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Biography for
Highway Patrol Officer (Character)
from Psycho (1960)

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An unnamed highway patrolman (Mort Mills) becomes the nemesis of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the heroine of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960).

The patrolman spots Marion's car parked along the side of the highway. He parks his motorcycle next to it and sees a sleeping Marion lying across the front seat. He taps on her window; she sees him and panics. This arouses his suspicions, which remain even after she calms down. She tries to explain that she had only pulled over for a moment to take a quick nap after nearly falling asleep at the wheel. He examines her driver's license, but can find no reason to hold her. She drives off, but he follows covertly until he sees her stop at a used car lot. He parks across the street and just stands there and watches. He (presumably) notices that she spots him and keeps looking back at him nervously. He rides into the parking lot just as she's about to drive off in her newly-bought car. His presence is clearly upsetting her: she almost forgets the luggage she had left in her old car.

We never see the patrolman's eyes, which are hidden by his sunglasses. This gives him an air of menace; but the patrolman could have been Marion's greatest friend. Had he discovered her secret that she had just stolen money from her boss in Phoenix and was fleeing to be with her boyfriend, he could have prevented her from ending up at the Bates Motel where an insane "old woman" stabs her to death in the shower. As usual in a Hitchcock film, the police are useless. See Sheriff Chambers for further confirmation on that point.

James Remar plays the patrolman in Gus Van Sant's scene-for-scene remake, Psycho (1998).

Page last updated by J. Spurlin, 9 years ago
Top Contributors: J. Spurlin