When larcenous real estate clerk Marion Crane goes on the lam with a wad of cash and hopes of starting a new life, she ends up at the notorious Bates Motel, where manager Norman Bates cares for his housebound mother.
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
My most favourite film from the master of suspense. This psychological horror is widely considered to be the first ever slasher film. Powered by great performances from Anthony Perkins & Janet Leigh, and the outstanding score by Bernard Herrmann which adds such great tension throughout the film, it is unarguably the greatest thriller ever made. Only Alfred Hitchcock could make a film so entertaining and so horrifying at the same time. The climax continues to haunt me forever.
“We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?” A Phoenix secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), embezzles $40,000 and rashly flees town, ending up at a remote motel in Fairvale, California, where she encounters the eccentric Mama’s boy Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Mixed into this web is a private investigator (Martin Balsam), Marion’s sister (Vera Miles) and Marion’s secret beau (John Gavin). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on Robert Bloch’s book, “Psycho” made a huge impact when it was released in 1960. It contains a plot development that was groundbreaking at the time shared by England’s “City of the Dead” (aka “Horror Hotel”), which went into production six weeks earlier than “Psycho” and was released in the UK at the same time, but not in America until 2 years later. While they’re both good, “Psycho” is way superior. It was followed by three sequels (1983, 1986 and 1990), the last being a semi-prequel, all starring Anthony Perkins as Norman with Vera Miles returning for the first one. One thing I don’t like is that it was shot in B&W. Check out the sequels and the 1998 remake to observe the same settings in living color. The film runs 1 hour, 49 minutes and was shot primarily at the backlot of Universal Studios, Universal City, California, with other parts in Los Angeles & Gorman, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. GRADE: A
Amazingly, this is my first ever viewing, not sure why I waited so long, but finally got around to it. Great movie in every way from the performance by Anthony Perkins to the atmosphere, enjoyed every bit of this even though I basically knew the entire plot at this point since all iconic scenes and lines have been repeated over the years. Not sure this is my *favorite* Hitchcock movie as I still prefer Rear Window, but obvious why it has held up 60 years later. **4.5/5**
Required viewing. _Final rating:★★★½ - I really liked it. Would strongly recommend you give it your time._
There is so much more to this film than just that famous scene in the shower - and so much of it belongs to the marvellous scoring of Bernard Herrmann. His ability to use those screeching strings, and the pace of his music does so much of the heavy lifting that gives this film a sense of accumulating menace that makes it still, after over 60 years, a masterful piece of cinema. Janet Leigh wants to make a go of things with her cash-strapped hunky boyfriend "Sam" (John Gavin) so when an unexpected opportunity arises at work that puts $40,000 in her lap, she skips town and takes refuge during a thunderstorm at the "Bates" motel where she encounters "Norman" (a very handsome looking Anthony Perkins). The rest you will just have to watch for yourself, but the story has just about everything you could want from a thriller: a fella with a bit of a "mummy" syndrome; some good old fashioned larceny; lust and though I didn't quite love the ending, it is a superbly dramatic piece of well considered and constructed cinema that cleverly builds on what is quite a simple story with a strong and convincing cast. Big screen if you can; that house on the hill looks more eery that way. Great stuff!
1 hr 49 mins
$ 806,947.00 (Estimated)
$ 50,000,000.00 (USA)
$ 49,193,053.00 (Estimated in USA)