Since its release in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has entered the consciousness of our culture as have few other films. Its striking imagery, combined with its universally recognised score, has prompted a wealth of scholarly output. New understanding in the areas of emotion and cognition now affords us the opportunity to re-examine this film from a less familiar vantage point. This article places Psycho within the context of American TV drama of the 1950s and explores the effect of Bernard Herrmann’s music on the emotional responses of the viewer, as well as the possible consequences of this effect upon the literal reading of the film.\u
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