A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Hitchcock always preferred to film indoors on a soundstage and only the distant shots of the Bates Mansion were shot outside on the back-lot. To accomplish this and allow for an exterior to interior dolly shot, a second, duplicate, mansion exterior consisting only of the front porch was constructed on the sound stage and the cut from exterior, back-lot, set to interior sound stage can clearly be seen as Lila approaches if you watch closely for the difference in the lighting when the camera cuts from her back to the porch and front door once she gets close. See more »
When Norman drags Marion from the bathroom to wrap her in the shower curtain you can see that she is wearing panties. See more »
[voiceover in police custody, as Norman is thinking]
It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here ...
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No matter how many times one sits through this Hitchcock classic, Anthony Perkins always manages to surprise you. It is a sensational performance - for which he didn't even get an Oscar nomination - I have no way of knowing how much preparation he dedicated to the creation of Norman Bates, maybe no more than usual, but the details of his performance are astonishing. Never a false move and if you follow the film looking into his eyes, you'll be amazed as I was. The madness and the tenderness, the danger and the cravings. A mamma's boy with hellish implications and yet we see, we feel connected to the human being, we are not horrified by him but of his circumstances. In short, we kind of understand him. That alone puts him miles and miles away from other cinematic monsters. From Richard Attenborough as the real life Christie in "10 Rillington Place" to the hideous, unredeemable Christian Bale in "American Psycho". Here Hitchcock and Herrman create an universe that Anthony Perkins inhabits with the same kind of electricity, nerve and shyness that Norman Bates projects throughout the film. Janet Leigh falls for it if not him. She, like us, sees the boy trying to escape his dutiful son's trap. He is in my list of the 10 most riveting characters ever to be captured on film.
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