Year of release
Written by
Joseph Stefano
Feature film?


Psycho is a classic horror film based on 1959-novel of the same name, directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Joseph Stefano, from 1960. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, and John Gavin.

Synopsis Edit

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.


Cast & Crew Edit

Sequels and remakes Edit

The film has had four sequels, and a remake.

Production Edit

Development Edit

Psycho is based on Robert Bloch's novel "Psycho" from 1959, which was loosely inspired by the case of convicted Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. Both Gein, who lived just 40 miles from Bloch, and the story's protagonist, Norman Bates, were solitary murderers in isolated rural locations. Both of them had deceased domineering mothers, sealed-off room in their home as a shrine to her, and dressed in women's clothes. However, Gein is not strictly considered a serial killer, having been charged with murder only twice, unlike Bates.

The Psycho set on the Universal lot, featuring a Ford Custom 300 similar to that driven by Janet Leigh in the film.

Peggy Robertson, who was Hitchcock's long-time assistant, read Anthony Boucher's positive review of the Bloch novel and decided to show the book to him, even though studio readers at Paramount Pictures had already rejected its premise for a film. Hitchcock acquired rights to the novel for $9,500 and reportedly ordered Robertson to buy up copies to preserve the novel's surprises. Hitchcock, who had come to face genre competitors whose works were critically compared to his own, was seeking new material to recover from two aborted projects with Paramount, Flamingo Feather and No Bail for the Judge. He disliked stars' salary demands and trusted only a few people to choose prospective material, including Robertson. Paramount executives balked at Hitchcock's proposal and refused to provide his usual budget. In response, Hitchcock offered to film Psycho quickly and inexpensively in black and white using his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series crew. Paramount executives rejected this cost-conscious approach, claiming their sound stages were booked even though the industry was in a slump. Hitchcock countered he would personally finance the project and film it at Universal-International using his Shamley Productions crew if Paramount would merely distribute. In lieu of his usual $250,000 director's fee he proposed a 60% stake in the film negative. This combined offer was accepted and Hitchcock went ahead in spite of naysaying from producer Herbert Coleman and Shamley Productions executive Joan Harrison.

Pre-production Edit

Paramount, whose contract guaranteed another film by Hitchcock, did not want Hitchcock to make Psycho.[1]

To keep costs down, and because he was most comfortable around them, Hitchcock took most of his crew from the television series hosted by him, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including the cinematographer, set designer, script supervisor, and first assistant director. He hired regular collaborators Bernard Herrmann as music composer, George Tomasini as editor, and Saul Bass for the title design and storyboarding of the shower scene. His crew cost $62,000 in total.



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