Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

American Psycho (2000)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

American Psycho (2000)

Director Mary Harron's perversely witty, ultra-violent drama, an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel American Psycho, presented a social satire of the morally-shallow Reagan era with its portrait of the violent psyche of a misogynistic male -- a loathsome 27 year-old narrator/yuppie New York stock executive broker. He assaulted both friends and random victims alike in his expensive apartment, although it was possible that the many murders were only hallucinations in his psychotic head.

  • the film's title screen sequence opened at an expensive gourmet restaurant on the Upper East Side of NYC in the late 80s, where decorative delicacies were being prepped on white porcelain plates, and orders were being taken for a table of young, wealthy, well-dressed clients. Menu items included squid ravioli and swordfish meatloaf. Four male VP associates were seated, co-workers of the film's main protagonist, Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), including the anti-semitic Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas), coke-snorting Van Patten (Bill Sage), and Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux). All were carrying identical, showy American Express Platinum credit cards.
Four VPs of Wall Street's Pierce and Pierce, a Financial Institution

Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas)

David Van Patten (Bill Sage)

Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux)

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale)
  • afterwards at a nightclub, Bateman chewed out a female bargirl (Kelley Harron) with violent remarks and a smile - was he serious or not? ("You're a f--king ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood"). The next morning in Bateman's clean, neat, and impeccable 11th floor apartment on W. 81st St., he vainly viewed himself in the glass reflection of a framed Les Miserables poster as he urinated. In voice-over, he introduced himself as an avid young man who was obsessed with his own skin care and facial cleansing regimen (with 9 lotions), personal grooming, and body worship through daily physical and stretching exercises.
  • the well-tanned and narcissistic 'hard-body' Patrick entered work late, wearing a Walkman head set, where he presented himself as an image-conscious, misogynistic entitled power broker who barked orders to his secretary Jean (Chloe Sevigny) to schedule dinner reservations for the week at the most exclusive and hip restaurants. He also insultingly instructed Jean to dress differently: "Wear a dress, a skirt or something," and then flipped on the TV to watch Jeopardy.
  • after work on the way to a restaurant with his self-absorbed, despised and alleged fiancee Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon), a status and brand-conscious female who was planning for their extravagant wedding, Patrick admitted why he remained at his detested job: "Because I want to fit in." Patrick's friend Bryce was suspected of having an affair with Evelyn, while Patrick was also having an affair with Evelyn's engaged, lithium-using best friend Courtney Rawlinson (Samantha Mathis). During dinner, Patrick provided vacant conversation with some "thought-provoking" political platitudes (equal rights for women, world hunger, homelessness, etc.).
  • at a Chinese dry-cleaner shop, Patrick argued with a talkative female clerk who spoke broken English, arguing that she couldn't use bleach on his expensive Cerruti sheets that had big blood-red stains on them - he claimed it was from Cranapple juice. At home while speaking on the phone to Courtney, Patrick was watching a porn video. He pressured her to join him for dinner at the exclusive Dorsia's Restaurant, but was laughed at by the maitre-d when he asked for last-minute reservations, so they ended up at an Italian restaurant. Courtney was so drug-addled that she feel asleep.
  • Patrick's main detested rival associate was handsome and self-confident Paul Allen (Jared Leto). To impress everyone in a conference room, Bateman pulled out a new business card - and then his group of homoerotic cronies, including Van Patten and Bryce, competitively whipped out their cards and compared card stock, coloring, font, font size and layout. The profusely-sweating and trembling Bateman was aghast at the perfection of Allen's impeccable card (given to one of them earlier) when all the cards were comparatively evaluated: "Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark..."
The Flaunting of Business Cards

Patrick's New Business Card

Compared to Van Patten's Card

Bryce's Card

Paul Allen's Card
  • it was the beginning of an intense dislike for successful yuppie Paul Allen, who was one-upping Bateman at every turn, including securing Friday night dinner reservations at Dorsia's. Patrick continued to be irritated that Allen was mistaking him for another colleague named Marcus Halberstram (Anthony Lemke), and began to scheme how to eliminate his rival
  • on his walk home that night, Bateman passed a homeless and destitute man named Al (Reg E. Cathey) in an alleyway, and although he expressed some sympathy, he turned violently accusative, asked the man why he didn't get a job, and then pulled out a knife and stabbed the helpless man three times in the stomach: ("You know what a f--king loser you are?"), and stomped the man's dog to death. At a beauty salon during a facial and manicure treatment the next day, Bateman thought to himself (in voice-over) that he was becoming insanely homicidal:

"I have all the characteristics of a human being - flesh, blood, skin, hair - but not a single clear, identifiable emotion except for greed, and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflowed into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."

  • at a Christmas party, Bateman suggested that he and Paul Allen go out for dinner, and soon after, they met at the Texarkana Tex-Mex restaurant, where Bateman continued the deception by assuming the identity of Marcus Halberstram. Allen snootily objected to the decor in the almost-empty restaurant: "We should've gone to Dorsia. I could've gotten us a table." Bateman facetiously admitted: "I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?" Inadvertently, when Evelyn's name came up, Paul began name-calling Evelyn's fiancee: ("Goes out with that loser Patrick Bateman. What a dork!"). Bateman's dastardly intentions were being fulfilled - Allen was getting sloppy drunk, and could be lured back to his apartment.
  • in a grisly apartment murder scene, as Huey Lewis' 'Hip to Be Square' played in the background - the tune was critiqued by the pompous, falsely-sophisticated Bateman, who lectured Paul Allen (slumped in a chair) while he backed into the living room (with an 80s moon-walk stride) and donned a clear rain-slicker - with a shiny new axe at his side:

"The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor...In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is 'Hip to be Square,' a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself."

  • Bateman attacked from behind with his new axe after calling for his drunk victim, associate Paul Allen - to turn around: "Hey, Paul!" He punctuated the gory hacking with anger: "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now, you f--kin' stupid bastard!" as blood splattered over his face from the impact of the multiple vicious strikes (off-screen) from his shiny new axe head. Afterwards, he stashed the body in a blood-soaked black sleeping bag and dragged it through the lobby of his apartment. He took a cab to Allen's apartment, and packed one of Paul's suitcases with clothes to make it appear that he was on an unexpected trip to London for a few days. He also left a message on the answering machine (in Paul's voice) about his absence.
  • the next morning, Bateman was visited in his office by Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe), a private investigator asking about "the disappearance of Paul Allen." The flustered Bateman mentioned how Paul was "probably a closet homosexual. Who did a lot of cocaine...that Yale thing." The interviewer strangely mentioned that Paul may have been seen in London, but it turned out to be mistaken identity. Kimball was stumped: "It's just strange. One day someone's walking around, going to work, alive, and then... people just disappear."
  • at his home, Bateman furiously did abdomen crunches while watching the horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with women screaming. That evening, the tuxedoed Bateman cruised town in a chauffeured black limo and picked up blonde hooker Christie (Cara Seymour), and hinted that he preferred sex with couples, and introduced himself as Paul Allen. He invited a second redheaded escort named Sabrina (Krista Sutton) to join them. He entertained them with wine, truffles, and the playing of another Phil Collins CD: "No Jacket Required."
With Two Prostitutes Christie and Sabrina, and Posing Vainly to Admire Himself
  • Bateman conducted a video-taped menage a trois with the two hookers on his bed while rambling on about the lyrics of Phil Collins' songs, including his personal favorite "Sussidio", and making cold and calculating requests of them to dance and perform sexual acts toward each other. Bateman also vainly posed to flex his muscles and admire himself in a mirror in order to re-enact his fantasies from porn films, while having sex. In the middle of the night, he opened a drawer full of sharp devices (scissors, a razor-blade scraper, a hammer, a knife, etc.), telling them: "We're not through yet," but then after an unspecified amount of time - had he tortured them? - he dismissed them with wads of cash.
  • while drinking with his buddies at the Yale Club, his group of misogynistic males agreed that "there are no girls with good personalities" who were also gorgeous. The only ones who had great personalities were always "ugly chicks" because "they have to make up for how f--king unattractive they are." In the upstairs restroom of the club, Bateman attempted to strangle, from behind, his closeted homosexual colleague Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross) who had just shown off his new business card to the group. The physical advance was misinterpreted as sexual by Carruthers: ("I want you, I want you too..."), causing Bateman to rush out in a panic and quickly exit from the restaurant.
  • Bateman received a second visit at work from the suspicious Detective Kimball, asking about his whereabouts on the night of Paul's disappearance, December 20th. Afterwards, Bateman had quickie sex with a depressed Courtney in her apartment, who then asked: "Will you call me before Easter?" He tried to divert her attention and special interest in him: "There's nothin' to say. You're going to marry Luis."
  • at a noisy nightclub with Bryce after snorting cocaine in a womens' room stall, the two were conversing with a group of females, when Bateman in the noisy bar area admitted to dumb blonde model Daisy (Monika Meier) what he did: "I'm into, uh...well, murders and executions mostly" - she heard him say: "mergers and acquisitions." They left the club together in a taxi. At work, where psychopathic Bateman was twirling a lock of Daisy's cut off blonde hair (a clue to her fate as another random victim?), he invited his secretary Jean to dinner (he made a show of making a reservation at Dorsia, although they were fully booked).
  • in his apartment at 7:00 pm before dinner, he removed frozen sorbet from his refrigerator - noticeably next to Daisy's plastic-wrapped severed head - and afterwards during small-talk conversation, he was tempted to murder Jean while fondling various steak knives and gleaming meat cleavers in his kitchen. He removed some silver duct tape and aimed a nail gun at the back of her head. A phone call from Evelyn interrupted his uncontrollable homicidal impulses as she left a damning message: "I hope you're not out there with some number you picked up, because you're MY Mr. Bateman. My boy next door...." After the call, the "unavailable" Bateman urged Jean to leave or she might get hurt: "I think if you stay, something bad will happen. I think I might hurt you. You don't wanna get hurt, do you?" She agreed: "I don't wanna get bruised."
Jean's Aborted Dinner-Date with Patrick
  • during a third interview with the Detective during lunch the next day, Bateman learned that his alibi cleared him of wrong-doing on the day of Allen's disappearance, although the detective remained skeptical, as Bateman nervously grinned: "To think that one of his friends killed him, for no reason whatsoever would be too ridiculous. Isn't that right, Patrick?"
  • that evening in the same deserted area of town, Bateman again picked up Christie in his chauffeured limo, although she was very hesitant: "I had to go to Emergency after last time...", and claimed she might need surgery or a lawyer to press charges. He paid her off with a check, and then with the additional lure of cash ("Half now, half later"), she was pressured into joining him in his "new" apartment - Paul Allen's place. They entered with a second dark-haired prostitute named Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner) - where he drugged her drink and encouraged the two to make out together, as he pontificated about Whitney Houston's songs, including "The Greatest Love of All."
  • as the threesome engaged in sex on a bed that he was videotaping, Patrick stabbed Elizabeth under a bed sheet where the sheets turned red, and her orgasmic screams turned to loud moans. The nude and bloodied Bateman chased after the panicked, second fleeing negligee-clad hooker Christie, who came upon a few dead females hanging in the apartment's hallway closet and wrapped in plastic bags, and a wrecked room spray-painted with the words DIE YUPPIE SCUM. He continued to pursue her, when in the bathroom, both of them came upon another bloodied female body.

Blood on Patrick's Face After Stabbing Elizabeth

Wrapped Bodies Hanging in Hallway Closet

Discovery of Another Bloody Body in Bathroom
  • after Christie kicked him in the face - he reacted with rage: "Not the face, you bitch." Christie ran out the apartment's front door, with Patrick following close behind with a roaring chainsaw through the apparently empty NYC apartment hallway of the complex. From the top of the stairwell in the building, Bateman dropped his chainsaw down upon her - she died face-down when it hit her in the back a few flights below.
  • soon after, Bateman met with Evelyn in a restaurant who asked for a "firm commitment." He point-blank told her of his issues. In his own words, he clearly declared his warped paranoid psychosis amidst the shallow and empty aspects of competitive and consumeristic corporate culture: "My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be, corrected, but, uh, I have no other way to fulfill my needs." He abruptly broke off his engagement with Evelyn: ("It's over, Evelyn, it's all over!"). She reacted in disbelief and called him "inhuman," as he coldly replied: "You're not terribly important to me." As he abandoned her, he gave her his customary excuse for leaving: "I have to return some videotapes."
  • by this point in the film, he now went on a crazed murder spree (a woman at an ATM, a security guard-officer, a janitor, etc.) and shot at two police officers and blew up their patrol car on the way to his office. Believing he was about to be caught, in a sweaty panic, he called up his lawyer Harold Carnes (Stephen Bogaert) and maniacally confessed to everything on the answering machine, including numerous homicides of at least 20 people (of escort girls, homeless people, his old girlfriend, another man with a dog, plus a girl with a chainsaw, a model, and the axe-murder of Paul Allen), and also instances of cannibalism: ("I just had to kill a lot of people and um, I'm not sure I'm going to get away with it this time...I guess I'm a pretty sick guy").
  • the next morning at Paul Allen's apartment, he discovered it was freshly painted and a realtor named Mrs. Wolfe (Patricia Gage) claimed it didn't belong to anyone named Paul Allen, before she insisted that he leave. He proceeded to join a group of friends at Harry's Bar to discuss dinner reservations. In the bar, he encountered his lawyer Harold who called him "Davis," and said that his earlier call was an "amusing" clever prank that only the "dork...boring, spineless lightweight" Bateman could have made, even when Patrick insisted: "I did it, Carnes! I killed him! I'm Patrick Bateman! I chopped Allen's f--king head off." The lawyer, who felt it wasn't funny anymore, reported he recently had dinner twice with the 'deceased' Paul Allen in London 10 days earlier, so it appeared that Patrick's confession was delusional.
  • Jean's perusal of Bateman's leather notebook in his desk suggested that the homicidal murders, depicted by his crazed doodlings, were his shocking fantasies of rape, murder and the mutilation of women. Did the murders really happen, or were they only his own murderous impulses and cocaine-induced fantasies? Were the murders all in his imagination, or not?
  • the film's twist was presented in a blatant monologue confession scene (in voice-over) as the camera slowly panned toward Patrick's face, and called into question what he had actually committed, as he surrendered to the insanity around him. When his two worlds of business and sex/hyper-violence came together, it appeared that the violence was all merely fantasy. He mused to himself about what he had done in the film's concluding voice-over monologue - and wished to inflict his pain upon others:

"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."

Four Identical American Express Platinum Credit Cards

Bateman's Glass Reflection - On a Les Miserables Poster

Removing a Facial Peel Mask

A Typical Day at Work - Watching Jeopardy

Patrick's Fiancee Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon)

Drug-Using Courtney Rawlinson (Samantha Mathis)

Rival Associate Paul Allen (Jared Leto)

In a Tanning Bed: "I think my mask of sanity is about to slip"

Soon-to-Be Victim Paul Allen In Bateman's Apartment

Bateman's (Christian Bale) Axe Murder of Paul Allen (Jared Leto): "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now!"

Questioning by Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe)

Bateman's Misinterpreted Physical Assault in Restroom Upon Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross)

Courtney Desperate for Patrick's Love

Blonde Model Daisy (Monika Meier) at NightClub

Daisy's Severed Head in Patrick's Refrigerator

2nd Prostitute Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner)

Chain-Saw Pursuit and Murder of Hooker Christie in Stairwell

Patrick's Break-Up With Stunned Fiancee Evelyn: "It's over, Evelyn"

Patrick's Maniacal Confession on Answering Machine to Lawyer

Patrick's Crazed Psychotic, Homicidal Doodlings In His Notebook

Bateman's Monologue Confession


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