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Posted on April 8, 2015

The Function of Money in Hitchcock’s Psycho

Elizabeth Erwin

When Psycho was released in 1960, it took audiences by storm, both because of its storyline as well as because of director Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful publicity plan. By refusing audiences entry into the picture after it had started, Hitchcock created a buzz around the film that made it much more than just a horror film. It made it an experience. The film opens with Marion Crane embezzling money from her employer and fleeing in a desperate bid to escape the authorities. She makes the ill-fated decision to stop for the night at a dilapidated hotel where she encounters Norman Bates, the hotel clerk. What follows is a taut psychological drama in which sexuality, psychosis, and identity merge together in horrific fashion.

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