Murray Pomerance writes:
"Gloria Monti and other Hitchcock afficionados will want to take one more
look at PSYCHO. Marion Crane does not *steal* $40,000 exactly--at least
not at the point Gloria has pointed out. Technically--and with AH we
must be technically correct to understand--she *is entrusted with*
$40,000 and intends to purloin it. Then, as she voyages, she intends to
return it. Agents get in the way of her doing so, and are thus morally
responsible. Note carefully that it's the weekend and until Monday
morning there will be neither recognition that the money's gone nor any
effect at all on the owner of the money. Who are the agents? Well, the
first is a policeman . . .
Thus, the "crime" is produced upon Marion from the outside, just like the
stabbing in a way."
That is probably true enough in a legalistic sense. But isn't the original
absconding of funds a *moral* crime (until she repents and intends to return
it)? That difference--between legal crime, moral crime and the effects of
guilt on both--is often played around with in Hitchcock's films.
Consider, for example, the ending of BLACKMAIL and of SABOTAGE. In both films,
the heroine is "guilty" of murder, though she seems justified in her action and
is allowed to get away with it at the end. But the endings of the films
(especially the former) seem to imply that she will never escape a feeling of
guilt for her "crime."
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message. Problems? Contact [log in to unmask]