Trivia for Psycho

Hitchcock's CAMEO: about 4 minutes in, wearing a cowboy hat outside Marion's office.


- Considered for the role of Marion were: Eva Marie Saint , Piper Laurie , Martha Hyer, Hope Lange,Shirley Jones, and Lana Turner.

- The film only cost $800,000 to make yet has earned more than $40 million. Hitchcock used the crew from his TV series to save time and money.

- In 1962 exchanged the rights to the film and his TV-series for a huge block of MCA's stock (he became their third largest stockholder).

- An early script had the following dialogue: Marion: ``I'm going to spend the weekend in bed.'' Texas oilman: ``Bed? Only playground that beats Las Vegas.''

- Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Bloch for just $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.

- During filming, this movie was referred to as ``Production 9401'' or ``Wimpy''.

- Hitchcock originally intended to open the film with a four-mile dolly shot from a helicopter, a scene similar to Orson Welles' bravura opening of Touch of Evil (1958).

- The early motel scene between Norman and Marion (Leigh) resembles in many ways another scene from that movie featuring Leigh.

- The painting that Norman removes in order to watch Marion undressing is a classical painting depicting a rape.

- For a shot right at the water stream, the crew had to block off the inner holes on the shower head so that the water sprayed past the camera lens.

- The shower scene has over 90 splices in it, and did not involve Anthony Perkins at all. Perkins was in New York preparing for a play.

- During the shooting of the shower scene, Hitchcock arranged for the water to suddenly go ice-cold when the attack started.

- Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway and Hitch immediately changed his mind.

- The blood in the shower scene is actually chocolate sauce.

- The close-up of Marion's dead body and the pullback scene is a still frame. Hitchcock's wife saw the original version and told her husband ``You can see her breathing'', so he changed it.

- Hitchcock tested the ``fear factor'' of mother's corpse by placing it in Leigh's dressing room and listening to how loud she screamed when she discovered it.

- The last shot of Norman Bates' face has a still frame of a human skull inserted in it : is that of "Mother"

- There is a rumor that the this film was not passed for release because it was claimed that Janet Leigh's nipple was visible during the shower scene. Hitchcock didn't edit it out, but merely sent it back, (correctly, it seems) assuming that they either wouldn't bother to watch it, or miss it the second time.

- Hitchcock insisted that audiences should only be allowed to see the film from the start. This was unheard of back then as people were used to just coming in at any point during a movie. The reason for this was that the film was advertised as starring Janet Leigh, but her character is killed in the first half of the film.

- After the film's release Hitchcock received an angry letter from the father of a girl who refused to have a bath after seeing Diabolique (1954) and now refused to shower after seeing Psycho. Hitchcock sent a note back simply saying ``Send her to the dry cleaners''.

- The shot of Marion flushing the toilet is believed to be the first such shot in American cinema history.

- Marion hides in the bathroom to count the required number of bills.

- Goofs : Shadow of camera crew on the bed when Marion prepares to leave town with the money.

True or false??

(thanks to

  1. -The Bates mansion is straight out of the painting ``House by the
    Railroad'' (1925) by the American artist Edward Hopper.

    - "Contrary to the assertion by some that the Psycho house...was based on a haunted house built in the early 1800's in Kent, Ohio, the designsof Hurley and Clatworth were original."-Stephen Rebello (Alfred Hitchcock and the
    making of Psycho)
  2. - Hitchcock paid the title sequence designer Saul Bass(also credited as ``Pictorial Consultant'') $2,000 to render storyboards for the famous shower scene but, according to Leigh and Assistant Director 'Hilton Green' (QV) ,
    directed it himself.

    - "Saul Bass was there for the shooting, but he never directed me. Absolutely not. Saul Bass is brilliant, but he couldn't have done the drawings had Mr. Hitchcock not discussed with him what he wanted to get."-Janet Leigh
  3. - The sound that the knife makes penetrating the flesh is actually the sound of a knife stabbing a watermelon.

    - 'He told the prop man to go out and get a watermelon which we'd stab. Knowing Hitchcock, the prop man knew he had to come back not only with watermelons of all sizes, but casabas, cantaloupes, and honeydews'...In a recording studio prop man Bone quditioned the melons for Hitchcock, who sat listening with his eyes closed. When the demonstration table was littered with shredded fruit, Hitchcock opened his eyes, and intoned simply: 'Casaba.'"-Stephen Rebello (author)