Critics Consensus

Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it.



Total Count: 92


Audience Score

User Ratings: 239,656
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Movie Info

In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in the world) when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common moment in a major studio film in 1960), Psycho announced that it was taking the audience to places it had never been before, and on that score what followed would hardly disappoint. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is unhappy in her job at a Phoenix, Arizona real estate office and frustrated in her romance with hardware store manager Sam Loomis (John Gavin). One afternoon, Marion is given $40,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Minutes later, impulse has taken over and Marion takes off with the cash, hoping to leave Phoenix for good and start a new life with her purloined nest egg. 36 hours later, paranoia and exhaustion have started to set in, and Marion decides to stop for the night at the Bates Motel, where nervous but personable innkeeper Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) cheerfully mentions that she's the first guest in weeks, before he regales her with curious stories about his mother. There's hardly a film fan alive who doesn't know what happens next, but while the shower scene is justifiably the film's most famous sequence, there are dozens of memorable bits throughout this film. The first of a handful of sequels followed in 1983, while Gus Van Sant's controversial remake, starring Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche, appeared in 1998. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Anthony Perkins
as Norman Bates
Janet Leigh
as Marion Crane
Vera Miles
as Lila Crane
Martin Balsam
as Arbogast
Simon Oakland
as Dr. Richmond
Frank Albertson
as Millionaire
Lurene Tuttle
as Mrs. Chambers
Vaughan Taylor
as George Lowery
John Anderson
as California Charlie
Mort Mills
as Highway Patrolman
Francis De Sales
as District Attorney
George Eldredge
as Chief of Police
Sam Flint
as Official
Helen Wallace
as Woman Customer
Ted Knight
as Police Guard
Alfred Hitchcock
as Man Outside Office in Cowboy Hat
Frank Killmond
as Bob Summerfield
Anne Dore
as Perkins' Double in Shower Scene
Marli Renfro
as Leigh's Double in Shower Scene
Jeanette Nolan
as Norma Bates (uncredited)
Virginia Gregg
as Norma Bates (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Psycho

Critic Reviews for Psycho

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Psycho

  • Jun 03, 2016
    27/08/2018 - A perfect film by Hitchcock. The acting, camera work and script are all top notch. Add to this one of the most memorable scenes in film history, (the shower scene) and you've got yourself a work of art. There are no faults to find here.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2015
    Incredible from start to finish, with an impeccable musical score banging on, stabbing at your senses. But I would not consider this Hitchcock's greatest, even third greatest, work.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2015
    What more can be said about Psycho other than 'WOW'. Psycho isn't just an iconic horror film, it's an icon completely as an item and a piece of art. The film that cemented Hitchcock's star in the hall of cine-fame, Psycho narrates the infamous story of Norman Bates and his warped motel, inhabited by the elusive silouhette of his over-bearing mother. When a beautiful young runaway flees work with a chunk of her employer's money, of course her first thought is to check into the nearest motel, inevitably leading to one of the most notoriously scary scenes in cinema. Worth a watch in all kinds of weather, the film was nominated for four Academy Awards upon release and features a young Janet Leigh and a handsome Anthony Perkins. Scary, extremely tense and mildy psycho-sexual, Psycho is great.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2015
    It sent shivers down my spine, but nevertheless this is undoubtedly a masterpiece in the horror genre. Hitchcock is a master at it!!! TWO THUMPS UP!
    Serge E Super Reviewer

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