Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Psyco (1960)






Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Pat Hitchcock, Vaughn Taylor, Lurene Tuttle, John Anderson, Mrt Mills, Virginia Gregg, Jeanette Nolan, Paul Jasmin, Ted Knight


Stressed and under pressure because of stealing a large amount of money from her employer and running away, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) gets lost, and exhausted from the long drive, decides to spend the night at the desolate Bates Motel. The motel is run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a quiet young man dominated by his mother.


Here's some facts. Number one, Alfred Hitchcock is the master of suspense; number two, Psycho, whether is or not his best film, is indeed his most famous picture, because everyone has seen or heard of this film; number three, they tried to make sequels, they tried to remake it, but the truth is that nothing will ever be as good as this masterpiece.

Anguishing, creepy, tense, and sharp as the blade of Bates's knife, Psycho is the film that still defines the horror-thriller genre.

The writing is just brilliant. The narrative is probably the best ever execute in a horror film. The story is interesting, and fascinating, it's full of twists, and surprises that will keep you guessing and engaged till the very end. The most impressive thing about the script is the extremely low body count.

The characters are all great, but two deserves to be mentioned. First up Marion Crane, an unhappy young woman who tries to change her life by running away with her lover and 40,000 dollars. Then there's the character, Norman Bates, a young man whose unhappiness and loneliness will drive him insane.

However, what really made this film legendary is basically everything else. Needless to say is that Alfred Hitchcock's direction is outstanding. The black and white cinematography is divinely marvelous. The famous musical score by Bernard Herrmann is spectacular and perfect to increase the tension. 

Then there is the shower scene that has made the history of cinema. In addition to that there are two more sequences, probably the most impressive of the film. The first is the shot of Janet Leigh with her eyes wide open that wonderfully convey the horror, and sense of grief for the violence. The second is the macabre scene where the mother appears.

At last but not least the unforgettable performance from Anthony Perkins. He gives a charismatic performance as Norman Bates,  and plays the guy in a very naturalistic way, like he was meant for the role. The supporting cast does a fine job, in particular Martin Balsam in the role of detective Milton Arbogast. 


Norma Bates: It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."


  1. Exactly. To every word of this review.

  2. I have never seen this movie but as you stated, I have heard so much about it! I am looking forward to whenever I can see this masterpiece for myself. Glad you loved it!