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Reviews & Ratings for
Psycho More at IMDbPro »

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock's best film!

Author: harpo-19
10 October 1999

Anthony Perkins is absolutely perfect as Norman Bates. He should have been at least nominated for Best Actor. Hitchcock keeps us on the edge of our seat, we never know what is coming next. The "shower scene" is definitely one of the most frightening scenes is motion pictures--because it was so unexpected. Highly recommended!!

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12 out of 22 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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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:


Author: anonymous from Paris, Texas
6 December 1998

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't find Psycho deathly scary (the shower scene was too quick, I'll have to watch it again.) But the violent scenes did scare me and are all memorable. The Old Dark House that Norman Bates lives in (with his Mother), his wholesomeness, his habit of eating something (I don't know what) while he talks with the detective, his freakish smile, are all memorable. The ways in which Norman Bates' eyes change expression just in conversation with Marion is incredible.

Hitchcock claimed Psycho was a big comedy. He was exaggerating, but some of it is--the first third is suspenseful but funny, especially the office banter and the close-up mugshot of the cop. Hitchcock was frightened of the police as a child, and it shows. The last comedic scene is the psychiatrist. His purpose isn't really to explain Norman Bates to us, but to bring us back into banal daily life so abruptly that we laugh. Then Hitch draws up our hackles again with the shot of Norman Bates sitting alone, and the car being dredged up.

Finally the cinematography in this movie is godly. I know zero about film criticism, but I can see the beauty and symmetry of every shot. The sets are clean and free of distractions. The light is awesome. The dark is awesome. The movie is awesome.

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14 out of 26 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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15 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

My favorite film!!!

Author: reedmilder from Cedar Rapids, IA
2 March 2001

Although it is extremely difficult to pick a single film as one's favorite, this would be my pick if I were forced to choose. No, it is not because it is the most shocking or original film ever made (as if there could be). In 40 years, the film has lost much of what made it revolutionary in 1960. It is simply a fantastic screenplay that keeps me on the edge of my seat at all times.

This is Hitchcock's best work as a director in my opinion. Though he rarely made a bad film, most of Hitch's films are commercially-directed. I think of North By Northwest, Suspicion, Notorious and The Man Who Knew Too Much as examples. Though each is a fantastic film, they are not terribly stimulating too watch and have minimal artistic merit. Psycho, by contrast, is a true work of art. No one could have expected it to be a hit at the time and was a great departure from Hitch's 1950s films. There are no Cary Grants or Jimmy Stewarts here. Just minor stars like Anthony Perkins and Martin Balsam.

The two aspects of Psycho that set it apart are its cinematography and score. There are no panoramic views typical of great cinematographic works. In fact, the whole film has the feel of a B movie. One need only watch the famous shower scene to understand what I am talking about. It is perhaps the most breathtaking 2 minutes ever put to film. Hitch's close up shot of Marion's eye is still jolting today. Imagine watching the scene on the big screen in 1960! I guess what truly sets this film apart is the score. Perhaps no film is as tied to its score. Bernard Herrmann may be the best there ever was at his profession. His scores for Vertigo and Marnie are also top notch.

Just watch this film. If you've never seen it, it will provide a unique and surprising experience. If you've already seen it, watch it again and enjoy Hitch at his best! If you love Psycho as I do, check out Polanski's Repulsion, the French film Diabolique, and Hitch's first talkie Blackmail.

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18 out of 34 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 36 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 38 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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The master of suspense is in full force here

Author: akasharpie from United States
17 November 2012

Welcome to the Bates Motel. 12 cabins, 12 vacancies. What are you doing here? Running from the police? Alright, well enjoy your stay and see you in the morning. Or maybe not. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most influential and fiendishly wonderful movie makers of the twentieth century. Before "Psycho", I had seen exactly 22 of Hitchcock's pictures. Most of them I enjoyed but none of them were as memorable as this piece of work. It is not just a cinematic accomplishment but also of successfully portraying someone who is indeed psycho. This movie was a shock when released in 1960 because of the way the movie was laid out. For example, it was unthinkable for a main character to be killed so early in the film. The goal was to put the audience on edge to the point where they had no idea what would happen next. And Hitchcock indeed pulled it off. In fact, he was sure to make clear that no one would be admitted into the theater after the movie had begun. You must watch it from beginning to end. I am not going to tell you the plot because the less you know, the better. They don't call Alfred Hitchcock the master of suspense for nothing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock's Best Movie Ever!

Author: colm-hearne365 from Ireland
14 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favourite directors and I've seen a lot of his movies and this is truly his best work. I mean before I saw Psycho, all I really knew about it was the famous shower scene which I saw references to in parodies or cartoons or something like that. But this movie turned out to be one of my all-time favourites even though I'm not that big into horror films.

I like how Hitchcock decided to do the film in black-and-white because it makes it darker and suspenseful. The story starts out somewhat slow, but I like the conversations going on as Marion is driving on the highway, one of the most suspenseful parts of the movie. But the magic really begins when it gets to the Bates Motel.

I'm surprised Anthony Perkins never got an Oscar or even a nomination for his portrayal of Norman Bates, I mean he was born to play that role! I can't imagine any other actor playing him. I mean you can see that there's something suspicious about Norman but you can't figure it out. But he just seems like a nice, friendly person who "wouldn't even hurt a fly." And what surprises me even more is that he didn't star in any other well-known movies after Psycho. That just shows how underrated he is as an actor. But I'm glad at least Janet Leigh got a nomination for playing Marion Crane and won a Golden Globe.

The one scene that really freaked me out, and still does, is when Lila Crane discovers Norman Bates's mother's corpse in the fruit cellar, and then Norman comes in dressed as his mother and carrying a knife and revealing that he is the murdering mother. I wasn't expecting that in anyway at all. I can just imagine what people would've thought about that because movies were much tamer back then. This movie makes me afraid of walking in a dark room because I always have the feeling a shadowy figure might pop out and stab me to death.

I've also watched the two Psycho sequels that were made in the 80s and they're good enough to watch but they're nothing compared to the original. But I still think the work well.

Overall this movie has everything that makes a movie a masterpiece: excellent acting, excellent directing, excellent writing, excellent cinematography, excellent suspense and even an excellent twist. It's pretty much perfect in every way.

In conclusion, thank you Alfred Hitchcock for creating this movie and may you rest in peace.

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