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Psycho (1960)

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A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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476 ( 79)
Top Rated Movies #34 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Caroline (as Pat Hitchcock)
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Storyline

Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

motel | money | shower | theft | secretary | See All (301) »

Taglines:

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho  »

Box Office

Budget:

$806,947 (estimated)

Gross:

$32,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Marion is having a conversation with Norman in his parlor, Norman says in reference to his mother: "She had to raise me all by herself after my father died. I was only five and it must have been quite a strain for her." The actor who played Norman, Anthony Perkins, was his parents' only child and he, like Norman, suffered the loss of his father when he was five years old. From then on, he was raised by his mother alone. See more »

Goofs

When Norman gets Marion's luggage out of her car he ignores the trunk and goes, correctly, straight for the back seat. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Fred Richmond: Like I said... the mother... Now to understand it the way I understood it, hearing it from the mother... that is, from the mother half of Norman's mind... you have to go back ten years, to the time when Norman murdered his mother and her lover. Now he was already dangerously disturbed, had been ever since his father died. His mother was a clinging, demanding woman, and for years the two of them lived as if there was no one else in the world. Then she met a man... and it seemed to Norman that ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA

FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH

TWO FORTY-THREE P.M. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Baby Cakes (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The More I See This, The Better It Gets
25 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I watched this for the first time in over 30 years, I was surprised how little action there was since I had remembered this as some intense horror movie. Of course, I was young and more impressionable so I guess I just remembered those few dramatic, sensational scenes such as Janet Leigh murdered in the shower and the quick other murder at the top of the stairs. Basically, that was about it, action-wise, BUT I have no complaints because the more I watch this film, the more I like it. It has become my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie, along with Rear Window.

I mention the lack of action, and blood, too, because younger people who might be watching this for the first time are not going to see the kind of horror film they're accustomed to seeing. A generation back, movie makers tended to build up characters and suspense, so there was a lot more storytelling and less action than you see today. Also, this movie doesn't have the shock value today for audiences, either, not after years of Freddie Krueger-type blood-and-guts seen in the past 30 years.

But, what you WILL see in this movie is (1) superb acting; (2) a fascinating lead character; (3) excellent photography, and (4) a bizarre story.

"Norman Bates" is one of the most famous fictional names in film history, thanks to this film and the great work portraying him by Anthony Perkins. "Norman" is a nutcase, as it turns out and the more you know all about him, the more fun it is to study Perkins and his character "Norman" in subsequent viewings. He really has the guy down pat. However, it isn't just Perkins' film; the supporting is just fine with Leigh, whose figure is still awesome no matter how many times you see it; Martin Balsam as the private detective; Vera Miles and John Gavin. Everyone contributes.

What makes me really enjoy this movie is the cinematography. I bought this on VHS when it became available on widescreen. Later, of course, I got the DVD. Each time, I appreciate John Russell's camera-work and Hitchcock's direction more and more. I wonder if this isn't Hitchcock's best job of directing as his camera angles and lighting are outstanding. On the DVD, the blacks, whites and grays are just super and the famous house next to the Bates Motel never looked better. That house really looks eerie.

The sound effects in here don't hurt. When Balsam is attacked, the accompanying frightening music never fails to bring chills down my spine. The music literally "screams" at you.

I went 35 years between showings but now have watched this five times in the past four years. I love it and look forward to seeing it again. Many people here think this is Hitchcock's greatest film. Add me to that list.


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