Psycho (1960)

psycho-cinemagraph

Norman Bates: It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?
Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.

Here Are Some Awesome Facts About The Iconic ‘Psycho’ Shower Scene, As Told From Those Involved With The Film

  • In a DVD extra for the film, Janet Leigh (Marion Crane) states she was on set for three weeks and the shooting of the shower scene took around seven days to film, essentially 1/3 of her shooting time was focused on that scene alone.
  • The uncomfortable stabbing sounds were actually the Prop Man stabbing some unassuming, innocent melons!
  • Hitchcock tested several different things to find that perfectly accurate on-screen depiction of blood. Some of these included the movie blood you’d find on film sets, ketchup and chocolate syrup. Ultimately, he felt the chocolate syrup “read the best”, according to Leigh.
  • Leigh reveals (~9:59) the final moments of the scene, with a pan out from Marion’s lifeless eye, took 20+ takes to film and it was the most difficult shot to film for her personally and technically as well because of the manual focusing of the camera that needed to be done.
psycho-eye-shower-gif
Leigh’s most difficult shot to film in Psycho

The Unused Shot

The screenwriter of Psycho, Joseph Stefano describes a shot involving Marion’s body that ultimately did not make it in the final cut of the film that he refers to as: “the most heartbreaking shot [he] has ever seen.” (~9:20)

He explains a shot of the camera pulling all the way up and looking down at Marion’s deceased body lying in the tub with her bottom exposed, which ultimately led to objections and Stefano believing Hitchcock felt it wasn’t really necessary. He goes on to state that:

“there is something very tragic about seeing this beautiful figure with the life gone from it.”


Starring: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, Vera Miles as Lila Crane and John Gavin as Sam Loomis, dir. Alfred Hitchcock.

cinemagraph source: otfilms
psycho-cinematography
Cinematographer: John L. Russell (Macbeth, The Cabinet of Caligari, City That Never Sleeps)
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