Premiere - 12/01/2003
"The most brilliant bait-and-switch proposition in motion picture history..."
Total Film - 01/01/2004
"Hitchcock's only out-and-out horror flick -- and possibly the most important ever made."
Empire - 02/01/2009 5 stars out of 5 -- "It's such an essential film -- remaining fresh, shocking, perversely funny and tragic..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/12/2009
"[N]early 50 years after its release in 1960, the 45-second shower scene in PSYCHO is still terrifying and paralyzing."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/21/2010
"Fifty years on, PSYCHO is still damn near perfect. It makes us shudder, sweat, and shield our eyes."
Credited with inventing the genre of the modern horror film, PSYCHO has had its share of sequels and imitators, none of which diminishes the achievement of this shocking and complex horror thriller. Alfred Hitchcock's choreography of elements in PSYCHO is considered so perfect it inspired a shot-by-shot remake by Gus Van Zant in 1998. However, Hitchcock's black-and-white original, featuring Anthony Perkins's haunting characterization of lonely motel keeper Norman Bates, has never been equaled. Bates presides over an out-of-the-way motel under the domineering specter of his mother. The young, well-intentioned Bates is introduced to the audience when Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a blonde on the run with stolen money, checks in for the night. But Momma doesn't like loose women, so the stage is set for this classic tale of horror--and one of the most famous scenes in film history. PSYCHO was initially received by audiences with shock and amazement--and it still terrifies today. Though it is now considered prototypical Hitchcock, its setting, pace, and emphasis on terror were major departures for the director at the time, coming after the more classically grand NORTH BY NORTHWEST.
PSYCHO is the horror film that spawned a thousand imitations, not to mention three sequels. A busty blonde pockets $40,000 in stolen cash following a tryst with her divorced lover. Afterward, she heads up to a remote rural motel run by psychotic mama's boy Norman Bates. The stage is now set for a classic tale of terror and depravity that includes a cross-dressing murderer, stuffed corpses, the ultimate Oedipal conflict, and, of course, the most notorious shower scene ever filmed. Based on the novel by Robert Bloch, PSYCHO is generally considered the progenitor of the horror genre--and an unmitigated masterpiece.
Hitchcock cameo: Hitchcock can be seen through the window in Janet Leigh's office, wearing a cowboy hat.
PSYCHO is number 18 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
PSYCHO was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992.
PSYCHO was followed by PSYCHO II (1983), directed by Richard Franklin; PSYCHO III (1986), directed by Anthony Perkins; and PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990), directed by Mick Garris. Gus Van Zant directed a shot-by-shot remake of PSYCHO in 1998.
Hitchcock insisted that no one be allowed to enter the theater after the film had started.
Joseph Stefano was the winner of the 1960 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Screenplay.
Filmed on an approximate budget of $800,000.
PSYCHO was the first Hollywood film to show an image of a toilet flushing.
In its original release, which was before the MPAA, the film had no rating; it was rated M (for Mature Audiences) by the MPAA for a 1968 reissue, then rerated R in 1984.