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Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

  • Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
  • USA | 109mins | 1960 | rated (15)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins

Film run time: 1h 49m

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece about lonely, disturbed motelier Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his unhealthy mother fixation continues to shock after 60 years.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a secretary from Phoenix who steals $40,000 from her employer's client then goes on the run, checks into a remote motel run by a young man (Perkins) under the domination of his mother.

Shot on a shoestring against studio wishes, it would go on to become Hitchcock’s most successful film and leave a lasting impression on film history. Many of its images are among the most famous in cinema - and its notorious shower scene remains one of the most parodied.

Its various innovations include the pivotal switching of audience identification figures, and its adherence to the principles of psychoanalysis, leading to the emergence of a slew of psycho-thrillers and the more disreputable ‘slasher’ genre. But regardless of its technical brilliance and lasting influence, it’s the immediacy of Psycho as a visceral experience that ensures it continued classic status.

Hitchcock didn’t just create modern horror, he validated it.