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Psycho (1960)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  8 September 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 388,277 users  
Reviews: 982 user | 292 critic

A Phoenix secretary steals $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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Top Rated Movies #35 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Caroline (as Pat Hitchcock)


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 | rain | See All (235) »


The screen's master of suspense moves his camera into the icy blackness of the unexplained! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 September 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho  »

Box Office


$806,947 (estimated)


$32,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Alfred Hitchcock, "Psycho" was originally intended to be a comedy. Speaking with the TV program Monitor in July 1964: "I once made a movie, rather tongue-in-cheek, called "Psycho." The content was, I felt, rather amusing and it was a big joke. I was horrified to find some people took it ­seriously. It was intended to make people scream and yell and so forth - but no more than screaming and yelling on a switchback railway. So you mustn't go too far because you want them to get off the railway giggling with pleasure." See more »


When Marion Crane leaves town and it becomes dark outside, the rear shot of the car driving into a cloudy night shows very noticeable white scratches in the sky. Apparently, a scratched image of the dark cloudy sky was placed above the footage of the car driving to make it appear as though the car was driving in the night. See more »


Norman Bates: I think I must have one of those faces you can't help believing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA




Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest Horror Film Ever
17 January 1999 | by (Corvallis, Oregon) – See all my reviews

When you look up the phrase "Horror Film" in the dictionary .. a picture of Janet Leigh screaming in a shower should appear next to it. Undoubtedly, Psycho is the greatest horror film ever made, bar-none. The story is incredible. The acting is near perfection. The cinematography is godly. The soundtrack is perfect. It's hard to find anything wrong with Psycho. Perhaps the only imperfection I can find with Psycho is the inability to stand the test of time. One of the reasons the shower scene has become so notorious is that it's not only filmed to perfection, but because the elements of sexuality and murder are so surreal. In 1960, seeing a nude women being murdered in a shower was something that no-one had experienced yet, and was quite shocking. Nowadays, seeing Jason double-spearing two lovers having sex is nothing uncommon. I envy those who experienced Psycho in 1960 in the theaters .. those experienced the full terror of Psycho.

Aside from this though, the movie is flawless. I won't even go into to how incredible the cinematography is. One thing I think people seem to forget about the movie is the incredible soundtrack. Sound is such an important element in movies and Psycho is undaunted when it comes to sound. The only other horror movie that even comes close to using sound with such perfection is Halloween (1978).

The movie is perfectly casted as well. Janet Leigh as the beautiful Marion Crane, Vera Miles as the concerned sister, Lila Crane, and of course the unforgettable performance from Anthony Perkins as the eerie yet charismatic Norman Bates.

I would recommend this movie to any horror movie film fanatic. I would especially recommend this movie to any horror movie fan not desensitized by Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, or Scream .. if such a fan exists.

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