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Psycho
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Reviews & Ratings for
Psycho More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

great

Author: matt-128 from california
29 October 1998

This is one Hitchcock's best, except for that dumb final speech, which is entirely unnecessary. But it redeems itself with that final shot. Can you believe they've made another "Psycho?" This is the worst thing to happen to movies since Ted Turner wanted to colorize "Citizen Kane," but that never happened. This is happening. This just sickens me to think about it. And of course we're going to get those geeky teenagers that will make the film a profit. Gus Van Sant used to be a good director, now he's just another make-movies-for-profit-only director. SELL OUT!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Shower of terror.

10/10
Author: tamimarie228 from Iowa
23 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Marion is a naughty girl and she gets into some trouble with money. She steals a lot of money so she goes on the run and ends up at an old motel with a scary looking house behind it. Norman Bates runs the hotel and he seems really nice so then Marion decides to take a shower.

I think that this was one of the very first "slasher" type movies. A lot of people avoided taking a shower after seeing this movie. I think that this movie still holds up today as being great. This movie is a classic and the music stays in your head forever. Marion has no idea who Norman or his "mother" are. Avoid taking a shower after viewing- at least for a day.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

If there is one single film that can claim to be THE best of all time, then this is it....

10/10
Author: gus81 from Sydney Australia
6 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*, if there can be in a film as famous as this....

Psycho probably has the most famous (and/or infamous) scene in the history of movies - the shower scene. The shower is in the Bates motel, run by Norman Bates, and his 'mother'. Even today, if someone looks freaky, many still say he looks like Norman Bates. If someone has a clingy or naggy mother, many a Norman Bates allusion is referred to. Psycho has become etched into modern culture and become a household name. Why?...because the film was a milestone, not just of gore, but of cinematic effect and technique. Psycho is, all at the same time, taut, mesmerising and terrifying. It is a textbook example of how to captivate an audience, and then shock them right at the very end.

The film starts by introducing a love-lorn and frustrated heroine, complete with a dead-end job, and a relationship that needs a jump start. The audience is introduced to her and her troubles; we follow her, and feel for her - then she is murdered right in front of us. The array of characters introduced in the first half of the film - the arrogant 'Texan' guy who flashes forty thousand dollars, the bumbling boss, the suspicious highway cop, the dumbfounded used-car salesman - all amount to nothing. This pioneering change in plot has the same effect as a tree which you collide with after pulling up the handbrake on a speeding car.

Then enter Milton Arbogast, the private detective who begins the search for our slain heroin Marion Crane. He investigates the Bates Motel and finds something amiss. He reports the news to the worried boyfriend and sister of Ms Crane - they all develop some trust and repartee. Then he's dead. Then enter the local town cop who doesn't believe the boyfriend's and the sister's suspicions, while all the time the audience knows what really happened and why people are dying at the hands of an 'evil old lady' who the disturbed Norman Bates is desperate to protect.

The whole film was a totally new way of writing a plot, and of manipulating a storyline. The supposed lead character is killed early on, a replacement protagonist suffers the same fate; and all the audience are then left with are the utterly desperate and confused Lila Crane (sister) and Sam Loomis (boyfriend), who have only their suspicions and fear to drive them toward finding the truth. The audience feels for them, because we know that Norman's mother murdered Marion Crane.....or at least we think we do.

Psycho only runs for around an hour and a half. It is the tautest thriller I've ever seen. Not one scene is wasted on being filler. Each scene is purposeful, powerful, and extremely economical. The pace is cracking when it needs to be, and slow and hypnotic when emotion and fear need to be emphasised; note the long scene as Norman Bates cleans up the murder scene - this allows the horror of what just happen sink in.

The script is rattling, with some flourishing dialogue that even overshadows some wooden acting from John Gavin. The cinematography is brilliant, with great use of lighting and shadows. And, of course, the directing is just simply cutting edge, even for today. Anthony Perkins does a perfectly chilling job as the psychotic Norman Bates, and Martin Balsam is a completely natural private eye. And famously, to complement these ground-breaking plot twists, are the chilling and perfectly executed murder scenes.

And finally, the chilling revelation of what really happened at the Bates Motel is kept right until the blood-curdling end, and is realised through a ear-splitting scream, a rotting skull, and a naked swinging lightbulb; a scene which leaves the audience shocked, terrified and thrilled after such a roller-coaster of a movie. For those few people to whom the 'spoliers' warning at the start of this piece applies, go and rent this film. It is simply a must for everyone. It is a defining moment of modern popular culture, and as such if there ever was a convincing candidate for the greatest movie ever made title, well then this is it.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Classic Mystery!

Author: KyleW from PA
28 July 1999

Psycho is definitely the best Hitchcock movie, and the best mystery movie of all time. Maybe it's not a really scary movie, but it is great and dramatic. It kept me guessing until the end. The end scene had to be the scariest, much better than the infamous shower scene. Anthony Perkins is brilliant, along with some other cast members. It makes you think long after the movie. I would give it *** out of four or a B+.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock at his best

10/10
Author: Kevin from Delaware, U.S.A.
4 August 1999

A brilliant film. It still scares people today. This movie has Hitchcock's signature all over it. No one else could have done it. Suspense from start to finish. One of the finest,if not the finest,horror movie ever made.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock At His Very Best

10/10
Author: Mike DiMaio (md006@home.com) from Farmington, CT
26 February 2001

Psycho is the all time greatest movie ever made in movie making history. It has this special style that could only be achieved through the eyes of Alfred Hitchcock and the excellent actors in the film. There is this mysteriousness that presides over the movie, and that is what adds to the overall feeling from Psycho. Hitchcock's eye for great suspense really does the trick for this movie. He also chose to go Black and White in this movie, instead of color for his own stylistic purposes (and to hide the redness of...yeah.) The B&W really makes the movie more "scary". No one can forget the Bates Motel or the mysterious house on the hill behind it with "that person" in the window. Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates also has his best performance of his career in this movie, bringing the character of Norman Bates to life. Even 40 years later, no movie is able to stand up to Psycho or make a larger impact on world culture. Truly the best movie of all time, definitely a 10/10.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

i had to comment again

8/10
Author: dx4lifexpac (dx4lifexpac@aol.com) from new york
5 September 2000

i had to give another comment on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. in my first comment i said it was ok, but one night i had nothing to do and Psycho was on so i watched it and this time i loved it i saw the sequels first and saw the boring remake first so all the suspense for me was gone watching the original, but now i see what a classic Psycho really is, Anthony Perkins was great and is so under rated as well, i give Psycho 9/10

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Best black and white horror ever

9/10
Author: johnallen45 from Isle of Wight
24 November 1999

I watched this movie because it was Hitchcocks anniversary and it was one of those films I'd been dying to see and I thought it was great {I didn't think it was as good as a lot of people had told me though}. The twist about mother was cool, second best in history next to the Sixth Sense. I thought 2 and 3 were cool too. Anthony Perkins was really good as Norman Bates.

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock at his scariest

10/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
1 November 2005

"Psycho", the Hitchcock masterpiece of 1960, is still a scary ride. TCM presented it on Halloween night, which was an appropriate way to add to all the horror being shown on television.

As the film opens, we are treated to Saul Bass' titles that herald some of what one is expecting will come in the film. Then, one hears the magnificent opening bars of Bernard Herrmann's music score and one realizes this is not an ordinary movie. The crisp black and white cinematography by John Russell, as well as the intelligent editing by George Tomasini, surpass any doubt this was one of Alfred Hitchcock's best work. Of course, the film owes a debt to Joseph Stefano who adapted the Robert Bloch novel, in which the movie is based, with great flair.

"Psycho" works because of the wonderful cast assembled for the movie. Anthony Perkins was an actor who could play anything. His range was enormous, as he shows in the film. His Norman Bates shows a man that appears to be in complete control of himself. We watch him as he begins to unravel when confronted first by Arbogast, and then by Sam Loomis. Mr. Perkins' performance is one of the best he ever gave in his film career.

Janet Leigh who plays Marion Crane is perfect as the small would be criminal who happens to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It's a tribute to Ms. Leigh's talent that she underplays Marion because she is battling with her own conscience as she realizes the enormity of what she has done. Alas, she was not going to make good on her resolve.

The supporting cast is also interesting. Martin Balsam plays the private detective well. He is instrumental in cracking Norman's confidence, but of course, it comes with a high price he must pay for trying to shake the sick man. Vera Miles and John Gavin are seen as Marion's sister and boyfriend.

"Psycho" will remain an exercise in horror by a man who knew how to scare us, Alfred Hitchcock!

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

You'll be frightened every time you use a motel shower.

10/10
Author: pinewood35jack from London, England
21 February 2000

This is one of the most stunning movies my eyes have ever gazed upon. Anthony Perkins was electric in his performance as a deranged motel owner. I feel the direction was quite magnificent. I was amazed every time the camara pointed up the path to view the house on the hill where Norman Bates lived. The suspense was immense, at the beginning where Janet Leigh is about to steal the money and then sees her boss when she's leaving town to what would be a terrifying death. Movies this good are very rare and if you don't own a copy then I advise you get one as you can watch it over and over again.

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