The second Hitchcock film of the week was Psycho, released in 1960. This is one of the most hard-hitting and well-known films in history, mainly due to the boundaries it was breaking in the time of it's release. The plot is based around a woman, Marion who steals a large amount of money from her employer on a whim and flees from the city and her surroundings. After raising suspicions, she books into an old declining motel, ran by loner Norman Bates and decides to stay the night. Avoiding Bates' passes and interest, she retires to her room, only to be attacked whilst taking a shower by the assailiant.
This scene is the most well-known and focused of the movie. Hitchcock attracted fame with this scene due to it's brutal nature compared to the other movies around in the 1960's. Although the editing prevents the viewer from seeing the knife entering Marion's body, it is implied by quick, sharp editing that proves almost as violent as the wounds themselves. The blood running into the plug-hole and the shower curtain being dragged from it's rails has been parodied and praised constantly over the last 50 years.
The character of Norman Bates also provides interest as he is delusional and truely a 'psycho' after imitating his long-dead mother, who he had previously butchered, by dressing in her clothes and speaking in her tone. For the 1960s this was also a breakthrough theme of cross-dressing as well as psychopathic behavior. One reason for this is because of the discovery of serial killer and grave-robber Ed Gein, who had become famous a few years earlier in rural America after murdering and mutiliating people. (I made a more indepth post on him on the last unit here: ED GEIN)
Between Psycho, filmed without colour and heavy editing and yesterday's film 'Rope', filmed in rewarding colour using very long takes there are many differences. However, both stories kept the viewer intrigued and through the use of camera-work, did an incredible job at telling a story worth hearing.