Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • #75622

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    The movie version of the Psycho story and the main character, Norman Bates, are iconic.

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel,
    why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character?

    Which Norman do you prefer?

    Why?

    #75625

    Gabby
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel,
    why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    I think Hitchcock changed Norman’s character so drastically because there is a deception in seeming confident. Because Norman is originally supposed to look like he’s middle-aged and balding, you’d look down on him, or think he was weak. In the film, Norman is lean, and he’s outwardly confident when talking to others or when he’s being slightly interrogated. I was a bit more nervous watching the film because Norman seemed so calm and collected.

    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character?

    Although I like understanding Normans thought process in the novel, I find the film version of him to be a much better character. He is more calm and collected when disposing the victims bodies and ridding their evidence. The novel version of Norman doesn’t have the stomach for dealing with the people that he murdered.

    Which Norman do you prefer?

    I prefer the film version for sure.

    Why?

    Besides everything above, I find the actor that plays Norman to be very attractive and a fantastic actor. Also, visually seeing Norman act as his mother (due to his split personality situation), it’s much more engaging and keeps you constantly wondering what would happen to every person that stops by his hotel.

    Hello, Gabby, I agree that the film Norman is far more appealing than his novel counterpart. Anthony Perkins was something of a teen idol around the time of filming. His performance as Norman is awesome and he sadly did not receive any awards for it. The book’s Norman is so repellent. It’s pretty obvious that Mr. Hitchcock cast Perkins because his demeanor is rather shy and charming–all the better to fool us, yet at the same time he elicits our sympathy. Imagine being so alone and crazy and feeling the need to recreate his dead mother. I would not say he showed confidence, however, just charm.

    #75627

    Angel Rivera
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel,
    why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    I think Hitchcock and Joseph Stefano changed him drastically because the movie would be too long. The novel showed many of the conversations Norman had with his mother personality. If the film included everything, the movie would be longer than two hours.

    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character?

    I believe Norman in the book was a better character because his character in the book was more detailed.

    Which Norman do you prefer?

    I prefer the film version of Norman.

    Why?

    I prefer the film version of Norman because he was scripted to be more mysterious than in the novel. His thought process was fully explained in the novel, but in the film you only understand him by his words and facial expressions.

    Okay, Angel. It seems though if Hitchcock cast someone who was just like the Norman in the book, we would dislike him immediately.
    In the film, when Norman drove Miss Crane’s car into the swamp, I imagine most people wanted him to succeed and were relieved when the stuck car finally submerged. We are essentially on his side now that Marion is gone. Our focus has shifted from her to him.

    #75631

    Shania Tennant
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel, why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    I believe Hitchock and Joseph Stefano substantially altered Norman’s appearance in order to appeal to a wider audience. People would probably be more suspicious of him if he were like the man in the novel, and the mystery would be lost.

    Was the films Norman or the books Norman a better character?

    Personally, I think the film holds a better Norman. Norman was a better character because he kept the audience engaged throughout the film, as though we were all waiting to see how the plot would unfold.

    Which Norman do you prefer?

    I prefer the film Norman

    Why?

    I prefer the film Norman because there was something about him that drew me in when I was watching him, which wasn’t the case when I was reading the book. I enjoyed how the character exhibited his anxiety when the private investigator kept asking him questions and Norman began to stutter and become genuinely terrified.

    Shania, I agree wholeheartedly with you. By making Norman an appealing, vulnerable young man, audiences like him and wouldn’t suspect him of being the villain. The Norman in the book is totally unlikable.

    #75632

    weipeng lin
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel, why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    I believe Hitchcock and Joseph Stefano changed Norman from the book by changing his personality in the book of how less confident he is. Although in the film it shows he seems positive and with more confidence approaching a conversation with Marion. I remember In the book of the beginning Norman was having a conversation with his mother Norma. In the film, I don’t think Norman had ever had a conversation face to face. Expect there was a part where there were two voices in a room but with no faces were shown as if there’s a mystery behind it.

    Well, in the book there are conversations, but there is only one person talking to himself in two voices (after all, he is crazy).

    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character?

    I have to go with Norman to the film. I believe his role in the film is crazier I would say and more active. Like in the scene where he *mimics his mother stabbing Marion to death it has more action and I like seeing it visually so I can see what is going on and the film shows it all. And I believe the film catches the audience’s attention because of the killing scenes and the mystery scene where there were two voices one was Norman and the other one was his mother Norma.

    On two occasions in the film, Norman seems to be speaking to his mother because he is using two voices. It is easier for the book to pull that off so these conversations are kept to a minimum the movie.

    *I do not understand what you mean by “mimics”? He thinks he is his mother and acts and dresses accordingly. Mimicking means something different, like making fun of someone…

    Which Norman do you prefer?

    I would have to go with the film Norman.

    Why?

    I say the film Norman because his action catches my attention because of the murdering and hiding the victim’s body. When reading the book I sometimes find it hard to read when certain parts don’t catch my attention. Most of the part in the film makes me wonder if there are two different people because of the different voices. But at the very last when Norman was in the jail room we can hear his mom talk but the scenes only show Norman. So I do believe Norman was mimicking his mother all along.

    #75686

    Justin Alava
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel,
    why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?
    I believe Hitchock and Joseph Stefano drastically changed Norman’s appearance in order to appeal to a wider audience. People would be more suspicious of him if he were like the man in the novel.
    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character?
    I have to go with Norman to the film. I believe his role in the film is crazier I would say and more active. I feel like hey kept everyone engaged throughout the film
    Which Norman do you prefer? Why?
    I say the film Norman because his action catches my attention because of the murdering and hiding the victim’s body. And also he seems to be more mysterious in the film than the novel, him mysterious makes you think more and ultimately makes want to keep watching until you know what’s really going on

    Justin, okay, but the book’s Norman does many of the same things and also curses and drinks a lot. The main appeal of the film’s Norman
    is that he is both sweetly shy and yet odd. I guess what you are saying is the one in the book is so clearly crazy and disgusting that there is no question of his guilt.

    #75997

    Asher Derry
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel, why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    On a philosophical level, Bloch’s version of Norman is an overweight social outcast with obvious psychological problems (albeit perhaps not a murderer at first glance), which would have interfered with Hitchcock’s use of audience sympathy for Norman in the early parts of the film. The required personality traits were adequately captured with the socially awkward but less suspecting Norman which viewers met on-screen. On a much more practical level, keeping the identity of “Mother” concealed while showing us an overweight version would have conflicted with the revealed corpse in the end.

    Was the film’s Norman or the book’s Norman a better character? Which Norman do you prefer? Why?

    I preferred the book’s Norman, however, for the reasons mentioned above I think that the film portrayal was appropriate for the storytelling medium. The book version of Norman was a deeper character with much more inner dialogue so we get to experience all three forms of his reality. In the film we only see the dialogue between Norman and “Mother”, not the dialogue of Norman’s conscience.

    #76180

    Tatiana B.
    Participant

    Considering how Norman is described and behaves in Robert Bloch’s novel,
    why do you think Hitchcock (and screenwriter Joseph Stefano) changed him so drastically?

    I feel Hitchcock and Joseph Stefano severely alter the appearance of Norman to suit a wider audience. Blochs version of Norman is one that can be seen as an outcast with an obvious mental illness. Additionally, throughout the text Norman has conversations with his mother. Whereas in the film we never see Norman have a direct conversation with his mother.

    Was the films Norman or the books Norman a better character?
    Personally, I found the film version of Norman to be the most practical. The director does a great job at concealing information the viewer shouldn’t know. The film version of Norman allowed for the audiences’ full engagement.

    Which Norman do you prefer?
    I prefer the film version.

    Why?

    To add, I appreciated the performance by the actor who played Norman. Norman character was able to portray a sweet yet eccentric individual. That fact that he is able to distinguish between the two are quite interesting. Additionally, the dialogue allows the viewer to get a clearer idea of what occurs in Normans conversations.

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