Psycho

on June 16, 1960 by BOXOFFICE Staff
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Classic Reviews 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.

THE STORY:
Janet Leigh 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 psychologist.

CATCHLINES:
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.

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