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Reviews & Ratings for
Psycho More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Anthony Perkins is perfect. Oh yeah so is Hitchcock.

Author: Skypark7 from Oklahoma
7 October 1999

Perkins in my view should have won best actor and Joseph Stefano should have won best screenplay . This movie brought us to the point where anyone could die even the good guys . Without this movie we would be stuck with The Blob & The Thing for scary movies . Now that would be a real life horror.

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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies ever made!

Author: uffe-5 from Sweden
24 October 1999

**Please excuse me for some spelling mistakes**

This is the BEST HORROR/THRILLER/SCARY MOVIE IN THE WORLD! I just love this movie! Since I am a true movielover I do not mind that it is in black and white at all. The actors were great and still today it is a bit creepy when the thievish Marion Crane chooses the wrong place to spend the night on (and the wrong shower, ha ha ha). Perkins is SO perfect as Norman Bates and the voice of mother really made me shiver. The movie is filled with classic lines that I won't forget even if I'll isolate myself for 20 years. For those who can't stand old movies, or are'nt any real movielovers this will be a sleeping pill. But for us with a good taste it will be a very good experience. Don't get me wrong, i mean ''The Blair Witch project'' for example is scarier than ''Psycho'' but ''Psycho'' is creepier and better than any other thriller!

Watch out for the remake from 1998, it really sucks!!!!!!

10 out of 10 OF COURSE!!!!!!!!

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18 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

A Chilling Classic.

Author: Zycho-3 from New Zealand
18 August 2000

The first time I saw Psycho, I watched the first 20 minutes and stopped the tape. I thought it was boring. But, alas, I rented it again a few weeks ago and I didn't like it. Didn't like it at all. I bloody loved it! Psycho is a freakin' masterpiece! It is easily Alfred Hitchcock's best film, and it is definitely an unforgettable chilling classic. Anthony Perkins was brilliant as Norman Bates, I will certainly look out for more of his work in the coming months. Janet Leigh was also very impressive, she was a real gem of Psycho.

So, don't make the same mistake I did, watch this classic today, and I guarantee you'll never forget it.

Rating: 10

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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

One of the best horror films of all time. **** out of ****

Author: Blake French ( from Michigan, USA
27 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

PSYCHO (1960) ****

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, Janet Leigh, and John McIntire Director: Alfred Hitchcock Running time: 109 minutes Rated R (for scenes of strong violence)

By Blake French:

Alfred Hitchcock is easily one of the most acclaimed directors in film history--right up there with Stanley Kubrick and Steven Speilberg. His films defined horror for generations, especially with what many people are still calling the scariest movie of all time: "Psycho." Over the years, the movie has been given much praise. It has had the honor to be placed in the American Film Institute's best 100 movies of all time list. The film has had the privilege to be re-created in 1998 by great director Gus Van Sant, who also added new actors and coloration to this classic tale. "Psycho" also has had the fortunate pleasure to have been followed up by several time-lapsing sequels, although not equal in quality, which continued the story and characters beyond the original film's restrictions. On top of all this, the movie has a unique story line, unusual characters, imagination-provoking motives, and manages to conduct its rare structure like no other film. "Psycho" is one of the better thrillers of our time.

First lets take a look at the unique but perfectly organized structure of this classic horror tale. It beholds what I call a false first act. The first act opens by introducing a character named Marion Crane, sister of Lila Crane, who steals $40, 000 from her employer one day and is in the process of leaving town when her situation is complicated even more. Marion is pulled over by a mysterious police man, who checks out the circumstances, and then allows her to continue on with her journey. He then follows her many miles to a car dealer, where Marion cleverly trades her current car in for a used junkie to camouflage herself from peering foes. Marion then continues to drive along the busy highway until a shielding rainstorm persuades her to stop to rest at The Bates Motel. (spoilers ahead) Then she meets the owner, Norman Bates, who explains to her that his mother is a lunatic. Marion then goes to her cabin where she is stabbed to death in the shower by an unknown predator who looks like an old woman.

Extraordinary, a simply flawless false first act. The movie introduces a character, a problem, and complicates it for the character involved. Then the conclusion (the murder of Marion) solves the first initial problem, throwing us off balance. While we recover, the filmmakers open a brand new series of events, this time detailing the missing Marion Crane. A detective, Milton Arbogast, who tries to investigate Norman's mother, is also killed in the process of doing so. Lila's investigation of her own evolves the second act problems, all winding towards the same awe-inspiring denouement, which I will not have the audacity to reveal to you.

Now for some nice pointers for "Psycho": The opening scene develops Marion Crane's romantic characteristics as well as her personal morals. The scene in which Marion decides to commit theft is never explained to us through dialogue like many lesser films would do, but through Marion's complex stares at the cash and her reactions to it. The police officer's behavior is a whole plot in itself, and since the character's point of view is so focused, we know nothing more about this suspicious man than Crane herself. The Atmosphere of the Bates Motel is one of the creepiest moods I have ever experienced in the movies. Not to mention the famous shower scene, certainly the most shocking and grisly slasher moment of all time. The investigation of Marion's disappearance has a specific odyssey to it--intriguing and unsatisfying. All these minor elements contribute to making "Psycho" the most talked about films ever.

There is a small, but quite noticeable, opinion flaw in the last ten minutes of "Psycho," however. It is the scene where the detective explains the disturbing behavior of Norman Bates to the film's remaining characters, but also to the audience. This scene has never been necessary. The picture would have ended with much more controversy and fantasy if the writers would have left the strangeness of Norman to the imagination rather than explaining elements to us, not to mention the fact that all answers are revealed in the many sequels. I think it would have been interesting to see what happened if Gus Van Sant would have left that sequence out of his re-make, after all, he added a lustful masturbation scene, so why couldn't he have taken out some unneeded material as well. Oh well, I guess, until another actor attempts to master the terror found in the eyes of Anthony Perkins, we'll just have to juggle around these ideas in our minds of how this near-perfect movie could have been better. Don't you love it when movie's make you do that!

Brought to you by Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures.

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20 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

This is one to watch again and again.

Author: salatiello from washington, dc
4 March 2001

Alfred Hitchcock's crisp efficiency is not unlike that of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), the dutiful son who cleans up after his mother in the landmark thriller "Psycho." Not only is this a masterfully directed suspense chiller, it actually set standards by which all fright films since have been measured. The cinema has produced some great scores, but Bernard Herrmann's music is incredibly enhancing and simply unforgettable, one of the best ever (and it did not even get an Oscar nomination for Best Score). The more I watch "Psycho," the more I prefer the first half, with its sense of dread and a fascinatingly cool Janet Leigh (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress). Hitchcock, of course, never won the Best Director Oscar, but was nominated for "Psycho," one of 1960's biggest box-office hits. Shockingly, Anthony Perkins, in a career-making role and one of the most famous performances in screen history, failed to win a Best Actor nomination -- probably because the performance was too edgy and disturbing (which is what made it great). Some scenes are dated, of course, but this film almost never falters. It gets a "9" (and a very high nine at that) from me.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Through ugliness, beauty is achieved

Author: The_Stuff_of_Dreams from United States
16 July 2009

One would expect little from a film like this. In it, a psychopath murders people. It's pretty much as simple as that. There's back-story, of course, and the characters are three-dimensional, but otherwise, this is the typical thriller. However, it sets the standards for all thrillers to come after it. The exaggerated murder scenes and the music are two of the most copied horror techniques I have ever seen, and they originated in this film, and only in this film are they artistic. What sets this film apart from others in its genre is the fact that it is not all massacre. There's more suspense than anything else; impending doom. The murderer is not even the central character. A series of strokes of bad judgment from Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the character who really stokes the fires, sparks a sinister chain of events. The people this chain of events involves are performed in such a way that they are real people thrust into a frightening situation, all strung together by the dark, confused thoughts of the title character, of the psycho. Interesting and masterful. Ten out of ten.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes..."

Author: Chris Gottschalk from United States
29 June 2008

Psycho takes a lot of credit for starting the modern horror genre. Well, I must say that it deserves it. Before Psycho, censorship was extremely strict. Psycho broke a lot of rules in its day... not only did it go above and beyond with its famous murder sequences, but it also went above and beyond with smaller censorship rules. Psycho was the first American film where the audience could clearly see a flushing toilet in full frame. Psycho was also the first film to show a women walking around in her under-garments for an extended period of time. If Psycho had not come around, it could very well be possible that the idea of Jason stabbing a teenage couple having sex would have been frowned upon by the censorship boards. Psycho changed the way movies where made, which is what opened up the idea of the slasher film, and the horror genre in general.

There had been horror films before Psycho, but none broke all of the rules that Psycho had. All the rules that Psycho broke became rules that everyone broke. For this reason, there have been too many Psycho rip-offs to count. Scream, Friday the 13th, Saw, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, and even Black Christmas are all pure rip-offs of Psycho's success. This could very well be Psycho's only con, and it isn't even the film's fault. Now don't get me wrong, Halloween and Friday the 13th are good films, but if you are at all interested in horror/suspense, you have to view the movie that set new standards for the genre when it was released in 1960.

Today, in 2008, Psycho doesn't seem nearly as well done as it was when it was released. However, it is just as good as it used to be. The only reason it doesn't seem good is because of one thing... publicity. AFI, Youtube, Google... It's all the same. Surly everyone alive today has seen the shower scene somewhere, whether or not they have seen the movie. I had personally seen certain scenes before viewing the film itself, so a large amount of the impact was lost for me. Psycho still left a chill on my back, and worked very well. If you are one of the lucky few who haven't seen clips of Psyhco, I highly encourage that you do not search for any. Search out the movie itself.

As for the film itself, it is purely remarkable. The cast is extremely remarkable. Anthony Perkins is extremely amazing in his role as Norman Bates. Perkin's performance isn't only Oscar-Worthy, it is also one of the greatest performances of all time. It is up there with Anthony Hopkins' role as Hannibal Lector in my book. Janet Leight and Vera Miles are also very good actresses, and fit the role of heroine in Psycho very well. The acting in Psycho doesn't seem dated at all.

The suspense is also spectacular in Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock's brilliant directing and Bennard Herrman's chilling score work together to build up atmosphere and suspense for the film. This is done extremely well. Psycho may very well be one of the most suspenseful movies of all time. Another thing that helps with the amount of atmopshere of the movie is how real it looks and feels. Everything in this movie seems realistic to the viewer. You can relate to the people in the film, especially with the way the characters are developed.

Psycho may very well be the flawless movie. It has everything to not only make it a great horror film, but a great film as well. Any horror fan should check out Psycho, simply because it set so many new levels in the genre. Any film fan in general should check out Psycho is well, simply because it is so well made. Psycho is a must view for everyone.

A lot of the movies from the 50s and 60s seem very cheesy by today's standards of computer animation and slang talk. However, Psycho still fits in with the classics. This is because Alfred Hitchcock directed his movies for the audience, not for the critics. This is obviously why the critics responded terribly to it. There were very few positive reviews for Psycho by all of the huge film critics, yet it still ranks as the 21st greatest film ever made on the IMDb top list. Hitchcock was able to not only make this movie well, but he was also able to make it enjoyable.

Psycho still ranks in with the HORROR classics as well. Perhaps this is due the way it inspired so many films to come after it. This may also be due the fact that Psycho plays with all of the fears that thrilled audiences just as much today as it did in 1960; The thrill of running from the police; The fear of run-down motels; The fear of strangers; The feel of taking showers alone; and of course: The fear of our mother's rage.

For more horror film reviews, check out my channel on youtube: horrorreviews123

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly . . . . "

Author: icfarm from United States
10 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the opening, scene, rather risqué for its time, Marion Crane (beautiful Janet Leigh) and boyfriend Sam are about to end a lunchtime rendez-vous in a no-tell motel. After the bra-and-slip clad Leigh does some final cuddling with her shirtless man (didn't I tell you, risqué?)we learn that she is tired of being his lover "on the down-low", as we would say today, and is getting anxious for him to make an honest woman out of her (in other words, marriage). But Sam is in tight financial times due to his ex-wife and doesn't want to marry Marion when he can't offer her a very comfortable lifestyle.

Shortly after returning to her office, Marion is trusted with $40,000.00 cash given to her boss by a client, which she is supposed to deposit at his bank for him. After getting permission to leave the office early . . . well, she has the money there in her car with her, she and her man need it to start a real life together . . . you see where this is going. Marion is by no means a thief by nature or a hardened person, but this is more temptation than she can withstand. She heads to Phoenix to her boyfriend, imagining all kinds of conversations in her mind: Her man's reaction when he sees her unexpectedly, her boss's reaction when he realizes that both she and the money he had given her are missing, not to mention the irate client " . . . I'll track her down, never you doubt it. I'll get that money, and if any of it's missing, I'll replace it with her fine, soft flesh." Yikes! But Marion is in for a change of plan. You see, she's pulled off onto a back road and ended up at the Bates Motel, where she meets its proprietor, Norman, and (sort of) his Mother . . . .

What can I say? Simply one of the most genuinely scary films ever made and perhaps Hitchock's masterpiece. The shower scene is a classic example of "what you don't see is scarier than what you do". And Bernard Hermann's music? Please. The man was brilliant.

Perhaps what chilled me the most, though, is the final shot. The look on the great Anthony Perkins' face is absolute genius. And, as another reviewer pointed out, if you look carefully, you'll see Mother's skull superimposed over her son's face before the final shot of Marion's car being pulled from the swamp.

With all due respect to the equally great Sir Anthony Hopkins and his brilliant performance as Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates should have been named the greatest villain of all time.

A final note - AVOID the remake. Nothing is on par with the original movie and the director added a couple of unnecessary and gratuitous touches (in the motel scene, Sam is completely nude, and in the "peeping" scene, Norman masturbates as he secretly watches Marion get undressed before taking her fateful shower - did we need to see THAT to understand that Marion had become the object of his repressed desire? I don't think so). The original, however, is a MUST SEE, whether you are a horror aficionado or not. Best watched on Halloween night, but friggin' creepy any day of the year. Cheers.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A horror film that I actually admire

Author: marissas75 from United States
18 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

More so than with most films, it's impossible to watch "Psycho" these days in the same way that its original audience saw it, unaware of the shocks that lay in store. We all know what happens to poor Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) when she makes the fateful decision to stay at the deserted Bates Motel; maybe also the psychotic pathology of the motel's young proprietor, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). "Psycho" is widely regarded as the granddaddy of today's horror films featuring outlandish serial killers, after all. For this reason, though I'm a Hitchcock fan, I avoided "Psycho," as straight-out horror is not my favorite genre. It's not that I get nightmares, it's that I dislike cruelty or exploitativeness. Fortunately, when I got around to watching the movie, I found it very impressive, and not at all gleefully bloodthirsty.

For "Psycho," unlike a cheap blood-and-gore flick, actually has a philosophy of life to go along with all its horror. In the world of the film, sin, such as Marion's stealing her boss's money, will always be punished. And the long conversation between Norman and Marion over dinner (very well acted by Perkins and Leigh) probes some pretty serious psychological depths. "We're all caught in our private traps," says Norman, and the movie illustrates how first Marion, then Norman, gets trapped. What's most shocking about Norman is how pitiable he is, especially when compared with the villains/killers of other horror movies.

Even though "Psycho" was made on a relatively low budget, having Hitchcock behind the camera makes for lots of subtly effective shots, images, motifs, etc. He orchestrates two frightening death scenes (I won't spoil it, but there's another, less famous killing that is just as effective as Marion's), a suspenseful beginning that fools you into thinking that Marion is the protagonist, and a quietly chilling conclusion. Bernard Herrmann's score really is as good as everyone says, and not only the shrieking violins during the famous shower scene. In particular I liked the scene where Marion is debating whether to steal the money, and the music mirrors her indecisiveness.

I was very impressed by "Psycho," but I'm not sure if it'll ever be one of my favorite Hitchcocks. There's at least one serious flaw: the lengthy scene where a psychiatrist over- explains Norman's psychoses, which is much too prosaic. Also, this is mainly a personal preference, but I tend to like Hitchcock better when he's indulging his love for working with iconic movie stars in glamorous scenarios. Still, I now have a new favorite horror film— whereas before, I didn't have a favorite horror film at all.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

THE horror film!

Author: jamiecostelo58 from United Kingdom
15 January 2007

Psycho is THE ultimate horror movie. What a brilliantly told story and equally powerful acting from all concerned. This movie details the aspects of shock and the macabre to chilling effect, and surely scared the wits out of cinema-goers back in 1960! Of course back then, a gruesome murder wasn't really seen on film before, not such a gruesome killing anyway, but it's highly common today. Hitchcock delivers a heart-stopping, gripping movie which doesn't let down for a single second. It's much better that the film was released in black and white; had it had been in colour, the fear and suspense may have been lost to some effect.

Janet Leigh portrayed Marion Crane with wonderful agility, but we all know the real star of the show was (and is) Anthony Perkins. Norman Bates is probably the most twisted and scariest characters in the history of film, and Perkins delivers the vulnerabilities we see in Bates to stunning effect. I have huge respect for Vera Miles, and she was also well cast as Marion's concerned sister, Lila. A shame she has retired from the acting world...

The suspense to Psycho starts right from the word go, what with the extremely haunting music to the opening titles, which continues in certain scenes throughout the film. An equally powerful and shocking ending too...

Psycho is simply the ultimate horror movie, it hasn't been bettered, and cannot be bettered. The gruesome 'shower scene' featured not one violent shot - just illusion. But boy what illusion! Terrific, brilliant, excellent, superb, I can't go on enough!

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