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The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder (2010) by David Thomson

author David Thomson
publisher Basic Books (2010)
ISBN 0465020704 (paperback)
links LibraryThing

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It was made like a television film, shot with a tight budget and completed in less than three months. It killed its star off after forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film. Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industry - even America itself-would never be the same. In "The Moment of Psycho", David Thomson - one of America's most respected film critics - situates "Psycho" in Alfred Hitchcock's career and masterfully recreates the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto screens. Thomson shows how in 1959, Hitchcock, then 60 years old, made "Psycho" as an attempt to break personally with the dullness of his own settled domesticity - a struggle which then mirrored the sexual, creative, and political ferment which would soon overtake the nation. Suddenly sex, violence and horror took on new life. Censorship fell away, and Janet Leigh screaming naked in the shower was its patron saint. "Psycho", all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film - and, as "The Moment of Psycho" demonstrates, it still does.


  1. 1960 (page 1)
  2. Continuity (page 21)
  3. Room Service (page 51)
  4. Housekeeping (page 69)
  5. Hitch-Cock (page 91)
  6. Other Bodies in the Swamp (page 115)
  7. A Noir Society (page 137)
  8. Lonely People (page 151)
  9. On the Way to Fairvale (page 159)
  10. Acknowledgments (page 169)



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