Marion Crane (Vivian Leigh) is in love with Sam Loomis (John Gavin) but Sam won’t marry Marion because of his debts. Marion works in Phoenix Arizona for a real estate company. Just before the weekend a client puts a $40,000 deposit on a property. Marion is tasked with depositing the money at the bank. She decides to steal the money.
Marion leaves town and starts to drive to Fairvale, California where Sam lives. Along the way she arouses the suspicion of a police officer who catches her sleeping in her car. She trades her car in for another and continues on her journey. It’s dark and rainy and she decides to stop at the Bates Motel.
The motel is empty except for the owner caretaker Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who lives in a house that overlooks the hotel. Norman invites Marion up to the house where he and his mother live for a bite to eat but Norman’s mother argues with Norman. Norman brings the food down to the motel.
Norman tells Marion that his mother is sick and she’s all he has. Marion decides to return the money after talking with Norman. She retires to her room to shower and go to bed. While in the shower someone enters the bathroom and murders her. Norman finds blood in the house and runs down to the hotel to find Marion dead. He covers up the crime and dumps Marion’s car, along with her body, possessions and the money into the swamp.
A few weeks go by and Lila Crane (Vera Miles), Marion’s sister goes looking for Marion. She confronts Sam who has no idea that Marion is missing. A private investigator named Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam) confronts the two. He tells them that Marion stole $40,000 and he’s been hired to find her and the money. Arbogast starts looking at motels for Marion. Arbogast finds the Bates Motel and discovers that Marion was there and Norman acts pretty sketchy when asked about her. Arbogast decides he needs to talk to Norman’s mother. He calls Sam and tells his plans and then goes to the house to talk to Mother. Someone kills Arbogast when he climbs the stairs and again Norman finds the body and cleans up the mess.
Sam and Lila go looking for Arbogast and talk to the local police about Norman and his mother. The police have some very interesting things to say about the Bates.
This is Alfred Hitchcock’s best movie. Everything about the movie is brilliant. From the cinematography to the acting to the music and most of all the directing. Its a masterpiece of suspense and horror.