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Psycho (1960)

Trailer
1:21 | Trailer
A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Joseph Stefano (screenplay by), Robert Bloch (based on the novel by)
Popularity
316 ( 54)
Top Rated Movies #40 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anthony Perkins ... Norman Bates
Vera Miles ... Lila Crane
John Gavin ... Sam Loomis
Janet Leigh ... Marion Crane
Martin Balsam ... Det. Milton Arbogast
John McIntire ... Sheriff Al Chambers
Simon Oakland ... Dr. Fred Richman
Frank Albertson ... Tom Cassidy
Patricia Hitchcock ... Caroline (as Pat Hitchcock)
Vaughn Taylor ... George Lowery
Lurene Tuttle ... Mrs. Chambers
John Anderson ... California Charlie
Mort Mills ... Highway Patrol Officer
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

motel | shower | money | maniac | theft | See All (292) »

Taglines:

A new- and altogether different- screen excitement!!! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alfred Hitchcock hated the infamous psychiatrist explanation scene done by Dr. Fred Richman (Simon Oakland) at the end of the movie. He felt the scene was boring, and the movie came to a grinding halt at that point. The scene has also been ripped to shreds by critics over the years as the worst scene in the movie, and one of Hitchcock's worst scenes ever. Hitchcock and viewers felt the scene was unnecessary, overly obvious, and too talky, slowing down the action and suspense of the rest of the movie. But there was strong pressure from the studios and powers-that-be that funded and distributed the movie to relieve the pressure from earlier scenes, and also to explain the action to less insightful audience members who might be confused by the big reveal at the ending, so the scene was kept in. See more »

Goofs

When Marion first gets out of her car and meets the salesman at the used car dealership, a crewmember is reflected in the car door. Part way through the shot, he suddenly crouches down. See more »

Quotes

Marion Crane: Wouldn't it be better if you put her... some place...?
[Marion does not finish the sentence as she thinks of the right thing to say. Norman leans forward with a conserned look on his face]
Norman Bates: You mean an institution? A madhouse?
Marion Crane: No, I didn't mean it like...
Norman Bates: [suddenly angry] People always call a madhouse "someplace", don't they? "Put her in someplace!"
Marion Crane: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so uncaring.
Norman Bates: What do you know about caring? Have you ever seen the inside of one of those places? The laughing, and the ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA

FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH

TWO FORTY-THREE P.M. See more »

Alternate Versions

Hitchcock hesitated in editing a superimposition of Norman and Mother's skull in the closing shot. Eventually only some copies featured the trick by then. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buck Naked Arson (2001) See more »

User Reviews

 
The More I See This, The Better It Gets
25 October 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

When I watched this for the first time in over 30 years, I was surprised how little action there was since I had remembered this as some intense horror movie. Of course, I was young and more impressionable so I guess I just remembered those few dramatic, sensational scenes such as Janet Leigh murdered in the shower and the quick other murder at the top of the stairs. Basically, that was about it, action-wise, BUT I have no complaints because the more I watch this film, the more I like it. It has become my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie, along with Rear Window.

I mention the lack of action, and blood, too, because younger people who might be watching this for the first time are not going to see the kind of horror film they're accustomed to seeing. A generation back, movie makers tended to build up characters and suspense, so there was a lot more storytelling and less action than you see today. Also, this movie doesn't have the shock value today for audiences, either, not after years of Freddie Krueger-type blood-and-guts seen in the past 30 years.

But, what you WILL see in this movie is (1) superb acting; (2) a fascinating lead character; (3) excellent photography, and (4) a bizarre story.

"Norman Bates" is one of the most famous fictional names in film history, thanks to this film and the great work portraying him by Anthony Perkins. "Norman" is a nutcase, as it turns out and the more you know all about him, the more fun it is to study Perkins and his character "Norman" in subsequent viewings. He really has the guy down pat. However, it isn't just Perkins' film; the supporting is just fine with Leigh, whose figure is still awesome no matter how many times you see it; Martin Balsam as the private detective; Vera Miles and John Gavin. Everyone contributes.

What makes me really enjoy this movie is the cinematography. I bought this on VHS when it became available on widescreen. Later, of course, I got the DVD. Each time, I appreciate John Russell's camera-work and Hitchcock's direction more and more. I wonder if this isn't Hitchcock's best job of directing as his camera angles and lighting are outstanding. On the DVD, the blacks, whites and grays are just super and the famous house next to the Bates Motel never looked better. That house really looks eerie.

The sound effects in here don't hurt. When Balsam is attacked, the accompanying frightening music never fails to bring chills down my spine. The music literally "screams" at you.

I went 35 years between showings but now have watched this five times in the past four years. I love it and look forward to seeing it again. Many people here think this is Hitchcock's greatest film. Add me to that list.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wimpy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$806,947 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$32,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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