Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

A Long Hard Look at "Psycho" (BFI Film Classics (Paperback)) [Paperback]

Raymond Durgnat
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 19.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 0.99 (5%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Friday, 19 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover 60.63  
Paperback 19.00  

Book Description

1 Mar 2002 BFI Film Classics
In an American Film Institute poll in 2001, "Psycho" was voted the greatest thriller of all time. It has scenes and characters that are among the most iconic in all cinema. Alfred Hitchcock was prompted to make "Psycho" after seeing Clouzot's "Les Diaboliques" (1954), which took the thriller genre to a new level of shock-value. Not to be outdone, Hitchcock adapted a pulp novel by Robert Bloch with a view to pulling off an unprecedented feat of audience manipulation. The result was a triumph, the talk of the movie going world in 1960, but most of the talk, then and since, has been about the twist. In spite of the widespread acknowledgment of Hitchcock's and his collaborators' achievements on "Psycho", its complexity and sophistication as cinema aren't fully appreciated. In this book, Raymond Durgnat shows the extent of the achievement. In a minute analysis of the film he explores all the elements that make up this remarkable film. In addition he develops various lines of argument about spectatorship, Hollywood narrative codes, psychoanalysis and editing and shot-composition among other themes, that amount to a reinvention of cinema studies.

Frequently Bought Together

A Long Hard Look at "Psycho" (BFI Film Classics (Paperback)) + Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho: A Casebook (Casebooks in Criticism)
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing (1 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851709206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851709208
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 996,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Durgnat's final work -- as much performance art or perilous high-wire act as textual explication -- goes a long way towards transforming Hitchcock's masterpiece into a fundamentally new film."--"Cinema Scope"

About the Author

The author of one of the seminal works of Hitchcock criticism, The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock (1974), Raymond Durgnat is one of Britain's pre-eminent writers on cinema. He has also written books on Bunuel, Franju, Renoir, sexual alienation in the cinema, and a study of WR - Mysteries of the Organism for the BFI Modern Classics series (1999). He is Visiting Professor at the University of East London.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
Made it so easy to get books for my son in Uni
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Long Hard Look at Psycho is a detailed examinatiion of a Hitchcock classic 5 Jan 2006
By C. M Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
British film scholar Raymond Durgnat has written a detailed

guidebook to the wonders of Hitchcock's classic thriller Psycho.

Durgnat examines each of the key scenes with insights he has gleaned from filming techniques; psychological insights and keen observation of what is going on up on the big screen.

Many readers will find the work to be enlighting. However, the

book does tend to delve into psychobabble forgetting Hitch's own

dictum "It's only a movie."

The book would be best used in film study classes or with the study of Hitchcock and his films in an academic setting.
8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Long Hard Slog Through Psycho Babble 2 July 2006
By M. Packo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Worth no more than a glance.

Which I actually regret to say, considering the amount of time, attention and determination to explain every single damn frame of this fascinating movie the good Professor obviously devoted to his project. Nonetheless, any serious attempt to make sense of his every profundity is absolutely guaranteed to turn off all but the most tiresomely nerdish cineaste. It took me two years to build up the desire to make it all the way through - and I am a fanatic about Psycho.

Thus the scholars continue their age-old campaign to ruin enjoyment of art. Enough of this sort of psuedo-intellectual compulsive-obsessive navel gazing is certain to result in blinding students to an honest appreciation of film just as successfully as a few decades of it has soured most of us on reading literature for pleasure.

They say that those who cannot do,teach. But what exactly is it that they do try to teach? (And just wait until the PhDs get around to videogames!)

Anyway, what is saddening and maddening about Mr. Durgnat's effort is that there are indeed numerous excellent and fascinating insights about Psycho to be discovered amidst its many pages of self congratulation. Had these pages been briskly edited down into a concise and readable essay - say one quarter the book's length - I am certain that it would have earned and deserved a much wider and truly appreciative audience.

Unfortunately, as it stands, an honest admirer of this marvelous and historic film can only be obligated to shout out - in true horror-mode fashion - to the curious reader thinking of taking a peek deep down inside: Don't go in there!

Or, if you must, just borrow a copy for a quick "diegetic" browse. Or read Mr. Rebello's excellent "The Making of Psycho" instead.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category