The widely heralded skill of Alfred
Hitchcock in developing suspense leading up
gradually and tellingly to a shattering climax in
a murder mystery again is apparent in this
shocker. There can be no gainsaying the fact
that the film will grip audiences from
beginning to end, and because the effect
cannot be shaken off immediately at its
conclusion, word-of-mouth is guaranteed.
Each bit of action and dialogue fits neatly into
place as the plot unfolds. The first murder
comes so suddenly that it staggers the viewer.
Thereafter, violence always threatens.
Hitchcock naturally wins the lion's share of
laurels but he had wonderful talent to work
with. Anthony Perkins as a sensitive young
man, Janet Leigh as the charming absconder
of $40,000, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin
Balsam and the others lend the highest
possible degree of realism to the film. Perkins
is remarkable. Camera work, including
special effects, and backgrounds are fine. A
negligee love scene at the outset as well as
the frightening moments that follow force an
adult audience classification. Viewers are
asked not to reveal the trick ending and
theatres not to admit patrons during a show.
puts up at an empty motel in the town where
John Gavin, her sweetheart, lives. Anthony
Perkins, youthful proprietor, tells her his
mother in the mansion next door is insane.
The girl is stabbed to death. The assailant
isn't clearly seen. Anthony puts her body and
baggage in her car and sinks it in a swamp.
Detective Balsam traces Janet to the motel.
He is killed searching the mansion. Vera
Miles, Janet's sister, and John arrive. John
saves Vera as she is attacked in the mansion
by a female figure. Anthony tells all to a police
A terrific Hitchcock murder mystery with a
terrific cast -- Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh,
Vera Miles, John Gavin... See the year's
sensation -- an unguessable Alfred Hitchcock
shocker!... Alfred Hitchcock's greatest, most
shocking mystery with a galaxy of stars.
Paramount 109 mins.