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'Psycho'- 1960

'Psycho'- 1960

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Published by Emily Clarkson
A review on the horror film 'Psycho' directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1960.
A review on the horror film 'Psycho' directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1960.

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Published by: Emily Clarkson on Jan 30, 2013
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07/09/2014

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Review‐byEmilyClarkson
Psycho(1960)
(Fig:1)‘Psycho’isahorrorfilmthatwasdirectedbyAlfredHitchcockandscreenedin1960.ThestoryoriginatesfromanovelbyRobertBloch.Thescreenplayfollowsayoungwoman,MarionCrane,asplayedbyJanetLeigh.Young,inloveanddesiringabetterlife,Marionsteals$40,000fromherplaceofworkandtakesoff.Herparanoidescapeisfollowedtoamoteljustofftheoldhighway,rarelyvisitedanymore.ThemotelisownedbyMrs.Batesandkeptbyherson,thekindlyNormanBates,asplayedbyAnthonyPerkins.Butitisherethatthehorrortrulybegins.MarionCranebeginsastheleadrole,orsoitisbelievedanditcannotbearguedthatsheisakeycharacter.ButintheshoweroftheBatesMotel,herroleisalteredwiththepiercingshrieksofBernardHermann’smemorablescoreandthesilhouetteofMrs.Batesholdinganenormousknife.Hereisaveryclearalterationinfilmstructure,asaudienceswitnessMarion’sbrutaldeath.Thestartlingrealityisthattheleadcharacterisnowdead,beggingthequestion,wheredoesthefilmgofromhere?Parkinson,areviewerforEmpire,pointsoutthetruthofthematter‐
‘thelifeandcrimeofMarionCrane’ 
isoneof
‘thebiggestandmostgloriousmacguffinsofHitchcock'scareer.’
(Parkinson,N/A)Theratherlargeportionofthefilmbeginningisquitesimplyarusethatkickstartsthemainplot.ItleadstheviewerstounderstandthatMarion’scrimeisnotthemainevent.Itisherownuntimelydeaththatisthecrime.
 
Review‐byEmilyClarksonAndthemaincharactersarehermurderer,Mrs.BatesandNorman,whocleansupafterhisderangedmother.Hitchcockwasalreadywellknownforhisexperimentswithfilm.‘Rope’screenedIn1948isagoodexample,wherethefeatureseemstotakeplaceinrealtime,withnocutscenesanddisguisingwherethereelswerechanged.Incontrastto‘Rope’,Hitchcock’s‘Psycho’wouldhavebeennothingwithoutthequickcutscenes.Itisreportedthatfortheinfamousshowerscenealone,
‘morethan70edits’ 
(Jenkins,2010)oreven
‘87cross‐cuts’
werepacked
‘intoafrenzied45secondstocreatethemostperfectlytimedvisualshock’
(Parkinson,N/A)Thescenebuildstension,windinguptheaudiencelikerubberbandswiththesilhouetteofMrsBatesasMariontakesashower.Everythingdissolvesintoscreams,screechingviolinsandthemanycutscenesthatonlyseemtoemphasizethehorrorwithoutdisplayinganygore.Selectionsofthesemomentscanbeseeninfig2‐5.ReviewerRogerEbertspotshowthesoundtrackandcameraworkputatwistonthewaythesceneisportrayed.
‘TheslashingchordsofBernardHerrmann'ssoundtracksubstituteformoregrislysoundeffects.Theclosingshotsarenotgraphicbutsymbolic...suggestingthatsituationandartistryaremoreimportantthangraphicdetails.’
(Ebert,1998)ThiswouldbeFigure5specifically,astheswirlingplugholeofwaterandbloodblendanddissolveintotheeternallystaringeyeofMarion.ItisasthoughthecharacterofMarionispouingawayintotheblacknessofthedrainandshenowstaresintodarkeness.(Figure:2,3,4,5depictingtheShowerScene)Thefilmtranspireswitharollercoasterofaride.Audiencesfindtheirallegiancesareeverchanging,supportingpooroldNormanclearingupafterhismurderousmother,butyethopingMarion’slover,Sam,andhersister,Lilafindoutthetruth.Hitchcockkeepsviewersguessinguntilmomentsbeforetheendcreditsanditiswortheveryminuteforthetwistthatthrowstheentirestoryoffkilter.Animmortalstoryline,withsomeimmortalcinematography,unfortunatelyformanyofthecharactersof‘Psycho’,theBatesMoteldoesnotofferthatluxury
Bibliography
Parkinson,David(N/A)
Psycho
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=118458Jenkins,David(2010)
Psycho
http://www.timeout.com/london/film/psychoEbert,Roger(1998)
Psycho(1960)

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