One of the popular shows on television right now is "Bates Motel," which is about a young Norman Bates and his mother. The producers of the show are clearly trying to capitalize on the fame associated with Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece, "Psycho." Any viewer inclined to watch "Bates Motel" without checking out the film that drove many people from the shower to the bathtub is depriving him/herself of a terrorizing treat. And if it has been awhile since you have seen it, indulge yourself, preferably after you have taken a shower.
In "Psycho," the alluring Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh) works as a secretary and steals money so she can start a new life with her boyfriend. She flees town and in the evening, it starts to rain, so she pulls into a motel for the night. The motel's proprietor is Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins), a seemingly friendly young man who betrays only a modest amount of social insecurity. After resolving to return the stolen money, Marion takes a shower, where she is brutally stabbed to death. Soon, her disappearance is noted and her sister and boyfriend find their way to the Bates Motel in their search for her.
"Psycho" is a very influential film. One reason for this is the shower scene, which took several days to film and involved over 70 shots. This scene is masterfully made by Alfred Hitchcock and his filmmaking team. The score is effective, and the brutal killer is not actually seen.
Even without the shower scene, the film is a superior contribution. The plot is compelling, and the relationships between the characters are not superficial. All the performances are excellent. Janet Leigh earned an Oscar nomination for her work as Marion. She makes her character sympathetic, despite the fact that she breaks the law. The best performance in the film is by Anthony Perkins. He also makes his character sympathetic, yet we see that he is deranged.
"Psycho" is a must-see for fans of classic horror, although it is probably not a good choice to watch in a secluded motel.