A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Phoenix officeworker 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 $40,000 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 <email@example.com>
Bernard Herrmann related how the shots of Marion driving away after taking the money looked very ordinary. Alfred Hitchcock thought of having the soundtrack convey anxious voices in her head to add to the action and tension. Herrmann noted, however, that it still didn't work until he suggested bringing back the main title music. All in all, Hitchcock was delighted with Herrmann's very significant contribution to the film, giving the composer an unusual amount of credit (for Hitchcock) and stating openly that "33 percent of the effect of Psycho was due to the music." See more »
The title card fixes the date as December 11, but when Marion is deducting the cost of the car from the $40,000 later that same night, the last date in her bank book is shown as being January 20. People often "backdate" checks. See more »
No matter how many times one sits through this Hitchcock classic, Anthony Perkins always manages to surprise you. It is a sensational performance - for which he didn't even get an Oscar nomination - I have no way of knowing how much preparation he dedicated to the creation of Norman Bates, maybe no more than usual, but the details of his performance are astonishing. Never a false move and if you follow the film looking into his eyes, you'll be amazed as I was. The madness and the tenderness, the danger and the cravings. A mamma's boy with hellish implications and yet we see, we feel connected to the human being, we are not horrified by him but of his circumstances. In short, we kind of understand him. That alone puts him miles and miles away from other cinematic monsters. From Richard Attenborough as the real life Christie in "10 Rillington Place" to the hideous, unredeemable Christian Bale in "American Psycho". Here Hitchcock and Herrman create an universe that Anthony Perkins inhabits with the same kind of electricity, nerve and shyness that Norman Bates projects throughout the film. Janet Leigh falls for it if not him. She, like us, sees the boy trying to escape his dutiful son's trap. He is in my list of the 10 most riveting characters ever to be captured on film.
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