Poor frustrated Marion Crane (Janet Leigh of Touch of Evil; The Manchurian Candidate) is not a happy camper. She doesn’t ask for much, just love and happiness with her hunky California sweetie Sam Loomis (John Gavin of Midnight Lace; Spartacus).
|Jeepers, it's 15 days before Christmas already!
|Those crazy kids Marion and Sam may not have money and time,
but they'll always have Phoenix! Here's looking at you, kids!
|Caroline (Patricia Hitchcock) called to see if Teddy called! She can flirt with us anytime!
|Marion is so new to crime; I hope she remembers
which is Bad-Girl Black or Good-Girl White!
|Don't spend all that $40,000 in one place!
|Hi, Mr. Lowery, it's just little old me, Marion, off to pick up those headache pills! Gotta run!
|Marion made it through the rain! Now for Marion's Dinner with Norman!
|Trusty umbrella service, homemade sandwiches, fresh milk; a pretty girl, taxidermyl
What's The Bates Motel got that Courtyard By Marriott doesn't?
|He sees you when you're peeping!
At last, Marion finds shelter at The Bates Motel. It’s clearly had better days since the main road was washed up, but it you love stuffed birds, you’ll love it! Just steer clear of that nice young man’s mother, Mrs. Bates. Word has it that young Norman (played by Anthony Perkins from Friendly Persuasion; Murder on The Orient Express; Pretty Poison ) is rather henpecked. But maybe we should give the old gal a little slack; after all, Mother isn’t quite herself these days, especially when pretty young strangers drop by….
Stephen Rebello’s Psycho commentary track mentions that some first-time viewers felt that Marion comes across as stupid! However, I agree with Rebello that we must keep in mind that Marion is an amateur, not at all a practiced thief; indeed, she seems to be in some kind of fugue state, confused and troubled. As long as Marion has our sympathy, I say give the girl a break while they still can! Psycho wasn’t named on AFI’s 100 Thrills List for nothing!
|Aren't Hitchcock's cameos fun?
(When in doubt, the answer is "C")
Vinnie whips off his wig and discusses The Shower Scene
It's possibly the most iconic scene in film, certainly in horror/suspense. It is perfection. Two and a half minutes of masterfully crafted shock. Rife with not even implied violence and nudity, but crafted so that you will infer violence and nudity. The knife is never seen entering flesh, indeed there are only two moments where the knife is even seen near Marion. And there's no blood - it's chocolate sauce, as everyone now knows - but it's only seen dripping into the bathwater and down the drain, but we imagine it all over poor Ms. Crane. But it's shot so fast, and so well, that persistence of vision makes you see them together almost constantly.
in the most amazing of places, from Mel Brooks'
High Anxiety to this episode of Tiny Toon Adventures.
Taken out of context and watched on its own, it's still compelling. So much so that film makers have tried to match it in endless kill scenes in Friday the 13th and endless other horror films. But to truly understand the impact of the scene, you have to see it in the context of the film.
First off, the scene breaks one of Hitch's rules - if you TELL the audience what's coming, the dread and suspense they feel will make for a far longer and more harrowing experience. But the scene comes straight outta nowhere; indeed, at this point in the film, you expect to see Marion get back in her car and go back to face the music and AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!
Take this one step further - as far as people knew, Janet Leigh was the star of the film. For her to be removed from the board had never been done before. It left the movie-goers rudderless at sea - they had no idea what was going to happen, where the story was going to go. It was that sense of being utterly out of their comfort zone that gave the moment its true shock. When Norman comes in and begins to clean up, the audience naturally assumes that he's the new hero of the film, exactly as they were supposed to.
The film is filled with left turns where you think yo know what it's about, and suddenly it isn't. You assume Marion's the main character, wrong. You assume the money is the McGuffin - wrong, it gets tossed into the trunk of the car and is never mentioned again. You think Norman is the new hero, and...well...