Alfred Hitchcock was a filmmaker whose visual language took precedent over spoken dialogue. The shower scene in Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho is a perfect example of his visual mastery and is one of the most famous sequences in the history of cinema. The demise of the protagonist, Marion Crane, marks the death of classic Hollywood cinema. Psycho set a new precedent for sex and violence in films and was released at the beginning of a decade in which the Motion Picture Production Code no longer restricted filmmakers.

All of the events leading up to the infamous shower scene establish Marion Crane as the film’s protagonist. However, in the shot-reverse shot sequence that precedes it, the viewer begins to identify with Norman Bates. Marion decides to return the money she has stolen and retires to her room for the night. The viewer is not permitted the sight of Marion’s nude body…

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