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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
446 ( 36)
Top Rated Movies #32 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 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 | money | shower | theft | secretary | See All (285) »

Taglines:

The picture you MUST see from the beginning... Or not at all!... For no one will be seated after the start of... Alfred Hitchcock's greatest shocker Psycho. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$806,947 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$32,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,000,000, 31 January 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?


Goofs

The shadow of the camera falls on the lady examining the pesticide can in Sam's hardware store. See more »

Quotes

Sam Loomis: I've been doing all the talking so far, haven't I? I thought it was the people who were alone most of the time who did all the talking when they got the chance. Here you are doing all the listening. You are alone, aren't you?
Norman Bates: [nodding] Hm-hmm.
Sam Loomis: Would drive me crazy.
Norman Bates: I think that would be a rather extreme reaction, don't you?
Sam Loomis: Just an expression. What I meant was, I'd do just about anything to get away, wouldn't you?
Norman Bates: No.
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 About Schmidt (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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