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International Herald Tribune (04/Jan/1994) - Letters to the Editor: A Subtler Violence



Letters to the Editor: A Subtler Violence

Regarding the report "Hollywood Puzzler: The Debate Intensifies, but Violence Still Sells" (Dec. 29) by Bernard Weinraub:

Alfred Hitchcock frequently dealt with murder in his films, but the violence was suggested, not depicted graphically. "Psycho" is no less frightening for not actually showing the weapon plunging into flesh. We are left with our fear, without becoming jaded or having our blood-lust stimulated.

In one story from the series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," a woman clubs her husband to death with a frozen leg of lamb. The blunt instrument rises above the victim's unsuspecting head, then comes down with force, but at the moment of impact the scene shifts to the body collapsing to the carpet. The doctor's description of the smashed skull, which we hear later, is enough. We don't need to see it.

Concerned producers could take a lesson from Mr. Hitchcock — whose epilogues also point out that the criminal is eventually caught and pays his or her debt to society.


Toulouse, France.