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Psycho--What are your key scenes?

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OK the shower scene, right?


As amazing a piece of cinema that it is, I feel it's value is in shocking the audience. Hitch traditionally didn't like shock as a technique. He preferred letting the audience know the killer was about to strike. Case in point is when Arbogast goes to talk to the mother. The audience is thinking "don't go up those stairs" as he slowly ascends. Same thing when Marion's sister goes to investigate the house. 


The key scene for me, and the creepiest, is the final scene. A great piece of film making. The voice of mother with the brilliant acting of Perkins.  The slow zoom in. The fly on the hand. And the coup de gras, the creepy smile dissolving into the car but not before a couple of frames of 'mother' are seen superimposed on Norman's face. Brilliant.



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This is indeed a brilliant movie on so many levels, although the shower scene will forever remain the key scene and the one that will always be most analyzed.


I've always been impressed by the second murder--and for some reason the final image of the raised knife.  You imagine it's dripping with blood, although I'm pretty sure it isn't.  Also, it's in my mind that the knife might be thrust into Aborgast again.   


I think there is a lapse in logic, or maybe it's more an error in timing.  I recall Norman going into a cabin just before Arbogast pulls up.  Arbogast is into the mansion pretty quickly--and killed even more quickly.  How did Norman manage to do all the following in time--get back to the house, get upstairs (unseen), get into the dress and wig, grab a knife?


Not that Hitchcock was always concerned with logic!

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My key scenes:


-Marion Crane, enroute to Los Angeles, imagines the conversation her employer is having regarding Marion's disappearance and the money.  She smirks at the end of the scene (knowing what she's getting away with) and then finds herself in a rainstorm, which eventually causes her to stop at the infamous Bates Motel to wait out the rain.  During this entire segment, Bernard Hermann's haunting score plays in the background.


-The famous shower scene.  No description needed.  The violence of it is shocking and horrifying.  Add in the famous Psycho shower scene music and you have for a terrifying scene.


-Arbogast going up the stairs and being stabbed by "Mother." 


-Vera Miles tapping "Mother" on the shoulder and the skeleton turning around, scaring the crap out of her.


-The ending scene featuring a close-up of Anthony Perkins with "Mother's" narration.  "He would never hurt a fly."  Anthony Perkins briefly has a skeleton face superimposed over his face and then we see the terrifying smirk on Perkins' face.  


-Finally, the ending ending scene featuring Marion's car being towed out of the swamp.  It is rather unsettling, because you, as the audience know what the authorities will find inside.  Marion's boyfriend and sister's trauma is only beginning. 

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