Credited with inventing the genre of the modern
horror film, PSYCHO has had its share of sequels and imitators, none
of which diminishes the achievement of this shocking and complex
horror thriller. Alfred Hitchcock's choreography of elements in
PSYCHO is considered so perfect it inspired a shot-by-shot remake by
Gus Van Zant in 1998. However, Hitchcock's black-and-white original,
featuring Anthony Perkins's haunting characterization of lonely
motel keeper Norman Bates, has never been equaled. Bates presides
over an out-of-the-way motel under the domineering specter of his
mother. The young, well-intentioned Bates is introduced to the
audience when Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a blonde on the run with
stolen money, checks in for the night. But Momma doesn't like loose
women, so the stage is set for this classic tale of horror--and one
of the most famous scenes in film history. PSYCHO was initially
received by audiences with shock and amazement--and it still
terrifies today. Though it is now considered prototypical Hitchcock,
its setting, pace, and emphasis on terror were major departures for
the director at the time, coming after the more classically grand
NORTH BY NORTHWEST.
PSYCHO is the horror film that spawned a thousand
imitations, not to mention three sequels. A busty blonde pockets
$40,000 in stolen cash following a tryst with her divorced lover.
Afterward, she heads up to a remote rural motel run by psychotic
mama's boy Norman Bates. The stage is now set for a classic tale of
terror and depravity that includes a cross-dressing murderer,
stuffed corpses, the ultimate Oedipal conflict, and, of course, the
most notorious shower scene ever filmed.
Based on the novel by Robert Bloch, PSYCHO is generally considered
the progenitor of the horror genre--and an unmitigated masterpiece.
Hitchcock cameo: Hitchcock can be seen through the
window in Janet Leigh's office, wearing a cowboy hat.
PSYCHO is number 18 on the American Film Institute's list of
America's 100 Greatest Movies.
PSYCHO was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry
PSYCHO was followed by PSYCHO II (1983), directed by Richard
Franklin; PSYCHO III (1986), directed by Anthony Perkins; and PSYCHO
IV: THE BEGINNING (1990), directed by Mick Garris. Gus Van Zant
directed a shot-by-shot remake of PSYCHO in 1998.
Hitchcock insisted that no one be allowed to enter the theater after
the film had started.
Joseph Stefano was the winner of the 1960 Edgar Allan Poe Award for
Filmed on an approximate budget of $800,000.
PSYCHO was the first Hollywood film to show an image of a toilet
In its original release, which was before the MPAA, the film had no
rating; it was rated M (for Mature Audiences) by the MPAA for a 1968
reissue, then rerated R in 1984.
"Mrs. Bates? Mrs. Bates?"--Lila Crane
(Vera Miles), looking for Norman's (Anthony Perkins) mother
Best Director (Nominated), Academy Awards, 1960 - Alfred Hitchcock
Best Supporting Actress (Nominated), Academy Awards, 1960 - Janet Leigh
Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Nominated), Academy Awards, 1960
Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (b&w or Color) (Nominated), Academy Awards, 1960
Best Supporting Actress , Golden Globes, 1961 - Janet Leigh