Study Guide

Psycho Scene 5

Scene 5

Scene 5

  • It starts to rain, and Marion is having trouble seeing the road.
  • She pulls off and sees a sign for the Bates Motel. They have vacancies.
  • She gets out of the car and goes into the office, but there's no one there.
  • She looks up at the ominous hotel; there's someone in an upper window. So she honks her horn to try to get someone to come out and check her in.
  • A gangly guy comes out with an umbrella. That's Norman Bates.
  • He's cheerful and polite.
  • Marion signs in under an alias, Mary Samuels, and says she's from Los Angeles.
  • Norman reaches for a room key. After a second of hesitation, he picks Cabin 1.
  • That hesitation is a big deal. Watch for it; from that hesitation, much badness flows.
  • Marion says she's hungry; Norman tells her there's a diner ten miles away. He also tells her she's pretty near Fairvale, which is where Sam lives (and where she's heading).
  • Norman gets her bags, and takes her into her cabin. He shows her where everything is, but he's embarrassed about showing her the bathroom.
  • She admits she's not going to go to the diner, so Norman invites her to eat with him at the house.
  • Marion says she'd like to.
  • She opens her suitcase and looks for a place to hide the money.
  • Eventually she decides to put it in a newspaper, which she then puts on the bedside table.
  • She hears a woman's voice from the house. It sounds like Norman's mother, who is very upset at the thought of Norman having Marion up to the house.
  • Mother thinks Norman is up to something dirty and sexual.
  • It's almost like the mother has seen the film so far, and peeped Marion stealing and walking around in her underwear.
  • Hitchcock (and by extension, the viewer) is not unlike Norman's mother. In this movie, Marion = sex and vice.
  • There are some nice shots of the gloomy, gothic house from Marion's perspective.
  • Norman argues with his mommy, but she's meaner and louder. Finally, Norman yells at her to shut up.
  • Could Marion really hear him from that far away? Probably not. But the plot says she must, so she does.
  • Marion goes outside to meet Norman coming back with food.
  • He says "my mother isn't herself today." Foreshadowing alert.
  • It's stopped raining.
  • Norman asks Marion to come eat dinner in the office, and then he brings her into the parlor.
  • The parlor has a lot of stuffed birds everywhere, which is a little creepy.
  • Norman just watches Marion eat.
  • He stutters a little from nervousness. He seems cute and shy.
  • Appearances are deceiving.
  • Norman's hobby is taxidermy; stuffing dead things.
  • More foreshadowing.
  • The two talk about Norman's mother; Norman doesn't seem to have any other friends.
  • Norman talks about being trapped. He says his mom is mentally ill; she raised him after his father died.
  • He says she had met a man a few years back, and the man died and she went insane.
  • Norman says he can't leave his mom, even though she is awful and cruel. Marion asks whether he couldn't put her in an institution.
  • Then Norman gets very creepy and angry and weird.
  • This would be the moment for Marion to get back in her car and drive off somewhere else without this creepy guy and his dead birds and his screaming mother.
  • Again, you can tell she should leave because the soundtrack starts up ominously.
  • But she doesn't. Bad move Marion.
  • The conversation with the creepy dude who is unhappy and unable to change his life has led Marion to realize that she needs to take the money back.
  • Anyway, Marion leaves to go to bed. She mentions her name is Crane as she goes.
  • And this is the first moment in which you leave Marion to follow someone else's perspective. Previously, when you needed to get info, Hitchcock just put the dialogue in Marion's head or imagination.
  • But now you see Norman check the register; he sees that Marion gave him a false name.
  • Her lie gives him permission to be nasty himself; he goes back into the parlor, removes a picture frame and looks through a peep-hole into Marion's room.
  • He sees her in her bra, and though the camera cuts away, he presumably sees her naked.
  • More voyeurism. Sheesh, Hitchcock.
  • Marion is getting her robe on.
  • Norman puts the picture back and leaves the hotel.
  • He seems determined, and walks back up to his house.
  • You see him inside, his home; he goes and sits down.
  • Cut back to Marion in her room. She's making notes on a piece of paper about money, trying to figure out how to pay back the $700 she spent.
  • She rips up the paper, goes into the bathroom, and flushes it down the toilet.
  • Then she takes off her robe and gets into the shower.
  • Most famous scene in the history of cinema is coming up, right here.
  • Are you ready?
  • Marion gets in the shower (naked of course), and you see a famous shot of water coming out of the showerhead.
  • Marion washes… and you see a figure coming at her through the curtain.
  • The figure pulls the curtain open, and you see it's a woman (or what looks like a woman) holding a knife.
  • The soundtrack starts up: scree! scree! scree!
  • Every shot here is famous, pretty much. The slashing knife, Marion turning around helplessly in the tub, her hand sliding down the wall, her body sliding down the wall, and her hand gripping the shower curtain, which she spasmodically pulls down.
  • Then we see the epic final shot: blood swirling down the drain, which dissolves into an extreme close-up of Marion's unblinking eye.
  • The camera pulls out from her eye to show her whole face, and then the bathroom, cutting up again to the showerhead, and then panning across the room to the newspaper on her bedside table with the money.
  • The pan to the newspaper is supposed to remind you the money is there. But it also reminds you that stealing the money is why Marion's come to this. The film sort of blames her for getting stabbed to death… which seems pretty unfair.
  • And then there's a pan to the open door, through which you see the looming house, and hear Norman yelling at his mother "Oh, Mother! Blood! Blood!" You can see why he'd be upset.
  • Norman comes running down into the cabin, sees the body, and is horrified.
  • Though he pulls himself together quickly enough.
  • Resourceful boy.
  • Norman goes into the office and comes out with a mop.
  • Norman gets poor Marion onto the shower curtain.
  • Then he washes his hands; more blood swirls down the drain.
  • Norman cleans the tub with the mop. (Hitchcock decided to shoot the film in black and white in part because he thought that seeing all the blood in red would be too much. Always tasteful and restrained, that Hitchcock.)
  • And our Norman gets Marion's car keys, and backs her car up to the front of the cabin.
  • He puts her in the car. He goes through the cabin and collects all her things. He puts them all in the suitcase and takes them out to put them in the trunk, too.
  • And last he finds her newspaper and puts that in too. He doesn't know about the money.
  • He drives the car to a convenient nearby swamp, and pushes it in. It sinks into the mud.
  • He eat some candy while he watches it sink. (Norman sucks on a lot of candy.)
  • He looks pleased when the car finally sinks out of sight. Job well done, Norman. You creep.
  • And that's the end of that really enormously, incredibly long scene. Phew. It takes a long scene to kill off your main character.