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Psycho [1960] (1 disc)

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Director:Alfred Hitchcock
Writer:Joseph Stefano
Composer:Bernard Herrmann
Length:109 minutes
(1 hour 49 minutes)
MPAA Rating:R
Sorting Category:Thriller
IMDB Rating:8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:96%
Amazon Rating:5.0/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Suspense / Horror
  • Drama
  • Mystery
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Synopsis: A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Select Cast and Crew
Alfred Hitchcock => Director / Man Outside Real Estate Office (uncredited)
Joseph Stefano => Writer
Bernard Herrmann => Composer
Robert Bloch => Novel
Anthony Perkins => Norman Bates
Francis De Sales => Deputy District Attorney Alan Deats (uncredited)
Frank Albertson => Tom Cassidy
Helen Wallace => Hardware Store Customer (uncredited)
Janet Leigh => Marion Crane
Jeanette Nolan => Norma Bates (voice) (uncredited)
John Anderson => California Charlie
John Gavin => Sam Loomis
John McIntire => Sheriff Al Chambers
Lurene Tuttle => Mrs. Chambers
Martin Balsam => Det. Milton Arbogast
Sam Flint => County Sheriff (uncredited)
Simon Oakland => Dr. Fred Richman
Ted Knight => Policeman in Hallway Opening Door (uncredited)
Vera Miles => Lila Crane

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock was so pleased with the score written by Bernard Herrmann that he doubled the composer's salary to $34,501. Hitchcock later said, "Thirty-three percent of the effect of Psycho was due to the music."
  • 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. Sir Alfred Hitchcock also withheld the ending part of the script from his cast until he needed to shoot it.
  • Walt Disney refused to allow Sir Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie, 'Psycho.'"
  • Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway, and upon hearing it, Hitchcock immediately changed his mind.
  • For a shot looking up into the water stream of the shower head, Sir Alfred Hitchcock had a six-foot-diameter shower head made up and blocked the central jets so that the water sprayed in a cone past the camera lens, without any water spraying directly at it.
  • Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could, to keep the ending a secret.
  • In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Sir Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse. After she's stolen the money, her purse is black.
  • The reason Sir Alfred Hitchcock cameos so early in the movie was because he knew people would be looking out for him, and he didn't want to divert their attention away from the plot.
  • When Norman first realizes there has been a murder, he shouts, "Mother! Oh God! God! Blood! Blood!" Sir Alfred Hitchcock had the bass frequencies removed from Anthony Perkins' voice to make him sound more like a frightened teenager.
  • Sir Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make this movie so much that he deferred his standard $250,000 salary in lieu of 60% of the movie's gross. Paramount Pictures, believing that this movie would do poorly at the box office, agreed. His personal earnings from this movie exceeded $15 million. Adjusted for inflation, that amount would be just over $120 million in 2016 dollars.
  • Although Janet Leigh was not bothered by the filming of the famous shower scene, seeing it on film profoundly moved her. She later remarked that it made her realize how vulnerable a woman was in a shower. To the end of her life, she always took baths.
  • Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh said that they did not mind being stereotyped forever because of their participation in this movie. They said in interviews they would rather be stereotyped and be remembered forever for this classic movie than not be remembered at all.
  • One of the reasons Sir Alfred Hitchcock shot the movie in black-and-white was he thought it would be too gory in color. But the main reason was that he wanted to make the movie as inexpensively as possible (under one million dollars). He also wondered if so many bad, inexpensively made, black-and-white "B" movies did so well at the box-office, what would happen if a really good, inexpensively made, black-and-white movie was made.
  • Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh were allowed to improvise their roles. For example, Norman's habit of munching on candy corn. Leigh invented a complete backstory for Marion Crane, figuring out what she was like in high school, her favorite colors, et cetera.
  • Sir Alfred Hitchcock tested the fear factor of Mother's corpse by placing it in Janet Leigh's dressing room and listening to how loud she screamed when she discovered it there.
  • Sir Alfred Hitchcock received several letters from ophthalmologists who noted that Janet Leigh's eyes were still contracted during the extreme close-ups after her character's death. The pupils of a true corpse dilate after death. They told Hitchcock he could achieve a proper dead-eye effect by using belladonna drops. Hitchcock did so in all of his later movies.