Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock is an absolute classic. It is widely known for inventing the slasher film.  Hitchcock was an Auteur who flourished under this system. He understood better then anyone the nature of cinema as an art form.

In Psycho Marion Crane was fated by Water.  A great use of foreshadowing in the movie was during the scene where Marion was driving in the pouring rain, the windshield wipers and pouring rain foreshadowed how she would die later in the movie. The rain was the water coming down from the shower, and the windshield wipers echoed the motion of the knife of Norman Bates stabbing her in the shower.

Hitchcock wanted us to view Marion as a “Bad/Evil” person. The film started off showing Marion in a room, in her underwear with an unmarried/recently divorced man, it is implied they just had sex. She wore white in this scene but later on when she stole her bosses money her clothes switched to black.

Hitchcock does a great job, by making you sympathize with Norman Bates. When he put Marion’s car in the swamp it took awhile for it to go underwater with the car stopping midway. I am sure many people were rooting for it to go down completely, and not get stuck midway. This is just proving Hitchcock’s idea of the personality of moviegoers, how we are all “Psychos”.

Another main theme of Psycho was “Voyeurism” and the objectifying of women. Every person in the movie from Norman Bates, to the cop was objectifying Marion. Some cases where more subtle then others but the main idea was every man was doing it.

One thing I notice after every screening in Psycho is the long scene of Norman Bates cleaning up after murdering Marion in the shower scene. It was such a long scene it felt as if it was happening in real time. I have some ideas as to why Hitchcock emphasised this but am interested in hearing if anyone has any ideas themselves?

In the ending you have a Dr. recapping why Norman did what he did, and summing up what we just saw. In reality, in that last scene nothing was said and it was basically the Dr going around in circles. This was done on purpose by Hitchcock as was everything else in this well made classic!



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13 Comments so far

  1.   zacklotkerblog on December 8th, 2011

    There were so many great connections in this. It seems obvious in retrospect, but I never thought about the symbolism of water with the rain and the shower.

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