1960 | Horror | In English | 109 minutes
Marion Crane, a real estate secretary, is told by her boss to deposit $40,000 in cash that a client left as payment for a property. Marion and her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, are having trouble making ends meet, so Marion decides to steal the money. She heads for California where Sam lives. Marion takes a snooze by the side of the road. A state trooper wakes her up and is suspicious of her skittish behavior. She drives away and in the midst of a severe thunderstorm, decides to spend the night in a motel…the Bates Motel operated by Norman Bates. As she showers, a shadowy figure stabs her to death with a chef’s knife. Norman discovers the body, cleans up, puts Marion’s body and all her belongings, including the cash, in her car’s trunk, and he sinks it in a nearby swamp. A week later, Marion’s sister, Lila, confronts Sam wanting to know Marion’s whereabouts. Also looking for Marion is private investigator, Milton Arbogast, anxious to recover the stolen $40,000. Sam and Lila go to the motel and confront an agitated Norman. In the basement Lila discovers Norman’s mother sitting in a chair. Lila turns her around and makes a horrible discovery. Norman rushes to the basement wearing his mother’s clothes and with a kitchen knife. Sam arrives in time and subdues Norman. At the courthouse, a psychiatrist explains the extent of Norman’s psychosis, his dual personality and his unnatural obsession with his mother.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
- Metacritic Score: 97
Academy Awards—Nominated, Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock), Best Supporting Actress (Janet Leigh), Best Cinematography (John L. Russell)
Edgar Allan Poe Awards—Winner, Best Motion Picture
International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers—Best Actor (Anthony Perkins)
Golden Globe Awards—Best Supporting Actress (Janet Leigh)
In 1992, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
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What makes PSYCHO immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten, is that it connects directly with our fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mother.
Hitchcock is the most daring avant-garde filmmaker in America today. Discerning filmgoers should see PSYCHO no less than three times: first for the sheer terror of the experience, again for the macabre humor, and finally for the movie’s hidden meanings.
You had better have a pretty strong stomach and be prepared for a couple of grisly shocks when you go to see Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. For Mr. Hitchcock, an old hand at frightening people, comes at you with a club in this frankly intended blood-curdler.
This is a first-rate mystery thriller. Joseph Stefano’s screenplay gives Hitchcock an opportunity to use all his considerable talents in the building of a shocker, which makes brilliant use of John L. Russell’s outstanding photography, Bernard Herrmann’s highly effective musical score, the wonderfully atmospheric settings of George Milo and the fine art direction of Joseph Burly and Robert Clatworthy.
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