'Forget about assassination, communism and war - an extraordinary new book argues that it was really Hitchcock's masterpiece that sparked global panic, paranoia and distrust.'
--The Daily Express, February 2010
"In 1960, few wrote seriously about film. Now everybody's at it, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 shower shocker could be cinema's most written about movie. Do we really need another Psycho book? Well ... yes. David Thomson's slim, densely packed essay adds something new by concentrating on precisely that shift in attitude... Thomson is a magisterial writer. There's enough meat her to keep the Psycho industry rolling on for several more years." --Total Film, April 2010
'Thomson's book represents a refreshing return to the value judgment in Hitchcockian exegesis.'
--The Spectator, February 27, 2010
"(I)lluminating...Thomson's own passion for the film is evident."
--The Evening Standard, February 25, 2010
"Ever since I first saw Psycho as a terrified adolescent, I've been replaying it - inside my head for several decades, nowadays on a screen at the foot of my bed - but David Thomson has spotted things that my countless viewings overlooked... At his best, Thomson provides his own deftly poetic equivalents to the film's visual images and wordless sounds... (He) is a metaphysician of the movies who has also always been fascinated by the fantasies and mysteries that play out in the darkened cinema, and he writes compellingly about the snarled relationship between voyeurism and moral responsibility of Psycho."
--The Observer, March 7, 2010
'(A) compelling argument from the pre-eminent film critic of the age. I have long been a fan of Thomson's magisterial Biographical Dictionary of Film, and in The Moment of Psycho he is at his most fluent and perceptive."
(5 star review)
--The Mail on Sunday, Marh 14 2010 The Mail on Sunday, March 14 2010
"Thomson intuits the secret afterlife of Psycho in the American mind, in a short book which is like an inspired, bravura jazz solo...Thomson attempts to place himself inside the fabric of Psycho, floating in its pin-sharp monochrome nightmare, living through its narrative and the narrative of its cultural impact in a sort of subjective real time. Shrewdly, he places it alongside Truman Capote's 1966 true-crime study In Cold Blood, as a work which shows that America's hinterlands are not the places of provincial decency quaintly imagined by popular culture but unpoliced worlds of melancholy and menace. Who are all these lonely men? Good ol' boys? Momma's boys? Thomson playfully asks us to imagine that dutiful son Elvis Presley in the Tony Perkins role: A disquietingly plausible cine-fantasy and the kind of brilliant flush that only Thomson could conjure."
--The Guardian, April 2010
"Thomson's close analysis of the film, its context in terms of director and cast and its influence on subsequent movies is another of his five-star movie masterclasses. He should be given an annual Oscar for movie criticism and a lifetime achievement award for being consistently right about film."
--The Times, Saturday 10 April, 2010
'The doyen of Anglo-American film critics - British-born,US-based - pays homage to the greatest Anglo-American filmmaker. Hitchcock never surpassed Psycho, a
crime-and-punishment tale brilliantly mixing
horror with black comedy.'
--The Financial Times
"This is the foremost Anglo-American film critic's take on the foremost Anglo-American filmmaker. As in a good Hitchcock movie, every angle is covered and some angles are more revealing or mischievously original than others."
--The Financial Times (Best Film Books 2010)
About the Author
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.