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The movie Psycho starts off with a crime. Marion works as a secretary who plans to steal money from her employer. As the film begins, she makes off with 40,000 dollars and flees towards California, where her boyfriend is waiting for her. On the road, a rainstorm forces her to take shelter at the foreboding Bates Motel, where she makes the acquaintance of the motel’s shy owner, Norman Bates. He invites her to dinner, and though the two strike up a steady rapport, she overhears his agonized conversation with his domineering and abusive mother.

That night, when Marion is in the shower, she is stabbed to death in one of the most iconic scenes in American film. The action then shifts to Sam, Marion’s boyfriend, and Lila, Marion’s sister. Concerned about her absence, they hire the services of a private detective named Arbogastw, who tracks her down to the Bates Motel. Once there, he is unconvinced by Bates’ explanation of Marion’s arrival and departure, and in turn, he too meets his end.

The film picks up as Sam and Lila trace Arbogast to the town near the Bates Motel, where they make the startling realization that Norman Bates’ mother has been dead for years. The movie is considered to be one of the first psychological thrillers, and certain key images have become ingrained American film imagery. For example, the scene of Marion’s murder in the shower has been parodied many times in both film and television.

Psycho was a movie that was released shortly after the Production Code began its decline. The material in the movie, which is violent and mature in nature, would have been unheard of just a few short years before, including scenes that portray Sam and Marion as lovers, and the appearance of blood on the set. The movie remains one of the great classics among horror films.

| 1960 | 1 hr 48 min | 8.5/10 | 97/100
Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh
Shamley Productions
Alfred Hitchcock

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John Landis on PSYCHO|6:44
John Landis on PSYCHO|6:44

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