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Psycho (Universal Home Entertainment's 2-disc Legacy Series Special Edition DVD)

A movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock

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Psycho: Mother Isn't Herself Today...

  • Feb 25, 2005
  • by
Pros: An American Movie Classic; frightening; interesting; great story

Cons: Probably not interesting to those who don't like "old" films

The Bottom Line: This movie is a classic. If you've never seen Psycho, you really should.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

Before taking my Hitchcock class at The University of Alaska - Anchorage, the only Hitchcock film I had seen was The Birds. To tell you the truth, I was young when I saw it and I don't remember the majority of that film, except for the part where a bird crashes through a phone booth. I knew that we were going to watch Psycho in class. Dionne25 and I were relatively nervous about watching the film.

When Psycho was shown in class, I had disappeared to NY for a little while for Thanksgiving. So, I bought the video while at the mall when I was in New York. One night, a friend of mine (notguerrero) and I decided to watch it after seeing Charlie's Angels. I told her that I hadn't ever seen the film.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is a secretary who steals $40,000 from her boss and runs off. On her way to be with her married boyfriend, she stops for a night at the Bates Motel, run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his mother. Norman's mother freaks out about the young woman being in the motel, and Marion is history. (We all know that famous knife scene and the music that accompanies it, even if we haven't seen the film.) The disappearance of Marion Crane is investigated, and everyone is led to the Bates Motel.

I'm not going to tell the ending, as it has a psychological twist that I wasn't expecting. Hitchcock was very brave to jump into the world of psychological disorders. From what we know today about certain psychoses, the ending of Psycho isn't too accurate. However, it's pretty close, and it still leaves a creepy feeling.

None of these actors received any awards for appearing in Psycho. Leigh was terrific as the naive and innocent girl gone wrong due to an extramarital affair. Her naivete is still evident, as she trusts strangers after stealing a significant amount of money. She believe that she is going to live happily ever after, and ignores the creepiness of Norman Bates.

Perkins is fantastic as the eerie, creepy, frightening Norman Bates. He assumes the persona of a person with a serious mental problem, but makes it seem like it's perfectly normal. Perkins actually becomes Norman Bates. Unfortunately for Perkins' acting career, he played this role a bit too well. After Psycho, Perkins was consistently cast in psychotic roles.

Other cast members include Vera Miles as Marion's sister Lila, John Gavin as the married boyfriend Sam, Martin Balsam as private investigator Milton Aborghast and Laurene Tuttle as Eliza Chambers. They are good actors, but none can hold a candle to Leigh and Perkins.

The fact that it is done entirely in black and white - per Hitchcock's request - makes the film even scarier. Another thing is that we never actually see Marion getting stabbed in the shower scene. The visual in the minds of the audience members is what really sparks the fear and horror in this famous scene. Incidentally, Hershey's Syrup was used as blood in the shower scene, so the audience's imagination really comes into play. I love it.

There are some interesting facts about Psycho, specifically when it comes down to the making of the movie. For example, Anthony Perkins wasn't even on set during the entire week that the shower scene was filmed. That 45 second shower scene took an entire week to shoot. Janet Leigh had to take showers facing the door to her bathroom after filming that scene until her death in 2004. She even had her showers in her home built that way.

This is a great movie; A classic. It's scary and disturbing. I haven't seen the recent remake of it, but I plan to. From what I've been told, I'm going to be disappointed. If you haven't seen the Psycho from 1960,you really should. It's one of the films that has shaped the horror/suspense genre of today.


Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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More Psycho reviews
review by . May 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     Contained within "Psycho" are images that are haunting to this day, and also at the time, quite violent. Considered one of the "greats" for its genre, Alfred Hitchcock's horror/thriller "Psycho" is a film that I just had to see. I am passionate about this genre, and I thought that perhaps this film could inspire me, little-by-little, to create real, top-notch suspense. That is exactly what it did; and the film is brilliant. I'm not as familiar as I should …
review by . October 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Story of a Boy and His Mother
When “Psycho” was first released in 1960, director Alfred Hitchcock took great pains to ensure the plot would remain unspoiled. He wouldn’t allow stars Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh to promote the film. Critics were not granted pre-release screenings. The trailer, at a lengthy six and a half minutes, featured not a single shot of the actual finished film, nor did it showcase its actors; it featured Hitchcock himself guiding us on a tour of the sets, all the while hinting – …
review by . January 04, 2011
Nobody knows how to make horror films anymore, it truly is a lost art. Now I would hardly consider myself an expert on the subject, but gone are the days of monsters, Hitchcock, and classic serial killers like Myers, Freddy, and Jason. Now, there exists nothing but crappy sequels and movies that are more focused on blood and guts than actual psychological terror. But back in the days of Hitchcock, there existed this one film, which redefined the horror genre, despite the fact that I don't think …
review by . December 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Classic Hitchcock Tale And It's Sequels
To start off the review, let me quote from      Alfred Hitchcock's powerful, complex psychological thriller, Psycho (1960) is the "mother" of all modern horror suspense films - it single-handedly ushered in an era of inferior screen 'slashers' with blood-letting and graphic, shocking killings (e.g., Homicidal (1961), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Halloween 1978, Motel Hell (1980), and DePalma's Dressed to …
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
  Psycho is a classic that you must see if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. If the ending hasn’t been ruined for you by someone’s big mouth, it will be sure to blow your mind.    This film was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be. I expected Psycho to be mildly outdated and cheesy, but it wasn’t at all. I am the type of person that laughs at horror films to the point that they may as well be relabeled “comedy.” I have never been able …
Quick Tip by . May 27, 2010
Loved this movie-Norman Bates is truly an unforgettable character.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the ultimate horror films, just thinking of Norman Bates gives me the chills. Even in 2010 this film packs a chillfest.
Quick Tip by . November 02, 2009
Psycho is a shocker and will remain so. Hitchcock took a chance when he killed off his leading lady at the beginning of the film!
review by . July 16, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Even after more than 40 years, and even after having seen it so many times, I am still caught up in the tension which director Hitchcock develops so carefully. I am still shocked by the famous (infamous?) shower scene and by later moments in the Bates residence. It is thus a tribute to Hitchcock, his cast, and crew that this breakthrough retains its shock value after so many years. Hitchcock requires his audience to be especially alert to seemingly insignificant details as well as to playful insertions. …
review by . May 18, 2000
Pros: combining these releases, hard to pick - but the story line remains great     Cons: lost a little with the retelling of the tale :(     THAT WAS THEN 1960 .... The blood curling scream, the knife, the sound of water swirling down the drain, a shot to the drain, water and blood combined .... always the gurgling of the water slowly, slowly leaving the tub. One beautiful eye, staring into nothingness. Hauntingly eerie in stark black and white .....   …
About the reviewer
Candice Cain ()
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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About this movie


Psycho The movie poster for Psycho features a large image of a young woman in white underwear. The names of the main actors are featured down the right side of the poster. Smaller images of Anthony Perkins and John Gavin are above the words, written in large print, "Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho".
Theatrical release poster Directed by Alfred Hitchcock Produced by Alfred Hitchcock Written by Joseph Stefano Starring Anthony Perkins
Vera Miles
John Gavin
Janet Leigh Music by Bernard Herrmann Cinematography John L. Russell Editing by George Tomasini Studio Shamley Productions Distributed by 1960–1968:
Paramount Pictures
Universal Pictures Release date(s) June 16, 1960 (1960-06-16) Running time 108 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $806,947 Gross revenue $32 million Followed by Psycho II

Psycho is a 1960 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film is based on the screenplay by Joseph Stefano, who adapted it from the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The novel was based on the crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.[1]

The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who is in hiding at a motel after embezzling from her employer, and the motel's owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter.[2]

Psycho initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations. Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films[3] and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art by international critics.[4] The film spawned two sequels, a prequel, a remake, and an unsuccessful television spin-off.

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Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Genre: Classics, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: June 16, 1960
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Joseph Stefano, Robert Bloch
Runtime: 2hrs 0min
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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