & John Randolph$2.28$13.8079.5%00 / 0030.58
The Tin Star (1957)Henry Fonda & Lee Van Cleef$2.09$30.0068.5%00 / 0029.98
The Matchmaker (1958)Shirley Maclaine & Shirley Booth$2.20$30.0063.5%00 / 0028.22
Desire Under The Elms (1958)Sophia Loren & Burl Ives$2.20$30.0061.5%00 / 0027.52
Mahogany (1975)Diana Ross & Billy Dee Williams$15.22$60.1041.5%01 / 0027.14
Winter Kills (1979)Jeff Bridges & John Huston$1.08$3.2075.0%00 / 0026.89
Remember My Name (1978)Geraldine Chaplin & Moses Gunn$1.87$6.5070.0%00 / 0025.80
Play It As It Lays (1972)Tuesday Weld & Tammy Grimes$2.42$11.4067.0%00 / 0025.73
Psycho III (1986)Directed by Anthony Perkins$14.48$31.7055.0%00 / 0025.59
Five Miles to Midnight (1962)Sophia Loren & Gig Young$1.43$15.4063.5%00 / 0025.30
The Actress (1953)Spencer Tracy & Jean Simmons$1.63$21.9057.0%01 / 0024.93
This Angry Age (1958)Silvana Mangano & Jo Van Fleet$.99$13.0062.5%00 / 0024.48
Ffolkes (1980)Rogers Moore & James Mason$2.99$9.7062.5%00 / 0023.82
Green Mansions (1959)Audrey Hepburn & Lee J. Cobb$2.59$34.9045.0%00 / 0022.73
Phaedra (1962)Melina Mercouri$1.43$15.4051.5%01 / 0021.70
The Lonely Man (1957)Jack Palance$1.76$25.2046.0%00 / 0021.14
WUSA (1970)Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward$3.41$17.9045.0%00 / 0019.33
Crimes of Passion (1984)Kathleen Turner & Bruce Davison$2.91$7.3048.0%00 / 0018.26
Lovin' Molly (1974)Beau Bridges & Blythe Danner$2.20$9.7039.5%00 / 0015.76
Edge of Sanity (1989)David Lodge$0.10$0.4342.5%00 / 0014.87

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Anthony Perkins Table

  1. Seven Anthony Perkins movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 21.21% of his movies listed. Psycho (1960) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Anthony Perkins movie grosses $56.36 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  22 Anthony Perkins movies are rated as good movies…or 66.66% of his movies.  Psycho (1960) is his highest rated movie while Lovin’ Molly (1974) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Ten Anthony Perkins movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 30.30% of his movies.
  5. One Anthony Perkins movie (Murder on the Orient Express) won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 3.03% of his movies.
  6. An average Cogerson Movie Score is 39.86.  7 Anthony Perkins movies scored higher that average….or 21.21% of his movies.  Psycho (1960) got the the highest Cogerson Movie Score while Edge of Sanity (1989) got the lowest Cogerson Movie Score.
Anthony Perkins in 1960's matter how many times I see this movie....his performance always amazes me.

Anthony Perkins in 1960’s Psycho….no matter how many times I see this movie….his performance always amazes me.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Anthony Perkins

1. Anthony Perkins was born in New York City, New York in 1932.  His father, Osgood Perkins, was stage and film actor.  His parents did not give him a middle name.

2.  Anthony Perkins’ path to stardom…Cliff Notes style.  Following in his father’s footsteps, Perkins decided to become an actor.  Perkins first screen appearance was in one of Spencer Tracy’s weaker movies….The Actress (1953).  Three years later his second screen appearance was much more successful.  Perkins received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® nomination for playing Gary Cooper’s son in Friendly Persuasion (1956).  In 1960 he starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho……his performance as Norman Bates secured his place in movie history forever.

3.  Anthony Perkins won the Golden Globe® for Most Promising Newcomer in 1957.

4.  Norman Bates a pop star? Yep! Anthony Perkins released 3 pop music albums in 1957 and 1958.  His single “Moon-Light Swim” was a Top 40 Billboard hit….peaking at 24th.

5.  Anthony Perkins played Norman Bates 4 times.  Hitchcock’s Psycho in 1960, Psycho II in 1983, 1986’s Psycho III which was one of two films directed by Perkins and 1990’s Psycho IV which was a made for television movie.  His performance as Norman Bates in 1960’s Psycho is ranked 4th on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

6.  Anthony Perkins was married one time.  He married Berinthia Berenson in 1973.  They were married until Perkins’ death in 1992.  They had two sons.  Oz Perkins is an actor.  Oz has 24 IMDb credits…including a small part in 2009’s Star Trek.  Elvis Perkins is a musician…named after Elvis Presley. Anthony Perkins was a huge fan of Elvis.

7.  Anthony Perkins died September 12th 1992.  The superscription on his urn reads “Don’t Fence Me In”. One day short of the 9th anniversary of Perkins death….his widow died September 11th 2001. Berinthia Berenson was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 during the attacks of 9/11.

8.  Anthony Perkins only wrote one screenplay. Perkins and composer Stephen Sondheim wrote the screenplay for 1973’s The Last of Sheila.  They won the “Edgar” award at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards in 1974 for best mystery.  This is a movie that is worth tracking down if you have not seen it.

9. Roles Anthony Perkins turned down, auditioned for or was seriously considered for:  West Side Story (Tony role), The Godfather  (James Caan and Robert Duvall roles), The Graduate (Dustin Hoffman role), Some Like It Hot (Tony Curtis role) and East of Eden (James Dean role).  Perkins did take over James Dean’s role in 1957’s This Angry Age.

10. Check out Anthony Perkins career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press. 
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30 thoughts on “Anthony Perkins Movies

  1. Hey, Bruce.

    Regarding The Last of Sheila. I have recorded it and am waiting to see it for the first time. I recorded it for its genre and the two James actors both favourites of mine. I did not know about A.P.’s involvement in the screenplay

    I just saw The Trial last month for the first time when it aired as a tribute to Orson Welles who would have been 100 last month. Considering it was based on writing by Kafka, I was not expecting it to be a comfortable film. I read Metamorphosis in university. A big deal has been made about how Peter Bogdanovich didn’t enjoy watching it and Welles being thrilled because you were supposed to be uncomfortable. A.P’s character is never told why he is on trial. The black and white cinematography and claustrophic set have got to be considered characters among themselves. Very well made.

    Of course I am a Hitchcock fan and thus have seen Psycho many times. It is not my favourite of Hitch (that would be Rear Window). It is not my favourite Perkins film either as I love Murder on the Orient Express.

    I must confess that I have very deliberately not seen any A.P.’s portroyals of Norman Bates. Psycho was a fabulous film and it makes me sad to think how he was forced to play the same role in sequels instead of other work. He is a great example of how the public decides some actors of that era were not allowed to have a varied career.

    Sadly, I can only say that I have seen only 9 titles of Anthony Perkins: Let me explain why.
    Regarding Friendly Persuasion. I have seen it advertised on TCM but still have not sen it. I’m not sure why you have to defend it ranking so high, unless maybe it goes towards the same issue of Norman Bates being a far cry from his role F.P.

    My totals:
    I have seen 2 of the top 5. The reason that is so low for me is that I have yet to see F.P. as I said and I have started to watch Catch-22 several times for the large number of favourites in it only to stop watching it due to the violence early in the film in a scene with Alan Arkin.

    My total for the top 10 is higher, but still only 50 percent. As I said earlier my next Anthony Perkins film I will see soon is his screenplay: The Last of Sheila. (No. 10)
    Since my top ten is five out of ten and I have seen only 9 of his films perhaps it would be easier to say that I have seen in alphabetical order:
    Fear Strikes Out
    Five Miles to Midnight
    Goodbye Again
    Green Mansions (the lowest ranking film I have seen)
    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
    Murder on the Orient Express
    On The Beach
    The Trial

    Top 3 are MOTOE, Psycho, and On The Beach

    Flora Breen Robison

    1. Hey Flora.
      1. I think you will enjoy The Last of Sheila… is a very good mystery….with some memorable performances…..Mason has the best role.
      2. I have not seen The Trial but it sounds interesting.
      3. I think he liked directing one of the Psycho sequels…..his Norman Bates is still going strong 50 plus years later….television shows, remakes and sequels….Norman is a money making machine.
      4. Friendly Persuasion….has it…..his 4th biggest hit….his 3rd best reviewed movie…a Best Picture Oscar nomination….and the only Perkins performance to earn an Oscar nomination.
      5. So Steve takes the tally count victory….but it was close Steve 10, Flora and Bruce 9.
      6. Thanks for thoughts and your tally counts…..both are greatly appreciated.

      1. Hi, Bruce.

        I saw The Last of Sheila last night. It was indeed full of a lot of memorable performances and i was familiar with all of the main actors/actresses. The was the first time I had seen Joan Hackett in a non-comedy. I know her best opposite James Garner as his love interest in a very silly role.

        The film did keep me guessing. I enjoy that in a mystery. There were a couple of horror moments that I would have found odd had I not know that Perkins was behind this film.

        I’m surprised it is not mentioned more in Welch’s film career.She has often complasined that she rarely got acting roles but I think this is an exception.


        Flora Breen Robison

        1. Hey Flora….glad you enjoyed The Last of Sheila…..poor little Jimmy Coburn….all he wanted to do is have a little fun…..and somebody had to kill him. Joan Hackett is pretty good in the movie as well as Welch….but to me this is a movie that Mason shines in. He pretty much has the Hercule Poirot part. Apparently it is based on some games Perkins and his partner at the time liked to play with friends…..not that any of Perkins friends tried to kill him….because you do not mess with Norman Bates. Thanks for the update.

          1. I am a big Mason fan. It does belong to him for sure. I am just not used to seeing Hackett like that.


  2. Hi

    I recently watched ‘On the Beach’ and he was really good in it. The fact he had quite a good run of movie success in the 50s, albeit mostly supporting roles, the role of Norman Bates was both a blessing and a curse. The film was so iconic and he was so brilliant in the part that he was never able to surpass that role. Which was a pity as he was very talented.
    I particularly liked Pretty Poison but I didn’t enjoy Psycho 2 or the idea of turning Psycho into a franchise. But I suppose by the 1980s, offers were drying up and he needed money from somewhere.

    1. Hey Chris…..thanks for checking out my latest page. Pretty Poison is one of my favorites too. I agree with your thought about Norman Bates being a blessing and a curse. I think in the end that he thought it was a blessing. Then again when he was making the 4th Psycho movie…as a low budget television movie…he probably thought it was a curse. As always I enjoy your thoughts on my selected movie subjects.

  3. Very well done. Looking at your site index it looks like you have lots of classic thespians. One name missing is Mrs. Mickey Rooney and Mrs. Frank Sinatra. I am of course talking about Ava Gardner. She did costar with Perkins in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. But she has many more movies. As for Tony Perkins. I am not a huge fan of Psycho but I do really like his Pretty Poison, The Trial and Fear Strikes Out. It looks like all three of those movies tanked at the box office. I guess I am a fish swimming upstream.

    1. One more thing. I also liked The Last of Sheila. I never realized he wrote the screenplay for that movie. I think he could have played the Richard Benjamin part very easily.

    2. Hey Daniel. One of my goals is to do a page on every AFI Screen Legend. Ava Gardner is on that list….so I will do a page on her in the future. You are right the three movies you mentioned did struggle at the box office…..but it is cool swimming upstream…it makes when you get where you are going so much better….lol. Thanks for commenting.

        1. Hey Daniel…..I do not have a subscriber button…but I always post my latest pages on Twitter and Facebook… Twitter account is tweets about movies and very rarely any other subject. Honestly it might be awhile before I get to her. I try and do one current performer and then one classic performer. My requested list of classic performers is pretty long….while I have no requests for any current performers.

  4. Annnnd just like that my afternoon is gone. THIS IS THE MOST FANTASTIC THING!! Thank you to Bruce. Thank you, thank you.

    1. Isn’t Bruce’s site fantastic!?!?!? He puts a lot of time and effort into it. Chock full of interesting trivia and stats not to mention the sheer volume!

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