Psycho II (1983)

R | 113 mins | Mystery | 3 June 1983

Director:

Richard Franklin

Writer:

Tom Holland

Producer:

Hilton A. Green

Cinematographer:

Dean Cundey

Editor:

Andrew London

Production Designer:

John W. Corso

Production Companies:

Universal Pictures , Oak Industries
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HISTORY

The 23 Aug 1981 LAT reported that actor Anthony Perkins agreed to star and direct a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960, see entry). The film, referenced by its working title, Psycho II, The Return of Norman Bates, would also feature actress Vera Miles, reprising the role of “Lila,” and Martin Balsam as “Dr. Axelberg,” brother of “Arbogast,” whom he portrayed in the original. Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of actress Janet Leigh, who also appeared in the 1960 film, was considered for the role of Lila’s daughter, with Greg Meadows as her boyfriend, “Dan.” John Gavin was unavailable, due to his obligations as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, but a photograph of him would appear onscreen as Lila’s late husband. The picture was to be produced by Doc Erickson for the Picture Striking Co. In the proposed screenplay by Gary Travis and Michael January, “Lila” purchases the abandoned Bates Motel, hoping to exorcise the memory of her sister’s brutal murder by “Norman,” who recently escaped a mental institution. Principal photography was tentatively planned for early 1983. Neither Balsam, Erickson, Gavin, Travis, January, nor Curtis remained with the project. Months later, the 7 Apr 1982 Var listed Psycho 2 among the year’s upcoming productions from Universal Pictures. On 5 May 1982, Var announced the film, officially titled Psycho II, as the first project of a four-picture partnership between Oak Communications and Universal. All four pictures would open theatrically, followed by a subscription television release. Perkins’s participation had not yet been confirmed. The 14 May 1982 ... More Less

The 23 Aug 1981 LAT reported that actor Anthony Perkins agreed to star and direct a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960, see entry). The film, referenced by its working title, Psycho II, The Return of Norman Bates, would also feature actress Vera Miles, reprising the role of “Lila,” and Martin Balsam as “Dr. Axelberg,” brother of “Arbogast,” whom he portrayed in the original. Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of actress Janet Leigh, who also appeared in the 1960 film, was considered for the role of Lila’s daughter, with Greg Meadows as her boyfriend, “Dan.” John Gavin was unavailable, due to his obligations as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, but a photograph of him would appear onscreen as Lila’s late husband. The picture was to be produced by Doc Erickson for the Picture Striking Co. In the proposed screenplay by Gary Travis and Michael January, “Lila” purchases the abandoned Bates Motel, hoping to exorcise the memory of her sister’s brutal murder by “Norman,” who recently escaped a mental institution. Principal photography was tentatively planned for early 1983. Neither Balsam, Erickson, Gavin, Travis, January, nor Curtis remained with the project. Months later, the 7 Apr 1982 Var listed Psycho 2 among the year’s upcoming productions from Universal Pictures. On 5 May 1982, Var announced the film, officially titled Psycho II, as the first project of a four-picture partnership between Oak Communications and Universal. All four pictures would open theatrically, followed by a subscription television release. Perkins’s participation had not yet been confirmed. The 14 May 1982 DV reported Universal’s plan to start production in Jun 1982, with Hilton A. Green as producer, Bernard Schwartz as executive producer, and Richard Franklin as director. The 6 Jul 1982 HR announced the 30 June 1982 start of principal photography, with Perkins and Miles in starring roles.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, producer Hilton A. Green served as first assistant director on Psycho, and other Hitchcock projects. Citing the modest budget of the 1960 film, Green believed a quality sequel could be made under similar constraints. The review in the 1 Jun 1983 Var estimated the budget at $4 million. Australian director Richard Franklin was chosen based on his reputation for making “thrillers of the Hitchcock genre,” and, as he told the 2 Jun 1983 LAHExam, his lifelong study of the late filmmaker’s work. Psycho II marked Franklin’s American feature film debut.
       Due to a redesign of the Universal Studios backlot, the “Bates” house, from the 1960 film was removed from its original site. Prior to filming, Green and Franklin had it moved to a hillside location, which production designer John W. Corso graded to duplicate the original, then “aged” the house twenty-two years. Corso reproduced the Bates Motel at the bottom of the hill, using still photographs and blueprints from the 1960 film. However, only forty feet of motel façade appeared in the picture, while the rest of the building and its neon sign were created by optical effects designer Albert Whitlock, who worked on numerous Hitchcock films. Using a book of “frame-by-frame stills” of the original Bates House, and Green’s memory, set designer Jennifer Polito searched rental houses throughout Los Angeles, California, to find duplicate props and furnishings. As reported in the 11 Aug 1982 NYT, a number of items were found in the Universal’s prop department, including the front door of the house, wash basins, a Cupid statue, and a pair of “clasped hands” cast in bronze. The infamous showerhead from the 1960 film was reportedly “stolen during preproduction.”
       Bernard Schwartz told the 18 Jul 1982 LAT that he attempted to commit Perkins to the project before the screenplay was completed. However, the actor, who had refused several such sequel efforts in the past, agreed only after reading the first draft of Tom Holland’s screenplay. Although Perkins was aware the film’s success would depend on his participation, he was reportedly “fair with his demands.” According to Bernard Schwartz, Psycho II was the first sequel to be produced more than twenty years after the original. To prevent the film’s surprise ending from being revealed prior to release, Schwartz ordered the last four pages removed from the distributed screenplay. Actor Robert Loggia told the 19 Oct 1982 Ithaca Journal that he was only allowed to read the final eight pages under the supervision of a Universal representative. According to the article, some elements of the plotline were rumored to have borne a resemblance to the case of John W. Hinckley, Jr., who made an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in early 1981. However, Green insisted that the similarities were coincidental, as the story was outlined one month before the shooting. The 5 Aug 1982 LAT stated that Perkins brought his sons, Osgood and Elvis, to the set during production. Osgood Perkins made his motion picture debut as “Young Norman.”
       The 10 Sep 1982 Publshers Weekly noted that the novel, Psycho II, published by Warner Books, was not a novelization of Tom Holland’s screenplay, but an original work by Robert Bloch, whose 1959 novel was the basis for Psycho .
       Psycho II opened 3 Jun 1983 to generally positive reviews, although some commented that the graphic violence depicted toward the end of the film was inconsistent with Alfred Hitchcock’s aesthetic.
       End credits include the following statement: "The producers wish to acknowledge their debt to Sir Alfred Hitchcock." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 May 1982.
---
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1982.
---
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 1983
p. 4, 23.
Ithaca Journal
19 Oct 1982.
---
LAHExam
22 Jan 1983.
---
LAHExam
2 Jun 1983
Section B, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times
23 Aug 1981
Calendar, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 1982
pp. 31-32.
Los Angeles Times
5 Aug 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Jun 1983
p. 1.
New York Times
11 Aug 1982.
---
New York Times
3 Jun 1983
p. 14.
Publishers Weekly
10 Sep 1982.
---
Variety
7 Apr 1982
p. 7, 30.
Variety
5 May 1982
p. 3, 27.
Variety
1 Jun 1983
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal Pictures and Oak Industries present
A Bernard Schwartz Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Dolly grip
2d grip
Grip
Titles and opt eff
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Standby painter
Swing gang
Greensman
COSTUMES
Men`s cost
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus score mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Boom op
Sd des by
Supv sd ed
(wallaWorks)
ADR ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley by
Foley by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff by
Matte photog by
Matte photog by
Matte artist
Spec eff
Titles & opt eff by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Craft service
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Prod secy
Asst to exec prod
Asst to prod
Asst to prod
Asst to Mr. Franklin
Unit pub
STAND INS
Stunt man
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters from the movie Psycho written by Robert Bloch (Shamley Productions,Universal Pictures, 1960). Based on characters created by Robert Block.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Psycho 2
Psycho II, The Return of Norman Bates
Release Date:
3 June 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 3 June 1983
Production Date:
30 June--late August 1982
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc. & Oak Industries
Copyright Date:
31 August 1983
Copyright Number:
PA185869
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo®
Color
Lenses/Prints
Panaflex® Cameras and Lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
113
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1960 Fairville, California, motel owner Norman Bates assumes the identity of his late mother, Norma, and murders guest Marion Crane. After twenty-two years in a mental institution, a judge declares Norman legally sane, based on testimony by psychiatrist Dr. Bill Raymond. However, Marion Crane’s sister, Lila Loomis, argues against Norman’s release, citing the seven people he murdered, and warning that he will kill again. Dr. Raymond returns Norman to his Victorian home, which overlooks the Bates Motel. Norman sees a woman standing in a bedroom window, but believes it is an illusion. Following the doctor’s departure, Norman finds a note under the telephone, which reads, “Norman, I’ll be home late. Fix your own dinner. Love, M.” He hears his mother’s voice and relives the moment he poisoned her. The next day, Norman begins his new job as a cook’s helper in a diner, and befriends waitress Mary Samuels. That evening, Mary is evicted from her boyfriend’s apartment, and Norman offers her a free room in his motel. However, when Norman discovers that it has become a haven for drug parties and sexual trysts, he fires manager Warren Toomey, who taunts his employer by reminding him of the murders he committed. Norman offers Mary a spare room in the house, but she is reluctant, based on his history of mental illness. Norman admits to committing matricide, but begs her to stay, saying he is afraid to be alone. As they climb the stairs, Mary insists on entering Norma’s room, telling her host that he needs to face his fears. Inside, the furniture is covered with sheets ... +


In 1960 Fairville, California, motel owner Norman Bates assumes the identity of his late mother, Norma, and murders guest Marion Crane. After twenty-two years in a mental institution, a judge declares Norman legally sane, based on testimony by psychiatrist Dr. Bill Raymond. However, Marion Crane’s sister, Lila Loomis, argues against Norman’s release, citing the seven people he murdered, and warning that he will kill again. Dr. Raymond returns Norman to his Victorian home, which overlooks the Bates Motel. Norman sees a woman standing in a bedroom window, but believes it is an illusion. Following the doctor’s departure, Norman finds a note under the telephone, which reads, “Norman, I’ll be home late. Fix your own dinner. Love, M.” He hears his mother’s voice and relives the moment he poisoned her. The next day, Norman begins his new job as a cook’s helper in a diner, and befriends waitress Mary Samuels. That evening, Mary is evicted from her boyfriend’s apartment, and Norman offers her a free room in his motel. However, when Norman discovers that it has become a haven for drug parties and sexual trysts, he fires manager Warren Toomey, who taunts his employer by reminding him of the murders he committed. Norman offers Mary a spare room in the house, but she is reluctant, based on his history of mental illness. Norman admits to committing matricide, but begs her to stay, saying he is afraid to be alone. As they climb the stairs, Mary insists on entering Norma’s room, telling her host that he needs to face his fears. Inside, the furniture is covered with sheets and the bed is taken apart. Norman directs Mary to her room, and she barricades the door. The next day at the diner, Mary informs Norman that she will be moving to a friend’s apartment. A drunken Warren Toomey enters and accuses Mary of being Norman’s mistress. Norman finds an order ticket with the message, “Norman, Don’t let that little whore in my house again! Love, M.” He attributes the prank to Toomey, who loudly informs fellow patrons that Norman is a serial killer, threatening him with violence. Norman holds his temper, but after Toomey leaves, he is unable to find the note. Manager Emma Spool sends Norman home for the afternoon, believing he is overwrought. Mary returns to the house that evening and accepts Norman’s invitation to stay after being kept awake by her roommate’s sexual activities. While Mary showers in the bathroom, someone watches through a peephole in the wall. Norman receives a telephone call requesting Mrs. Bates. In the motel office, a woman dressed as Norma slashes Warren Toomey with a knife. Later, Norman informs Dr. Raymond of his new housemate, and his plans to run the motel full-time. In the bathroom, Mary discovers the peephole, which faces Norma’s bedroom. After leaving the Bates home, Dr. Raymond informs Sheriff John Hunt of the notes and telephone calls Norman receives, stating that someone is trying to drive his patient insane. Meanwhile, Norman sees his mother’s silhouette in her bedroom window, and enters to find the room completely furnished. On the vanity is a note, which reads, “Norman, get rid of that slut or I’ll kill her. Love, Mother.” Norman runs to the attic and the door slams behind him, locking him in. Two teenagers sneak into the fruit cellar to have sex and become frightened by the shadow of a woman. While the girl escapes through a window, the boy is stabbed to death. When Mary releases Norman from the attic, he leads her to his mother’s room, which has been restored to its previous unlived-in state. Sheriff Hunt and Deputy Poole appear at the door, inquiring about the stabbing in the cellar. The officers find no evidence of a disturbance, and Mary assures them that Norman was with her at the time. Although Norman appreciates Mary’s gesture, he fears that his psychosis is returning. At the sheriff’s office, Hunt denies Lila Loomis’s demands for Norman’s arrest, citing the suspect’s alibi and the absence of a corpse. She advises the sheriff to drag the swamp behind the motel, where Norman used to hide his victims. Meanwhile, Mary tries to calm the distraught Norman, and searches for whiskey in the motel office, where she encounters her mother, Lila Loomis. Mary declares Norman’s innocence, and refuses to further participate in Lila’s plan to drive him insane. As Mary returns to the house, Norman finds a bloody towel clogging the toilet. Mary cleans the floor and counters Norman’s assertions that he is a murderer. As he descends the stairs, Mary sees an eye in the peephole, and retrieves a pistol from her purse. She enters Norma’s room and she looks through the hole to see an eye staring back at her. Upon hearing Mary scream, Norman runs to her defense, then searches the house for the intruder. He hears his mother’s voice saying she plans to kill Mary. Despite Mary’s insistence that the voice belonged to an imposter, Norman fears for Mary’s safety and spends the night guarding her. She awakens to find Norman standing over her with a knife, and saying that he is becoming “confused again.” Mary comforts Norman, promising to keep him from returning to the institution. In the morning, Dr. Raymond informs Norman of Mary’s relationship to Lila, blaming them for the mysterious notes and telephone calls. Norman is certain of Mary’s loyalty to him, and of his mother’s return. Dr. Raymond orders the exhumation of Mrs. Bates and proves to Norman that she is dead. Later, as Norman confronts Mary, he receives a telephone call from a woman he believes to be his real mother, rather than Mrs. Bates. Deputy Poole interrupts, summoning Norman and Mary to the swamp, where Toomey’s suitcase has been recovered. Norman claims no knowledge of Toomey’s disappearance, while Sheriff Hunt advises Mary to leave town with her mother. When Mary asks if Norman may have been adopted by Norma Bates, the sheriff assures her that they are mother and son. Moments later, Toomey’s car is dragged from the swamp, with his body in the trunk. Dr. Raymond follows Lila to the Bates home, and observes as she enters through the cellar. As she removes her “Mrs. Bates” disguise from beneath a loose stone in the floor, a woman with a knife appears and stabs Lila through the mouth while she screams. Dr. Raymond arrives and discovers the costume, but no sign of Lila. The psychiatrist shows Norman the costume, proving that Lila and Mary were impersonating Norma. However, Norman claims to have seen his real mother, referring to Mrs. Bates as his guardian. Later, Mary informs Norman of Toomey’s murder, which Norman credits to his mother, saying she is protecting him. Dr. Raymond telephones from the motel office, but Norman can only hear his mother’s voice, instructing him to kill Mary, who dons the Mrs. Bates costume and arms herself with a knife, hoping to dissuade Norman from attacking her. As Norman continues his imaginary telephone conversation, Mary pleads with him from the upstairs extension, and is grabbed from behind by Dr. Raymond. She inadvertently stabs the doctor, and as he falls down the stairs, the knife is driven deeper into his body. Norman ignores Mary’s explanation of the accident and continues his one-sided conversation, addressing her as “Mother.” Mary retrieves the knife and tries to fend off Norman, cutting him as he moves toward her. He corners her in the cellar, where Lila’s body is revealed in a pile of coal by the furnace. Believing Norman is the killer, Mary raises the knife, but is shot by police. Afterward, Sheriff Hunt attributes the murders to Lila and Mary, concluding that both women were insane. Norman returns home and is visited by his birth mother, Emma Spool, sister of Norma Bates. Emma explains that she became pregnant in her youth, and while she was institutionalized, allowed Norma to raise her son. After she admits to killing people for his protection, Norman fractures her skull with a shovel, and carries her body to Norma’s room. He talks to her as he talked to Norma, and imagines her telling him to avoid women, as none could love him as she does. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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