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The Moment of 'Psycho' by David Thomson

The Moment of 'Psycho'

How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder

by David Thomson

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
3 Hrs. 46 Min.


It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in 40 minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to that date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before, and 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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