Norman smiling in the last scence

Review & Synopsis: Psycho (1960), and Character Analysis of Norman Bates

A Magnum Opus, a Cult, a movie of epic proportion, a brilliant visual production of a crime fiction; whatever one says about ‘Pscyho’, it will be lesser to describe the importance of the movie.

The inexorable forces of past sins and mistakes crush hopes for regeneration and present happiness.

-Lesley Brill

~Review~

Psycho (1960) is Alfred Hitchcock’s own blood and soul. Despite being one of those rare movies produced in B&W during a commercially flourishing Technicolor film era, it managed to capture audiences’ attention through its subtle simple colored portraits, eerie sound effects and great direction. It, undeniably, can be called one of the masterpieces of American cinema.

Psycho Poster

Psycho (1960) Official Poster

The major theme of Psycho, as usual in Hitchcock’s any other films, revolves around; Love, SEX, betrayal, crime, cold-blood murder and psychopaths. A batter of neo-noir mashed with Suspense and Thriller, the movie’s a visual concoction of prevailing crimes of post 1950s and consumerism.

A simple Thriller drama comprising of yet simpler elements of an everyday film; a gorgeous woman (Starlet), psychopaths, intense background score, police investigation and crime, takes your breath away with its perfectly timed sequences, sound effects and well-woven plots which was unusual in movies that came before Psycho.

With common substances from Hitchcock-ian crafts, Psycho did prove a controversial film of its time, however, it did manage to grab audiences’ attention and critics’ praise over the time; and it managed to secure a Cult status. The sound, story, cinematography, fabulous acting by Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates) and greater direction by Alfred Hitchcock easily puts this movie in the top of the list of Best Suspense-Thriller/Drama movies ever made.

★★★★/5

~Synopsis~

(Psycho through Screenshots)

View of Phoenix, Arizona

View of Phoenix, Arizona shown at the start of the movie

Marion Crane making love with her boyfriend

Marion Crane making love with her boyfriend in a hotel room

Marion tries fleeing the city after embezzling $40,000 of her Boss's money

Marion tries fleeing the city after embezzling $40,000 of her Boss’s money

Marion driving through Interstate 10

Marion driving through Interstate 10

Bates Motel Sign

The Bates Motel Sign that Marion sees while on the road

Norman Bates telling his story

Norman Bates, the Bates motel owner, telling his story to Marion

Marion lying dead

Marion is dramatically killed in a shower by a mysterious looking woman, possibly Norman’s mother

Norman dumps Marions and her car in a pond

Norman, being an obedient son, dumps Marion and her car in a nearby pond

Norman scared with Detectives questions

A Detective is sent from Phoenix to investigate on Marion’s whereabouts. He questions Norman

Norman outsmarts the detective

Norman assumes he well hid the fact about Marion’s disappearance and gives a subtle smile

Norman crosdressed as his mother trying to kill lila

Norman, cross-dressed as his mother, tries killing Lila. it’s revealed that he was the guilty of killing Marion but his mother

Corpse of Nroman Bates deceased mother

Marion’s sister Lila tries investigating about on the matter herself. In the process, she finds a desiccated corpse of Norman’s mother

Norman confined in psychiatric ward

Police nabs Norman and sends him to a psychiatric ward. It’s revealed then that he has a disassociated identity disorder. he is both ‘Norman’ and his Mother

~Different Shades of Norman Bates’ (The Anti-hero) Character~

Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins) is the antagonist of the ‘Psycho’. Norman is suffering from Disassociated Identity Disorder and he generally lives two different lives. Whatever he does or speak greatly differs with the character he exudes.

His two lives; first, as himself, ‘Norman Bates’ aka the son, is a caring and loving lad, a conscientious and civic in all manners possible, is a Hero of the film. He inspires Marion to admit her guilt and do the right thing. He desires to live in a better society. A hardworking and dedicated citizen.

His second life, as his deceased mother aka Mrs. Bates is a dominating and evil. She controlled her son during his juvenile. She, jealous of other women and a victim of infidelity, protected Norman from any outwardly or worldly influences. Her controlling nature motivated him to kill the woman who he finds attractive. She planted the hatred in her son against womanhood and love.

Norman smiling in the last scence

Norman sarcastically smiling at the Camera

An obedient son and a dominating mother, are Norman’s two lives. To suppress the death of his mother and his ruined adolescence, He often is possessed by his mother and he does things what his mother would aspire to do.

A loner, Norman desires woman’s company and love, but he can’t profess his liking or initiate any relationship with them in fear of his mothers reprimands. He is the predecessor of every psychopaths of the movies that were made after Psycho.

Psycho (1960)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Written by Robert Bloch, Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and others

Distributed by Paramount Pictures (Original) & Universal Pictures

Resources

Character of Norman Bates & Making of Psycho (1960) @Wikipedia

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4 comments

  1. Hello, I’m a french student and for a university blog I would like to know if it’s possible to take your Norman Bates picture?
    Thank.

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