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Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

Norman Bates recalls his childhood with his abusive mother while fearing his unborn child will inherit his split personality disorder.


Mick Garris


Joseph Stefano, Robert Bloch (based on characters created by)
2,634 ( 719)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Perkins ... Norman Bates
Henry Thomas ... Young Norman Bates
Olivia Hussey ... Norma Bates
CCH Pounder ... Fran Ambrose
Warren Frost ... Dr. Leo Richmond
Donna Mitchell ... Connie Bates
Tom Schuster Tom Schuster ... Chet Rudolph (as Thomas Schuster)
Sharen Camille Sharen Camille ... Holly
Bobbi Evors Bobbi Evors ... Gloria
John Landis ... Mike Calveccio
Kurt Paul Kurt Paul ... Raymond Linette
Louis Crume Louis Crume ... George Emeric
Cynthia Garris ... Ellen Stevens
Doreen Chalmers Doreen Chalmers ... Mrs. Lane
Alice Hirson ... Mother (voice)


Norman Bates returns for this prequel, once more having mommy trouble. This time around he is invited to share memories of mom with a radio talk show host, but the PSYCHO fears that he may kill again for his beloved is impregnated with his child and Norman cannot let another PSYCHO loose in the civilized world. Written by Eric Creed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before the terror can end, see how it all began... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Psicosis IV: El comienzo See more »

Filming Locations:

Orlando, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in 1940, in 1949, on July 4, 1951 and in 1990. See more »


Young Norman Bates takes his dead mother out of the casket, hides the corpse in her room (to start the saga) and puts books instead as a weight. Yet in one of the previous Psycho movies, when years later police exhume his mother, they find a corpse in her casket and no books. However, it is presumable that, after discovering what Norman had done in the original film, they dug up the casket and put her dead body into the casket. See more »


Gloria: [to Norman] You've got a tongue like an elephant's memory.
See more »


Featured in Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

"MOTHER" comes to life...and it is believable!
25 December 2003 | by FortAwesomeSee all my reviews

Like so many other reviews of this movie, I have to preface this by saying that "PSYCHO IV" is not a great film...however, it is the best of the PSYCHO spinoff-sequels.

Featuring excellent performances by Olivia Hussey (as "Mother") as well as CCH Pounder -- formerly an underused character actor, now notable for her performance on TV's "THE SHIELD" -- (as talk show host Fran Ambrose) -- "PSYCHO IV" sticks pretty closely to the original story from Robert Bloch's novel and the original "PSYCHO" film as license to delve into Norman Bates' troubled childhood, prequel-style (Joseph Stefano, who wrote the screenplay to the original film, penned the script for this one, is evidently largely responsible for this).

First, Olivia Hussey.

When I first heard about this movie, I was skeptical that "Mother" could be portrayed on screen, especially by Hussey, primarily notable for her onscreen/dramatic turn as Juliet in the classic Franco Zeffirelli film adaptation of "ROMEO & JULIET." However, and to abbreviate my feelings for her in this role, she hit the nail on the head.

Secondly, CCH Pounder.

CCH's turn as Fran Ambrose really carries this movie. The scenes during Norman's on-air confessional are easily the most compelling, and, while not taking away from Anthony Perkins' finely-honed portrayal of Norman's insanity, this is mostly due to Fran Ambrose's subtle (and not-so-subtle) reactions.

Of course, there are numerous moments in the movie that detract from all these positives. The ending is just weak (I usually stop the tape as soon as Norman hangs up on Fran for the final time). Additionally, there is an altogether jolting cameo by John Landis (as the radio station's programming director) which usually distracts me, and not to mention the girl who "just wants to have sex" with Norman (c'mon, fellas...."you'd like to touch them...wouldn't you?").

All in all, I'd rather watch this movie than any of the other "PSYCHO" sequels any day. It's *reasonably* intelligent, it's got an altogether perfect cast, and it sticks to the story at hand. Definitely recommended.

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