Often regarded with a great deal of admiration, not only by a nation but by subsequent generations, as the greatest film director/maker of all time; Alfred Hitchcock cleverly manipulated his virgin audience and brought about not only a new era but a new discovery in film making. Hitchcock mastered not only the art of making films but also the task of taming his own raging imagination. Through inspiration Hitchcock was able to aspire and infuse tension and suspense, leaving him plausible to receive the title of being the “master of suspense.
” Born and bred in the east London area of Leytonstone, Alfred was the youngest son of William and Emma Hitchcock. As a boy, Alfred became fascinated by the popular London theatre, which flourished prior to World War I. He found an interest in the stars, the glamour, and melodrama, the brave, the handsome heroes, the pure heroines, the wicked villains, and the triumph of good over evil. However Hitchcock also believed that this picture of reality was as false as it was alluring.
Within the conventions of popular melodrama, he explored and exploited in his own films, the themes more often associated and linked to the ghastly unrespectabilites than popular entertainment: loneliness, loss of identity, sexual ambiguity, passivity, voyeurism, the triumph of evil, and the oppressive weight of a dead past. Deliberately, Alfred Hitchcock fabricated a predetermined attempt to not only educate but also to expose a nai??
ve 1960’s audience, giving them an empathetic insight into the darker side of social issues. Due to the naivetivity of his audience, Alfred Hitchcock was able to shed light to the dark, like an innocent citizen who had just witnessed the immoral activities of our society. A trained engineer at Saint Ignatius’ College, Alfred Hitchcock then entered the British motion-picture industry in 1920 as a title designer, working his way through the ranks as screenwriter, art director, and assistant director.
Telling his stories through intelligent plots, witty dialogue, passion and a spoonful of mystery and murder, Hitchcock managed to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the thriller genre, making not only him a legend but his films also a legend world wide. Breaking new boundaries in film making with the first film of its type, Alfred Hitchcock immaculately began the birth of horror films and also conquered the luring feeling we now know to be suspense. Intricately creating films that teemed up with tension and suspense, THE COMPETITIVE Alfred Hitchcock accomplished to engineer one of the most suspense fused films ever.
However Psycho was inspired through a novel written by Robert Bloch. Robert Bloch used the story of Ed Gein as the inspiration for his novel; Psycho, however the book managed to receive “howls of protest from critics that believed their genteel sensibilities had been violated. ” The book amazingly enough achieved to rape peoples emotions, it managed to reach out and touch the readers, giving them an empathetic reaction. Rejected by a Paramount script reader, the book was regarded as “too repulsive for films.
” However, Alfred Hitchcock, relentlessly at the time was searching for some unique material for his forthcoming movie, and psycho just happened to lure his attention at that moment in time. In this thriller Psycho, which was also an enormous box office success, Hitchcock gave powerful release to the obsessions within him, cutting deeper than he had before, and deeper than he ever would again. Genius, moulding Psycho in order to incorporate his own views, Hitchcock unfolded the plot through the complex issue of mental illness, which is still difficult to grasp even in this day in age.
Prior to Psycho, Hitchcock made two films about serial killers; The Lodger (1928) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), which he often rated as his favourite films. Both films bared significant similarity to Psycho. All three killers are men; all three prey on women. Many natural elements in The Lodger link directly with Psycho. As a director, Hitchcock was praised for his witty urbanity, his impeccable but highly idiosyncratic cinematic technique, and his penchant for the macabre and the suspenseful.
His much-imitated technique consisted, in part, of the use of carefully preplanned and masterfully composed and edited sequences that employed an alternating montage of subjective point-of-view shots and objective bird’s-eye shots to heighten contrast and tension, thus precisely manipulating the viewer. In respect to the audiences of 1960 era, Psycho was indeed to them a remarkable phenomenon, whether or not it was seen as a positive or negative phenomenon is an issue which is arguable, nonetheless it was what it was and still is “a phenomenon.
” Both Psycho the film and Psycho the book came at a time when it’s intensity was maybe not so much appreciated but idolized, this kind of material just did not exist at that time, it was accepted much like the expression like “a Martian in a fairground. ” Due to the fact that the people of the 1960’s couldn’t even conjure up these issues into daily society, Psycho was a masterpiece created way before its time. Seeing that its intensity caught the attention of its audience, Psycho therefore made the subject matter somewhat of an oddity to the people of the 1960’s.
Never in any form or shape had any type of substance like this been observed before in a theatrical or in a picture house. Spawning numerous debates worldwide, Psycho intentionally met an intense ambivalence, leaving Psycho well deserved with the brand of being a phenomenon and its director not only a genius but also “the master of suspense”. Alfred being the Alfred he was chose the title very carefully; why not call the film something like “Bates Motel” or “The Drop Inn.
” The title gives every viewer an insight to the play, before it has even began. Alfred Hitchcock chose the title Psycho smartly, for it was just that; a psychological thriller. The film dealt with the unspoken issues of the 1960’s, the film directly and in my opinion abruptly dealt with a mental illness. The film wasn’t really criticised by the public, rather looked at in a shocking manner, people were more disgusted with not only with subject but by the way it was dealt with.
Certain viewers suffered from heart-attacks while watching the film, it affected them that much, the empathic feelings, the suspense, the tormenting issues, the isolation that was brought about in that you were sitting in the audience watching this horrific circumstance unfold like a helpless bystander. The legitimacy of this event can easily be compared to the murders in Germany. The witnesses to the murders would have had the same shock and horror as the people who watched Psycho for the first time in the 1960’s.
At a time when mental illness was viewed as an intensely unclean affair, Hitchcock took a significant gamble in making a film about it. Definitely not an ideal diner table subject, it was regarded as a topic that ought to be discussed only with a family or with a doctor. By incorporating this subject, Hitchcock achieved outrage in his audience and ignited uproar in a significant number of his audience. Acknowledging this, Hitchcock’s movie was able to apply a message that would not only shock a 1960’s audience but also educate them.
Hitchcock did this movie wanting to make a point, he didn’t want the obscurities along the way to distract the audience, he wanted to give the audience not only an insight, but also a feel for the original message he was aiming to achieve in the first place. Not the point that it was solely about an infatuated man, who had a problem, however it was about a man with a psychological problem. With this in the undercurrent of the story , the plot is brought to life. Initially the movie commences with a pair of semi-clothed lovers, implying the past and not only portraying the present.
Already Hitchcock had begun to conjure up questions into the audiences’ minds. By doing this he was able to capture the audiences attention, leaving them sceptical about the state of the movie. In this day and age, the modern audience would have without much assumption guessed the presence of sex, whereas in the 1960’s, this kind of material just did not exist. The actual insinuation of sex in itself would have caused some sort of attentiveness in the audience. Entrusted with what was then a great deal of money, Marion abused that trust and at the time did what she felt was important.
Irrationally running away with the money to meet her divorcee lover, the driving force of the movie was initiated when she saw her employer after she had told him she was retiring home after turning the money into the bank. Penalised by an officer Marion was halted and questioned. The theme of light and darkness was apparent at this time, for when the suspicious officer inclined over a nervous Marion’s car; he slowly revealed his dark mirroring glasses, not only concealing his identity, but also his emotions. Suspense and tension was established at this moment.
After a quick and bold interrogation Marion departed from the officer. Aware of prowling eyes, Marion swiftly exchanged her car with a bemused and curious salesman and headed off to meet not only her destiny, but also her love. Even up to now Marion is still not thinking rationally, especially when she bought the car, expressing also her paranoia. Hitchcock was able to give the audience an atmospheric feeling of not only suspense, but also the intensity; tension. When driving in the rain, it is apparent that the rain becomes heavier, obscuring her way.
Symbolising the facts that yes, Marion isn’t thinking rationally, the rain clearly states this. It presents a barrier and she can’t see where she is going. Forced to slow down, due to lack of visibility, Marion approaches a neon sign which reads, “BATES MOTEL” and beneath it another in smaller neon letters; “VACANCY. ” After acquainting herself with the owner Norman Bates she engaged in conversation with him when she was shown to her cabin. While staying at the motel, Marion and Norman engage in what can only be said to be an interesting ‘conversation’.
In this conversation, between the two of them, they both foretell the story, however it wouldn’t have even nearly been apparent to the audience seeing that they haven’t as yet been given the opportunity to understand it or at least foretell the outcome. During this scene the audience is subjected to the brutal murder of the main character in the privacy of a shower; Marion Crane. We are not able at this time in the movie to tell who actually did murder Marion, we see a silhouetted body, a female body, and however we are not able to differentiate who it is.
As the water continues to run it seems as if it was trying to clean up the blood- streaked tub. We are drawn along with the trained liquid as it swirls down the drain. We later hear cries from Norman to his mother and we are then drawn to the fact that he cleans up the body, almost even like he had done this kind of job before. After washing his bloodstained hands he returned to Marion’s room to retrieve clothing. After placing her body into her car, he drove the car to a secluded, swampy area where he got out and pushed the car into the bog, where it began to sink.
We were left to see a dark, brooding figure standing sentry over the muddy burial until the concern Norman had on his face had changed to a smirk. In this scene it bares many resemblances to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as with Macbeth once he had committed a murder he too washed his “bloodstained” hands. Disturbed by the disappearance of her sister, Lila Marion’s sister went to seek her sister’s lover; Sam. While she was there she met the acquaintance of a private detective hired by Marion’s boss. They were all trying to find Marion, however Arbogast the detective was also interested in finding the forty thousands dollars Marion stole.
Whilst searching through potential motels Marion could have suspended at, he stumbled upon the seemingly ordinary name of the Bates Motel. Venturing alone to the motel Arbogast met Norman and began to question him, unhappy with Norman’s answers he reports back to Lila and tells her that he has a hunch about the mother and would like to question her. He slowly made his way up the secluded wooden stairs, in search of discovering the truth, nonetheless Arbogast discovered the truth, and maybe not way he had hoped.
However it ended in Arbogast being stabbed numerous amount of times by a yet again a shadowy figure, causing him to fall plunging down the staircase. Despite Lila being in the dark about both her sister and the detective, she tried to find refuge in the sheriff. Knowing that Norman’s mother had been buried for past ten years, he was reluctant to believe that she was still in the house. Being disbelieving to what Lila and Sam were suggesting to him, they decided to do some detective work of their own, they went to the motel and rented a cabin.
They worked out what they both thought was an effective plan, which was for Sam to distract Norman while Lila went to the house and tried to speak to the mother. Before her, the dark silhouette of the Bates residence loomed against the bright sky beyond. As Lila searched around the house, Sam was still distracting Norman from the point that Lila had been missing. As Lila moved towards the basement, Norman realised that she was missing, he struggled with Sam as he would not let him go willingly, and knowing what he would do.
Lila entered the fruit cellar and discovered an old woman seated in a rocking chair faced at the wall, Lila called out to her, reached forth and touched her shoulder, causing the chair to swivel slowly. Revealing a face to Lila, she screamed and what appears is a rotten corpse. Suddenly another women bursts through the open the door with a knife to kill Lila, Sam caught the knife of who was Norman dressed as a woman and a silent cry is let out from Norman as he declined to the floor.
The last scene of the movie is like a puzzle fixer, I found it was one of the most interesting, as it gave the audience the conclusion from a psychological prospective. We as the audience were now aware about the ‘new Norman’, as the mother had completely possessed not only his personality but also his life. Deciding to focus on the issue of schizophrenia, the Oedipus Complex and effects they can foretell, Hitchcock exploited all these traits in one character; Norman Bates.
Encompassed within the complex layered character of Norman was schizophrenia, which in Norman’s case wasn’t just a battle between two personalities, but also between two people. The battle between Norman and his mother really started to begin when in order to keep her alive he had to at times juggle two personalities; carry on two conversations. At times the mother half would take over and be the dominant one; however the personalities could often be only mother, but never all Norman.
Norman had an unhealthy relationship with his mother, his mother was a clinging and demanding woman and for many of years they lived as if there was no one else in the world. Hitchcock utilised a concept first diagnosed by Sigmund Freud: The Oedipus Complex, a condition that usually meant that a mother become unnaturally attached to her son, not so much sexually, but in other ways. Or as Norman put it, “a boy’s best friend is his mother. ” Norman becomes very defensive when his mother is mentioned, his “demeanour darkens. “