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Reviews & Ratings for
Psycho More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock's best by a mile

Author: Volcanic_Slut
17 August 2012

Hitchcock is one of those rare cases where the status of his most popular films is justified to some extent. What, you think one of his numerous identical, disposable "on the run" thriller type movies is better than Psycho or Vertigo? OK.

This might not be too flattering, but I think what I really like about Psycho is that besides some signature stuff, it doesn't really FEEL like Hitchcock. (I'm not his biggest fan, if you can't tell.) It's somewhere between neo-noir, horror and art-house, and is fortunately free of lame attempts at humor, as well as that schmaltzy, dishonest, fake Hollywood handle of romance I count among Hitchcock's numerous flaws. Also, watch this for a lesson in how the camera is an instrument of emotional communication just as much as actors, music or any other aspect of a film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Classic that's actually GOOD

Author: Mycroft Smith from California
22 July 2012

Classics are often underwhelming, because they are often described as the pinnacle of filmaking, whereas in truth, films get better and better.

The presentation is the most obvious- black and white cannot compare with color (but works in this case!). Ranking movies is a bit like ranking "which firearm is the best?", because while there may be classics, the newer ones have the benefit of the knowledge of the older ones! Movies look at the old ideas and improve upon them. People might not agree with this, but I think it is nostalgia that is ruining their perception.

THAT said, this movie is actually quite thrilling. I enjoy watching classic movies for the insight in how filmmaking has improved as an art, but usually have low expectations because we all have been spoiled.

Everybody probably knows the plot by now, but if you don't, it's worth a watch. As long as you have a decent attention span, you'll be fine.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: hrjbabyy from United States
7 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The whole movie it was intense, from the music to the actual camera work. I never understood why she left in the first place but that was a minor detail. In my class we saw a documentary on Hitchcock and a couple scenes were in the documentary, so I knew the son was crazy but I never could have imagined that he killed his mother and had split personality disorder. The opening scene was really intimate and interesting because it showed a versatile side of the main character. Some of the camera work was over the top but it is meant to be that way. I found that the more complex the story got, the more I felt bad for the bad guy in the movie, even though you are not supposed to.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The original low budget slasher film.

Author: Jack from United Kingdom
30 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's 1960. Alfred Hitchcock had just seen huge success with North by Northwest, and he was considered a master of slow burning, suspense cinema. He could have had any budget he wanted, any cast he wanted - in fact he could have done anything he wanted.

So what did he do? He took a cheap TV crew, a virtually unknown cast and a script that a lot of people weren't keen on and he filmed it. He was the only one sure that it would work - so sure that he traded his standard paycheck for 60% of the net profits (earning him the equivalent of $150 million in today's money).

The result...? The original slasher film that instantly changed the concept of horrors, thrillers and villains. This might not be as complex as Vertigo, or as relevant as Rear Window, but this is the film that changed cinema and paved the way for the likes of The Exorcist, Scream and most other slashers, horrors and thrillers. Hitchcock created a piece of cinema history with this film, and you would be hard pressed to find any film maker since who hasn't at some point used Psycho for reference.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is a lost woman. She wants to get away from everything - her job, her home, her boyfriend, her life. Her chance comes one afternoon when a rich tycoon leaves $40,000 in cash as a deposit for a house. Instead of taking the money to the bank, Marion steals it and goes on the run. After two days, she finds herself a little lost, but near a motel - The Bates Motel. She meets Norman Bates, a shy man who is looking after his invalid mother. She and Norman have a conversation, where she decides that she should go back home and face up to what she has done. However, that night, she is violently murdered by someone, and this coincides with an investigation into her disappearance - an investigation that leads to the best of Hitchcocks's climaxes.

What makes this film so good? Well, Hitchcock said it best himself "It wasn't a message that stirred the audiences, nor was it a great performance...they were aroused by pure film." This film exists only to terrify us, entertain us, move us, thrill us. There is no message, there is no moral lecture. This film is about one director's vision to take an audience on a roller-coaster ride of thrills and chills. And this film does that to perfection. Nearly all of Hitchcock's most memorable action is in this film (the infamous shower scene is just one), and they are handled so incredibly well that even now they can't cease to entertain. The direction is the winner here. The carefully planned shots, the black and white images, the lighting, the shadows - nothing here has been left to chance and everything has been thought out so, so well. Stanley Kubrick is often accredited with the 'Kubrick stare'. Yet it might well be that he took that idea from Hitchcock, who's final shot of Norman Bates is one of the most chilling and unforgettable shots in film.

Of course, whilst this film is brilliant almost exclusively because of Hitchcock's expert direction, we can't forget the cast. Janet Leigh was immortalised in her role as the ill-fated Marion Crane and she does a wonderful job as the woman who is essentially lost in her own life. Martin Balsam adds a touch of class with his portrayal of Arbogast, the private detective. And Vera Miles is strong and effective as Marion's worried sister.

But, this acting in this film is virtually owned by Anthony Perkins as the truly chilling Norman Bates, who is arguably the best villain in film. Every second that he is on screen, you know there is something wrong, you know that this sweet, innocent, shy man is hiding a terrible secret. You're afraid to know what it is, but Perkins uses the screen to tease, to make you want to know more about him even though you know it's horrific. Perkins was so good in the role that it actually typecast him and hindered the rest of his career.

Between Hitchcock's direction and Perkins acting, there is enough horror to last a lifetime. But added to the strong cast, the wonderful plot and the exceptional soundtrack by Bernard Herrman, and what we have here is something that is truly original, truly groundbreaking and remains a huge milestone in cinema.

This is pure cinema at its best. No lectures, no messages. Just action.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great movie a favorite

Author: Cody Hofmans from United States
5 August 2011

this movie is one of Hitchcock's best if anyone says Alfred Hitchcock you should think psycho the reason why this is is because it is a true masterpiece when i saw this in 2011 i loved it the black and white gave a classic feel to it that you don't get anymore all scenes are executed perfectly especially the shower scene this is my favorite scene of all time when Alfred gives a good movie changing experience through a simple stabbing scene this scene really pops out to me because it isn't just like other stabbing sequences it really gives you great camera angles great shots and perfect execution of a great scene and the whole movie is like this not once was i bored because it keeps throwing you surprises this is my favorite movie and so far nothing has made it close except the godfather

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Terrific Film!

Author: nama chakravorty from India
3 August 2011

'Psycho' is a Terrific Film, in all respects. It's chilling, it's captivating & it's memorable. Directed by Maverick Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, this 1960 classic, is indeed time-less!

'Psycho' depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh, hiding at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates, played shockingly by Anthony Perkins, and the aftermath of their encounter.

Adapted from the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch, 'Psycho' begins with a bang, and ends with some haunted images. Norman Bates is a person, who is described as disturbed & neglected. In my opinion, Norman Bates is a person, who became the animal he was, because he lost his innocence too soon. He wanted to live, but when he thought he couldn't survive anymore, he took up violence to breath. It's a twisted personality, that shocks you & leaves you numb!

Joseph Stefano's Adpated Screenplay is nearly flawless. There is hardly a moment when the film loses it's momentum. Alfred Hitchcock's Direction is spell-binding. The master storyteller directs this psychological thriller, most convincingly. John L. Russell's Cinematography is chilling. Each Frame looks haunted. The Lens-Man has done a masterful job. Editing by George Tomasini, is superb! Art-Direction, is scary!

Performance-Wise: Anthony Perkins plays Norman Bates, shockingly. What Perkins achieves by playing Norman Bates, is nothing short of an embodiment. Perkins performs as if Norman Bates, was actually waiting for him to play him on celluloid. It's a Hall-Mark Performance, that is above any praise! Janet Leigh is fantastic. Vera Miles, John Gavin & Martin Balsam leave a mark, as well.

On the whole, 'Psycho' is much more than it's infamous shower scene. It's a film that leaves you haunted, with it's sheer power!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the Greatest of all Time

Author: filthydeeds from United Kingdom
16 December 2010

I have only recently saw this movie and before I seen it, I have to admit I was very sceptical. Though, I was very wrong, this has turned out to be one of my favourites movies of all time.

I was told by many that it was a very scary experience though I personally do not find it that "scary" I find it more creepy than anything, Anthony Perkins performance as Norman Bates is phenomenal the acting he delivers is incredible, every time he spoke I had a chill run down the back of my spine.

The other performances throughout the movie, are great as well not as good as Anthony but still great. The script was also fantastic, and the camera angles were also perfect there were no over the top moments, they were just right. And finally, the soundtrack to this movie was amazing.

Though there are a couple of complaints I have got and one of them is that there is a couple of scenes which were totally pointless and some of the effects were quite, how shall I put it, 'shabby'.

Overall though this is one of my new favourites I would have to give this a 10/10. Though I still do like The Shining just a little bit more.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: BruceWillisBlows from United States
14 December 2009

The 1960 suspense/horror film, "Psycho", is yet another Alfred Hitchcock classic. To say i wasn't completely caught up in it would be a lie. The storyline of this film can simply be described as incredible. With all the twists and turns throughout the whole movie, and as the suspense intensely grew, i just sat there in awe. Hitchcock is a master at what he does, and uses lighting and sounds to his advantage. Even though certain elements of his creations aren't very realistic, they seem to become more scary and memorable. The angles he uses are amazing and he has become one of my favorite directors. I give, "Psycho" 6 out of 6 chicken nuggets.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock's best

Author: bhargavakumark from India
10 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

None better than this. It had great setting, background score, cast and acting. There is not a single fault in the movie, except the title which reveals some of the suspense. But still it is one of the best horror/thriller. There aren't many killings in the movie but one single killing should scare you enough of a lifetime.

It just looks like such a simple runaway movie but just explodes suddenly into a real horror movie. The acting was superb from perkins. He just seems at so much ease changing from scared young man to a violent killer. The remaining cast did really well, but they are just so easily outdone by perkins acting.

The background score was excellent, it keeps the thrill during the small amounts of silence in the movie. You can just keep watching it again and again and would still be mesmerised with action every time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

when a film can still shock and horrify an audience after nearly fifty years, it deserves to be remembered

Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
4 July 2009

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, is a director famous for a great many films. His movies and his passion for the crime of murder cemented into our collective consciousness images of terror and panic that even people who have never seen his movies can identify and pick out. Hitchcock made a stream of remarkable films over the course of his legendary career including the thrill ride "Rear Window" (1954) and his ultimate psychological masterpiece "Vertigo" (1958), but the film everybody remembers and relates to when discussing Hitchcock is his notorious 1960 box office smash "Psycho" and the scene everybody remembers is the one that made many people, including one of its performers, Janet Leigh, think twice before taking a shower again.

"Psycho", adapted from a novel by Robert Bloch, is the classic story of a woman from Phoenix (Janet Leigh) who in order to marry her financially-stressed lover (John Gavin), embezzles $40,000 dollars from her employer's client and finds herself on the run, fearing and panicking every face that looks in her direction. During her flee more or less from her morals, she checks into a desolate motel run by a handsome but strange young man named Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). What follows is the film's infamous "shower scene" and a long chain of thrills, frights, and terrifying images that people, to this very day, never forget.

A film can be viewed as a true work of art when it has the same effect on an audience as it did nearly half a decade again. It has been forty-nine years since "Psycho" was first released and to this day, it still terrifies and appalls people very much like it did in 1960. To some, such as Walt Disney himself, "Psycho" is just too much. It's really the "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) of its day. But to those who can appreciate art and storytelling, this is a motion picture that simply cannot be refused repeated viewings.

The pivotal performance of the film is, without a doubt, Norman Bates by Anthony Perkins. The acting by Perkins is so iconic and so creepy and so off-putting that he really set the standards for slasher villains and frightening characters. It is so ironic that an actor so harmless-looking, so timid-sounding as Perkins could, in an instant, turn himself into the image of a sick, bloodthirsty psychopathic monster. He can become creepy without apparently even making an effort, as though he were in real life as deranged as his character. Perkins' Norman Bates is like the Charles Foster Kane of horror movies. He's been mimicked, but never matched or overpowered. The only real contender for a match is Hannibal Lecter by Anthony Hopkins. Whoever is creepier is up to you, but it's nevertheless a very close match.

"Psycho" is not a film that is about character development, but it doesn't need to be. In fact, extreme character development would get in the way. Norman Bates is strongly developed, but the other characters are established exceedingly well and then play from that point on. Janet Leigh, in particular, who takes up the first third of the movie almost entirely by herself, gives a great performance even though her character is very simple. Hitchcock used Leigh as a personification of the human fears and sins: guilt, panic, fear, envy, and lust. The film also features a well-cast Martin Balsam as a private investigator who tends to, like Hitchcock felt about some of his producers, get in the way too often without understanding fully what or whom he's dealing with.

And of course, we can't leave out the thrills of the movie. Hitchcock used his techniques of shock, horror, and suspense to their fullest in this film. He uses the two main horror procedures: alerting an audience of an impending threat without telling the character or simply having the scare jump out and "render you speechless" as some of the ads for "Psycho" claimed the movie would do. And there is certainly more than just the infamous shower scene. It's not just the brutal killings. Again, there's Anthony Perkins in the landmark role of his career, and the black-and-white photography is notably far more effective than if Hitchcock had decided to shoot the movie in color (look at the dismal 1998 shot-by-shot remake for proof) and of course there's Bernard Herrmann's iconic all-string music score that rivets and lunges out at you.

Although it is an intensely frightening film and ends with one of the creepiest final lines of all time, "Psycho" is so much more than just a horror story. Apart from the dawn of the slasher genre and a montage of spine-tingling images, it is a work of art done by one of the true geniuses of the cinema: Alfred Hitchcock. And while I don't feel this is his all-time best motion picture, it's certainly his most famous and deservedly so. When a film can shock and terrify an audience nearly fifty years since it was first released and tags an excellent story along with it, it deserves to be remembered.

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