Synopsis: Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam. The screenplay by Joseph Stefano was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch.
Director(s): Gus Van Sant
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min



Above Midtown section of the city. It is early afternoon, a

hot mid-summer day. The city is sun-sunblanched white and

its drifted-up noises are muted in blanched their own echoes.

We fly low, heading in a downtown direction, passing over

traffic-clogged streets, parking lots, white business

buildings, neatly patterned residential districts. As we

approach downtown section, the character of the city begins

to change. It is darker and shabby with age and industry. We

see railroad tracks, smokestacks, wholesale fruit-and-

vegetable markets, old municipal buildings, empty lots.

vegetable The very geography seems to give us a climate of

nefariousness, of back-doorness, dark and shadowy. And secret.

We fly lower and faster now, as if seeking out a specific

location. A skinny, high old hotel comes into view. On its

exposed brick side great painted letters advertise "Transients-

Low Weekly Rates-Radio in Every Room." We pause long enough

to establish the shoddy character of this hotel. Its open,

curtainless windows, its silent resigned look so

characteristic of such hole-and-corner hotels. We move forward

with purposefulness and-toward a certain window. The sash is

raised as high as it can go, but the shade is pulled down to

three or four inches of the inside sill, as if the occupants

of the room within wanted privacy but needed air. We are

close now, so that only the lower half of the window frame

is in shot. No sounds come from within the room.

Suddenly, we tip downward, go to the narrow space between

shade and sill, peep into the room.

A young woman is stretched out on the mussed bed. She wears

a full slip, stockings, no shoes. She lies in and attitude

of physical relaxation, but her face, seen in the dimness of

the room, betrays a certain inner-tension, worrisome

conflicts. She is MARY CRANE, an tension, attractive girl

nearing the end of her twenties and her rope.

A man stands beside the bed, only the lower half of his figure

visible. We hold on this tableau for a long moment, then

start forward. As we pass under the window shade,



A small room, a slow fan buzzing on a shelf above the narrow

bed. A card of hotel rules is pasted on the mirror above the

bureau. An unopened suitcase and a woman's large, straw open-

top handbag are on the bureau.

On the table beside the bed there are a container of Coco-

Cola and an unwrapped, untouched egg-salad sandwich. There

is no radio.

The man standing by the bed, wearing only trousers, T-shirt

and sox, is SAM LOOMIS, a good-looking, sensual shirt man

with warm humorous eyes and a compelling smile. He is blotting

his neck and face with a thin towel, and is staring down at

Mary, a small sweet smile playing about his mouth. Mary keeps

her face turned away from him.

After a moment, Sam drops the towel, sits on the bed, leans

over and takes Mary into his arms, kisses her long and warmly,

holds her with a firm possessiveness. The kiss is disturbed

and finally interrupted by the buzzing closeness of an

inconsiderate fly. Sam smiles, pulls away enough to allow

Mary to relax again against the pillow. He studies her, frowns

at her unresponsiveness, then speaks in a low, intimate,

playful voice.


Never did eat your lunch, did you.

Mary looks at his smile, has to respond, pulls him to her,

kisses him. Then, and without breaking the kiss, she swings

her legs over the side of the bed, toe-searches around, finds

her shoes, slips her feet into searches them. And finally

pulls away and sits up.


I better get back to the office.

These extended lunch hours give my

boss excess acid.

She rises, goes to the bureau, takes a pair of small earrings

out of her bag, begins putting them on, not bothering or

perhaps not wanting to look at herself in the mirror. Sam

watches her, concerned but unable to inhibit his cheery,

humorous good mood. Throughout remainder of this scene, they

occupy themselves with dressing, hair-combing, etc.


Call your boss and tell him you're

taking the rest of the afternoon

off. It's Friday anyway... and hot.


(soft sarcasm)

What do I do with my free afternoon,

walk you to the airport?



We could laze around here a while



Checking out time is three P.M. Hotels

of this sort aren't interested in

you when you come in, but when your

time's up...

(a small anguish)

Sam, I hate having to be with you in

a place like this.


I've heard of married couples who

deliberately spend occasional nights

in cheap hotels. They say it...



When you're married you can do a lot

of things deliberately.


You sure talk like a girl who's been





I'm sorry, Mary.

(after a moment)

My old Dad used to say 'when you

can't change a situation, laugh at

it.' Nothing ridicules a thing like

laughing at it.


I've lost my girlish laughter.



The only girlish thing you have lost.


(a meaningful quiet,

then, with difficulty:)

Sam. This is the last time.


For what?


This! Meeting you in secret so we

can be... secretive! You come down

here on business trips and we steal

lunch hours and... I wish you wouldn't

even come.


Okay. What do we do instead, write

each other lurid love letters?


(about to argue, then

turning away)

I haven't time to argue. I'm a working


Rate this script:3.8 / 12 votes

Joseph Stefano

Joseph William Stefano was an American screenwriter, best known for adapting Robert Bloch's novel for Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho and for being the producer and co-writer of the original The Outer Limits TV series. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on March 22, 2016

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