It's Friday afternoon and Marion Crane and her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin) have just had a romantic interlude at a local hotel. Marion wants so much more from their relationship but Sam has bills and can't afford to marry her. Marion feels as if life is passing her by and she is desperate. Her boss hands her some money to take to the bank. Since she is not feeling well she asks if she can have the afternoon off after her bank run. Rather than hit the bank Marion keeps the money and starts to head out of town. She sees her boss and thinks he is on to her. She panics and drives till she can't drive no more. She pulls over and falls asleep. A police officer knocks on the window to wake her up. They exchange questions and answers and she is allowed to drive off. The cop follows for awhile and observes her buy a used car to cover up her trail. She drives off to meet Sam to tell him that she loves him and wants to get married.
Rather than sleep on the road again she pulls off into the parking lot of the Bates Motel. She meets the clerk a man by the name of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Norman runs the motel for his mother. Things go very wrong for Marion from this point on. Norman's mother is heard yelling that she doesn't like the strange woman, but her son yells back to tell her that she is fine.
Norman asks Marion to come have something to eat before she goes to bed. Marion thinks about going back and making amends for what she has done by stealing the money. She is in her room now and after writing down some numbers she goes to take a shower. While in the shower she is attacked by an old woman and is stabbed to death.
After some time Sam Loomis and Lila Crane (Vera Miles) meet up looking for Marion. Lila is Marion's sister and she is worried about her. A private investigator by the name of Arbogast (Martin Balsam) is also looking for Marion. All three will end up at the Bates Motel but what is found is something you would never think of. So watching this movie is probably one the scariest things you will ever do in your life.
Director Alfred Hitchcock gives us one of the scariest movies ever made. He does such a fine job with this cast that it made stars out of them. So sit back and think again the next time you have to stay in a motel and think just what might occur in the night.