It wasn’t just Marion’s shower scene that made the viewer crane forward with bulging eyes, but all the speculation leading up to it. For she was the protagonist who functioned as our surrogate. And Hitchcock was a master of suspense; MacGuffins that would leave the viewer tense with expectation. But we would garner produce from the seeds he sowed for us. The forty thousand dollars that she stole from her employer? Surely the police were on her tail. The used car salesman who sold her the getaway vehicle would have talked them into following her. Maybe Norman, the proprietor of the Bates Motel, where Marion had checked in for the night – before deciding to face the music – would grow a bit suspicious and turn her in. And the conversational chagrin she’d mustered from him, suggesting that he put his mother away someplace, set the pace for anticipating the master’s next moves. Perhaps Bates would blackmail her to share her bounty with him in lieu of going to the police; or they’d elope together and leave Sam Loomis, her luckless lover, in the lurch. We carried this baggage into the bathroom’s shower stall, where it’s clear Marion was going through a spiritual cleanse, a symbolic renewal, as it were, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. We all had our narratives. And we were all wet!
Born & bred in New Jersey, Frank worked in New York City for many years. He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. As poets, he likes Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. He also attends a Café Philo every other week in Lower Manhattan.