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Psycho (1960)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 8 September 1960 (USA)
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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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306 ( 54)
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

Taglines:

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | 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)
 »

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

The drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles (the presumed location of the film's fictional suburb Fairvale, California) takes roughly 5 hours 30 minutes from downtown to downtown in the 21st century. Assuming that Fairvale is closer and traffic relatively light as it would be in 1960, Marion Crane, the protagonist, would have arrived there well before dark, if not just at dusk.

Even given the time that was "lost" after being stopped by the highway patrolman, the poor weather and the fact she used a secondary highway instead of the larger US 60 (the highway link between LA and Phoenix prior to the completion of Interstate 10) Marion Crane should have arrived at her destination within 4.5-6 hours. There was no reason for her to stop at the Bates Motel. See more »

Quotes

Norman Bates: She might have fooled me, but she didn't fool my mother.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA

FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH

TWO FORTY-THREE P.M. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) 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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