Analysis of Hitchcock’s ‘shower scene’ in Psycho

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Unit 4: Award Specific Taught Unit


Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense and a great innovator. The murder of Janet Leigh’s character in the shower is one of the best-known scenes in all of cinema history. Hitchcock’s purpose was to shock us all with the murder. The slow entrance of the black figure and the quick cuts was very effective to the audience. Some of the shots were close ups except for a few which they where medium shots before and after the murder.

The noise of the  shower is the only thing you can hear at first. Suddenly a black figure comes closer and opens the shower curtain. The music starts rising the action with the black figure holding the knife. The person who watches the scene is affected by the mood of the music feeling the tension, but also understands what is going to happen.

The slashing of the knife and the screaming along with music are very impressive. The sound of the knife entering Janet Leigh’s flesh was done by plunging a knife into a melon (Enk, 2010). Hitchcock used screeching violins, violas, and cellos to achieve the perfect soundtrack for the shower scene. Through the killing the shower noise, the blows of the knife and the screams of Marion are placed in the background and music in the foreground.

Heavy, 2010. 10 Facts About The Shower Scene Of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 19 June 2012]

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