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 moviess
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Anthony Perkins movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • 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 Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

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 20.59% of his movies listed. Psycho (1960) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Anthony Perkins movie grosses $71.40 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 Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  13 Anthony Perkins movies scored higher that average….or 39.39% of his movies.  Friendly Persuasion (1956) got the the highest UMR Score while Edge of Sanity (1989) got the lowest UMR 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.

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49 thoughts on “Anthony Perkins Movies

  1. Steve

    Just watched your Anthony Perkins video. I was shocked, shocked at the number one film. lol.
    My take is Perkins is very much a one movie icon. If it weren’t for Psycho, he would have been a pretty marginal figure in film history, I think.
    As for your ratings, as I said earlier, I don’t agree with that very low rating for Ffolkes. I found it a very engrossing action thriller with Roger Moore’s best ever performance and Perkins getting his second best role as the lead terrorist. It should have made the top ten at least.

    1. Hi John, thanks for checking out my Norman Bates video, much appreciated.

      Sorry to say Ffolkes aka North Sea Hijack is not a highly rated movie, one source gave it just 2 out of 5. And even the fans at IMDB couldn’t help it get above 6.4. I saw it on TV a long time ago and all I can remember is Roger Moore’s beard.

      Agree that Perkins wouldn’t have been remembered much if it wasn’t for his memorable role in Psycho. Ditto William Shatner and Star Trek, Christopher Reeve and Superman, Christian Bale and Batman (cue Bruce protesting), Harrison Ford and Star Wars, Stallone and Rocky, Bruce Willis and Die Hard (Bruce blows a fuse) and Arnold and Conan/Terminator. 🙂

  2. Hey Bob, John and Steve. Wow Steve’s Perkins video really got you fired up. I was upset because Steve did not include The Last of Sheila but decided not to fuss about it.

    I thought you all made some good points throughout this thread of comments. Fun stuff to read.


    1 On reflection I think it is now time that I stopped diplomatically pussy footing around and called a spade a spade. In my opinion a performer who is constantly billed less than first in even prestige movies is an inferior member of the STAR species and I think that in one or two of those cases that inferiority has been demonstrated by the lack of PRACTICAL appreciation shown to certain performers by their peers.

    2 One can always argue that investments can be placed better elsewhere [oil wells for example] and/or in a different way [over 5 small movies instead of one big one] but usually a person(s) who can lay $50 or $100 million out on a movie budget didn’t acquire that kind of money by being a monetary fool or as Paul Newman would say by helping old women across the street and if he/she/they sink(s) such sums into a large scale movie production it is on foot of a calculated risk that they will accrue large profits that their money would not otherwise attract. They can be mistaken but that is all in the game and in my opinion the haughty dismissal of the big budget production could possibly demonstrate an as yet inability to appreciate the full history of movie-making and/or the dynamics of a capitalist economy in their financial sense, In short the cult of the cost to earnings ratio is maybe a patronising and generalised over-simplification..

    1. Bob

      I love “big” movies also, but they aren’t necessarily the best or best remembered movies. I just went over to google and typed in favorite movies of the 1950’s which lists fifties movies by the number of hits on the internet. Here is the top five from the 1950’s–

      1—–Sunset Boulevard
      2—–Rear Window
      3—–North by Northwest
      4—–The Day the Earth Stood Still
      5—–12 Angry Men

      I doubt any of these would have any where near the biggest budget movie of their years. The year of The Day the Earth Stood Still was the year of Quo Vadis. The year of 12 Angry Men was the year of Raintree County. In the case if 12 Angry Men can anyone really doubt it is the better remembered film? And you seem to want to jump between money and art, but who considers Raintree County more artistically successful?
      I looked up other decades also. In the 1930’s It Happened One Night was #1, edging out Gone with the Wind (a surprise to me). In the 1940’s it was Casablanca, which had a decent budget but nothing like Duel in the Sun or Joan of Arc. In the 1960’s the top movie is the smallish budgeted Psycho.
      But like you I am happy that producers occasionally roll the dice, although the question really was what is the best business decision. Putting all your eggs in one basket is always dangerous. I don’t know of any serious financial advisor who would not advise a diverse portfolio.
      In the studio era, they occasionally rolled the dice with biggies, but the foundation of the industry was the bread and butter low-budget films. That is why so many westerns were produced, for example. They could be counted on for a steady profit which financed the big budget gambles.


    1 Again i’m indebted to you for new information such as Tony being bisexual which I didn’t know before To determine what was the most profitable Hitch film and to whom we would need to see full balance sheets recording such things as worldwide grosses, production costs and rental ratios. However Bruce quotes an adjusted domestic figure of around $440 million for Rear Window and approx $390 for Psycho so WH is saying that in the US Rear Window had the largest audience for any Hitch film.

    3 However it would seem that in terms of adjusted monetary value Psycho in the US shaded Rear Window as The Consumer Price Index of the Bureau of Labor Stats quotes Psycho’s actual domestic take as worth $260 million in 2017 dollars and Rear Window’s as equating to $250 million today.

    4 However Bruce quotes an actual figure of around $13 million for the 1946 Notorious starring Grant/Bergman which of course makes it a lesser US hit than either Psycho/Rear Window. Some sources though such as The Numbers give Notorious an actual domestic gross of around $24.5 million almost double the Work Horse figure. That figure seems unrealistic to me and it is Bruce’s figure that I have in my own database and unfortunately The Numbers gives no timeline for it, and that is important because clearly the difference of some $11 million dollars if earned in say the 1970s is not as valuable as that sum would be if it accrued in the 1940s.

    5 However IF the $24.5 million were to be accurate and it was all earned around the time of the movie’s release in 1946 then Notorious would have had the biggest US audience of any Hitch movie and its adjusted gross would also have the highest monetary value in 2017 dollars.

    1. Bob, I was talking more cost to earning ratio than mere box office muscle. Psycho was a low budget movie for Hitch so it must have been more profitable.

      I saw this list of movies and their profit ratios, I thought you might find it interesting. There are quite a few horror films on the list and Gone With the Wind is all the way down to 15th place. Titanic is missing from the list, it was a very expensive movie.

      1. Paranormal Activity (Budget: $15,000; Revenue: $193 million): 645,801.51%
      2. Tarnation (Budget: $218; Revenue: $1.1 million): 266,416.97%
      3. Mad Max (Budget: $200,000; Revenue $99.7 million): 24,837.50%
      4. Super Size Me (Budget: $65,000; Revenue: $29,529,368): 22,614.90%
      5. The Blair Witch Project (Budget: $600,000; Revenue: $248 million): 20,591.67%
      6. Night of the Living Dead (Budget:$114,000; Revenue: $30 million): 13,057.89%
      7. Rocky (Budget: $1 million; Revenue: $225 million): 11,150.00%
      8. Halloween (Budget: $325,000; Revenue: $70 million): 10,669.23%
      9. American Graffiti: (Budget: $777,000; Revenue: $140 million): 8,909.01%
      10. Once (Budget: $150,000; Revenue: $18 million): 6,232.39%
      11. The Stewardesses (Budget: $200,000; Revenue: $25 million): 6,150.00%
      12. Napoleon Dynamite (Budget: $400,000; Revenue: $46 million): 5,667.62%
      13. Friday the 13th (Budget: $550,000; Revenue: $59,7 million): 5,332.24%
      14. Open Water (Budget: $500,000; Revenue: $52,100,882): 5,110.09%
      15. Gone with the Wind (Budget: $3.9 million; Revenue: $390 million): 4,906.73%
      16. The Birth of a Nation (Budget: $110,000; Revenue: $11,000,000): 4,900.00%
      17. The Big Parade (Budget: $245,000; Revenue: $22 million): 4,389.80%
      18. Saw (Budget: $1.2 million; Revenue: $103 million): 4,195.68%
      19. Primer (Budget: $7,000; Revenue: $565,846): 3,941.76%
      20. The Evil Dead (Budget: $375,000; Revenue: $29,400,000): 3,820.00%

      Adjusting for inflation wouldn’t make much sense there unless you update the cost too and there are too many variables to consider. Psycho should have been on that list too.

        1 This is a very interesting list for which I thank you and it’s great to see you taking an interest in box office stats. Let’s just hope that Work Horse doesn’t get jealous though whether he’s even paying attention these days is an open question.

        2 I’m afraid that whilst I am aware that some statisticians get very excited about costs to earnings ratios I am not a big fan at that way of looking at the commercial success of movies. For example

        MOVIE A
        Cost $1 million
        Total Earnings of Studio $5 million
        Profit $4 million

        MOVIE B
        Cost $50 million
        Total earnings of Studio $75 million
        Profit $25 million

        In example A the profit was 4 times the budget whilst in example B it was just half the budget but why anyone would get more excited about having $4 million in their pockets than $25 million I cannot fathom

        2 Regarding Psycho v Rear Window it might be wise not to put too much store on the fact that the first was in black and white and the latter in colour because according to IMDB both were relatively cheaply made and it cost just $200,000 dollars more to produce Rear Window than Psycho which would be a negligible difference when related to the huge grosses both earned.

        1. Bob

          “why anyone would get more excited about having $4 in their pockets than $25 million”

          Well, look at your investment money. You invested $50 million to make $25 million. If you invested only $10 million in the cheap “A” movies and made 10 of them, your profit would be $40 million. What about the flop factor. Not all movies are hits. Let’s say 80% are hits, but 20% bomb totally. Investing in small movies and making 10 of them, if 2 flop totally, you still gross $40 million with a profit of $30 million (note-better than having a hit with the $50 million investment). What happens if the $50 million investment turns out to be among the 20% of flops. You lose $50 million and could be out of business.

          This isn’t entirely theory. The policy of making a lot of budget movies which turn smaller but steady profits worked for Universal over the decades. MGM and also Samuel Bronstein went for the big budget films, so everything became a high stakes gamble. Bronstein hit it big with El Cid and was in fat city. But the failure of The Fall of the Roman Empire bankrupted him with his Dupont backers pulling out.

          And this left-handedly touches on a point I have been trying to make on billing. Because of the danger of losses on high budget movies, they tended to be multi-star movies during the studio era. Being second or third or even fourth billed in a big-budget movie might be more prestigious than being top-billed in a programmer.

          1. 1 HI JOHN Thanks for your input and obviously what you say makes sense if you look at things the way YOU do but I’m primarily interested in the comparative success of movies and their stars AND the quality of movies Of course the lower the cost the lower the loss risk but such considerations apply to only those movies that lose money and where two movies are successful the measure of comparative success for me is the size of the profit lump FOR THE PRODUCERS***and not cost to earnings ratio.

            2 As I say cost to earnings ratios do not impress me as the only measure of a movie’s success. We live in a capitalist society and economists define profit in a capitalist economy as “the reward for risk taking” so that those producers who lay out huge budgets and rake in huge profits as a result can be said to be getting rewards commensurate with the risk they have taken. They also give us at times some great films

            3 Some of the great classics like Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, Apocalypse Now and Gone with the Wind would never have been made if someone had not been prepared to risk the investment of big bucks in their production, the four movies that I have mentioned costing respectively in 2017 dollars $120 million,$130 million,$ 105 million and $70 million and collectively they garnered huge returns. Large scale investment in grand productions was essential to the growth of the film industry and it was the big expensive epics and not the low budget movies that he made that turned Heston into a superstar.

            4 Films like the 4 I have mentioned could not have been made on a shoestring budget and it is the people who took the risk of making movies like those that I admire and not some fly by night character who makes a 400% profit on some cheap slasher film or porn presentation As I say we all look at things in a different way but I have to confess being slightly disappointed at your take on the current matter as I saw you as a serious film buff who looked beyond the quick buck. Yet surprisingly you don’t seem to have grasped the bigger picture [no pun intended!]

            4***Also let’s not overlook the importance of the OVERALL gross because the greater that is the more money the cinemas take in from their share of the gross and the health of the film industry depends on the cinemas too remaining viable.

            5 Your reference to billing regretfully does not compare apples with apples. I had thought that on this site we recognised that the greatest of stars like Wayne, Grant, Tracy, Gable, and Crawford normally got the most prestigious projects AND top billing. Where does some guy or gal who is confined to B movies come into the equationwhatever his billing in low grade productions? Some man or woman who is almost always billed less than first in the larger movies does not impress me overmuch either as a STAR. Is it not possible that for some reason you have mental block about the importance of billing, an importance that is to most people simply common sense?

      2. Steve & Bob

        The one thing which really jumps out to me is that the old movies that are on here, The Birth of a Nation, The Big Parade, and Gone with the Wind, were landmark films at the box office. Birth was the biggest hit of its day, Parade the biggest hit of the 1920’s, and GWTW the biggest hit of the 1930’s & 1940’s. The modern ones, as Bob points out, tend to be cheap horror or slasher films–at least of the ones I have seen or heard about. My guess is that whoever made this list simply didn’t have info on ancient low-budget films.

  5. 1 STEVE Currently Norman Bates is listed by IMDB as the 12th Greatest Cinema or TV villain of All Time and his ‘creator’ Anthony Perkins is 17th on another list as of the Greatest Villains. In yet a 3rd IMDB list of the 100 Best Screen PERFORMANCES of all time Tony’s portrayal of Bates is ranked 30th and he joins the grand company of ‘usual suspects’ such as Bette Davis, Mr Mumbles***, Streep and Nicholson with Perkins even being ranked above such acknowledged acting legends as Pacino, Newman and Day-Lewis.***Listed No 1 but surprisingly for Last Tango in Paris.

    2 Certainly your poster selections fully appreciate Perkins and the ones that I thought best highlighted him were Psycho 3, Five Miles to Midnight, Tall Story, The Lonely Man and Fear Strikes Out. Others dictating mention are the stunners Someone Behind the Door and The Champagne Murders, and of course Crimes of Passion even though it was not Perkins who took centre stage! Lovely coloured still from The Black Hole but my favourites were those of Tony with Jane Fonda, the one with him and Jane’s father and of course That Eye! You and WH agree on just 3 of the Top 5 but in my opinion they were the right 3 of Psycho, Friendly Persuasion and The Trial

    3 PS I have just watched a 1985 episode of the TV series Murder She Wrote and among the customary ‘has-beens’ in bit parts were Cesar Romero, Caupicine, Ron Moody and our old pal Stewart Granger. Stew played the 72 year old stooge of detective Angela Lansbury and he was clearly a far cry from the dashing young blade from the 1950s Hollywood who in colourful tights swung into the arms of fair maidens on balconies (or according to you in trees!). I was reminded of the sarcastic observation of a historian who once wrote that even the might of the British Empire in its heyday couldn’t prevent the Englishman from aging like the rest of us. Anyway thanks for adding to my weekend entertainment with a presentation to which [because “the ‘eyes’ have it”] I couldn’t give less than 9.5/10

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the trivia, review and generous rating, much appreciated!

      I had to do a video on everyone’s favorite psycho eventually, Norman Bates had a split personality and was convinced that it was his mother commiting the murders. He had to ‘clean up’ after her and would never betray his ‘mother’, he didn’t want to see her ‘put away’ and eventually that’s what happened to him.

      Hitchcock saw the film as a black comedy but it did scare the pants out of people back in the 1960s, suddenly Frankenstein and Dracula didn’t seem as frightening as that nice looking but strangely moody kid next door harboring a deadly secret.

      I watched a movie called ‘Split’ recently, James McAvoy plays a schizophrenic who suffers from a severe multiple personality disorder, 23 different personalities, some of them violent. He kidnaps three young women. It’s an interesting film, a return to form for Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan who hasn’t made a good film in over a decade.

      1. STEVE

        1 Thanks for the interesting additional facts. Yeah kids today laugh at “Bala” standing still and staring with those creepy eyes of his at audiences but back in their day even adults apparently found them unsettling as screen shocks were in their infancy back then.

        2 I suppose those IMDB lists in which Perkins does so well were drawn up by, or at least reflect the opinions of, film buffs. I had always thought that when the man-in-the street thinks of the great Psycho he will usually associates it with Hitch, Janet Leigh because of the showeror the character of Norman Bates rather than the actor who played him. If so it is unfortunate that Tony played Bates very early in his career because he never topped that role and although he gave many other excellent performances Norman may have overshadowed Tony’s later work as nearly as Mrs Bates took over her son. Any thoughts on the matter yourself?

        3 I have never understood how Hitch classed Psycho as a black comedy because whilst it is a masterpiece that I thoroughly enjoyed I saw nothing funny about it and indeed the only ones who might have seen the funny side of it could have been morbids like possibly “Bala”, Karloff, Chris Lee etc.

        4 I remember standing in a Belfast queue for Psycho one sunny night in 1960 and in those days the hell-fire preachers used to prey on the captive audiences who were in those queues. On this occasion the gentleman concerned yelled at us for nearly 15 mins and one of the things he said pointing up to the poster on the marquee above us was ” Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho! Enjoy it when you get inside my friends because there will be no entertainment in Hell where you’re all going.” Clearly HE saw nothing funny in it all.

        1. Haha! “you’ll all go to hell for watching Psycho I warn you [points at peopel in queue] Lucifer is waiting for you!” 🙂

          I’m sad to say that’s never happened to me and I’ve queued up to see many horrors, some good but mostly bad, during the 1970s.

          I agree Perkins took a risk when he played the title role in Hitchcock’s ‘black comedy’ and I think it was Hitch’s most profitable film? But as Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund might say it’s better to be famous and well known for something than not be famous at all.

          Perkins himself had a sort of split personality in real life, he was very shy and successfully managed to hide his bisexuality from the public. According to wikipedia his first heterosexual experience was with Dallas actress Victoria Principal when he was 39. He later married a photographer and fathered two children.

          Btw Perkins was a huge Elvis Presley fan and named his singer/songwriter son, Elvis Perkins.

          1. I was about to mention Perkins wife tragically died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and saw it was mentioned in Bruce’s trivia box above, forgot to check there! He also mentions Elvis Perkins. Sorry Bruce! Your fault for not hanging around here much anymore.[Bruce shakes his head]

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