Alfred Hitchcock's landmark masterpiece of the macabre stars Anthony Perkins as the troubled Norman Bates, whose old dark house and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. No one knows that better than Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the ill-fated traveller whose journey ends in the notorious "shower scene". First a private detective, then Marion's sister (Vera Miles) searches for her, the horror and the suspense mount to a terrifying climax where the mysterious killer is finally revealed.
Superb suspense film, never bettered
- Psycho review by RP
Made in 1960, I first saw this at the cinema in 1966 – and if I remember correctly, it had been running at that particular London cinema continuously since its release. I found it disturbing then and watching it again I still felt the same suspense and unease – not exactly horror – that I felt then. Yes, there has since been a (somewhat pointless) remake, but the Hitchcock original is superb. Filmed in black and white, you can't see the blood running red – but you know it's there! Superb – and cleverly misleading – beginning, great middle, excellent ending. Am I using too many superlatives? Probably – but this really is one of my favourite films from one of the 20th century's best directors. Highly recommended. 5/5 stars.
Anthony Perkins plays a man with two personalities so brilliantly it seems to have been his downfall. Why was such a talented actor never seen again? Life is not fair. For me the acting beats the direction easily although without the Hitchcock badge it would not be as well known. The stabbing scenes are totally unimpressive and the amazingly famous shower scene not at all horrific. Norman Bates however is just so believably mad he deserves the fame credited to the the film.