5 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

So there's this girl who steals $40,000. Her name's Marion Crane (Leigh). She's a secretary at a real-estate office who's hungering to move in with her hunky but destitute long-distance lover (John Gavin). Hence the impulsive decision to palm the cash when a cocky client waves it in her face between double entendres.

Men surround Marion---a cop in shades ogles her with contemptuous suspicion; a used-car dealer prods her with intimidating sales-speak. Even Norman Bates (Perkins), the seemingly mild-mannered clerk she has dinner with at a roadside motel, gets antsy in her presence. But he eventually illuminates her crisis of conscience: "We all go a little mad sometimes," the young man observes, inspiring Marion to renounce her kleptomania and take a cleansing shower. Then Mother shows up.

What was that about madness? Alfred Hitchcock, the jovial purveyor of this influential, still-masterful shocker, implies that we don't know jack about it. A nosy private eye (Martin Balsam) and Marion's overly stubborn sister (Miles) wander around as if on preordained paths, seeking shouting-headline explanations (money! multiple personalities!) to ultimately inexplicable occurrences. The best that can be said is there are bats in the belfry and a well-preserved corpse in the basement. What else can one do but scream?



Release details

Cast and crew

Alfred Hitchcock
Joseph Stefano
Anthony Perkins
Vera Miles
John Gavin
Janet Leigh
Martin Balsam
John McIntire
Simon Oakland
Frank Albertson
Patricia Hitchcock