Alfred Hitchcock, Suspense & Terror

Norman Bates Has a Hobby
Norman Bates Has a Hobby

Using the assigned reading as a resource, identify a scene or even a single shot in Psycho. Describe the scene or shot in detail and why it may (or may not) support the auteur theory. Remember that Hitchcock worked with many collaborators such as the composer Bernard Hermann and the graphic designer Saul Bass. And of course he also worked with some very talented actors. 

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Comments: 20
  • #1

    Asma' (Sunday, 13 April 2014 04:12)

    One of the amazing scenes in the movie is when Lila Crane runs away from Norman and she entered the basement. She finds Norman's mother. Firstly, she calls her, but with no answer. Then, she touches her shoulder and flip her to see a dead body. The scene was three shots. The first one is Norman's mum's hair and body sitting in the chair. After Lila touches her shoulder the camera take another angel, a side angle, that shows a side of her face. Then, the shocking scene is when the camera shows all her face. All the focus was on Norman's mother's face, just a skull.

    According to the reading this scene support the auteur theory. First of all, the mastery of cinematic technique, especially his camera using and viewpoint. Secondly, the soundtrack also on the scene helps to improve the mystery of the film. It uses a soundtrack, then the Lila's screaming. Then, the soundtrack change to a third different one. Thirdly, "subtle manipulation of an audience's fears and desires", this scene was completely a shocked scene that developed the plot and theme of the film. It's also an unexpected scene for the audience. Finally, the success of the movie in general and in scene individually is related to a good story as Psycho and great performance of the actors as Psycho actors, too and with the camera uses, music and soundtrack.

  • #2

    Motaz Alshaer (Sunday, 13 April 2014 13:32)

    In my opinion, one of best scene in Psycho when Marion hides and goes to bathroom to get stolen money from her purse in minute 22. This scene comes with high angel shot which is presents like someone is watching her and spy on her. "Hitchcock's films are marked by his mastery of cinematic technique which is exemplified in his use of camera viewpoints". Music in that scene shows how Marion is afraid during taking money from her purse. Also, music shows there is something mysterious and wrong happen and someone is hidden for looking at something alone. She was nervous and unstable. Hitchcock controls the whole scene by doing a connection between the audience and Marion character so he attracts audience to focus on this scene from high angel position and see the weakness of Marion. "it is the director who controls the artistic statement, takes credit for the film and is responsible for attracting the audience".

    Hitchcock has his unique style and personality of showing films as a real. He tries to create his own ideas and techni
    "The works of an auteur director are stamped by the personality and unique artistic vision of its creator"

  • #3

    Dina Khaled (Sunday, 13 April 2014 14:05)

    What I have liked the most in the movie is the last scene of the movie, it ends with discovering the whole truth about Norman and that he is a psycho, and also discovering the truth about the dead woman by Norman, and what has happened to him at the end, which is putting him in the jail and the voice that he has when the guard brought him blanket, which showed the audience how psycho he isssss,, the auteur achieved his aim through this movie which is to be a horror movie, which it was
    the end of the movie achieved justice, and so this what makes the audience have a positive respond to the film, with a realistic endings, negotiations between the filmmakers and the audience is really good and so by giving a feedback from the audience on the film depend on the style that the film were made and how this style is going with the style of these different audiences, ''A comfortable style that negotiates with it's audience a series of predictable and flexible responses. '' (pp.112)
    the film was actually amazing and the actors did their work very well, and so the other elements which made the successes of the movie are, the screenplay which was very connected and well chosen to the novel of the movie, also the sound effects were exactly suppose in each exact scene...etc and many other elements made the film successful, but the most element that made the film successful is directing the film in white and black, as a horror movie, white and black make the film more terrifying than having a colored movie.

  • #4

    Mae Shuaib (Monday, 14 April 2014 16:22)

    The movie Psycho, shows the life, action and inside of the character named Marion Crane who is a secretary living in Phoenix. She has a secret love affair and wants happiness and marriage and she thought that she can buy happiness by stealing 40,000 dollars from her boss. She plans a getaway and ends up going to a motel owned by the Bates, Norman Bates and his sick mother. He seems as an innocent man who loves his mother but later on we see that he is a psycho serial killer.
    “Hitchcock’s camera strategies express ways of thinking about his characters and showing them in difficult, often threating situations” (85) She signs in her name, has a conversation with Norman and they end up misunderstanding each other and he realizes she is lying about her identity and she is hiding something. She senses a bad vibe from Norman’s talk of his hobby as stuffing animals and the idea of the institutions is a wrong place so she decides to leave the next morning. Norman peeps from his wall in order to see her room which foreshadows he will kill her. She goes in the bathroom and takes a shower. While she is a taking a shower a shadow is shown from behind the curtain showing someone is after her. As the person gets closer we can see a sight of the face showing it is Norman but then as the person in disguise walks away it is a woman dressed in a robe. The person dressed in a robe and wearing a wig brutally stabs Marion’s body leaving her to death. Extreme close ups are shown on the body and facial expressions. The shower scene shows her need of escape from Norman the mad man and the motel so she can go back to Phoenix and her old life as a secretary also she wants to go return the money. She knew what she did was wrong but it was too late for she died in the tub.
    What’s ironic of the film is that Norman comes and cleans up the blood and tosses her in the river leaving no evidence of her body being found in his motel. Also his action shows that he is this innocent man but he is a serial killer and hides it. This scene does support and is an auteur because the director controls the audiences with suspense and not knowing who this disguised character is who killed Marion. The music is a technique in auteurism being used for suspense playing with the audience nerves of making them predict the known or unknown. Mastery cinematic techniques with camera movements, viewpoints and suspense are seen in this very shower scene.

  • #5

    Tala Zeitawi (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 08:23)

    A scene that caught my eyes but also was a "pop-up" scene which was when Lila sees Norman running from the motel, towards his house to look for her. As soon as she sees him through the window, she finds a place to hide and she goes and hides in the cellar room. She sees the mother sitting in a rockingchair, facing the wall. She taps her shoulder, thinking the mother would respond but instead the truth is revealed and so the mother is a dressed up skeleton. Lila screams and hits the lightbulp which causes the shadows to swing on he walls. As it says "Hitchcock’s camera strategies express ways of thinking about his characters and showing them in difficult, often threating situations” (85)Norman enters the cellar room with a knife high top in his hand. the amazing Noises and sound appear which scare the audience, thinking there goes another murder but then Sam comes to the rescue. Which shows that "it is the director who controls the artistic statement, takes credit for the film and is responsible for attracting the audience". And so, the wig falls from Normans head.

  • #6

    Aya Nafei (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:23)

    A scene that really caught my attention was the famous shower scene. When she gets into the shower I expected something to happen but not her death in the way it was showed. We suddenly saw a shadow of a women figure outside the shower and it moved closer and closer till the curtain opened and the person attacked. One thing I liked is that we did not see the killer's face we just had an idea on who it would be and that created even more of a mystery.The camera moved in so many ways and there was of work and skill put into it was brilliant. I felt like I was in the scene with them. And like it says "Hitchcock’s camera strategies express ways of thinking about his characters and showing them in difficult, often threatening situations” and we saw her situation clearly.

  • #7

    Yara Masri (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:08)

    Hitchcocks' movie "Psycho" is a unique one. which has many surprising points and scenes . The scene that i was surprised by the most , is when Norman was speaking to his mother and was forcing her to leave her room but she was resisting him and refusing to leave, then he carried her out and we saw him holding her body ,and we also saw her hair which indicates that shes his mother and she exists , and then he put her in a room down stairs.The part that was the most surprising is when he opened the door of the other room and we saw her hair from the behind. Norman turned the chair and we suddenly saw his mothers face that was actually a dead bodys' skull.
    The author said :" As befits the master of mystery and suspense, his films play with the audience's nerves", and that was exactly what Hitchcock did. The author also said:"Hitchcock's films are marked by his mastery of cinematic technique which is exemplified in his use of camera viewpoints, elaborate editing and soundtrack to build suspense. Notorious includes an incredible zoom-in from a high shot to an extreme close-up ", this quote shows the technique that Hitchcock used in the part of showing the skull, in which he zoomed in to the skulls face quickly along with nerve racking and loud soundtracks.

  • #8

    Shazza Zeitawi (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:20)

    According to me, the shower scene was really catchy for I was shocked when the star Marion Crane who played the role of Vivien Leigh was murdered in tr first 20 minutes of the movie. We see that Marion is taking a dhowet peacefully in her motel room when suddenly, we see a shadow in a woman's figure walking towards Marion as she's taking a shower. This woman-like figure opens the curtains and stabs Marion until she loses a lot of blood and lies on the ground dead.
    Alfred Hitchcock uses "his mastery of cinematic technique which is exemplified in his use of camera viewpoints, elaborate editing and soundtrack in order to build suspense." After seeing this scene, I became aware that this scene alone contains 48 camera shots, even though it seemed to me like it was much more less than that. Hitchcock uses an " incredible zoom-in from a high shot to an extreme close-up of a significant plot detail and suspense building inter-cutting of final scene" where he zooms-in in the shower scene inside the bathtub on the circle that the water goes in then the picture changes to Marion's eye lying dead on the ground. I really likes his idea of doingthis and thought that it was professional.
    Alfred makes these weird but at the same time professional scenes in his movies where he "plays with the audience's nerves." He makes the audience feel nervous of what's going to happen next and hat was he thinking when he actually made these scenes because we as audienxe never expected them to happen, instead we expected something else to happen (for example; not murdering Marion Crane and keeping her alive in order to act in more scenes or maybe bot even die at all).

  • #9

    Tamam Musleh (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:23)

    A scene that i found interesting was when Lila Crane was screaming in the shower before she had gotten killed. It was a very dramatic scene, not as screams are in present movies this year and while he was about to kill her it was a 'slow-kill' , not as fast and shocking as now a days. Sort of like the movie scream when 'scream' the guy in black who we never would see until the end of the film (just like Physco) that is where the shock affect occurs in both of these films, when it's the person the audience least expects it to be. Hitchock is this film had the killer reveal himself slowly as the wig fell of his head and he slowly dropped to the floor at the last scene of the film which shows us that the director did the 'best for last' feature.

  • #10

    Sabi Abu-Swelim (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:24)

    Basically, Hitchcock in most of his film productions, he tends to support the auteur theory and to make it one of the most dominant among many other context and scopes in his films. Obviously, for Hitchcock, “it is this visual expression of thought and psychology that Hitchcock achieves [his idea of Auteurism] throughout his films.” Actually, while presenting his themes and contexts, he depends on the art of visual expression that can be done through applying many strategies; such as the mise en scene strategy. In this, as in his great film Psycho, Hitchcock works on the mise en scene strategy which involves elements such as body language, lighting, camera angles and body position. For instance, to support this argument, the parlour scene from the film Psycho reveals much about how visual expression, which refers to the Auteur theory, is conveyed to the audience by the use of mise en scene. In this scene, Norman brings Marion supper on a tray but the real message revealed by the objects, lighting and placement of the actors is that Marion is clearly being chosen by Norman to be his next victim. On the other hand, although the camera is at a neutral angle and suggests nothing about the power relationship between the two figures, the body language reveals much about what is in the mind of Norman. Norman’s arms holding the tray look as if they are pointing to Marion, but she is standing with her arms at her side, which makes her look unprotected and unaware of Norman’s intent. Norman is positioned as the aggressor and Marion as the victim. Also, the angle of the light source for this scene is high on the wall between the two figures, but closer and illuminating Marion more. The light falls on Marion’s head, and a beam of light points directly at Marion. This suggests that Marion is the focus of Norman’s attention and makes her seem more vulnerable because she is “in the spotlight” or “in the sights” of the killer.

  • #11

    Saja Surkhi (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:33)

    The auteur theory it’s very obvious in Hitchcock films. In Psycho, the scene of the Det. Arbogast when he entered the house to see what’s in it. He was walking on the stairs and when he was almost to reach the top of the stairs and to see the room, the camera movement was from above and it show the door of the room and the top of the stairs where Arbogast was. Then someone get out from the room with a big knife in the hand and hit Arbogast on his head, and he walk back on the stairs staring on the camera and behind the camera was someone pushing him down till he reached the floor , and a women hit him more than one time with her knife, the sound effect that was added to this scene is the screaming with an echo and the shots were taken in an very amazing angles. I think that this scene represents the auteur theory, first in the stairs that were used in a lot of Hitchcock films such as Strangers On A Train, Vertigo also the sound effect that was added it gave the audience a sense of mysterious of what’s happening. The use of the knife also it’s a Hitchcockian part.
    The whole scene it’s a part of the suspense that Hitchcock wanted us to feel , because the one that killed Arbogast was dressed in a woman clothes and woman hair, So, that let us as an audience guessing who’s the killer of Arbogast and Marie ?? Is he the Norman ?? how he would be Norman but this one is dressed in a woman clothes. This scene show the auteur theory in Hitchcock work and it was a good example from the amazing film Psycho . 

  • #12

    Eliaa (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:01)

    Hitchcock' movies means "curiosity and suspense" the shower scene is an amazing scene because is getting killed but we don't know who is killing her, we think that Norman is killing her, but we are not sure yet, in this scene "shadow" plays a very important role because we see a shadow of a woman "the hair", but we eventually know that Norman who killed her. Another two scenes that made me feel curios and suspense are 1-when Norman killed Lila and he cleaned the room, he did not know about the money in newspaper, I thought that he was going to discover it, but he didn't. 2- the scene when Norman immerses Lila's care in a small lake, for a moment the car stopped sinking and I thought that it will never sink.
    Hitchcock in his movies tends and aims to make us curious and to feel suspense because in the end he surprises us.

  • #13

    Hayat Hamdan (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 16:13)

    The scene I like the most is when the first time Norman mother appears. When Norman enter his mother room and dialogue start between them. When I heard the sound of the mother I convinced that there is mother in the house by hearing her sound. When Norman carries his mother corps from her room and take her downstairs. High angel camera shot, I like camera movement with Norman go down stairs. Hitchcock used suspense in this scene by not showing the mother face. At the beginning of the film I thought that the killer is the mother but when I saw Noramn caring her I find out that she is old and weak can’t harm so she’s not the killer. By this moment I changed my perspective and I start thinking of Norman who is the killer.
    This scene is support the auteur theory. Because “Hitchcock was a consummate craftsman who planned each shot in advance, involved himself with every aspect of the physical production, and guided the development of his material from start to finish. Before any film he planned every detail thoroughly in advance with the help of storyboards and pictorial outlines”. The most scenes I like about psycho is the staircases, Hitchcock had used the stairs scenes perfectly with sound effect, it makes audience live the scene. “Hitchcock's films are marked by his mastery of cinematic technique which is exemplified in his use of camera viewpoints, elaborate editing and soundtrack to build suspense”

  • #14 (Wednesday, 16 April 2014 03:13)


  • #15

    Rawnaq abu laban (Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:14)

    A scene that caught my attention and i found it interesting was when Lila Crane get killed. She raised her hand to the top for a moment, and then there was the picture when the blood mingled with water. This was a shock to me because first i did not expect her death and also when she was stabbed, she did not fall to the ground quickly. She raised her hand like shes asking for help and without sound.
    All of this was in a slow motion, first the scene shows one of the auteur theory, its the the coherent personal style. Its the style of shooting and letting the scene go in a slow motion, this shows the horror and thriller in the movie.
    Also it shows the auteur "personal vision", when the blood get mixed with water, like this is his style and way of vision of seeing the things get mixed together.
    And like it says "Hitchcock’s camera strategies express ways of thinking about his characters and showing them in difficult, often threatening situations”. This shows the style that the director used in the film by threatening the characters.

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  • #20

    Custom Essay Help (Monday, 04 December 2017 05:50)

    A scene that got my thought and I believed that it was entrancing was when Lila Crane get killed. She raised her hand to the best for a moment, and after that there was the photograph when the blood mixed with water. This was a paralyze to me since first I didn't expect her passing and besides when she was injured, she didn't tumble to the ground quickly. She raised her hand like shes asking for help and without sound.