A film by Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam’s California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother. Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret. One of the reasons Alfred Hitchcock shot the movie in black and white was he thought it would be too gory in color. But the main reason was that he wanted to make the film as inexpensively as possible (under $1 million). He also wondered if so many bad, inexpensively made, b/w “B” movies did so well at the box office, what would happen if a really good, inexpensively made, b/w movie was made. This was Alfred Hitchcock’s last feature film in black and white, filmed November 30 1959-March 1 1960. The movie in large part was made because Alfred Hitchcock was fed up with the big-budget, star-studded movies he had recently been making and wanted to experiment with the more efficient, sparser style of television filmmaking. Indeed, he ultimately used a crew consisting mostly of TV veterans and hired actors less well known than those he usually used. This was voted the seventh scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Anthony Perkins was paid US$40,000 dollars for his role, which is exactly the same amount of money that Marion Crane embezzles. Alfred Hitchcock deferred his standard $250,000 salary in lieu of 60% of the film’s net profits. His personal earnings from the film exceeded $15 million. Adjusted for inflation, that amount would now top $150 million in 2006 dollars. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #14 Greatest Movie of All Time. Do not bother with the remake it sucks.