Skip to content

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

United States 1960 109 mins. In English

“Phoenix, $40,000, car lot, traffic cop, Bates Motel, taxidermy, keyhole, shower, knife: every cinephile has committed these details to memory, with the composite whole long since contaminating the broader cultural imagination. Filmed in thirty days using Hitchcock’s television crew (along with indelible contributions from composer Bernard Herrmann and title designer Saul Bass), the densely pathological film, arguably Hitchcock’s most complete manipulation of point-of-view, has provided endless fodder for film theorists. With its profit-sharing contracts, incendiary content and shocking narrative reversals, Psycho slammed the door on Hollywood’s classical studio era. The shower scene gave rise to entire film genres, but Hitchcock’s original remains the gold standard for film’s visceral effect. Of the film’s many interpretations, perhaps none remains as unsettling as the director’s own: “To me it’s a fun picture.”—Harvard Film Archive.

Genres: Thriller

Appears in: 2017 on Celluloid



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.