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Tension In Hitchcock's Psycho Essay

2339 words - 9 pages

Tension in Hitchcock's Psycho

Hitchcock produced 'Psycho' in 1960. It was a groundbreaking film as
it was the first American motion picture to feature a toilet being
flushed. Also, Janet Leigh was shown in her underwear on more than one
occasion, and, during the famous shower scene, it's possible to see
hints of flesh.

Hitchcock used the media to sell his film to a younger, fresher
audience. The poster for this movie, at that time was sexually
explicit. Hitchcock started a policy whereby viewers would not be
permitted into the theatre once the film had begun, a measure, which
had never before taken. Hitchcock wanted to manipulate his audience
into fear and loathing so he reverted the film to black and white
instead of colour.

The story concerns a psychopathic murderer; its technique reveals the
dark side of all mankind; the inner secrets, deceits and guilt's of
all human beings. And as this is so true of even the most ordinary
situations in life, nothing is as it really seems and that is how the
play opens. Showing the ordinary life of her going to work and getting
jobs to do.

Marion had been given $40,000in cash to deposit in a local bank. When
Marion decides to run away with the money the viewers feel quite tense
and want to know what will happen next. The 'psycho' is not yet
introduced so the viewers focus is on the money. We see Marion with
the money, packing a suitcase. It is obvious that she plans to flee
with the money but the sympathy of the audience remains with this
apparently harassed woman. Throughout the scenes, we have seen
reflections of her in mirrors and through windows, all suggest the
split personality aspect of the plot. As she makes her escape to leave
with the money, she is stopped at a traffic light, her boss pass by in
the crosswalk in front of her; the camera angle changes from showing
his face to Marion's. He at first smiles and nods when recognising
her, and leaves the frame of the windshield. Likewise, she smiles -
nervously. But then he stops, turns and furrows his brow at her. Mr.
Lowery is puzzled and concerned to see her in her car when she was
supposed to be home sick. Likewise, her face turns frozen after
realising that she has been caught. The audience becomes more
terrified and nervous to what's going to happen next.

Marion is pulled over by a mysterious policeman; the appearance of him
with his sunglasses made him look inhuman. He follows her many miles
to a car dealer, where Marion cleverly trades her current car in for a
used junkie to camouflage herself from peering enemy. Marion then
continues to drive along the busy highway until a shielding rainstorm
persuades her to stop to rest at The Bates Motel.

When Marion arrives at the motel, it immediately tells the viewer that
it's unusual. The appearance of the motel makes...

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