Hitchcock's shocker sent audiences screaming up the aisles in 1960. And it's no wonder they were scared. For its time, Psycho really did break all the rules. Not only does Hitch kill off his heroine halfway through the movie, but it's worth remembering that well before the nasty music kicks in, he's had her steal $40,000, meet her lover for a lunchtime shag and - - in a Hollywood first - - flush the loo. Defining moments like the shower scene and the segment in the cellar when Vera Miles is treated to a dose of Mother's charm are shored up by a great Joseph Stefano script that mixes the darkly funny ("'Mother is not quite herself today"') with oddball poetry (like '"It's as hot as fresh milk in here'" and '"Sometimes Saturday night is a lonely sound'").

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