How does hitchcock create and maintain tension in his 1960'S film 'Psycho'?

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Hitchcock produced ‘Psycho’ in 1960. It was a groundbreaking film as it was the first American motion picture to feature a toilet being flushed. Also, Janet Leigh was shown in her underwear on more than one occasion, and, during the famous shower scene, it's possible to see hints of flesh.

Hitchcock used the media to sell his film to a younger, fresher audience. The poster for this movie, at that time was sexually explicit. Hitchcock started a policy whereby viewers would not be permitted into the theatre once the film had begun, a measure, which had never before taken. Hitchcock wanted to manipulate his audience into fear and loathing so he reverted the film to black and white instead of colour.

The story concerns a psychopathic murderer; its technique reveals the dark side of all mankind; the inner secrets, deceits and guilt’s of all human beings. And as this is so true of even the most ordinary situations in life, nothing is as it really seems and that is how the play opens. Showing the ordinary life of her going to work and getting jobs to do.

Marion had been given $40,000in cash to deposit in a local bank. When Marion decides to run away with the money the viewers feel quite tense and want to know what will happen next. The ‘psycho’ is not yet introduced so the viewers focus is on the money. We see Marion with the money, packing a suitcase. It is obvious that she plans to flee with the money but the sympathy of the audience remains with this apparently harassed woman. Throughout the scenes, we have seen reflections of her in mirrors and through windows, all suggest the split personality aspect of the plot. As she makes her escape to leave with the money, she is stopped at a traffic light, her boss pass by in the crosswalk in front of her; the camera angle changes from showing his face to Marion’s. He at first smiles and nods when recognising her, and leaves the frame of the windshield. Likewise, she smiles - nervously. But then he stops, turns and furrows his brow at her. Mr. Lowery is puzzled and concerned to see her in her car when she was supposed to be home sick. Likewise, her face turns frozen after realising that she has been caught. The audience becomes more terrified and nervous to what’s going to happen next.

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 Marion is pulled over by a mysterious policeman; the appearance of him with his sunglasses made him look inhuman. He follows her many miles to a car dealer, where Marion cleverly trades her current car in for a used junkie to camouflage herself from peering enemy. Marion then continues to drive along the busy highway until a shielding rainstorm persuades her to stop to rest at The Bates Motel.

When Marion arrives at the motel, it immediately tells the viewer that it’s unusual. The appearance of the motel makes you feel isolated because no one was around. The lights were ...

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