How Alfred Hitchcock Gains Sympathy of the Audience for Marian Crane in Psycho
Alfred Hitchcock directed the film ‘Psycho’ in 1960. At the end of its
first year, the film earned fifteen million dollars. The film has
generated three sequels and was the first “Madman with a knife” or
“Slasher films.” Followed by films such as ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’
or ‘Halloween’. It was also the very first horror film that looked at
something realistic like a psychiatric situation instead of fictional
horror characters like werewolves or vampires.
Alfred Hitchcock had his own new ideas in publicity and marketing. He
made sure that everyone was seated before the film ...view middle of the document...
Hitchcock decided to pay for the film himself as he had so much faith
Music played a big part in the film. Bernard Herrman came up with an
idea that strings would represent the sounds of stabbing actions of
Marian Crane is the main character at the beginning of ‘Psycho’. The
audience is on her side until she gets killed off. Then the audience
are not quite sure who to relate to. Usually, a film follows a certain
pattern. You learn about a character, they have a problem, go on a
quest to sort it out and then get to a resolution. The way ‘Psycho’ is
different, is because the main character is killed off while she is
trying to sort out her problem. She never does get to the end to sort
In ‘Psycho’s’ famous shower scene, seventy-eight separate shots were
needed to get it right. It also took a staggering seven days to film.
To pass the Hayes office for censorship, Marian Crane (Actress Janet
Leigh) had to have moleskin stuck all over her to make sure that she
didn’t appear nude.
In this assignment, I am going to analyse the way that Alfred
Hitchcock gains the sympathy of the audience for Marian Crane even
though she steals $40,000.
At the start of the film, the credits are shown. Hitchcock thought
hard about the way he would show them. The screen is made up of black
and white horizontal bars, which keep on splitting. This shows the two
conflicting sides of the film (good verses evil!) During the credits,
the ‘Psycho’ theme tune is played. This helps to create tension and
suspense even before the film has started.
The opening scene begins with a camera panning round the skyline of
Phoenix, Arizona without focusing on anything in particular. The
camera then stops and moves in on one building. It then moves onto one
open window and zooms in through it. These camera shots show that what
is about to happen could easily happen to anyone, anywhere, at any
time. The way the camera moves through the window and into the hotel
room is almost like it was spying on Marian and her boyfriend, Sam, so
immediately gaining sympathy for the character.
The first time that you actually see Marian Crane is when she is lying
on the bed with only white underwear on. The audience sees an innocent
quality about her due to the colour underwear she is wearing. The
camera then zooms in on her uneaten lunch, which establishes the fact
that she has been on her lunch hour yet has been too busy doing
something else to eat it!
There is then a mid shot of Marian and Sam together in profile which
shows how much Marian is in love with Sam. A long shot follows with
the two of them on the bed showing Marians feelings towards Sam.
When Marian gets dressed, she dresses in light white colours, which
shows her innocence. Marian and Sam then talk. The camera...