Psycho (1960)

R   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Psycho (1960) Poster

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 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.


8.5/10
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Take a look iconic moments from Alfred Hitchcock's film with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles.

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User Reviews


25 March 2017 | AlsExGal
10
| Always holds me from beginning to end...
...from the first time I saw it at age 14 until today whenever I run across it.

This is the rare example of a much-ballyhooed film that is truly deserving of all the hype surrounding it. It would have been nice to have experienced the film without any knowledge of the plot twists. Unfortunately, for most viewers, the big surprises are not possible since so many of the scenes are part of our popular culture.There were, however, so many unexpected surprises.

The opening scene with Janet Leigh and John Gavin in the hotel room was amazing and (pardon the cliché) so real. Hitchcock and Janet Leigh did a brilliant job of pulling us into Marion Crane's story, that of a woman in love with a divorced man who might as well be married considering his heavy financial obligations that leave him unable to marry in a practical sense even though he can in a legal sense. He doesn't even have a proper home - just a room in the back of the store he owns.

Marion is then seemingly set up as the center of the movie as she thinks she has found a solution to her problems - a felonious one. Then the focus is skillfully shifted to the Norman Bates character as the "protagonist" victimized by his insane mother (or so it seemed) and then the focus is shifted once again to Marion's sister's search.

The movie was adapted from a novel so some of the original audience would have been familiar with the plot of the book. In the novel, Norman Bates was a middle-aged man. I think it was a brilliant stroke to have the Norman of the film as a man in his twenties, a boy who never grew up in a man's body. Anthony Perkins is so identified today with his role of Norman Bates that it was surprising to see how endearingly he played him in the early scenes. And he did one of the best stammers I've ever seen in a movie when he was being questioned by the private detective (Martin Balsam) who is also searching for Marion. I also wasn't expecting to see how protective the local sheriff and his wife were of Norman when they were being questioned about him and his mother. You could tell they didn't want somebody (Norman) whom they thought had been dealt a bad hand to have anymore publicity and scrutiny than he already had.

This film is mentioned in the documentary "Moguls and Movie Stars" as an example of how films were becoming more like TV as the 60s began - spartan art design and a script that was bold in the amount of sex and violence it had, even if the vast majority is implied. You have to be impressed by the versatility that is Hitchcock. Making movies in England? No problem. Making movies in the American studio system? No problem. Modernizing to deal with the evaporation of the production code? Again, no problem.

Weird factoid - for you TCM fans out there Robert Osborne is credited as "man" in Psycho, although I don't remember him ever mentioning it. The only person it could possibly be unless he never comes close to having his face on camera is the parson as the sheriff and his wife are exiting church. See what you think.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Felicia Farr, Carolyn Jones, Caroline Korney, and Eleanor Parker were considered for the role of Lila Crane.


Quotes

Sam Loomis: You never did eat your lunch, did you?
Marion Crane: I better get back to the office. These extended lunch hours give my boss excess acid.
Sam Loomis: Why don't you call your boss and tell him you're taking the rest of the afternoon off? It's Friday anyway - and hot.
Marion Crane: What do I ...


Goofs

When Janet Leigh is in the car dealer bathroom getting the cash, as the envelope is being returned to her purse the top couple bills fold back revealing a $1 bill, not another $100 as the stack is expected to contain.


Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PHOENIX, ARIZONA

FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH

TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.


Alternate Versions

The version previously on home video is an edited version of the movie. It is missing a shot from the shower undressing scene, a lingering close up of bloody hands, and additional thrusts of the knife for the killing of Arbogast inside the house. The movie was edited for content in 1968 when the ratings system was first established (the movie initially went in without a rating in 1960 due to no such system existing yet) to obtain an R rating. This version for the past several decades has been the only one available on home video up until the recent 4K release from Universal which will for the first time ever include the original uncut version as seen in 1960 and the previously available edited version.

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Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

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