Psycho

Psycho

4.6 39
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

     
 

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In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in the world) when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common…  See more details below

Overview

In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in the world) when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common moment in a major studio film in 1960), Psycho announced that it was taking the audience to places it had never been before, and on that score what followed would hardly disappoint. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is unhappy in her job at a Phoenix, Arizona real estate office and frustrated in her romance with hardware store manager Sam Loomis (John Gavin). One afternoon, Marion is given $40,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Minutes later, impulse has taken over and Marion takes off with the cash, hoping to leave Phoenix for good and start a new life with her purloined nest egg. 36 hours later, paranoia and exhaustion have started to set in, and Marion decides to stop for the night at the Bates Motel, where nervous but personable innkeeper Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) cheerfully mentions that she's the first guest in weeks, before he regales her with curious stories about his mother. There's hardly a film fan alive who doesn't know what happens next, but while the shower scene is justifiably the film's most famous sequence, there are dozens of memorable bits throughout this film. The first of a handful of sequels followed in 1983, while Gus Van Sant's controversial remake, starring Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche, appeared in 1998.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece, not only encouraged thousands to shun showers in favor of baths, it completely changed the face of horror and suspense films to come. From naughty Janet Leigh's heist of $10,000 in the opening scenes to her risqué display of personal hygiene at the Bates Motel, Hitchcock's classic simultaneously pushed Hollywood's buttons and created some of the most memorable and horrific images in cinematic history. Inspired by the psychology and handiwork of real-life psychopath Edward Gein (also the inspiration behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the story introduces Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a reclusive motel manager and amateur taxidermist who has a strange relationship with his mother. Although certain scenes -- particularly Bates's psychiatric evaluation -- come off as stilted and dated today, both Perkins and Leigh deliver eternally creepy performances, and Bernard Hermann's soundtrack is arguably the most chilling ever recorded. The stabbing violins complement the film's atmosphere the way that a good Merlot complements a bloody filet mignon. Hitchcock's notorious attention to detail emerges in endless bird references, from the opening camera work reminiscent of a feathered friend's flight, to the Phoenix locale, to Bates's taxidermy and middle name, "Francis," the patron saint of birds. Hitchcock felt that Psycho was too gory to be shot in color, and he probably never imagined that anyone would try. Still, director Gus Van Sant remade the classic in 1998, in color, but otherwise matching Hitch shot-by-shot. Like Norman's birds, it didn't quite fly. Simon Goetz
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
In a decade in which what was acceptable onscreen would change more radically than at any other time in history, Psycho was in some ways the first shot in the battle for freer filmmaking in the 1960s. Few movies of its time were more direct and unapologetic in their violence or served it up with such disorienting abruptness or tongue-in-cheek wit. With its casual depiction of sex outside marriage, fleeting nudity, bursts of shocking violence, killing off a major character less than halfway through the movie, and focus on the psychological subtext of the murderer's personality, as well as the geometric imagery of Saul Bass's credit sequence and the percussive strings of Bernard Herrmann's score, Psycho was the film with which Hitchcock left the 1950s behind and started the 1960s with relish. Time hasn't hurt the film, either; it still generates a palpable tension and the odd chemistry between Perkins and Leigh in their dinner scene is a wonder to behold. While the film is still frightening after all these years, repeated screenings reveal a cold-blooded humor; with Psycho, Hitchcock tore asunder the audience's expectations of what a suspense film should be, and he appears to have had a wonderful time doing it.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2012
UPC:
0025192143335
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
7,234

Special Features

Newsreel footage: the release of Psycho; The shower scene; The Psycho archives; Production photographs; Behind-the-scenes photographs; The shower scene: storyboards by Saul Bass; Lobby cards; Posters and Psycho kids

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Perkins Norman Bates
Janet Leigh Marion Crane
Vera Miles Lila Crane
John Gavin Sam Loomis
Martin Balsam Milton Arbogast, detective
John McIntire Chambers, the sheriff
Simon Oakland Dr. Richmond
Frank Albertson Tom Cassidy, millionaire
Patricia Hitchcock Caroline
Vaughn Taylor George Lowery
Lurene Tuttle Mrs. Chambers
John Anderson California Charlie
Mort Mills Highway Patrolman
Marli Renfro Leigh's Double in Shower Scene
Anne Dore Perkins' Double in Shower Scene
Ted Knight Prison Guard
Virginia Gregg Norma Bates (uncerdited)
Jeanette Nolan Norma Bates (uncredited)
Francis de Sales Official
George Eldredge Chief of Police
Sam Flint Official
Frank Killmond Bob Summerfield
Helen Wallace Woman Customer
Marion Crane Actor

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director,Producer
Jack Barron Makeup
Clarence Champagne Special Effects
Robert Clatworthy Production Designer
Helen Colvig Costumes/Costume Designer
Hilton A. Green Asst. Director
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
Joseph Hurley Production Designer
George Milo Set Decoration/Design
John L. Russell Cinematographer
William Russell Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph Stefano Screenwriter
George Tomasini Editor
Waldon O. Watson Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Psycho
1. Main Titles [2:18]
2. The Stolen Hours [4:39]
3. Forty Thousand Dollars [4:06]
4. The Stolen Money [2:53]
5. A Woman on the Run [3:53]
6. The High-Pressure Customer [8:38]
7. The Bates Motel [8:17]
8. Dinner With Norman [3:44]
9. Mother's Problem [8:02]
10. The Shower [2:53]
11. Cleaning Up After Mother [8:32]
12. The Swamp [:36]
13. Let's Talk About Marion [1:33]
14. The Path to Marion Crane [3:44]
15. The Stammering Suspect [2:30]
16. Back to Bates Motel [5:53]
17. Death and the Detective [4:06]
18. Looking For Arbogast [1:08]
19. The Dead of Night [2:36]
20. The Late Mrs. Bates [3:18]
21. Mr. and Mrs. Loomis [3:17]
22. Cabin One [5:12]
23. Looking For Mrs. Bates [3:02]
24. Mother [5:41]
25. The Other Half [1:05]
26. I Wouldn't Hurt a Fly... [5:20]

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