The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder

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Basic Books, Nov 24, 2009 - Performing Arts - 208 pages
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It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industry -- even America itself -- would never be the same.

In The Moment of Psycho, film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock's career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film -- and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CBJames - LibraryThing

When Janet Leigh stepped into the shower in Alfred Hitchcock's, Psycho, American movies grew up. The forty-five seconds of film that followed forever changed American culture. At least, that's the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stacyinthecity - LibraryThing

I watched the film for the first time recently, and shortly afterward I read this book. I found the commentary on the film interesting, a bit of a combination on the making-of and an analysis of the ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

English-American writer David Thomson is the author of many books on film, including "Have You Seen...?" A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films, which the New York Times called, "passionate, illuminating, rich, and eccentric"; and the massively influential Biographical Dictionary of Film called "the best book on the movies ever written in English" (the New Republic). He lives in San Francisco with his family.

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