Sorry Tarantino: Martin Scorsese Learns All the Right Hitchcock’s Lessons And Wins

Sorry Tarantino: Martin Scorsese Learns All the Right Hitchcock’s Lessons And Wins
Image credit: Legion-Media, United Artists

Martin Scorsese’s iconic film has borrowed some of the techniques featured in Hitchcock’s Psycho.


  • Quentin Tarantino may not be impressed by Alfred Hitchcock’s films, but the latter definitely inspired many proclaimed directors of our days, with Martin Scorsese being one of them.
  • Scorsese got most of his inspiration for his 1980 boxing drama Raging Bull with Robert De Niro in the leading role from Hitchcock’s thriller Psycho.
  • Psycho’s famous shower scene demonstrated how the director could potentially avoid showing a lot of violence, but still made viewers think they’d seen horrible things.

Even though Quentin Tarantino has recently revealed that he’s not a big fan of the “master of the suspense” Alfred Hitchcock, other famous directors may not share his opinion. In fact, Martin Scorsese’s 1980 film, iconic boxing drama Raging Bull starring Robert De Niro, owes many of its most memorable scenes to Hitchcock’s hit thriller Psycho.

Raging Bull’s plot is set in the 1940s and follows the story of promising boxer Jake LaMotta whose uncontrollable rage (as the name itself implies) becomes the main reason for his ruined career. As the tension that is created in Scorsese’s film is obviously very high, it is nonetheless one of the references to Psycho where Hitchcock managed to establish a somewhat gloomy atmosphere throughout the whole movie.

Martin Scorsese not once praised Hitchcock’s work beauty and highlighted his techniques’ presence in Scorsese’s own films coming right up to the decision to shoot Raging Bull in black-and-white — with intentions to show both the period of time that the plot is set in and homage to the classic cinema that Hitchcock himself had been a part of.

Sorry Tarantino: Martin Scorsese Learns All the Right Hitchcock’s Lessons And Wins - image 1

There’s one Psycho’s moment in particular that Scorsese got most of his inspiration from — the famous shocking scene with Norman brutally killing Marion while she’s taking a shower.

Though in reality it doesn’t seem to be that shocking at all as Hitchcock’s decisions about specific shooting angles and rapid pace of the scene made most viewers cling to a delusion that they’d seen a lot of violence — but in fact they hadn’t.

Scorsese has obviously borrowed the same technique for shooting Raging Bull’s boxing matches’ scenes. While the film editing is so tricky with almost no showing violent scenes at all, the viewers somehow still believe that they’ve got to see a lot of shocking content.

Maybe it’s their imagination that has been completing the unseen after all.