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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.



(screenplay), (novel)
399 ( 18)
Top Rated Movies #34 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

motel | money | shower | theft | rain | See All (235) »


A new- and altogether different- screen excitement!!! 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:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


A shot of Marion removing her black bra before her shower was removed by the U.S. censors while the scene remained intact in the U.K. See more »


The title card of the film fixes the date as December 11, but when Marion is deducting the cost of the car from the $40,000 later that same night, the last date in her bank book is shown as being January 20. People often "backdate" checks. See more »


Norman Bates: It's not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?
Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA




Referenced in Step by Step: Read All About It (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Perkins Is Remarkable
12 September 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Most modern-day horror films make the killer to be an absolutely inhuman, grotesque, unimaginable monster in order to scare the audience out of its wits. Most of the time, however, these stereotypes create a generic murderer a raving, ranting, clearly demented psychopath. One of the few memorable cinematic killers that does not adhere to these restraints and cliches is, of course, Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter, whom manages to effectively cause the audience to recoil without such drek as the aforementioned devices.

Anthony Perkins' skillfully crafts his performance as Norman Bates, avoiding a ranting, raving, drooling, murder-happy, manic characterization; instead his performance as Norman is subtle, creepy, cool, and unsettling. He is brilliant; from his quiet conversations with Marion Crane amidst the stuffed birds, to his weasling wimpiness when confronted by Arbogast, his performance is so exact that it chills the viewer, all without the unnecessary disturbing images prevalent in more modern films (read The Cell, Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer).

Perkin's fine performance, a tight script, and Bernstein's classic score make Psycho a film that is now and will always be remembered as one of the pinnacles of the horror genre.

214 of 294 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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