Duality in Psycho 1960

Topics: Psycho, Norman Bates, Alfred Hitchcock Pages: 3 (1243 words) Published: May 21, 2014

Psycho is a 1960 horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and John Gavin. The film is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The main theme that Hitchcock tries to express to the audience is dual or split personalities. Everyone has a subconscious battle with good and evil; he shows this in many different ways using lighting, different camera techniques, mise-en-scene and silence. Also he used a string orchestra to add tension and drama as well as setting the tone for impending violence.

The movie starts with Marion Crane and her boyfriend Sam Loomis in an intimate scene, before she has to go back to work. When she returns to work she is instructed to bank $40000 for her employer but decides to steal it and skip town instead. Driving on a rainy night, she pulls into the Bates Motel where she meets Norman Bates. After being showed to her room the two have dinner and they talk about Norman’s ill mother. Later that night while Marion is in the shower a shadowy figure comes and stabs her to death. Norman bursts into the bathroom and finds Marion’s dead body so he wraps her in a shower curtain then dumps her body and car in a nearby swamp. Marion's sister Lila and boyfriend Sam are concerned about her disappearance. A private detective named Arbogast is also looking for Marion. Arbogast finds the Bates Motel and notices Norman acting suspiciously. He mentions Marion meeting his mother, so Arbogast goes up to the house to find her but a figure emerges and murders him. When Arbogast doesn’t return Lila and Sam visit the sheriff who is puzzled about Arbogast’s claim that the mother died years ago. Sam and Lila rent a room at the Bates Motel and while Sam distracts Norman, Lila sneaks up to the house where she finds Norman’s mother’s corpse. Norman Bates then bursts in, wearing a dress and wig and tries to kill Lila but is stopped by Sam. After Norman is arrested the psychiatrist reveals...

Bibliography: Lamb, B. 2013, Mise-en-scene.
Quality Teacher Program, 2002, Critical Literacy in English Years 8-10, Quality Teacher Program, Sydney.
Smith, S.C. 1991, A Heart at Fire 's Center; The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann, University of California Press, Berkeley
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