Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Joseph Stefano based on Psycho by Robert Bloch
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Patricia Hitchcock, Vaughn Taylor and John Anderson.
Tagline: The picture you MUST see from the beginning… Or not at all!… For no one will be seated after the start of… Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest shocker Psycho.
Marion Crane (Leigh) in a moment of weakness steals $40,000.00 from her boss. She packs her bags and heads off to meet her lover (who has no idea of what she has done). It’s a long drive so Marion decides to spend the night at the Bates’ Motel. The motel is located off the main road in a remote location. There’s no one else staying there. The place is run by mild mannered Norman Bates who takes care of his invalid mother who lives in the house on the hill.
She should be safe for one night…
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)
After reading the Robert Bloch novel, Hitchcock bought the rights to the book and lobbied Paramount Pictures to get the film made. The studio didn’t have faith in the material. They agreed to a small budget ($800,000) if Mr. Hitchcock would defer his salary ($250,000) and instead take 60% of the gross. It worked out well since Hitchcock ended up making about $15 million!
I love that the movie starts out as a crime film and turns into a horror movie. What other movie has the “lead” actress killed off about an hour in? The top billed actor, Anthony Perkins, doesn’t even appear until about 30 minutes into the film.
Hitchock loved the score by Bernard Herrmann so much that he reportedly doubled Herrmann’s salary. Hitchcock also planned to have the shower scene appear as a silent sequence. After seeing it with the score Herrmann created, Hitch decided it worked better with music.
Anthony Perkins gives a master class in acting when questioned by Martin Balsam.
Simon Oakland shows up for one scene and it’s impact reminded me of Alec Baldwin’s in Glengary Glen Ross.
Psycho is another of Alfred Hitchcock’s classics.
Psycho (1960) rates 5 of 5 stars.