Phoenix office worker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks, and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday, Marion is trusted to bank forty thousand dollars by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into the Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When "Mother" exits her room and charges Arbogast, she slashes downward towards his chest. But the wound is on his face when he falls backward down the stairs. See more »
The rain didn't last long, did it? So... where are you off too?
[Marion looks uncomfortable]
Sorry. I didn't mean to pry.
Oh, I don't know. I guess I'm looking for a private island someplace where I can be alone and no one can find me.
What are you running away from?
Why do you ask that?
No reason. No one really runs away from anything. It's like a private trap that holds us in like a prison. You know what I think? I think that we're all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ...
[...] See more »
On the Universal DVD, Norman can be heard (not seen) screaming "I am Norman Bates!" as Sam Loomis rushes in to stop him from murdering Lila. The scream is not present in at least some release prints. See more »
Most modern-day horror films make the killer to be an absolutely inhuman, grotesque, unimaginable monster in order to scare the audience out of its wits. Most of the time, however, these stereotypes create a generic murderer a raving, ranting, clearly demented psychopath. One of the few memorable cinematic killers that does not adhere to these restraints and cliches is, of course, Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter, whom manages to effectively cause the audience to recoil without such drek as the aforementioned devices.
Anthony Perkins' skillfully crafts his performance as Norman Bates, avoiding a ranting, raving, drooling, murder-happy, manic characterization; instead his performance as Norman is subtle, creepy, cool, and unsettling. He is brilliant; from his quiet conversations with Marion Crane amidst the stuffed birds, to his weasling wimpiness when confronted by Arbogast, his performance is so exact that it chills the viewer, all without the unnecessary disturbing images prevalent in more modern films (read The Cell, Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer).
Perkin's fine performance, a tight script, and Bernstein's classic score make Psycho a film that is now and will always be remembered as one of the pinnacles of the horror genre.
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