Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #17: What Do I Do With My Free Afternoon? (Title Sequence and Opening Scene of Psycho)

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  1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

The lines and words of the title design come together and then break apart which foreshadow the coming together and breaking apart of both the young lovers and mother and son. The intense sounds of the strings create tension in the audience in much the same way the gothic styling of the mansion and stormy night foreshadow something horrible is going to happen.

  1. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

Crimes are cataloged by these types of specifics - place, date, time; this is Hitch’s way of subconsciously letting us know a crime has been or will be committed. By approaching the seedy hotel room via the outside we are getting our own hands dirty in much the same way Jeff did in Rear Window.

  1. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

Not only does the hotel scene show us that this movie is going to be about the relationship between Marion and Sam, but in it, we see Marion seeming to control the action as evidenced by when she told Sam that she indeed may look for someone else, her eyes didn’t say, “I’m joking.” Also, she determined when it was time to leave the room and did not wait for Sam.

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Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

 

It reminds me of the split in Norman personality. He seems like a nice person at the beginning but is anything but nice. It also is voyeuristic. We enter through a window as if we are spying on the lovers.

 

As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

I think that he shows us this because he is wanting us to know that these two are secret lovers. At least one of them is married. I think he does this so we don't get too attached to them. When she dies, we will be for Norman instead of her.

 

In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

I think it makes her look like a home wrecker. She is having an affair in the middle of the day. He is no better but you can tell she controls the scene. We see his face more but she is doing all the talking and telling him that this can't happen anymore. In other words, drop your wife and marry me or this is gone.

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Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

 

The music and visual layer together reinforce a facturing.  Norman's mind, Marion's life (hope I didn't spoil anything /s)  The lines also foreshadow slashing.  Bass' other title sequences were not as fast paced.  Simple but the slashing lines are quick.

 

As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

Dec 11, 1959 actually fell on a Friday.  With Psycho being released in 1960, Hitchcock is establishing that these are very real, very recent events.  As discussed in the video, this is a transition in horror from supernatural to real possibilities.  Werewolves and vampires shouldn't scare, but real crazy, that's scary.  It also establishes the weekend is coming.  Later when Marion steals the money, she has the weekend to getaway.  The time tells us she is pushing the boundaries with her job for sake of the affair.  The time also establishes that this is an affair that is secretive, reinforced by peeking by the semi-closed blinds.  We are invited to be vouyers again, but later it is unsettling when we participate with Norman as peeps on Marion.  Are we very close to being pushed over the edge like Norman?  Of course this technique is similar to Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt.  But more effective here I think.  We creep up on the window, first panning, then intermediate shot, then a shot takes through window actually into the room.  Not that Hitch should have done the other movies the same way, just that if he wants to get into Norman's mind we are echoing his actions later.

 

In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

I always liked Psycho because it takes it's time on evolving.  We aren't immediately introduced to Norman.  The focus begins with Marion.  Which really amps up the shock in the bathroom scene.  It begins very Film Noir ish and morphs into thriller/horror.  Although the first voice is Sam, the first person seen is Marion.  But she directs the future action.  She says it's the last time, like the skier in The Man Who Knew Too Much, foreshadowing, "The last run, the chance, the last day of my life", but she means a ultimatum.  No more secrets.  She wants a real relationship with Sam, no more sneaking around.

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1.    Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

The score is a tense one, and makes me think of running away and being sought after. The title design reminds us of windows, of dismemberment – maybe of a dead body – and of putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Together, they gave us a sense of voyeurism and of suspense – we’re about to witness a crime and we’ll be invited to help the cops solve it.

 

2.    As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

This opening is voyeuristic as well. We are going to see through the peeking blinders just like peeping tom LB Jefferies from “Rear Window” and, in a sense, also the old man right in the beginning of Hitchcock’s first film, “The Pleasure Garden”. Date, time and location give this beginning a tone of a documentary or a TV program about the police.  

 

3.    In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

Even as a lover, she dominates the situation. She is seen being funny and speaking seriously, at the same sequence. She is taking advantage of the situation, she is not blinded by her feelings nor being misguided by Sam. She knows what she is doing.

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1.     Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

 

The graphic design is about fragmentation.  And there are many fragments or cuts in the film:

Good Marion vs Bad Marion (see comment in #3 below)

Norman’s split personality

The cuts of the shower scene

The two-part movie – before and after Marion is killed

 

The score follows this idea of fragmentation.  The opening music is made up of melodic fragments that reappear in various orders, mixed and matched.  Check out the terrific analysis along these lines in the following article:

 

Tom Schneller, “Easy to Cut: Modular Form in the Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann,” Journal of Film Music 5.1-2 (2012): 127-51.  You can see a preview of the article here: https://www.scribd.com/document/289706917/Easy-to-Cut-Modular-Form-in-the-Film-Scores-of-Bernard-Herrmann

 

A couple of things about the strings-only score.  First, by having only strings, the color of the orchestra is limited.  Rather than featuring the full range of colors and timbres (woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings), we get only the sound of strings.  The mono-chromatic orchestra matches the black and white.  Second, the violin is an instrument that closely matches the sound of the human voice.  And it is usually such a lush, romantic, sweet kind of sound.  So to use the violins here, in Psycho, in the high range is very unnerving.  It sounds like screams (like in the shower scene), and it also is a kind of perversion of the normal, warm, “humanity” of the violin.  Here the violin is twisted, like Norman Bates.

 

2.     As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

First off, all of this specificity if McGuffin-esque.   None of these details matter.  I think Hitchcock used this technique to invoke a sense of “reality” in that police procedural shows, like Dragnet (which began on TV in 1951), often had this level of detail.  It’s a documentary type approach that makes the viewer feel like these crimes and people are real.  So that’s what I think Hitchcock is working off of here.  And that sense of “reality” makes the shower scene and Norman even more disturbing.  Hitchcock has set this up from the beginning to be a “true” story.  This reminds me also of the Coen Brothers’ opening of the movie Fargo from 1996 (and the recent FX series on TV continues this opening).  There they also say they are showing a true story:  “THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”  Having this opening also makes the audience assume that these gruesome events really happened.  And even if you know that the opening line here is just a gesture and is not true, it still colors the way you experience the film.  In both Psycho and Fargo, the horror is greater because is could be true.

 

As far as the blinds go – first they’re drawn during the day to hide what’s happening behind them.  But we peek through the bottom of them (it’s a hot day so they’re left open a bit for air), and we go right through to enter the scene.  This is very much like Rear Window.  We are voyeurs again on a hot day, looking through windows and finding sex and murder.

 

3.     In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

We know she’s in love with Sam but unhappy that they have to meet in a tawdry hotel.  She wants respectability and marriage.  This sets up the motive for this good girl to steal money, which seems out of character.  Notice her bra and slip are white in this scene.  Even though she’s having illicit sex, she’s a “good” girl.  But in the scene in her bedroom after she’s stolen the money, she is in a black bra and slip.  She’s transgressed now, having stolen the money.  And Norman sees her in this black underwear when he spies on her.  Remember, “Mother” assumed all girls were bad, and she’s dressed this way (in black, like a “bad” girl) when Norman sees her through the hole in the wall, continuing also the voyeurism the film started with.  And again, Marion is in a tawdry, down-scale hotel/motel.

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The graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film with it abrupt, fragmented sounds of violins as well as the lines sharply moving back and forth across the screen. The disjointed word Psycho along with the music lets us know we are going down a dark road and the word splitting seems an indicator of what is to come.

 

The shots with information are used to specify that his the middle of a day and these people are on their lunch hour in an ordinary city and on just another day for ordinary people stealing some time together on an ordinary work day. Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through semi-closed blinds from the outside to make the audience feel like they are voyeurs and peeping into an intimate time for a couple. The scene opens with a panoramic of a city and then closes on to a personal view of inside a hotel room. This scene is similar to Rear Window with its panarama of the outside of Stewart's courtyard then going inside to his apartment.

 

In this opening scene we establish that Marion Crane is not married and having sex in a cheap hotel on her lunch hour with Sam Loomis who is from out of town. She refers to her job and the fact that she wants marriage and this will be the last meeting like this. The scene leaves us wanting more about their future. I love the fact that I learned about the way Hitchcock put her in a white undergarments before the robbery and than black after at the Bates Motel. The peeping through the open blinds is also reoccurring scene later at the Bates Motel as well. And the line "They don't care when you check in, but when your time is up..." is again Hitchcocks dark humor.    

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1. The music has a steady hum which suggests a constant motion--that of a car driving on a long journey, or the inner workings of an anxious mind. The linear graphics work well to visualize this motion and also mimic the strings of the violin, so prominent in Hermann's score. Together, the music and graphics create an anxious atmosphere often disrupted by a rattling bass or piercing high notes, leading us to experience our fear of the unexpected. The graphic lines crack and fracture text in a visualization of Bates' psychological break.

 

2. Mid-afternoon on a Friday fairly close to Christmas is when many people are not concentrating on their work and are anticipating the weekend; in other words being in a place they may not want to be while their mind is wandering "somewhere else". This feeling is common to all of the characters in the film. As for the specificity of the location and time, it is suggestive of a detailed police report.

 

The shot through the blinds is reminiscent of the introduction to Rear Window; yet the fact that the blinds are partially closed hints that we are peeking at a private moment not meant to be seen by others. The blinds, in this sense, are very much a keyhole.

 

3. Janet Leigh is the one who has the most anxiety in the scene--she picks up the tension established in the title credits and carries it forward. Hitchcock has reversed the gender roles to a certain extent: Leigh is the one who has to rush back to work, while Gavin is more blasé and in no hurry to leave the hotel room. Leigh is shown as more in control of the action: she is over Gavin kissing him with her back prominently displayed to the camera, but she is also the one to stop their afternoon tryst. She also appears comfortable and confident being partially dressed, yet as she hurriedly puts on her clothes she reveals her anxiety and displeasure with the status of the relationship--and that of her life.

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1. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? 

Wow! The frantic/frenetic music!  That, along with the graphic design with the names and the very title of the film, makes me think of someone cracking up.  It's heavy & stressful sounding, could be scary & hint of danger.

 

2.  As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity?

It is a helpful foundation for the entire story.  For example, Marion mentions "these extended lunch hours," and we think Yes, that is quite an extended lunch hour if you are not returning to work until 3:00 or later! It says something to us about her character that she is willing to lie about that & take a chance by lengthening her lunch break to that extent, all to secretly "hang out" with the guy Sam.  Also, it lets us know that this story begins in conjunction, basically, with the start of the weekend.

Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

It immediately brings home the point that these two people are probably doing something they should not be, are sneaking around - hence, the semi-closed blinds.   It makes me think of "Rear Window"; although, our view there was from Jeffries' apartment window looking OUT to the courtyard & other side, then back into his apartment where he is dozing in the wheelchair.  And, certainly, as others have said, in that case, the windows & blinds were wide open; he was not trying to hide anything.

 

3. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

Partly due simply to the fact that she is IN the opening scene with another big name actor of the day, it makes her seem like a main character. She also begins revealing little bits about her work life and these trysts with Sam - providing insights into her life which will surely be pertinent to the story. 

 

*Does anyone know what Marion (Janet Leigh) says to Sam (John Gavin) at the 3:26, or so, mark in the video clip?  Right after she says "When you're married, you can do a lot of things," she then hurriedly whispers something, after which, he says "You sure talk like a girl who's been married."  I've listened several times and cannot figure it out!  Maybe someone has already asked/answered that question!?

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*Does anyone know what Marion (Janet Leigh) says to Sam (John Gavin) at the 3:26, or so, mark in the video clip?  Right after she says "When you're married, you can do a lot of things," she then hurriedly whispers something, after which, he says "You sure talk like a girl who's been married."  I've listened several times and cannot figure it out!  Maybe someone has already asked/answered that question!?

 

"Deliberately" ...in response to Sam saying "I've heard of married couples who deliberately spend a night in a cheap hotel."

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1. The opening credits hit you like a frying pan in the face, with music that sets the pace and the tension, and then the credits come in and are equally fast-paced and tense. There's also a not so subtle frenzied quality, like I suspect the inside of Norman's mind might look like visually. The bisected text is an additional (perfect) touch to let us know there's violence a foot, in particular the last credit "Directed by Alfred Hitchcock", where it jarringly separates, cracking up before our eyes. The two combined, really gets you ready for what's about to come, even if you don't know it yet!!

 

2. I think it's to hint at the fact that this could be real, since it is (loosely) based on the real story of Ed Gein, it's not just anywhere, anytime. It's like the beginning of the tv crime dramas of the day, e.g., Dragnet, it puts us in a very specific place and time, that we can actually go to, grounding our reality in facts.

 

We go through the blinds to foreshadow the peeping tomfoolery we're about to experience, like in Rear Window, except this time it's dark and puts us in a Norman state of mind. Them being partially clothed only adds to the voyeurism aspect, especially back in the day, wow!

 

3. Marion Crane isn't your typical demure woman of the period, she's risque, willing to flaunt the rules a little, but she's also still a regular working girl, who doesn't want to meet in seedy hotels, which hints at her strength, and is also reinforced in upcoming scenes. The whole first part of the movie focuses on her, and who she is, and even though she's dispatched relatively quickly, we connect with her, and care about her outcome.

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Daily Dose #17 Psycho 

 

1.  The titles combined with the music set the scene right away for action, suspense and thrills. 

 The lines slicing through the titles...is a the perfect way to set up the Knife scenes....the music enhances it with it's pounding rhythms like a knife stabbing over and over. The combination make us feel uneasy, apprehensive right from the very beginning of the movie. 

 

2.  I believe the specific place, date and time bring us to reality...it's an ordinary day in an ordinary place in the middle of the afternoon but then we enter through the window (a la Rear Window) to witness a not so ordinary Friday afternoon event. Two people having sex in the afternoon, we know without any words that it's secret and forbidden sex. 

 

3.  I think that the scene sets up Marion as a nice ordinary girl in a not so nice situation. She is involved with a married man, she is taking time off from her job to have sex with him. Although she says she's not going to do this any more, you can tell by her actions and the pain in her voice that she probably will. She is dressed in white underwear which I believe Hitchcock did on purpose to establish her as a nice girl. Later after she steals the money, she is in black underwear (the bad girl). 

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  1. This is the only film of the three mentioned that was shot in black and white and the result is a stark, sharp sequence. The music is brilliant and very deliberately jarring. The way the lines sweep from side to side reminds me of a window curtain being pulled open and closed. It reminds me of the figure in the window of the house. Also, the way the lines appear to create names ... at first you get part of the word but you can't necessarily decipher what the names are until the whole word is assembled. To me, that was reminiscent of the storytelling technique. We will get parts of the story throughout but the whole picture won't be revealed to us until the end when it all comes together.

 

I think the reason for the specific date and time is to establish that these people are playing hooky. They are doing something wrong ... at least Marion should be at work. Hotel rooms in the middle of the afternoon would tend to imply an illicit affair. We enter the blinds and the window as voyeurs and it reminds me of Rear Window in that regard. In that situation, we are looking outwardly at the world. In this situation, we are looking inside ... maybe a hint that this is somewhat of a psychological thriller.

 

We immediately know Marion is having an affair with Sam. It's not just an affair -- she loves him. We know that what she wants is to be married and for some reason, that can't happen at the moment. I think she's sympathetic in that regard. She is introduced as someone perhaps grappling with moral dilemmas -- she says this is the last time she will meet Sam. This is a good set-up for the dilemma with the money she will face later. She is tired of not having what she wants and is about to take action to get it,

 

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The straight horizontal lines of the graphic design look like window blinds, introducing the voyeur theme.  The vertical lines appear to be prison bars, giving up reason to believe there will be a crime.  The music definitely gives the feeling of a chase or running away, so we think that someone will be running away from a crime and being chased.  The music also gives a feeling of being tense and makes us feel fear, menace, danger, and even violence.  These feelings, combined with the speed of the music, (and, of course, the title of the film) gives a feeling of craziness or psychotic behavior.  Also, as some of the words, like the title of the movie, are cut by the lines, it might lead us to think of a split personality.

 

The graphic emphasis of the precise place, day, and time give a very realistic note to what is happening, like a police procedural TV show.  The more realistic and the "closer to home," the more fear that it is real and could really happen.  By having us "go through" the blinds, we feel we are peeking in the hotel room like a voyeur.  Then, we see the two on the bed, half dressed.  At 2:43 p.m. on a weekday, in a "seedy" hotel, this screams illicit affair.  The opening is definitely reminiscent of the opening of "Shadow of a Doubt."  Although we didn't go through blinds or see anyone in bed (except on the balcony), this opening also reminds us of looking through windows in "Rear Window."

 

With the first look "through the blinds," we know that Marian and Sam are having an illicit affair in a seedy hotel in the middle of the afternoon.  Very quickly, we feel that Marian is the lead character in this relationship.  From the dialogue, we know that she is the one who took the "extended" lunch hour, she is lying slightly on top of Sam, she decides to stay or go, and she tells him this is the last time.  While both actors would probably be known to the audience, Janet Leigh was definitely a bigger star.  Finally, the opening credits would also indicate that Janet Leigh/Marian Crane is a main character when it states "and Janet Leigh as Marian Crane."

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After posting my response to this Daily Dose, I started to read what other students had posted and I was surprised when I read ****' post that the horizontal lines represented a knife stabbing and the vertical lines represented a knife slashing.  I felt this was a bit of a "reach" to match the graphics with the film and I didn't think anyone would see that from the opening unless they had already seen the movie.  But, I went back and watched the opening again.  While I'm still not sure you would think of a knife stabbing or slashing just by looking at long, straight lines, I have to admit that the graphic design coordinated with Herrmann's brilliant score ​which mimics the rhythm of a knife stabbing and/or slashing really does bring that to mind!  Well done analysis!!  I'll never see this opening again without thinking of the knife attack!

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Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

 

You know there is going to be some intensity in this film.  You will be on the edge of your seat.  There will be tense and anxious moments.  There is brokenness to these characters.

 

 

As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

If Hitch is showing it to us, we know it's important information.  It tells us exactly when and where the story starts.  Before we even hear Janet Leigh refer to her boss or her lunch break, we already know this is a normal work time for most people.

By going in thru semi-closed binds we know we are seeing something private.  Something the characters don't want anyone to know.  

It reminds me of the opening of Shadow of a Doubt, when we go into Charlie's room.  And obviously the huge window opening scene in Rear Window.

 

 

 

In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

She is the first character we see.  She's the one who's taking control of the situation.  She's the one who lives in Phoenix, while Sam travels there to see her.

 

 

 

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1.  The title sequence lets the viewer know that something suspenseful is going to happen but you don't know what.

 

2. The specific date place and time are like an hourglass slowly slipping away until the awful end of Marion's life at the hands of Norman. The shot under the blinds panning into the seedy motel room with the main character lounging carelessly on the bed is very similar to the opening scene of Shadow of a Doubt when we are first introduced to dear Uncle Charlie the Merry Widow Killer.

 

3. Marion Crane is definitely one of the more  out right unscrupulous of Hitchcock's female leads. From the beginning of the scene she is in control of the situation she is in. While she is having an affair with a married man he is coming to see her and wants her to stay in the hotel room. She is trying to manipulate Sam into leaving his wife. She is the one to getup and leave to go back to work rather than stay with him. It isn't until she thinks she is going to get caught with the stolen money that we see any real vunerability in Marion.

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Psycho is the first Hitchcock film I saw, and it's my favorite. One large reason for that is Bernard Herrmann's frantic and stress-inducing score. The use of strings performed almost violently convey a stabbing sensation. It immediately thrusts the audience into a state of anxiety, setting up the right tone for what's to come. Saul Bass's opening title design works in concert with the score in influencing this sensation. The lines swiping in and out--from side to side and up and down--are analogous to violent swipes of a knife.

 

I can't speak to Hitchcock's use of a specific date and time for the opening scene, but that's something I like to do, myself, in my own writing. I feel that offering specificity adds a layer of interest. It helps to lay a stake in what is meant to be a remembered scene in which some crucial piece of information is offered. The choice to enter the hotel room through the window blinds is a genius one. This element of voyeurism is a motif in Psycho, more famously paid off with Norman's peeping on Marion in her hotel room. It's also reminiscent of the central theme of Rear Window.

 

The opening scene establishes Marion as the main character because the audience is immediately thrown into her story. She's the "other" woman who tells Sam that their affair needs to end. Of course, it can't just end there. We expect to see it play out with Marion at the center, navigating a difficult and rocky road. Her emotional journey is the one that's the most interesting to watch.

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  1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

     

    I think the distortion of the actor's names and even the title demonstrates the theme of dual personalities or a distortion of people present themselves to be. The music and the lines running through the screen show a frantic and hurried rhythm that maybe these people are experiencing on the inside, but not showing to the outside world. 

     

  2. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

     

    I think the specificity of the day, time, place, and location show that these are average people having this dangerous, and illicit affair in "Anywhere, America". It isn't some glamorous place or exotic people, but every day people that are having this scandalous (for the time) experience. 

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The title and credits run across the screen in a frenzied way, and the music definitely adds to that feeling. This isn't going to be a relaxing film.

 

Going through the window into the hotel room shows the voyeuristic nature of the film along with so many other Hitchcock films. The characters are in a hotel room in the middle of the day, establishing that they maybe don't care about social norms. Marion is saying she needs to go back to work but obviously doesn't really want to, and maybe these sort of character traits contribute to her deciding to run off with the money.

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1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

 

I'm not sure what the word "Psycho" would mean to someone going to see the movie for the first time in 1960, but, after viewing the titles and hearing the music, they are going to be amped up and already in suspense as to what will unfold.  The lines of the titles and their constant shifting made me think that something was broken, i.e., not working correctly.  The piercing music is further upsetting as it effectively stabs the eardrums.  The overall theme that is introduced is disjointed.

 

2.  As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

My initial thought, after the titles end, is that it seems odd to have the location so specifically spelled out. I'm guessing that the location, being Phoenix, gives us the idea that this movie is taking place in a very unromantic and not glamorous place.  The time being 2:43 pm - further expanded upon by the couple in the hotel room - lets the audience know it's the middle of the afternoon.  After all, what bad thing could happen in the middle of the day?

 

The camera POV (audience) slips through the Venetian blinds almost exactly like they did in Rear Window.  What we're seeing is going to be none-of-our-business, but it introduces us to Janet Leigh/Marion Crane, and to her state of mind.  The very first time I saw this movie, I thought John Gavin was going rape or beat up Janet Leigh, that somehow something bad was going to happen in the hotel.

 

3.  In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

The scene works very well to establish that: a.  Marion is a working girl, b. Marion is sexually experienced, c.  Marion is not married (but Sam is???) and may not want to be married right now, and, d.  Marion is willing to fool around in a hotel, on her lunch hour, but she's not too happy about it. She is kind of a romantic, as she loves being with Sam but doesn't like the sneakiness of it and being in a crappy hotel. 

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The exact date and time and place is like we are  about to see what will happen. It reminds me of a police report and it is like this is the reference report about it and how all the events followed hat day! Remarkable scene and open credits, the music of course sends chills down my spine every single time!

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1. The graphic design and score match perfectly. The music is dramatic and thrilling and the graphic design is linear with letters for the credits. At one point the film title breaks up hinting at the split personality/schizophrenia which will be a subject of the film and the same thing happens to Alfred Hitchcock's name. The graphics seem to dance to Hermann's music score. The word Psycho wouldn;t have shocked the audience as they would know this was the title of the film before they came to the cinema so the music helps to unsettle them and to expect something scary or weird to happen.

 

2. Friday the Eleventh and Two Forty Three pm makes the audience think we're going to see a crime scene through that window except it isn't (yet) but a love scene of a secretive meeting. This opening sequence reminded me of Rear Window's opening sequence as it pans the whole city first then moves into the window with the lowered blinds - the main differences being that in Rear Window, the camera pans the courtyard and a bit of the outside world (the main street) and looks into a lot of windows. As in Rear Window, the camera actually enters the room in which one of the protagonists is and is not just a peeping Tom but a camera which informs you about one of the main characters.

 

3. We learn from this scene that Marion is meeting her lover secretly in a hotel room in her extended lunch hour, a regular occurrence whenever her lover is in town. We learn about her boss too so we know she works in an office. She also expresses her wish for this to be the last time for this type of meeting (ominous!). Shooting the scene in the hotel room enables Hitch to introduce Marion's character and give us a bit of extra knowledge about her through the dialogue between her and John Gavin.

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  1. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film?

The graphics are very fractured at times. The music rises and fall in a very fast manner suggesting urgency and maybe fear.

 

As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched?

 

The shot reminds me of Rear Window. I'm not sure what the point of listing the day and date is.

 

3. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer.

 

She has the bulk of the dialogue and seems to be leading during the scene.

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1.) The title sequence begins with fast credit roll along with fast paced background score. From the look of it, We could understand that this is a suspense thriller.

 

2.) The audience were shown the shots of time, date and place in CAP LOCKS. This was an indication of suspense thriller films which gives the details of the last hours of the victim. Here, Marion Crane is the "to-be" victim.

 

3.) The scene begins with the main star Janet Leigh along with John Gavin and they were shown in bed with half bared bodies. Here, Miss Leigh gets to say most of her lines whereas Mr.Gavin speaks only a few lines throughout the scene.This is the time where The Hays Code was losing its charm.

 

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The title sequence of Psycho always gives me chills!!  The harsh lines coming in from the side of the screen, eventually revealing the titles, the eerie music that fits those lines so perfectly...the viewer truly knows this will not be a comedy!  The design of the titles are simple, not exactly what they seem at first, much like the theme of this movie.  We know that things are definitely going to be a bit off, and we are the edges of our seats through the entire film!

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