Lawrence O'Toole
September 25, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The best of Anthony Perkins

Here, from a 40-year career, are Perkins’ best performances and most interesting roles available on video:

*FRIENDLY PERSUASION Playing the son of a Quaker (Gary Cooper), Perkins itches to fight in the Civil War and manages one of acting’s tightrope feats: He makes extreme sensitivity not seem like an indulgence. B+

*THE MATCHMAKER In one of his rare comedies, Perkins plays the gangly, all-thumbs Cornelius Hackl, who, in the love department, needs all the help he can get from yenta Shirley Booth. B

*ON THE BEACH Gentle and sympathetic, Perkins is the submarine officer who must decide if he and his family should take lethal pills when only a handful of people are left in Australia after the atomic bomb explodes. B+

*PSYCHO Huddled in a blanket, a slight smile at the corners of his mouth, and staring with insane serenity into the camera: ”Why, she wouldn’t even hurt a fly.” Brrrrr. A

*THE TRIAL Who better than Perkins, with his angst-ridden features, to play Kafka’s Joseph K., arrested in a nameless country for a nameless crime? B+

*CRIMES OF PASSION As a psychotic preacher who pursues hooker Kathleen Turner with a steel sex toy, Perkins showed that he could take on a role that was strange even for Anthony Perkins. A

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