Psycho (1960)

Produced & Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Written by: Joseph Stefano
Robert Bloch (Novel)


Anthony Perkins .... Norman Bates
Janet Leigh .... Marion Crane
Vera Miles .... Lila Crane
John Gavin .... Sam Loomis
Martin Balsam .... Detective Milton Arbogast
John McIntire .... Sheriff Al Chambers

Special Appearance:

Simon Oakland .... Dr. Fred Richmond

Release Date: Theatrical: June 16, 1960





A young woman Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) plans to marry her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin) and then steals 4,000 dollars from her employer's client.
She travels away from her hometown of Arizona by buying a new car with the money and travels to California one stormy night stays at a hotel owned by a young man Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his eccentric mother who is supposedly staying inside a tall creepy looking house and never comes out but only is heard.
After Norman serves dinner to Marion, she tells him she has to leave the next day and then heads back to her hotel room and has a shower and then the terror begins.
Sam and Marion's sister Lila (Vera Miles) discovers what Marion has done by stealing the money and try to find some way of tracking her down but she is missing so they try to do some researching at the hotel along with some help by a detective Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam) as they question Norman about Marion's disappearance as well as his mother and why she hasn't left the house.
They are all in for a deadly surprise too.


A great beginning with Marion Crane acting romantic with Sam Loomis making them look like a believeable couple in their room together.
The discussion between Marion and a highway patrol officer looked good but a little intimidating with what this officer was asking her and having a very serious look on his face all that time. Leaves a good psychological feel to it all imagining on being questioned and wondering if he will find out on what she did that could lead to a criminal case.
Theres a nice camera shot on Marion driving on the freeway and thinking about what people have said to her and then a good shot on a rainstorm as if she would get into an accident. This scene looked effective and almost psyching you out along with wondering if she will get into an accident.
There is an intense conversation between Marion and Norman Bates when they have a discussion in the motel office together. Norman seems to act normal and then goes on a weird story about his hobby and his mother as well as what goes on when she talks about his mother as it leaves a nice mysterious and cringing moment to what was talked about drawing you in more and more on what may happen later on.
Of course there's the classic shower scene performed byMarion as it almost looks like a peaceful moment and suddenly a camera shot on the shower curtains with someone coming into the suite she's staying in leaving a nice still chill but then bang the knife comes down on her. This was my favourite scene and done in superb taste which inspired numerous other horror films to carry this trait.
There is great camera shots on Norman dragging the body to a car and... well I don't want to spoil it although many of you knows about it but Hitchcock really showed nice shots on it.
There's a great scene that will make you jump when Detective Milton Arbogast is walking up a tall staircase in the Bates' house and when he gets to the top of the floor BAM!!!
We have a real spooky scene involving both Lila Crane and Sam with their discussion with Sheriff Al Chambers as he reveals the truth on Mrs. Bates making it believeably creepy.
We see an effective discussion between Norman and Sam at the hotel office which looked good when Sam himself asks him about his mother while Lila tries to go to the home and look for clues which leaves a chill d own your spine when we see on what she spots as well as wondering if anyone will survive or be safe on what will outcome in these scene's.
All of this had great mysterious and horror timing too.
Bottom line: What a terrific horror, suspense and mysterious classic and the fact that it is B&W makes it look more appealing but there never were color movies during that time period anyways. After all, we're talking about 1960. This film delivers lots of jumps and frights too with a great set of the old looking house which makes the film even more scary. The film is very influential to future horror film especially the shower scene.
You really wonder what the hell is going on and who this mother of Perkins is since you never see her and just hear her which is bone chilling. Well over 20 decades later 3 sequels followed that were nowhere as good and more bloody. Not only that they tried to make them slasher films. A remake followed as well.

The acting still stands out today even if the movie was made well over 40 years ago. Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates) really made his character believeable as the psychopath with a split personality as he plays off well seeming like a harmless but troubled chap but if you say the wrong thing then watch out. He shows terrific intimidating reactions when someone gives him some advice about his mother which makes you cringe. Also does well acting uncomfortable when asked about his mother. Shoiws nice insane expressions near the end of his performance.
Janet Leigh
(Marion Crane) was great in her role too as someone who is a little intimidated on what's going on around her. She really brought out the realities when she acts uncomfortable with an onscreen officer questioning her as she knew on feeling guilty hiding something. She also shows a nice calm beahvior while talking to someone at the Bates Hotel. Brings a good natured personality.
Vera Miles
(Lila Crane) was another great actress and knows how to be intense and emotional on set. A terrific reaction on her after she discovers Mrs. Bates as she shows true shocking intensity.
John Gavin
(Sam Loomis) played a nice and trustworthy guy next door type in the film.
John McIntire
(Detective Milton Arbogast) played a perfect old and wise lawman in the film as he was truly one of the key actors to the film.
Supporting actor Simon Oakland (Dr. Fred Richmond) really brought great character to his part as the fellow who discovered the Bates' history even if his appearance was towards the end of the film.
He shows terrific reactions when he tells the history behind Norman Bates and his mother.

No one can forget the screechy and suspenseful violin music by Bernard Merrmann which was reused for spoofs and other neat events too since it was very effective. He also has that classic fast violin suspenseful playing during the opening credits which really stands out today even.

Highway Patrol officer: Uh... hold it there. In quite a hurry.
Marion Crane: [nervously] Yes. Uh... I didn't intend to sleep so long. I almost had an accident last night, from sleepiness. So I decided to pull over.
Highway Patrol officer: You slept here all night?
Marion Crane: Yes. As I said, I couldn't keep my eyes open.
Highway Patrol officer: There are plenty of motels in this area. You should've... I mean, just to be safe.
Marion Crane: I didn't intend to sleep all night! I just pulled over. Have I broken any laws?
Highway Patrol officer: No, ma'am.
Marion Crane: Then I'm free to go?
Highway Patrol officer: Is anything wrong?
Marion Crane: Of course not. Am I acting as if there's something wrong?
Highway Patrol officer: Frankly, yes.
Marion Crane: Please... I'd like to go.
Highway Patrol officer: Well, is there?
Marion Crane: Is there what? I've told you there's nothing wrong, except that I'm in a hurry and you're taking up my time.
[starts car engine]
Highway Patrol officer: Now, just a moment! Turn off your motor, please. May I see your license?
Marion Crane: Why?
Highway Patrol officer: Please.

California Charlie, used car salesman: I'm in no mood for trouble.
Marion Crane: What?
California Charlie, used car salesman: There's an old saying, "First customer of the day is always the trouble!" But like I say, I'm in no mood for it so I'm gonna treat you so fair and square that you won't have one human reason to give me...
Marion Crane: Can I trade my car in and take another?
California Charlie, used car salesman: Do anything you've a mind to. Bein' a woman, you will. That yours?
Marion Crane: Yes, it's just that - there's nothing wrong with it. I just...
California Charlie, used car salesman: Sick of the sight of it! Well, why don't you have a look around here and see if there's somethin' that strikes your eyes and meanwhile I'll have my mechanic give yours the once over. You want some coffee? I was just about...
Marion Crane: No, thank you. I'm in a hurry. I just want to make a change, and...
California Charlie, used car salesman: One thing people never oughtta be when they're buyin' used cars and that's in a hurry. But like I said, it's too nice a day to argue. I'll uh - shoot your car in the garage here.

California Charlie, used car salesman: [voiceover while Marion is driving] Heck, Officer, that was the first time I ever saw the customer high-pressure the salesman! Somebody chasin' her?
Highway Patrol officer: I better have a look at those papers, Charlie.
California Charlie, used car salesman: She look like the wrong-one to you?
Highway Patrol officer: Acted like one.
California Charlie, used car salesman: The only funny thing, she paid me seven hundred dollars in cash.
Caroline: Yes, Mr Lowery?
George Lowery, realtor: Caroline? Marion still isn't in?
Caroline: No, Mr Lowery. But then, she's always a bit late on Monday mornings.
George Lowery, realtor: Buzz me the minute she comes in. Then call her sister - if no one's answering at the house.
Caroline: I called her sister, Mr Lowery, where she works, - the Music Makers Music Store, you know, - and she doesn't know where Marion is any more than we do.
George Lowery, realtor: You'd better run out to the house. She may be, well - unable to answer the phone.
Caroline: Her sister's going to do that. She's as worried as we are.
George Lowery, realtor: No, I haven't the faintest idea. As I said, I last saw your sister when she left the office on Friday. She said she didn't feel well and wanted to leave early; I said she could. That was the last I saw - Now wait a minute. I did see her sometime later, driving - Ah, I think you'd better come over here to my office - quick! Caroline, get Mr. Cassidy for me!
George Lowery, realtor: After all, Cassidy, I told you - all that cash! I'm not taking the responsibility! Oh, for heaven's sake! A girl works for you for ten years, you trust her! All right. Yes. You better come over.
Tom Cassidy, home buyer: Well I ain't about to kiss off forty thousand dollars! I'll get it back, and if any of it's missin' I'll replace it with her fine, soft flesh! I'll track her, never you doubt it!
George Lowery, realtor: Oh, hold on, Cassidy! I-I still can't believe - it must be some kind of mystery. I-I can't...
Tom Cassidy, home buyer: You checked with the bank, no? They never laid eyes on her, no? You still trustin'? Hot creepers! She sat there while I dumped it out! Hardly even looked at it! Plannin'! And - even flirtin' with me!

Norman Bates: Dirty night.

Norma Bates: No! I tell you no! I won't have you bringing some young girl in for supper! By candlelight, I suppose, in the cheap, erotic fashion of young men with cheap, erotic minds!
Norman Bates: Mother, please...!
Norma Bates: And then what? After supper? Music? Whispers?
Norman Bates: Mother, she's just a stranger. She's hungry, and it's raining out!
Norma Bates: "Mother, she's just a stranger"! As if men don't desire strangers! As if... ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things, because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on, go tell her she'll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with MY food... or my son! Or do I have tell her because you don't have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?
Norman Bates: Shut up! Shut up!

Norman Bates: You-you eat like a bird.
Marion Crane: [Looking around at the stuffed birds while eating] And you'd know, of course.
Norman Bates: No, not really. Anyway, I hear the expression 'eats like a bird' - it-it's really a
Norman Bates: fals-fals-fals-falsity. Because birds really eat a tremendous lot. But -I-I don't really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know - taxidermy.

Norman Bates: Uh-uh, Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn't quite herself today.

Marion Crane: Wouldn't it be better if you put her... someplace.
Norman Bates: You mean an institution? A madhouse?
Marion Crane: No, I didn't mean it like...
Norman Bates: [suddenly angry] People always call a madhouse "someplace", don't they? "Put her in someplace."
Marion Crane: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so uncaring.
Norman Bates: What do you know about caring? Have you ever seen the inside of one of those places? The laughing, and the tears, and those cruel eyes studying you? My mother there?
[subdued tone]
Norman Bates: Oh, but she's harmless. She's as harmless as one of those stuffed birds.
Marion Crane: I tried to mean well.
Norman Bates: People always mean well. They cluck their thick tongues, and shake their heads and suggest, oh, so very delicately.

Norman Bates: She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?
Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.

Norman Bates: Well, a son is a poor substitute for a lover.
Marion Crane: Why don't you go away?

Marion Crane: Thank you.
Norman Bates: Thank you, Norman.
Marion Crane: Norman.

Norman Bates: Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay just a little while longer? Just for talk?

Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: Your detective told you he couldn't come right back because he was goin' to question Norman Bates' mother. Right?
Lila Crane: Yes
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: Norman Bates' mother has been dead and buried in Greenlawn Cenetery for the past ten years!
Eliza Chambers: I helped Norman pick out the dress she was buried in. Periwinkle blue.
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: 'Tain't only local history, Sam. It's the only case of murder and suicide on Fairvale ledgers.

Officer: He's a tranvestite!
Dr. Fred Richmond: Ah, not exactly. A man who dresses in women's clothing in order to achieve a sexual change, or satisfaction, is a transvestite. But in Norman's case, he was simply doing everything possible to keep alive the illusion of his mother being alive. And when reality came too close, when danger or desire threatened that illusion - he dressed up, even to a cheap wig he bought. He'd walk about the house, sit in her chair, speak in her voice. He tried to be his mother! And uh now he is.
Dr. Fred Richmond: Now that's what I meant when I said I got the story from the mother. You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there's always a conflict, a battle. In Norman's case, the battle is over, - and the dominant personality has won.
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers: And the forty thousand dollars? Who got that?
Dr. Fred Richmond: The swamp. These were crimes of passion, not profit.
Officer: [enters room with blanket on arm] He feels a chill. Can I gring him this blanket?
Dr. Fred Richmond: [Lighting cigarette] Oh sure.
Police Chief James Mitchell: All right.

Dr. Fred Richmond: No. I got the whole story - but not from Norman. I got it - from his mother. Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half-existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over. Probably for all time.
Lila Crane: Did he kill my sister?
Dr. Fred Richmond: Yes, - and no.

Dr. Fred Richmond: Like I said... the mother... Now to understand it the way I understood it, hearing it from the mother... that is, from the mother half of Norman's mind... you have to go back ten years, to the time when Norman murdered his mother and her lover. Now he was already dangerously disturbed, had been ever since his father died. His mother was a clinging, demanding woman, and for years the two of them lived as if there was no one else in the world. Then she met a man... and it seemed to Norman that she 'threw him over' for this man. Now that pushed him over the line and he killed 'em both. Matricide is probably the most unbearable crime of all... most unbearable to the son who commits it. So he had to erase the crime, at least in his own mind. He stole her corpse. A weighted coffin was buried. He hid the body in the fruit cellar. Even treated it to keep it as well as it would keep. And that still wasn't enough. She was there! But she was a corpse. So he began to think and speak for her, give her half his time, so to speak. At times he could be both personalities, carry on conversations. At other times, the mother half took over completely. Now he was never all Norman, but he was often only mother. And because he was so pathologically jealous of her, he assumed that she was jealous of him. Therefore, if he felt a strong attraction to any other woman, the mother side of him would go wild.
[Points finger at Lila Crane]
Dr. Fred Richmond: When he met your sister, he was touched by her... aroused by her. He wanted her. That set off the 'jealous mother' and 'mother killed the girl'! Now after the murder, Norman returned as if from a deep sleep. And like a dutiful son, covered up all traces of the crime he was convinced his mother had committed!

Norman Bates' Mother: [in police custody, as Norman is thinking] It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man, as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...”