Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Cutting Edge - Psycho (1960)

Fig 1.

Psycho (1960)

Director - Alfred Hitchcock

Marion Crane is trusted by her boss (owner of a real estate agent) to bank $40,000.00 in cash but temptation gets the better of her and Marion steels the money. Knowing that she will be looked for she decides to drive out of town to hide. Staying off the beaten track she finds herself at a motel being run by Norman Bates a sufferer of schizophrenia who's personality spits between himself and his mother that her previously murdered. Resulting in some of the most powerful and chilling murder scenes put to film.

Fig 2.

Hitchcock in Psycho creates a character rich film where there is a real empathy for the them. Even with Norman Bates you still can't help but feel sorry for him. He's playing out his dead mothers life which is much more dominate than his own and far more dangerous. Dressed as his mother he murders Marion in the most infamous shower murder scene which Time decribe as "one of the messiest, most nau seating murders ever filmed. At close range, the camera watches every twitch, gurgle, convulsion and hemorrhage in the process by which a living human becomes a corpse." Every thrust of the knife can be felt as the editing and music make the scene visually perfect even in black and white.

Fig 3.

For a chiller friller this film sets the bar for all future films of the genre, Film 4 agree in saying that "The result was a superb thriller unlike anything he or anyone else had ever done; one that continues to have a profound influence on countless filmmakers." and BBC say "it's a perfectly realised, visually rich, and chilling look at masculinity and schizophrenia." Many films today still follow the same pattern and make homage to Psycho.

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. Psycho, DVD cover, 1960 [photography],

Fig 2. Rope, Movie Still, 1960, [photography],

Fig 3. Rope, Movie Still, 1960, [photography],


Cinema: The New Pictures, Time Magazine, [Online] avaliable at,9171,827681,00.html [Accessed 07 February 2011]

Psycho, Film 4, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 07 February 2011]

Psycho, 2000, BBC, [Online] [Accessed 07 February 2011]

No comments:

Post a Comment