Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” takes a typical story of a girl, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the run from the law and turns it into a suspenseful horror film.
The director features his lead in perilous situations in which an inept criminal leaves town with $40,000. From the beginning, the opening string score of Bernard Hermann, creates the mood of tension, panic and drama.
Marion is tired of being of brushed aside by her lover Sam Loomis (John Gavin) for not taking her love seriously. Tired of the secret affairs and romance, she seeks a new beginning that comes in the form of $40,000.
Her employer, George Lowrey (Vaughn Taylor), who just recently closed upon a property sold to Tom Cassidy (Frank Albertson) who pays in cash. While on the run, Mr. Hitchcock brilliantly uses the inner monologue of the cast as she drives on the wandering road alone with her thoughts.
Hot on her pursuit is a cop (Mort Mills) who begins to have his suspicions about her. He follows her and checks her every move before she’s able to lose him on a rainy night. Detective Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam) is also on her track attempting to retrieve the money on behalf of his employer.
Her sister, Lila (Vera Miles), is in disbelief that she would do such a thing such as leaving town and running off with the money. She manages to track Sam in hopes of convincing Marion to do the right thing.
Marion, a good girl gone bad, whose only crime was playing it safe by laying low from the law when she checks into the Bates Motel. The lodging is ran by its proprietor Norman
(Anthony Perkins). It’s in this motel, especially in the shower, is the iconic moment in the film with Mr. Hermann’s music composition and the frantic and rapid editing of the scene.
Mr. Perkin’s character, who’s dominated by his mother, portrays the sympathetic character with his youthful look who experiences loneliness and isolation. His tendency to stutter shows the effects that his mother has on him and why he can’t leave her.
Besides the twists featured throughout the film, the director features a light-hearted moment with his blink-in-the-eye cameo. The film also serves the distinction of being the first film to feature an indoor toiletry.
The movie filmed in black and white is just one of the many titles by the acclaimed director in his canon of work that shouldn’t be missed and should be seen in its entirety from the beginning.
Classification: Blu-Ray Vault
Movie Grade: 4.25 stars out of 5 stars
You’ll never think of your shower the same way again after watching this movie in which a good girl gone bad decides to start fresh only to be punished from her crime.
Blu-Ray Grade: 5 stars out of 5 stars
Extra features include Janet Leigh recalling shooting the film. There’s a segment that’s as close to a director commentary when he’s being interviewed by French director François Truffaut, The marketing promotion of the film along with the trailer from the directors are a must see.
Timing: 1 Hour, 49 Minutes
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Screenplay: Joseph Stefano
Novel: Robert Bloch
- Actors: Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, John Gavin, Vaughn Taylor, Frank Albertson
Martin Balsam, Mort Mills and Vera Miles.