Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960), starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins, serves as an inspiration to filmmakers and film viewers alike. The film’s controversial plot paired with compelling performances and suspenseful music maintains its position as one of the most iconic horror films of all time.
The plotline begins with a troubled secretary, Marion, who flees Phoenix, Arizona with $40,000 of stolen cash in hopes of starting a new life in California.
Marion attempts to drive through the night but is caught by the rain. She stumbles upon The Bates Motel in a secluded area off of the highway. Norman, the lonesome owner of the motel, promptly shows Marion to her room and asks her to join him in his home across the street for dinner.
Marion overhears a heated argument between Norman and his elderly mother, who she’d seen standing in window upon her arrival. They speak over dinner in his private parlor. Peculiar aspects of Norman are revealed in conversation: his obsession with taxidermy, his fascination with Marion, and ultimately the demanding relationship he holds with his neurotic mother.
Marion excuses herself from dinner to rest before her early trip in the morning. Norton spies on her through a hidden hole in the wall as she prepares herself for bed.
Shortly after, a dark figure appears behind the shower curtain and Marion is stabbed to death.
Norton flees to the scene once he realizes his mother has left the house. He instinctively hides Marion’s body and clears her belongings from the room.
Marion’s boyfriend and sister hire Detective Arbogast to investigate Marion’s missing case. His investigation leads him to The Bates Motel, where he encounters Norman in an anxious state. Unsatisfied with the information Nortan provides, Arbogast returns to The Bates Motel to question his mother, who he had refused to introduce him to previously.
Lila and Sam set off to The Bates Motel to do their own research. Upon checking into their room, Lila sneaks into Norton’s house, where she finds his dead mother. Sam flees to the scene to rescue Lila from an attempted murder. As he struggles to retrieve the knife from an elderly woman, Norton’s true identity is revealed.
director ALFRED HITCHCOCK
director of photography JOHN L. RUSSELL
cast ANTHONY PERKINS, VERA MILES, JOHN GAVIN, MARTIN BALSAM and JOHN MCINTIRE
words KELLEN MULCAHY
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