Psycho: A Madman's Greatest Movie

Psycho: A Madman's Greatest Movie
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

We often refer to crazy people as "psychos," but this word more specifically refers to people who lack empathy. Enter the psychopathic character in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," which plumbed the depths of a warped human mind capable of the worst kind of behavior. How much do you know about this masterpiece of horror filmmaking?
In what year was the original "Psycho" movie released?
1957
1960
"Psycho" was released in 1960. A (poorly received) remake directed by Gus Van Sant was released in 1998.
1965

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The movie's storyline is based on what?
comic book
novel
The movie's storyline comes from a novel of the same name written by Robert Bloch. Bloch wrote more than 30 novels during his lifetime.
true life events

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What was the name of the character played by Janet Leigh?
Marion
Leigh was Marion Crane, a woman who decides to steal a pile of cash from her employer. She hits the road to escape and then winds up at a creepy little roadside motel.
Laura
Lea

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Alfred Hitchcock directed the film. At which point of Hitchcock's career was "Psycho" released?
near the beginning
in the middle
near the end
Hitchcock had already been making films for decades before he made "Psycho." This film was a tremendously successful way for the famed director to cap off his stellar career.

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What's the name of the weird guy who greets Marion at the motel?
Ray
Stan
Norman
Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, has piercing eyes and stranger mannerisms. As it turns out, his social awkwardness disguises much deeper psychological problems.

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Which actor did NOT appear in the film?
Martin Balsam
Anthony Hopkins
Hopkins has been in some scary movies, but not "Psycho," which featured the likes of Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and John Gavin, among others.
Anthony Perkins

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Why does Marion decide to stop at the Bates Motel?
runs out of gas
weather turns bad
A heavy rainstorm obscures the highway, and Marion is too tired to continue driving. She pulls into the Bates Motel parking lot, an act that seals her fate.
she's drunk

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Where does the movie's most famous scene take place?
morgue
shower
Some scenes are so famous that they become a part of our society's cultural consciousness. The famous shower scene is one of the most suspenseful moments in Hollywood history.
cemetery

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How does Norman kill Marion while she's in the shower?
a knife
As Norman stalks Marion in the shower, the audience sees his knife-wielding silhouette on the shower curtain. Bates then proceeds to stab Marion to death.
a gun
a rope

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When Norman snaps back to semi-reality, he doesn't understand that he killed Marion. Who does Norman believe committed the murder?
another motel patron
his mother
Norman has psychological problems that allow him to commit heinous acts thinking that he's not responsible. He believes that "Mother" killed Marion and that he's been left to clean up the mess.
his dog

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Norman had previously killed his mother. Who else did he kill at the same time?
his father
his mother's boyfriend
Consumed by jealousy, Norman killed both his mother and her boyfriend. Later, he digs up his mother's corpse and begins treating it as if his mother was still alive -- you know, pretty normal behavior for a middle-aged man.
his neighbor

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What does Norman do with Marion's lifeless body?
burns it
puts it into a swamp
Norman gathers all evidence of Marion's stay (along with her body) and stuffs it into her vehicle. Then he rolls the car into a nearby swamp in hopes of concealing the crime.
buries it

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How many Academy Award nominations did the film receive?
four
The edgy material didn't dissuade Hollywood from embracing this film. "Psycho" received four Oscar nominations.
six
eight

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Which of the following was NOT one of the film's Academy Award nominations?
Best Picture
"Psycho" was not nominated for Best Picture. It was nominated for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White and Best Art Direction, Black-and-White.
Best Supporting Actress
Best Director

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Of its four Oscar nominations, how many did the film actually win?
zero
As it turned out, the nominations didn't go anywhere. "Psycho" didn't win any Oscar awards.
one
three

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How long is the famous shower scene?
three minutes
The three-minute scene uses dozens of (often disorienting) camera angles meant to jar the audience. By the end of the scene, many viewers were probably scarred for life.
90 seconds
60 seconds

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Why does a private investigator show up at the Bates Motel?
a bounty hunter
hired by Marion's family
The investigator is hired by Marion's family and tasked with finding her. Instead, the man stumbles into a much creepier (and deadlier) situation.
looking for the stolen money

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Where was the Bates Motel?
Hollywood
The movie was shot on a set built in Hollywood. There's no actual Bates Motel -- it was constructed right on the property of Universal Studios.
New Mexico
Colorado

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The novel (and thus, the movie) was inspired by which serial killer?
Ted Bundy
Ed Gein
Ed Gein was a particularly odd serial killer who committed his crimes in 1950s Wisconsin. He took to digging up bodies and use the parts to make various creations. Eventually, he murdered two women.
Harvey Glatman

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The movie is more violent than the novel.
true
false
There were some notable changes as the book was adapted to the screenplay. The book was much more violent. And in the novel, Norman has a drinking problem -- in the movie, he's a sober but twisted individual.

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How much money did Marion steal from her employer?
$4,000
$40,000
Marion stole $40,000, which would be more than $320,000 in today's money. The small fortune triggers quick, violent karma.
1 million

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Why did Alfred Hitchcock decide to shoot the movie using black-and-white film?
wanted to make an artistic statement
to save money
Paramount refused to fund the movie due to its strange and violent content, meaning that Hitchcock had to support the budget with his own production organization. The limited budget pushed him into using cheaper black-and-white film.
thought it was creepier

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What was the status of Janet Leigh's Hollywood career before she took the role in "Psycho"?
a Hollywood amateur
career was sinking
was a well-known star
Both Leigh and Hopkins were Hollywood stars when Hitchcock asked them to take part in the movie. Leigh was so enthused to work on the project that she agreed to do the job for a fraction of her usual salary.

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"Psycho" was Hitchock's most financially successful film.
true
The film received very mixed reviews from critics, but it resonated with audiences around the world. It made roughly $50 million at the box office and became Hitchcock's most profitable movie.
false

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What was the movie's approximate budget?
around $800,000
This was a low-budget venture, even for 1960 -- it was made for less than $1 million. It earned that amount back (and much more) in just a few days at theaters.
around $1.8 million
around $2.8 million

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By the end of the movie, we learn that Norman has killed how many people?
three
five
six
Norman turns out to be a fairly prolific murderer. He killed his mother and her boyfriend, Marion (and two other single women), as well as the private detective who comes along looking for Marion.

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Why did Hitchcock reportedly try to buy every copy of Bloch's book before the movie hit theaters?
to make sure the book was a bestseller
as a favor to the author
wanted the plot to be a surprise
Hitchcock supposedly wanted his masterpiece film to be a complete surprise. He reportedly bought many copies of the book to preserve its surprise twists.

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At which point in the movie does Hitchcock make a cameo appearance?
at the beginning
At this point of his career, Hitchcock was well-known for making brief appearances in his films. He opted to appear very briefly at the beginning of the movie so that audiences could spot him…and then turn their attention to the horrific story unfolding on the screen.
in the middle
at the very end

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Following her role in the movie, what did Janet Leigh attempt to avoid for the remainder of her life?
psychopaths
knives
showers
Leigh's role in the movie apparently had a deep effect on her mind. She was freaked out by showers and reportedly tried to avoid them once shooting was completed.

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What orders did Hitchcock give to theaters before releasing the film?
no cameras or recording devices allowed
no one was allowed entry after the movie began
Hitchcock felt the movie's suspense was best absorbed in total from beginning to end -- no one was allowed into the theater once the movie started.
the tickets cost twice as much as regular tickets

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You Got:
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