Psycho : Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

Neither one was married or anything.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

I didn't get the impression that it was a "big secret."

But in 1960, people were less open to sex between unmarried people than they are today. It went on, of course, but it just wasn't talked about in polite society. That opening scene between Marion and Sam was considered quite steamy in 1960.

Today, it's the norm, and no one is shocked or raises an eyebrow.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

I think the entire point was that there was no point because Marion is dead and whatever personal problems she had prior to her murder is no longer an issue. The beginning of the film made it seem the movie will be about what will happen to the money and guess what, that didn't matter either because it's in the swamp with Marion.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

True. Marion was dead and the romance was over. Sam didn't seem so broken up over her death anyway. Either that or he preferred to grieve in private.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

In the book the romance was treated quite differently. They weren't sleeping together; it was a long-distance romance in which each saw the other as an escape from their boring life. When Sam learns about Marion's theft he realizes that he knew little about her. He bonds with Lila over a fellow love of classical music ( and, of course, their anxiety to solve the mystery) and ultimately realizes that Lila was more his type. Unfortunately the movie shows his lack of grief without showing the reasons for it.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

I agree with the other posters about the time and unmarried sex being a taboo issue. I also think Hitchcock probably wanted to maintain an element of "shadiness" with the Sam character - and so he created the good-girl-meets-bad-boy trope. It also kept the audience's focus off Norman, and on Sam as a possible accomplice in Marion's murder. Of course, initially, Lila and Arbogast both had suspicions about him - which later proved to be false. But it bought some time with the audience, while keeping the focus away from Norman as the likely culprit.

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Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

Of course the audience knows that he's innocent. But IN the story, it is natural for Arbogast and Lila to suspect him at first. After all, Marion rushed to share the stolen money with her boyfriend -- they know that much. (They DON'T know that she got lost in the rain and had to spend the night at that hotel before ever reaching him) Suppose he decided just to kill her and keep it all for himself, believing that Marion has kept their connection a complete secret?

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

John Gavin's performance was quite understated and restrained. Sam Loomis is a worried, harried man, who is concerned with running his small business and is trying to figure out how a marriage could be worked into that. Surely he is sincere in wanting to track down Marion, and, along with Vera Miles, risks his life to make that discovery.

Granted, he doesn't show much grief after Marion's death is revealed. However, when does he really have the time to do so? Sister Vera Miles has most of the post-death dialogue, and that's confined to the psychiatric epilogue, as is Sam's. He asks Simon Oakland a question or two in that brief time span, and he and Vera Miles both seem in a state of deep shock, which is quite natural and to be expected. So I doubt that Hitch was trying to portray Sam as a "bad boy" at all - he was portraying Sam as a serious-minded and somewhat burdened person whose stress is magnified by the disappearance of his significant other.

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Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

Probably the only flaw in the film, it should have been an illicit affair.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

By 1950s standards, it was. They weren't married.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

Still, it's kinda strange.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

The whole point was that they weren't married. And had a sexual relationship aiming for going steady anyway. Sex between unmarried people was and still is a big issue amongst puritanist. That's why she had to die, because she wasn't "pure". It's the exact same reason that makes the slasher slash teenage couples having sex in slasher films. They had sex, and now they have to die. It is actually as simple as that.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?


That's why she had to die, because she wasn't "pure". It's the exact same reason that makes the slasher slash teenage couples having sex in slasher films. They had sex, and now they have to die. It is actually as simple as that.

You don't really believe that, do you?

At one time, the '30's the 40's, even into the '50's, the "Production Code" dictated that "evil" had to be punished. Many books/plays transferred to the screen had their endings re-written for just that reason.

By 1960 and beyond, the Production Code was becoming passe.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

It's not a production code thingie, it's a trope thingie. And the entire slasher genre is built upon that trope, it is very much alive even today. Friday the 13th, anyone? Bueller?

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

I may get flamed for this, but I always took it that Sam was split from his wife, but was still legally married (pending divorce). He was stressed out about that, his father's debts, the store and met Marion occasionally to, uh, work it off. He seemed like a decent enough bloke, just unsure what to do to keep it going.

Re: Why is the Marion-Sam relationship a big secret?

I may get flamed for this,

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Nah.

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but I always took it that Sam was split from his wife, but was still legally married (pending divorce).

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No, I think he is divorced. In his dialogue Sam says that he is "making payments" to an EX-wife "living on the other side of the world somewhere."

I've always liked that line "living on the other side of the world somewhere." Sam says it having opened the window shade to reveal the cityscape outside...we can PICTURE that woman living "on the other side of the world," beyond those windows that mirror the windows behind which Sam and Marion have been making love.

Sam also has that sad/lurid line about how Marion can "lick the stamps" of the alimony payments -- thus degrading his current love in the service of paying off his former love.

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He was stressed out about that, his father's debts, the store and met Marion occasionally to, uh, work it off.

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And don't we all? Sex is right up there with booze and drugs as a way to escape life's burdens and drudgeries. Done right, its the least fattening and dangerous, too.

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He seemed like a decent enough bloke, just unsure what to do to keep it going

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Hitchcock was nothing if not in tune with the lives of his audience. A divorce, a business in debt, a hardware store to run while living in its backroom, a dependence on sales rather than a salary -- Sam's not a very happy fella. But he has met Marion, and because he's her handsome physical match..they have love and sex going for them. They just might overcome.

I probably already said this "up-thread"(I don't re-check) but Psycho seems to make up its own rules about Sam and the father's debt. It was the FATHER's debt, I expect it could be exhausted in bankruptcy, even in 1960, and Sam could walk away from it. But likely Sam wanted to save the hardware store -- it was the one source of income he could depend on -- and to keep the store, he had to pay off the debt.

Sam's opening dialogue with Marion also makes another 1960 point(maybe) -- he wouldn't be done paying alimony until his ex-wife married again. I'm not sure if the rules were that tight in 1960...it could not have been a long marriage, no kids...I'm not sure the ex would be entitled to money forever.

But the idea suited Hitchcock's needs for plotting..and Sam's mental depression.

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