Lila Crane

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Psycho character
Lila Crane
Gender Female
Born ca. 1928
Died 1982 (aged 54)
Race Caucasian
Relationships Marion Crane (sister, deceased)
Sam Loomis (husband, deceased)
Mary Loomis (daughter, deceased)
Portrayed by: Vera Miles (Psycho, Psycho II)
Julianne Moore (Psycho: 1998 remake)

Lila Loomis (née Crane) is a fictional character from the 1959 Robert Bloch novel Psycho and its 1960 film adaptation. Additionally, she appears in Bloch's sequel novel and the unrelated sequel film of the same name, in which she serves as the secondary antagonist.

Fictional biography[edit]

Lila Crane is the older sister of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh). After Marion steals $40,000 from her employer, she plans to run off from Phoenix, Arizona to the (fictional) small town of Fairvale, California, where her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin) lives. Lila travels to Fairvale to meet Sam, hoping that Marion would be there with him and the money. She planned to convince Marion to return the money to her employer, so that charges wouldn't be pressed. Upon arrving there, she learns from Sam that he never saw Marion in the past few days; she's disappeared. Shortly after her arrival, a private investigator hired by Marion's employer, Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam), also comes into contact.

Arbogast searches local hotels, eventually coming to the Bates Motel. After calling to update Lila and Sam about tracing Marion to the motel, he disappears as well. This prompts Sam and Lila to pose as a married couple in order to get a room at the motel to investigate without arousing the suspicion of the owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Lila makes her way to Norman's house while Sam distracts him. Sam is knocked unconscious by Norman after realizing she's not around. When she enters the fruit cellar, she makes a ghastly discovery: the corpse of Norman's mother, who Norman claimed was alive.[1] A moment later, Norman enters dressed in his mother's clothes and a wig, wielding a kitchen knife. He attacks her, but Sam tackles him to the ground and disarms him. A psychiatrist later tells her that Norman — who murders people while believing he is his mother — killed her sister and Arbogast.[2]

In Psycho II, Norman is released from the mental institution he was placed in at the end of the first film. Lila protests angrily, and has a petition signed by 743 people, including family members of Norman's seven victims. However, Lila and her petition are powerless, and Norman returns to his house and motel.

Norman is given a job as a cook at a local diner. He meets a coworker, a young woman named Mary (Meg Tilly), who was kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend. Norman offers her his place for her to stay. Later, it is revealed that Mary is Lila's daughter, and they are trying to get Norman recommitted by means of dressing up as his mother and leaving notes and calls claiming to be her. As this goes on, more people are murdered by someone who looks like Norman in his "Mother" guise, first Norman's motel manager, then a teenage boy making out with a girl in Norman's fruit cellar.

Later, Mary tells Lila that she is through with secretly taunting Norman. Enraged, Lila sneaks to Norman's fruit cellar to put on her "Mother" costume. In the process of doing so, she is murdered by the woman who appears to be "Mother."

With Norman continuing to slip back into insanity, Mary dresses up as his mother in order to get him off the phone, as she thinks Lila is on the other end pretending to be "Mother." Mary's disguise is initially unsuccessful, but she is then startled by Norman's psychiatrist, Dr. Raymond, and accidentally kills him. Raymond had figured out the conspiracy and was trying to save Norman from being driven insane. At this point Norman begins calling Mary "Mother," and starts backing her into the fruit cellar to hide her. In the process, Norman suffers several stab wounds from her. After Lila's body is revealed protruding from a pile of coal, Mary becomes convinced that Norman had indeed killed all the missing people. As she attempts to kill him, the police arrive and shoot her, saving Norman.

It is revealed later that Emma Spool (Claudia Bryar), Norman's maternal aunt, killed Lila and the others. She claims to be Norman's real mother and killed the people because they had "wronged him".[3]

Novels[edit]

The character of Lila Crane is basically the same, as is the plot events, in Robert Bloch's novel Psycho. However, the plots of Psycho II the book and Psycho II the movie are nothing alike. In the Psycho II novel, there are no mentioned plans of releasing Norman from the institution. Instead, he escapes. He then travels to Fairvale, where he murders Sam and Lila Loomis.

Portrayals[edit]

Lila Crane/Loomis was portrayed by Vera Miles in the 1960 film Psycho and its 1983 sequel, Psycho II. Julianne Moore portrayed the character in the remake of the 1960 film.

Lila is one of three characters from the original film to return in the sequels, the other two being Norman Bates and Dr. Richmond. However, Richmond would be portrayed by a different actor in his second film appearance, Psycho IV: The Beginning.

Comic books[edit]

Lila appears in the colorized 1992 three-issue comic book miniseries adaptation of the original film, printed by Innovation Publishing.

Appearances[edit]

Novels[edit]

Films[edit]

Comics[edit]

  • Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, 1992

References[edit]

External links[edit]