directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Category: "Suspense"
Year of Release:1960
Date Added:04/22/2005
Date Watched:07/26/1987
Description:A young female embezzeler arrives at the Bates Motel which has terrible secrets of its own.

Anthony Perkins .... Norman Bates
Janet Leigh .... Marion Crane
Vera Miles .... Lila Crane
My Rating:7

Reviews for Psycho

Review - Psycho

Marion Crane is frustrated. She wants to be a respectable girl and marry her boyfriend, Sam, but all of Sam’s money goes for alimony, and he can’t afford to get married. Then Marion gets her chance. A wealthy man buys a property at the office where she works. Marion is sent to the bank to deposit the $40,000 in cash. She decides to take off with the money.

She drives to California, pursued by a suspicious policeman for part of the way. When a bad storm hits, she takes refuge in the Bates Motel. The motel is empty except for Norman Bates, the manager. He fixes Marion a sandwich for supper and the two talk. Norman tells Marion about his invalid mother who stays upstairs in the old house next door.

After eating, Marion returns to her room and takes a shower. A figure, dressed as an old lady, enters the bathroom and stabs Marion repeatedly, killing her. Norman enters the room a short time later and cleans up the mess. He dumps Marion’s body in the trunk of her car and sinks it in a swamp.

Marion’s boss hires Arbogast, a private investigator to track down Marion and the money. At the same time, Marion’s sister, Lila and Marion’s boyfriend, Sam, go looking for her. Arbogast traces Marion to Bates Motel, but when he enters the old house to interview Norman’s mother, the same old lady who killed Marion rushes out of a room and stabs him to death also.

Lila and Sam go to the motel to look for Arbogast. While Sam distracts Norman, Lila searches the house. She finds Norman’s mother in the basement — a dried-out, withered dead body. Then the old lady rushes into the room and tries to stab her. Sam follows just in time to save her and unmask the old lady — as Norman.

Norman is put in jail. A psychiatrist explains that Norman killed his mother 10 years before when he found her in bed with a man. He stole the body and preserved it as best he could while becoming schizophrenic and taking on the personality of his mother. Whenever he finds himself attracted to a woman, his mother takes over and kills her.

Review - Psycho

I enjoyed the first part of the movie, right up to the point where Marion’s body is sunk in the swamp. I liked the story of her fleeing with the money and being followed by the cop who never took off his sunglasses. He seemed like the really sinister figure in the movie. After that it was far less interesting for me. I understand the Hitchcock was trying to make me switch my sympathy from Marion to Norman, but it didn’t work. I suppose this is party due to the fact that I saw the movie years ago and wasn’t surprised by the revelation at the end. Still, it was fun (never frightening), and I gave it a 7.

Some fun stuff from IMDB:

• The sound that the knife makes penetrating the flesh is actually the sound of a knife stabbing a casaba melon.

• The blood was Bosco chocolate syrup.

• In the office where Marion works, two paintings are on the wall: the first one is of the road where Marion will be questioned by the policeman and the second is of the swamp where Norman will sink the car.

• Director Cameo: Alfred Hitchcock can be seen about four minutes into the movie wearing a cowboy hat outside Marion's office.

• In the closing scene, as the camera moves down the long, dark hallway to where police have confined Norman Bates, the uniformed guard posted at the door is a young Ted Knight ("Ted Baxter" of the "Mary Tyler Moore" series).

• In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black.

• Marion's white 1957 Ford sedan is the same car (owned by Universal) that the Cleaver family drove on "Leave It to Beaver" (1957).
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