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Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

A Casebook

Edited by Robert Kolker

Publication Date - August 2004

ISBN: 9780195169201

272 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Collects the finest essays to date on a film that is ideal for teaching the language of cinema


Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho: A Casebook collects some of the finest essays on this groundbreaking film--a film that is ideal for teaching the language of cinema and the ways in which strong filmmakers can break Hollywood conventions. Psycho is a film that can be used to present the structures of composition and cutting, narrative and genre building, and point of view. The film is also a highpoint of the horror genre and an instigator of all the slasher films to come in its wake. The essays in the casebook cover all of these elements and more. They also serve another purpose: presented chronologically, they represent the changes in the methodologies of film criticism, from the first journalist reviews and early auteurist approaches, through current psychoanalytic and gender criticism. Other selections include an analysis of Bernard Hermann's score and its close relationship to Hitchcock's visual construction; the famous Hitchcock interview by François Truffaut; and an essay by Robert Kolker that, through the use of stills taken directly from the film, closely reads its extraordinary cinematic structure. Contributors include Robert Kolker, Stephen Rebello, Bosley Crowther, Jean Douchet, Robin Wood, Raymond Durgnat, Royal S. Brown, George Toles, Robert Samuels, and Linda Williams.


  • Collects some of the finest essays on this groundbreaking film

About the Author(s)

Robert Kolker is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Table of Contents

    1. "Good Evening...": Alfred Hitchcock Talks to Francois Truffaut about "Pure Cinema," Playing His Audience Like an Organ, and Psycho
    2. Introduction Robert Kolker
    3. The Inception Stephen Rebello
    From Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Stephen Rebello
    4. Early Reception
    Hitchcock's 'Psycho' Bows at 2 Houses, Bosley Crowther
    Psycho Entry for "Ten Best Films"
    5. The Building of a Reputation
    Hitch and His Audience, Jean Douchet
    Psycho, Robin Wood
    Psycho, Raymond Durgnat
    6. Psycho's Music
    Herrmann, Hitchcock, and the Music of the Irrational, Royal S. Brown
    7. Psycho and the Gaze
    "If Thine Eyes Offend Thee...": Psycho and the Art of Infection, George Toles
    8. Psychoanalytical Approaches
    Epilogue: Psycho and the Horror of the Bi-Textual Unconscious, Robert Samuels
    9. Gender, Reception, and the Postmodern
    Discipline and Fun: Psycho and Postmodern Cinema, Linda Williams
    10. The Man Knew More Than Too Much
    The Form, Structure, and Influence of Psycho, Robert Kolker