Psycho Overview:

Psycho (1960) was a Horror - Mystery Film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by Alfred Hitchcock.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Robert Bloch published in 1959.

SYNOPSIS

Hitchcock's mesmerizing thriller broke the rules of filmmaking with its cunning, psychologically-based plot, and changed the perception of Hollywood horror films forever. On a relatively small budget, Hitchcock carefully constructs a maze that leads to an inevitable, gruesome conclusion, a conclusion that the audience has seen coming and dreads. From the first shot, a magnificent crane shot whose camera perches on a hotel window from which we can observe an adulterous affair between Marion Crane (Leigh) and Gavin, the audience is complicit in the action, voyeurs who can't look away. After impulsively stealing a bundle of cash, Leigh heads for the highway. When she wearies and is advised to find a room, she turns into the Bates Motel, where she first encounters the nervously birdlike proprietor, Norman Bates (Perkins). Perkins's sly, almost charming performance as the haunted momma's boy builds a near-sympathy that is quickly erased by the famous shower scene, the most graphic depiction of a murder scene on film to that time. Through careful shooting and editing, the intensity of the act is multiplied in the minds of the audience until the last traces of blood swirl down the drain. As Crane's sister, Miles, and Detective Balsam uncover her fate, one more shock remains. A blueprint for cinema terror, which has been followed, discussed, and now remade almost shot for shot by Gus Van Sant in 1998 (he also followed Hitchcock's promotional blueprint, not allowing critics to pre-screen the film). Hitchcock had the last laugh on Paramount when they insisted that he finance much of the budget: Psycho was an international sensation that made him a wealthy man. Herrmann's chilling score, one of his finest, remains ever recognizable. Followed by three sequels and the 1998 remake. Though the film was nominated for Oscars for Best Director, Cinematography, Supporting Actress, and Art Direction, it received none, though it won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress: Janet Leigh.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

.

Psycho was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1992.

Academy Awards 1960 --- Ceremony Number 33 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Supporting ActressJanet LeighNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Joseph Hurley, Robert Clatworthy; Set Decoration: George MiloNominated
Best CinematographyJohn L. RussellNominated
Best DirectorAlfred HitchcockNominated
.

BlogHub Articles:

Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh star in Alfred Hitchock’s suspense classic “Psycho”

By Stephen Reginald on Mar 19, 2024 From Classic Movie Man

Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh star in Alfred Hitchock’s suspense classic “Psycho” Psycho (1960) is an American suspense thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh. The supporting cast i... Read full article


4K UHD Blu-ray Review: Psycho

By Devon Powell on Jun 4, 2021 From Hitchcock Master

Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: May 25, 2021 Region ? 4K UHD: Region Free Blu-ray: Region A Length ? Original Theatrical Version: 01:49:04 Censored Re-release Version: 01:48:51 Video? 4K UHD: 2160P (HEVC, H.265) Blu-ray: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC) Main Audio ? 4K UHD: English DTS X Blu-ray... Read full article


Blu-ray Review: Psycho ? 60th Anniversary Edition

By Devon Powell on Nov 1, 2020 From Hitchcock Master

Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: September 08, 2020 Region: Region A Length ? Psycho (Original Theatrical Version): 01:49:04 Psycho (Censored Re-release Version): 01:48:51 Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC) Main Audio: English DTS X 7.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio Alternate Audio: 2.0 Mono Spa... Read full article


The Directors’ Chair: Psycho

By Theresa Brown on Mar 21, 2020 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

The Directors’ Chair: Psycho (1960) Some directors specialize in comedy, others in suspense. Still others delve in horror, romance or westerns. There are directors known for many films and some known only for one. Directors can put their stamp all over their films, while others get the ... Read full article


So Crazy It Works – Psycho II (1983)

By Michael on May 25, 2018 From Durnmoose Movie Musings

Okay, here’s the short version of this review: Psycho II is a much better movie than any movie calling itself Psycho II should be. Alright, let’s go a bit deeper, then. When a movie calls itself Psycho II and opens with the classic and infamous shower scene from the 1960 original, it is ... Read full article


See all Psycho articles

Quotes from

Norman Bates: [voice-over] Now mother, I'm going to uh, bring something up...
Norma Bates: [voice-over] Haha... I am sorry, boy, but you do manage to look ludicrous when you give me orders.
Norman Bates: [voice-over] Please, mother.
Norma Bates: [voice-over] No! I will not hide in the fruit cellar! Ha! You think I'm fruity, huh? I'm staying right here. This is my room and no one will drag me out of it, least of all my big, bold son!
Norman Bates: [voice-over] They'll come now, mother! He came after the girl, and now someone will come after him. Please mother, it's just for a few days, just for a few days so they won't find you!
Norma Bates: [voice-over] "Just for a few days"? In that dark, dank fruit cellar? No! You hid me there once, boy, and you'll not do it again, not ever again; now get out! I told you to get out, boy.
Norman Bates: [voice-over] I'll carry you, mother.
Norma Bates: [voice-over] Norman! What do you think you're doing? Don't you touch me, don't! NORMAN! Put me down, put me down, I can walk on my own...


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!


Caroline: [taking pill bottle out of purse] I've got something - not aspirin. My mother's doctor gave them to me the day of my wedding. Teddy was furious when he found out I had taken tranquilizers!
Marion Crane: [applying lipstick] Any calls?
Caroline: Teddy called me - my mother called to see if Teddy called. Oh, your sister called to say she's going to Tucson to do some buying and she'll be gone the whole weekend, and
[coversation interrupted]


read more quotes from Psycho...

Facts about

Marli Renfro, unbilled nude model who doubled for Janet Leigh in portions of the murder sequence, was featured as a Playboy cover girl on the September 1960 issue while the film was still in theaters. Quite coincidentally, she was pictured on the cover taking a shower.
Stuart Whitman was Hitchcock's first choice for the role of Sam Loomis.
When the cast and crew began work on the first day they had to raise their right hands and promise not to divulge one word of the story. Alfred Hitchcock also withheld the ending part of the script from his cast until he needed to shoot it.
read more facts about Psycho...
Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
book or play


See All Film Adaptations >>
Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1960






See more Best Supporting Actress awards>>
National Film Registry

Psycho

Released 1960
Inducted 1992
(Sound)




See All Films in National Registry >>
Also directed by Alfred Hitchcock




More about Alfred Hitchcock >>
Also produced by Alfred Hitchcock




More about Alfred Hitchcock >>
Related Lists
Create a list




See All Related Lists >>
Also released in 1960




See All 1960 films >>
More "Book-Based" films



See All "Book-Based" films >>
More "Psychological Thrillers" films



See All "Psychological Thrillers" films >>
More "Mother/Son" films



See All "Mother/Son" films >>
More "Hotels" films



See All "Hotels" films >>