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A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Joseph Stefano (screenplay by), Robert Bloch (based on the novel by)
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Phoenix office worker 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 forty thousand dollars 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.
Did You Know?
Joseph Stefano was adamant about seeing a toilet on-screen to display realism. He also wanted to see it flush. Sir Alfred Hitchcock told him he had to “make it so” through his writing if he wanted to see it. Stefano wrote the scene in which Marion adds up the money, then flushes the paper down the toilet specifically so the toilet flushing was integral to the scene, and therefore irremovable. This was the first American movie (and possibly first fictional movie) ever to show a toilet flushing on-screen.
When Marion is looking in the rear view mirror as the cop is following her, the image is flipped showing the cop driving on the right side of the car instead of the left. Looking into the mirror would still show the driver behind as driving on the left side of the car like normal.
Sam Loomis: Bob! Run out and get yourself some lunch, will you?
Bob Summerfield: Oh, that’s okay, Sam, I brought it with me.
Sam Loomis: Run out and eat it!