Marion Crane

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Marion Crane
Psycho character
Marion Crane.jpg
Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in Psycho (1960).
First appearance Psycho
Created by Robert Bloch
Portrayed by Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Vera Miles (Psycho trailer)
Anne Heche (Psycho (1998))
Rihanna (Bates Motel)
Information
Gender Female
Family Lila Crane (deceased sister)
Mary Loomis (deceased niece) (film canon only)
Significant other(s) Sam Loomis (deceased ex-boyfriend and brother-in-law)

Marion Crane (also called Mary Crane) is a fictional character created by Robert Bloch in his 1959 novel Psycho, and portrayed by Janet Leigh in the 1960 film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She is also portrayed by Rihanna in the television series Bates Motel (2017) which reboots the Psycho franchise. [1][2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Marion lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is unhappy in her relationship with Sam Loomis (John Gavin), a divorcé who is in too much debt to marry her. Marion rejects his idea to take the afternoon off and rushes back to her storefront real estate office. Her boss of ten years, Mr. Lowery (Vaughn Taylor), arrives shortly afterward with Tom Cassidy (Frank Albertson), a wealthy customer who gives her $40,000 to put in the bank for him. However, instead of going to the bank, Marion, wanting to pay Sam's debts' and marry him, impulsively goes on the run with the money. She drives to Fairvale, California, where Sam lives, and pays California Charlie (John Anderson), a used car salesman, to trade her car for a new one after a highway patrol officer (Mort Mills) checks her license plate. She turns off the main road without realizing it, and arrives at the Bates Motel. She checks in with the proprietor, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who shyly invites her to have dinner with him. After wrapping the remaining money inside a newspaper, Marion overhears a heated argument between Norman and his mother about letting Marion into the house.[3]

During dinner, Marion has a conversation with Norman, who says that he is trapped by his obligation to his mentally ill mother. She realizes that she, too, is stuck in a "private trap", and can only escape it by taking responsibility for stealing the money. She gently suggests to Norman that he put his mother in a mental hospital, which he heatedly refuses to do. She bids him goodnight, and returns to her room. There, she undresses while Norman watches through a peephole hidden in the wall of his office. Resolving to make amends to her employer, Marion makes a few calculations based on how much the escapade has cost her. She then takes a shower. Suddenly, a mysterious figure enters the bathroom—shadowy through the shower curtain—and stabs Marion to death. Believing his mother has committed the murder, Norman puts the naked body and shower curtain — and, unknowingly, the money — in the trunk of Marion's car and sinks it in a nearby swamp.

The climax of the novel and film reveals that Norman murdered Marion while under the control of an alternate personality—one taking the form of his mother, whom he had murdered ten years before. The psychiatrist who examines Norman explains that, when Norman felt attracted to Marion, the "Mother" personality became jealous and killed her. In the final scene, Norman—now completely controlled by the "Mother" personality—is institutionalized for killing Marion.

Differences between the film and novel[edit]

In the novel, she is named Mary Crane and she dies after Norman decapitates her; in the film, "Mother" stabs her repeatedly. In the novel, she is Norman's first victim; in the film, he had murdered two young girls before her.

Appearances and references in the rest of the series[edit]

Psycho's first sequel, 1983's Psycho II, starts off with a flashback to the shower scene. Marion's sister, Lila Crane (Vera Miles), now Lila Loomis, is on a crusade to keep Norman locked up. The film introduces Mary Loomis (Meg Tilly), Lila's daughter with Sam and Marion's niece. Both are killed in the film; Lila is stabbed while in Norman's fruit cellar by a woman who looks like him in his "Mother" guise (later revealed to be Emma Spool, (Claudia Bryar)), and Mary is shot by police when she attempts to kill Norman.

In the second sequel, 1986's Psycho III, the shower scene appears again in a flashback, this time when Norman sees Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid) who reminds him of Marion. "Mother" tries to kill Maureen in exactly the same room and bathroom of the Bates Motel where Marion died, only to find that Maureen slit her wrists in a bathtub filled with water in an attempted suicide. Later, after being rescued by Norman, Maureen dies falling down the same stairs of the Bates house where private investigator Milton Arbogast died.

Marion makes no appearance in the final sequel, 1990's Psycho IV: The Beginning. She is merely referred to a few times as "the girl [Norman] killed in the shower".

Comic books[edit]

Marion appears in the 1992 three-issue comic book adaptation of the 1960 film Psycho, released by Innovation Publishing.

Portrayals[edit]

Marion was played by Janet Leigh in the 1960 film Psycho and by Anne Heche in the 1998 remake. Leigh was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. Heche was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress.

Rihanna portrayed Marion in the fifth and final season of the TV series Bates Motel, a contemporary prequel and reimagining of the 1960 film Psycho. This version of the character is a contemporary take on the role.[4] In this continuity, she is a notary public living in Seattle, Washington. She is in a long-distance relationship with Sam Loomis, who, unbeknownst to her, is married. She meets him at the Bates Motel for a tryst, and the proprietor, Norman Bates, spies on them through a peephole as they make love.[5] She steals money from her employer so she and Sam can get married, and tells Sam to meet her at the motel.[6] She meets Norman, who tells her that Sam is using her and gives her his address. At Sam's house, she sees him arguing with his wife and realizes he has made a fool of her; enraged, she takes a lead pipe to his car. She returns to the motel and seeks comfort from Norman, who fears that his "Mother" personality will take control and kill her. To save her, he urges her to leave and never come back. She drives away to begin a new life.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marion Crane". Comic Vine. comicvine.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Hitchcock's leading ladies". Houston Chronicle. chron.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Haggstrom, Jason (June 16, 2010). "Marion, Norman, and the Collision of Narratives in Psycho". Reel 3. reel3.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Saclao, Christian (February 17, 2017). "'Bates Motel' Season 5 Spoilers: EP Talks Rihanna's Performance As Marion Crane". International Business Times. 
  5. ^ "Dark Paradise". Bates Motel (TV series). Season 5. Episode 1. February 20, 2017. A&E. 
  6. ^ "Dreams Die First". Bates Motel (TV series). Season 5. Episode 5. March 20, 2017. A&E. 
  7. ^ "Marion". Bates Motel (TV series). Season 5. Episode 6. March 27, 2017. A&E. 

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