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Psycho
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Parents Guide for
Psycho (1960) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more

Sex & Nudity

This content advisory may contain spoilers. These sections have been flagged "Spoilers!Spoilers!Spoilers!".

Ratings history:

Originally released Approved (Certificate #19564) by the MPAA in 1960.

Submitted for re-release in 1968 and rated M (Suggested for mature audiences).

Re-submitted in 1984 and classified R (Persons under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian). Rating remains current but is disputed as being invalid.

Suggested updated rating with descriptor: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13) for Suspense and frightening moments, Brief sensuality and partial nudity, Some bloody violence and Thematic elements.

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This film contains some mild sensuality and strong themes.

The sexual content is mainly limited to the opening scene in which a man and woman are dressing in a cheap hotel room before getting back to work, obviously post-coital and in the midst of an affair. Both are half-dressed, the woman in her brassiere and the man, shirtless. Their conversation is punctuated by some necking and sensual kissing.

There are darker, albeit subtle, sexual undertones to the plot. Voyeurism is depicted as a man watches a woman undress through a peephole, but no nudity is shown. On occasion, his mother is heard berating him about what she believes are his lascivious intentions towards women. It is verbally implied that an Oedipus complex exists between the mother and her son, although whether such a situation was enacted upon is left to our imagination. Various props and scenery also support this idea. However, even the most astute viewer may miss these things; this is a very psychologically complex film that does little more than imply the darker, more mature aspects of its story, despite the explicit imagery and violence. Parents may consider this ambiguity as constructive to a discussion of the film's plot, if having decided their children are mature enough to watch.

The son is also referred to as a transvestite because it is later discovered he secretly dresses himself in his mother's clothes. The definition of a transvestite is then given.

Violence & Gore

This film contains some strong violence and brief gore.

The film's most graphic depiction of violence occurs relatively early, in which a woman is suddenly stabbed to death with a butcher knife while showering. It is a fairly brutal murder sequence wherein the unknown intruder enters the bathroom and delivers multiple blows to the victim, who screams, unable to shield her body. The scene only suggests nudity, and no wounds are explicitly seen; however the weapon audibly penetrates her body and we see blood. The girl finally collapses onto the floor, her dying gaze fixated on the audience, and we witness the aftermath of the murder in real time: the wiping up of blood, the removal and dumping of the body, etc. The abruptness of the scene subsequently leaves the audience with a lingering feeling of dread.

Later on, a man ascends a flight of stairs only to be stabbed once he reaches the top. We see blood splatter across his face and he tumbles backward, landing on the floor, his assailant following to finish the act. The scene quickly fades as the killer raises and lowers the knife again while the man screams.

Later, during the film's climax, there is a brief struggle between two men in which one bashes the other over the head with a vase in order to flee.

Finally, near the end of the film, a gruesome discovery is made: the dried and embalmed corpse of a man's mother is found in the cellar of a house. We see it first from behind, sitting in a chair, resembling the figure of a person, until a woman turns it around to reveal its decayed, skull-like face. It is a brief yet shocking sequence.

Profanity

While the film contains no profanity, there are some instances of mature dialogue. In the opening scene in the hotel room, a man and woman discuss their illicit relationship while getting dressed. A later occurrence involves the discussion of a love affair that tragically ends in murder and suicide. In the story, a mother begins a relationship with a man whom she eventually poisons with strychnine, only before ingesting it herself. The mother's son, it is said, finds the two dead together in bed.

Towards the end of the film, a psychologist discusses psychopathic behavior and transvestism with a group of people.

Besides a scene in which a man smokes, the drug and alcohol content of this movie is nonexistent. There is however an early scene in which drinking/alcoholism are subtly joked about between two men.

This film contains substantial suspense that at times transcends the plot. Although the story is engrossing, a good portion of the atmosphere arises from scenery and music, which alone may frighten younger viewers. This does not take into consideration the film's depictions of violence, that, while not graphic, are fairly brutal and bloody, especially for the time period. The most blatant instance of violence occurs relatively early on (approximately thirty minutes in) and serves to heighten the suspense of the rest of the film. Additionally, the story's dark sexual undertones, though implicit, should be taken seriously as adult topics. To ensure full understanding of the film, discussion of these aforementioned details should be considered.

Thus the moderate adult nature of Psycho may lend itself well to preteens, provided there be some sort of conversation as mentioned, though it is best suited for young teenagers at the least. It is recommended as appropriate entertainment for MATURE audiences (those children of high school age and above) who will grasp the psychological reaches of the story without explanation and be unperturbed by the violence and imagery; it is completely inappropriate for young children.

Suggested updated MPAA rating with descriptor restated: PG-13 for Suspense and frightening moments, Brief sensuality and partial nudity, Some bloody violence and Thematic elements.

Page last updated by JeremyLikesMovies, 1 day ago
Top 5 Contributors: JKlein9823, LCCfilmBoi, GCrackerOnline, jpbrothers, herrmannfan

Certification:
Argentina:16 / Argentina:13 (DVD rating) / Argentina:16 (original rating) / Argentina:13 (re-rating) / Australia:M / Brazil:14 (video rating) (2000) / Brazil:18 (TV rating) (1996) / Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) / Canada:18 (Nova Scotia) / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Canada:G (Quebec) / Canada:18A (British Columbia) (2010) / Chile:18 (original rating) / Chile:14 (re-rating) / Czech Republic:U / Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1969) / Finland:K-16 (cut) (1965) / Finland:K-16 (heavily cut) (1960) / France:16 (original rating) / France:12 (re-release) / Germany:12 (re-rating) (2006) / Germany:12 (re-rating) (2004) / Iceland:16 / Israel:16 / Italy:16+ / Italy:T (video rating) / Japan:G (2013) / Netherlands:12 / Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1960) / New Zealand:R16 / Norway:15 / Norway:16 (1960) / Peru:14 / Portugal:M/12 / Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) / South Korea:15 / South Korea:18 (DVD rating) (2000) / Spain:13 / Sweden:15 / Switzerland:16 (re-release) / UK:X (original rating) / UK:15 (tv rating) / UK:15 (re-release: re-rating) (1998) / UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (1999) (2003) / USA:TV-14 (TV rating) / USA:Approved (certificate #19564) (original release) / USA:R (re-rating) (1984) / USA:M (re-rating) (1968) / West Germany:18 (original rating) (nf)

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