Yet, there aren't any shots in the film that can be convincingly categorized as one of horror.
What is achieved ultimately is the unfolding of the emerging suspense through plots of actions pieced together in order to serve as background and also connect them to the central story. There is not even an iota of the ethereal to make the film look like it is made using standards other than what is common in daily life.
Undoubtedly, Hitchcock has successfully utilized the rules of dramatics to keep the audience on the edge with well crafted sequences, actions and dialogues, and has taken the trouble to keep the hearts beating fast to match the film with the title.
The film begins randomly with the scene of the city of Phoenix and settles down on a window with the Venetian blinds covering it. The scene within the window is that of Marion Crane and Sam Loomis engaged in love making. Marion goes on to hog the scene from then on for nearly half of the film's duration.
The film begins with her affair with Sam Loomis. From here we are taken to her office. At the office, she faces Tom Cassidy, played by Frank Albertson, and his lecherous behavior. She chooses to steal the money he gives her in cash to buy a home for "his little girl." This event is actually the precursor to the entire film. Had she not secretly decided to steal the money, she would not have had any reason to leave Phoenix, Arizona. Had she not left Phoenix, the circumstances leading to the making of the film might not have happened. Life would have continued as a normal routine.
But things happen. Marion steals the money and decides to run away with it without knowing exactly where. All she knows is that she is in possession of 40,000 and the future looked bright with the money in hand.
Hitchcock has a way of blending small events to make scintillating feature films. The wrongness in Marion's action in stealing the money is rendered insignificant with the antagonizing behavior of Cassidy. On the contrary, we find ourselves feeling pleased with her action because it serves the man right anyway. There is nothing wrong in conning a lecher. So Marion runs away and Hitchcock gradually takes us to the scene where Marion sitting in her car comes face to face with her boss. He takes a good look at her but does not see through her intentions and she drives away.
As she drives on, the day begins to end. It is getting dark and the audience sees headlights of the oncoming vehicles gliding over Marion's face. Sometimes the headlights flash behind her. She has left the city limits and is now driving in the open countryside. Nonetheless, the look of anxiety is playing on her face and she is tired. Finally she wants to sleep and her eyelids keep shutting