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As you know, you could not take the camera and just show a nude woman, it had to be done impressionistically. So, it was done with little pieces of film, the head, the feet, the hand, etc.
In that scene there were 78 pieces of film in about 45 seconds. A popular myth emerged that, in order for Leigh's scream in the shower to sound realistic, ice-cold water was used.
Leigh denied this on numerous occasions, saying the crew was accommodating, supplying hot water throughout the week-long shoot.
Another myth concerns Saul Bass , the graphic designer who created many of the title sequences of Hitchcock's films and storyboarded some of Psycho ' s scenes, claiming he had directed the shower scene.
This was refuted by several figures associated with the film, including Leigh, who stated: "absolutely not! I have emphatically said this in any interview I've ever given.
I've said it to his face in front of other people I was in that shower for seven days, and, believe me, Alfred Hitchcock was right next to his camera for every one of those seventy-odd shots.
Green , the assistant director, also refutes Bass' claim: "There is not a shot in that movie that I didn't roll the camera for. And I can tell you I never rolled the camera for Mr.
Commentators such as Stephen Rebello and Bill Krohn have argued in favor of Bass' contribution to the scene in his capacity as visual consultant and storyboard artist.
Krohn's analysis of the production of Psycho in his book Hitchcock at Work , while refuting Bass' claims for directing the scene, notes that these storyboards did introduce key aspects of the final scene—most notably, the fact that the killer appears as a silhouette, and details such as the close-ups of the slashing knife, Leigh's desperate outstretched arm, the shower curtain being torn off its hooks, and the transition from the hole of the drainage pipe to Marion Crane's dead eyes.
Krohn notes that this final transition is highly reminiscent of the iris titles that Bass created for Vertigo.
In order to create an ideal montage for the greatest emotional impact on the audience, Hitchcock shot a lot of footage of this scene which he trimmed down in the editing room.
He even brought a Moviola on the set to gauge the footage required. The final sequence, which his editor George Tomasini worked on with Hitchcock's advice, however did not go far beyond the basic structural elements set up by Bass' storyboards.
According to Donald Spoto in The Dark Side of Genius , Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville , spotted a blooper in one of the last screenings of Psycho before its official release: after Marion was supposedly dead, one could see her blink.
According to Patricia Hitchcock , talking in Laurent Bouzereau 's "making of" documentary, Alma spotted that Leigh's character appeared to take a breath.
In either case, the postmortem activity was edited out and was never seen by audiences. It is often claimed that, despite its graphic nature, the shower scene never once shows a knife puncturing flesh.
Marion had decided to go back to Phoenix, come clean, and take the consequence, so when she stepped into the bathtub it was as if she were stepping into the baptismal waters.
The spray beating down on her was purifying the corruption from her mind, purging the evil from her soul.
She was like a virgin again, tranquil, at peace. Film theorist Robin Wood also discusses how the shower washes "away her guilt". He comments upon the " alienation effect " of killing off the "apparent center of the film" with which spectators had identified.
The scene was the subject of Alexandre O. Hitchcock insisted that Bernard Herrmann write the score for Psycho despite the composer's refusal to accept a reduced fee for the film's lower budget.
Herrmann used the lowered music budget to his advantage by writing for a string orchestra rather than a full symphonic ensemble,  contrary to Hitchcock's request for a jazz score.
Film composer Fred Steiner , in an analysis of the score to Psycho , points out that string instruments gave Herrmann access to a wider range in tone, dynamics, and instrumental special effects than any other single instrumental group would have.
The main title music, a tense, hurtling piece, sets the tone of impending violence, and returns three times on the soundtrack.
There were rumors that Herrmann had used electronic means, including amplified bird screeches to achieve the shocking effect of the music in the shower scene.
The effect was achieved, however, only with violins in a "screeching, stabbing sound-motion of extraordinary viciousness.
Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith writes that the music for the shower scene is "probably the most famous and most imitated cue in film music,"  but Hitchcock was originally opposed to having music in this scene.
Herrmann reminded Hitchcock of his instructions not to score this scene, to which Hitchcock replied, "Improper suggestion, my boy, improper suggestion.
The second one, over the score for Torn Curtain , resulted in the end of their professional collaboration.
To honor the fiftieth anniversary of Psycho , in July , the San Francisco Symphony  obtained a print of the film with the soundtrack removed, and projected it on a large screen in Davies Symphony Hall while the orchestra performed the score live.
This was previously mounted by the Seattle Symphony in October as well, performing at the Benaroya Hall for two consecutive evenings.
Psycho is a prime example of the type of film that appeared in the United States during the s after the erosion of the Production Code.
It was unprecedented in its depiction of sexuality and violence, right from the opening scene in which Sam and Marion are shown as lovers sharing the same bed, with Marion in a bra.
Another controversial issue was the gender bending element. Perkins, who was allegedly a homosexual ,  and Hitchcock, who previously made Rope , were both experienced in the film's transgressive subject matter.
The viewer is unaware of the Bates' gender bending, until, at the end of the movie, it is revealed that Bates crossdresses as his mother during the attempted murder of Lila.
At the station, Sam asks why Bates was dressed that way. The police officer, ignorant of Bates' split personality, bluntly utters that Bates is a transvestite.
The psychiatrist corrects him and says, "Not exactly". He explains that Bates believes that he is his own mother when he dresses in her clothes.
According to the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho , the censors in charge of enforcing the Production Code wrangled with Hitchcock because some of them insisted they could see one of Leigh's breasts.
Hitchcock held onto the print for several days, left it untouched, and resubmitted it for approval. Each of the censors reversed their positions: those who had previously seen the breast now did not, and those who had not, now did.
They passed the film after the director removed one shot that showed the buttocks of Leigh's stand-in.
Because board members did not show up for the re-shoot, the opening stayed. Another cause of concern for the censors was that Marion was shown flushing a toilet, with its contents torn-up note paper fully visible.
No flushing toilet had appeared in mainstream film and television in the United States at that time. Internationally, Hitchcock was forced to make minor changes to the film, mostly to the shower scene.
In Britain, the BBFC requested cuts to stabbing sounds and visible nude shots, and in New Zealand the shot of Norman washing blood from his hands was objected to.
In Singapore, though the shower scene was left untouched, the murder of Arbogast, and a shot of Norman's mother's corpse were removed.
The most controversial move was Hitchcock's "no late admission" policy for the film, which was unusual for the time. It was not entirely original as Clouzot had done the same in France for Diabolique.
However, after the first day, the owners enjoyed long lines of people waiting to see the film. Hitchcock did most of the promotion on his own, forbidding Leigh and Perkins to make the usual television, radio, and print interviews for fear of them revealing the plot.
The film's original trailer features a jovial Hitchcock taking the viewer on a tour of the set, and almost giving away plot details before stopping himself.
It is "tracked" with Herrmann's Psycho theme, but also jovial music from Hitchcock's comedy The Trouble with Harry ; most of Hitchcock's dialogue is post-synchronized.
The trailer was made after completion of the film, and because Janet Leigh was no longer available for filming, Hitchcock had Vera Miles don a blonde wig and scream loudly as he pulled the shower curtain back in the bathroom sequence of the preview.
Because the title Psycho instantly covers most of the screen, the switch went unnoticed by audiences for years.
However, a freeze-frame analysis clearly reveals that it is Miles and not Leigh in the shower during the trailer.
Percy , was murdered. As her parents slept mere feet away, she was stabbed a dozen times with a double-edged knife. In light of the murder, CBS agreed to postpone the broadcast.
As a result of the Apollo pad fire of January 27, , the network washed its hands of Psycho. Shortly afterward Paramount included the film in its first syndicated package of post movies, "Portfolio I".
Following another successful theatrical reissue in , the film finally made its way to general television airing in one of Universal's syndicated programming packages for local stations in Psycho was aired for 20 years in this format, then leased to cable for two years before returning to syndication as part of the "List of a Lifetime" package.
Initial reviews of the film were thoroughly mixed. While the film did not conclude satisfactorily for the critic, he commended the cast's performances as "fair".
Lejeune was so offended that she not only walked out before the end but permanently resigned her post as film critic for The Observer.
Positive reviews stated, "Anthony Perkins' performance is the best of his career Janet Leigh has never been better", "played out beautifully", and "first American movie since Touch of Evil to stand in the same creative rank as the great European films.
The public loved the film, with lines stretching outside of theaters as people had to wait for the next showing.
This, along with box office numbers, led to a reconsideration of the film by critics, and it eventually received a large amount of praise.
In the United Kingdom, the film shattered attendance records at the London Plaza Cinema , but nearly all British critics gave it poor reviews, questioning Hitchcock's taste and judgment.
Reasons cited for this were the critics' late screenings, forcing them to rush their reviews, their dislike of the gimmicky promotion, and Hitchcock's expatriate status.
TIME switched its opinion from "Hitchcock bears down too heavily in this one" to "superlative" and "masterly", and Bosley Crowther put it on his Top Ten list of The Catholic Legion of Decency gave the film a B rating, meaning "morally objectionable in part".
Psycho was criticized for making other filmmakers more willing to show gore; three years later, Blood Feast , considered to be the first " splatter film ", was released.
Inspired by Psycho , Hammer Film Productions launched a series of mystery thrillers including The Nanny  starring Bette Davis and William Castle 's Homicidal was followed by a slew of more than thirteen other splatter films.
The site's critical consensus states, "Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it.
In Psycho , Hitchcock subverts the romantic elements that are seen in most of his work. The film is instead ironic as it presents "clarity and fulfillment" of romance.
The past is central to the film; the main characters "struggle to understand and resolve destructive personal histories" and ultimately fail.
The myth does not sustain with Marion, who dies hopelessly in her room at the Bates Motel.
The room is wallpapered with floral print like Persephone's flowers, but they are only "reflected in mirrors, as images of images—twice removed from reality".
In the scene of Marion's death, Brill describes the transition from the bathroom drain to Marion's lifeless eye, "Like the eye of the amorphous sea creature at the end of Fellini's La Dolce Vita , it marks the birth of death, an emblem of final hopelessness and corruption.
Marion is deprived of "the humble treasures of love, marriage, home and family", which Hitchcock considers elements of human happiness.
There exists among Psycho ' s secondary characters a lack of "familial warmth and stability", which demonstrates the unlikelihood of domestic fantasies.
The film contains ironic jokes about domesticity, such as when Sam writes a letter to Marion, agreeing to marry her, only after the audience sees her buried in the swamp.
Sam and Marion's sister Lila, in investigating Marion's disappearance, develop an "increasingly connubial" relationship, a development that Marion is denied.
He has "an infantile and divided personality" and lives in a mansion whose past occupies the present. Norman displays stuffed birds that are "frozen in time" and keeps childhood toys and stuffed animals in his room.
He is hostile toward suggestions to move from the past, such as with Marion's suggestion to put his mother "someplace" and as a result kills Marion to preserve his past.
Brill explains, " 'Someplace' for Norman is where his delusions of love, home, and family are declared invalid and exposed.
Light and darkness feature prominently in Psycho. The first shot after the intertitle is the sunny landscape of Phoenix before the camera enters a dark hotel room where Sam and Marion appear as bright figures.
Marion is almost immediately cast in darkness; she is preceded by her shadow as she reenters the office to steal money and as she enters her bedroom.
When she flees Phoenix, darkness descends on her drive. The following sunny morning is punctured by a watchful police officer with black sunglasses, and she finally arrives at the Bates Motel in near darkness.
Examples of brightness include the opening window shades in Sam's and Marion's hotel room, vehicle headlights at night, the neon sign at the Bates Motel, "the glaring white" of the bathroom tiles where Marion dies, and the fruit cellar's exposed light bulb shining on the corpse of Norman's mother.
Such bright lights typically characterize danger and violence in Hitchcock's films. The film often features shadows, mirrors, windows, and, less so, water.
The shadows are present from the first scene where the blinds make bars on Marion and Sam as they peer out of the window. The stuffed birds' shadows loom over Marion as she eats, and Norman's mother is seen in only shadows until the end.
More subtly, backlighting turns the rakes in the hardware store into talons above Lila's head. Mirrors reflect Marion as she packs, her eyes as she checks the rear-view mirror, her face in the policeman's sunglasses, and her hands as she counts out the money in the car dealership's bathroom.
A motel window serves as a mirror by reflecting Marion and Norman together. Hitchcock shoots through Marion's windshield and the telephone booth, when Arbogast phones Sam and Lila.
The heavy downpour can be seen as a foreshadowing of the shower, and its cessation can be seen as a symbol of Marion making up her mind to return to Phoenix.
There are a number of references to birds. Marion's last name is Crane and she is from Phoenix. Norman comments that Marion eats like a bird.
The motel room has pictures of birds on the wall. Brigitte Peucker also suggests that Norman's hobby of stuffing birds literalizes the British slang expression for sex, "stuffing birds", bird being British slang for a desirable woman.
Psycho has been called "the first psychoanalytical thriller. In , the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Leigh asserted, "no other murder mystery in the history of the movies has inspired such merchandising. In , it was adapted scene-for-scene into three comic books by the Innovative Corporation.
Psycho has appeared on a number of lists by websites, television channels, and magazines. The shower scene was featured as number four on the list of Bravo Network's Scariest Movie Moments,  whilst the finale was ranked number four on Premiere ' s similar list.
In , the Motion Picture Editors Guild listed the film as the twelfth best-edited film of all time based on a survey of its membership.
American Film Institute has included Psycho in these lists:. Psycho has become one of the most recognizable films in cinema history, and is arguably Hitchcock's best known film.
This played on his reader's expectations of traditional plots, leaving them uncertain and anxious. Hitchcock recognized the effect this approach could have on audiences, and utilized it in his adaptation, killing off Leigh's character at the end of the first act.
This daring plot device, coupled with the fact that the character was played by the biggest box-office name in the film, was a shocking turn of events in The shower scene has become a pop culture touchstone and is often regarded as one of the most terrifying scenes ever filmed.
Its effectiveness is often credited to the use of startling editing techniques borrowed from the Soviet montage filmmakers,   and to the iconic screeching violins in Bernard Herrmann 's musical score.
The scene has been frequently spoofed and referenced in popular culture, complete with the violin screeching sound effects see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , among many others.
Psycho is considered by some to be the first film in the slasher film genre,  though some critics and film historians point to Michael Powell's Peeping Tom , a lesser-known film with similar themes of voyeurism and sexualized violence, whose release happened to precede Psycho ' s by a few months.
Psycho has been referenced in other films numerous times: examples include the musical horror film Phantom of the Paradise ; horror film Halloween which starred Jamie Lee Curtis , Janet Leigh's daughter, and Donald Pleasence 's character was named " Sam Loomis " ;  the Mel Brooks tribute to many of Hitchcock's thrillers, High Anxiety ; the Fade to Black ; the Dressed to Kill ; and Wes Craven 's horror satire Scream.
The success of the film jump-started Perkins' career, but he soon began to suffer from typecasting. One letter was so "grotesque" that she passed it to the FBI.
Two agents visited Leigh and told her the culprits had been located and that she should notify the FBI if she received any more letters of that type.
Anthony Perkins returned to his role of Norman Bates in all three sequels, and also directed the third film. Psycho has been rated and re-rated several times over the years by the MPAA.
Later, when the MPAA switched to a voluntary letter ratings system in , Psycho was one of a number of high-profile motion pictures to be retro-rated with an "M" Mature Audiences.
This THX-certified Widescreen 1. A version with alternate footage of Norman cleaning up after the murder and additional footage of Marion undressing and Arbogast's death has been shown on German TV and released on VHS and Blu-ray in Germany.
For the initial DVD release, Laurent Bouzereau produced a documentary looking at the film's production and reception. Universal released a 50th anniversary edition on Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on August 9, ,  with Australia making the same edition with a different cover available on September 1, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the film. For the remake, see Psycho film. For the sequels, see Psycho franchise. Play media.
See also: Psycho franchise. July 21, Archived from the original on July 27, Retrieved August 18, Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 25, June 22, Retrieved June 15, USC Dornsife.
University of Southern California. Retrieved 17 June British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 16, Retrieved December 30, Box Office Mojo.
Retrieved October 20, Retrieved June 16, Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 17, Library of Congress, Washington, D.
Retrieved May 8, Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller. Harmony Press, , p. Reproduced at". Retrieved January 26, July Archived from the original on December 5, Retrieved March 13, CBS News.
Archived from the original on June 16, Retrieved April 24, September Hitchcock, Welles". Bright Lights Film Journal. Archived from the original on July 13, The Atlantic Monthly , May ".
May Retrieved August 5, The Guardian. February 6, — via www. January The Film Music Pantheon 3.
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Retrieved December 1, When Arbogast does not call Lila, she and Sam contact the local police. Bates had been dead for ten years.
Norman confronts his mother and urges her to hide in the cellar. She rejects the idea and orders him out of her room, but Norman carries her to the cellar against her will.
Posing as a married couple, Sam and Lila check into the motel and search the room Marion had occupied. While Sam distracts Norman, Lila sneaks into the house to search for his mother.
Sam suggests to Norman that he killed Marion for the money so he could buy a new motel. Realizing Lila is not around, Norman knocks Sam unconscious with a golf club and rushes to the house.
Lila sees him and hides in the cellar where she discovers the mummified body of Norman's mother. Wearing his mother's clothes and a wig and carrying a knife, Norman enters and tries to attack Lila.
But Sam, having regained consciousness, subdues Norman with Lila's help. After Norman's arrest, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Simon Richmond tells Sam and Lila that Norman's dead mother is living in Norman's psyche as an alternate personality.
After the death of Norman's father, his mother found a lover. Norman went over the edge with jealousy and murdered both of them.
He stole her corpse and preserved the body. When he is Mother, he acts, talks and dresses as she would. Norman imagined his mother would be as jealous of a woman to whom he might be attracted just as he was of his mother's lover, and so Mother kills any woman for whom Norman has feelings.
When Norman regains consciousness, he believes that his mother has committed the crime and covers up for her.
Richmond concludes that the Mother personality has now taken complete control of Norman's mind, erasing his existence.
In the final scene, Norman sits in a cell, thinking in Mother's voice. In a voice-over, Mother explains that she plans to prove to the authorities she is incapable of violence by refusing to swat a fly that has landed on her hand.
Marion's car is shown being recovered from the swamp and is followed by the ending credits. The first name of Dr. Richmond was changed from "Fred" to "Simon" while the wife of Al Chambers was given the first name "Eliza".
Director Gus Van Sant , emulating Hitchcock's practice of making cameo appearances in his films, appears as "Man talking to man in cowboy hat" at the same point in his film when Hitchcock made his appearance in the original.
The audio commentary track that accompanies the DVD release of the film, and the making-of documentary Psycho Path that the DVD includes, provide numerous details about where the film strove to remain faithful to the original, and where it diverged.
Some changes are pervasive: as the film opens, it is made clear that it is set in the late s, so minor changes are made throughout the dialogue to reflect the new timeframe.
For example, all the references to money are updated how much Marion Crane steals, how much a car costs, how much a hotel room costs , as are references to terms from the original script that would seem anachronistic in the new setting.
According to Van Sant, in the original the only fully fleshed out character was Norman Bates ; the other major characters were more iconic, purposely written and portrayed to advance the plot.
Van Sant relied upon his main cast members more to flesh out and make consistent their characters' motivations, and worked with them to determine to what degree their characters were similar to the originals.
According to the commentary by Van Sant, Vaughn, and Heche, some actors, such as Macy, chose to stay true to the original, while others, such as Vaughn and Moore, interpreted the dialogue and scenes from the original film differently; Moore's version of Lila Crane, for example, was much more aggressive [ citation needed ] [ who?
The cinematography and the cinematic techniques were consistent between the two films in many of the most memorable scenes, including the shower scene, scenes of the mother, scenes of the swamp, and the scene of Arbogast on the staircase, but other scenes changed significantly, particularly the climax, and the Dr.
Simon monologue at the end, which was much shorter in the remake. Van Sant's comments from the commentary track attribute many of the updates to the need to make the film more accessible to a new audience.
The famous shower scene was filmed in the same way; the stabbing sound effects were produced by stabbing a melon. Fake blood was used instead of chocolate syrup.
Bates dummy. The new film heightened the violence to the levels of depictions of violence in films made circa by portraying two knife wounds in her back and blood on the wall in the shower scene.
It also shows the buttocks of the Marion character when she dies, an aspect cut from the original film. The costume designer, Beatrix Aruna Pasztor, originally thought that the film was going to be a period piece, so she bought period clothing for the cast.
Literary critic Camille Paglia commented that the only reason to watch it was "to see Anne Heche being assassinated," and that "it should have been a much more important work and event than it was.
Universal Pictures received the Founders Award "for even thinking the moviegoing public would line up and pay to see a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho.
Film critic Roger Ebert , who gave the film one-and-a-half stars, noted that the addition of a masturbation scene was "appropriate, because this new Psycho evokes the real thing in an attempt to re-create remembered passion.
Leonard Maltin 's Movie Guide classified the film as a "bomb," compared to the four-out-of-four stars he gave the original. He describes it as a "Slow, stilted, completely pointless scene-for-scene remake of the Hitchcock classic with a few awkward new touches to taint its claim as an exact replica.
Quentin Tarantino has gone on record stating that he preferred Van Sant's remake to the original film, saying that the remake was "more real".
Screenwriter Joseph Stefano , who wrote the original script, thought that although she spoke the same lines, Anne Heche portrays Marion Crane as an entirely different character.
Even Van Sant admitted that it was an experiment that proved that no one can really copy a film exactly the same way as the original.
Retitled Psychos and featuring no explanatory text, the recut appears to be a fan edit of the two films by Soderbergh.
Reaction to the mashup appears to reinforce the prejudice against the film. The opening credits intermingle names from both the and versions, and all color has been removed from Van Sant's scenes.
The film's soundtrack, Psycho: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture , included Danny Elfman's re-recordings of some of Bernard Herrmann 's score for the original film, along with a collection of songs in genres from country to drum and bass , connected mainly by titles containing "psycho" or other death or insanity-related words.
Many of the songs were recorded specifically for the soundtrack, and included a sampling of Bernard Herrmann's score composed by Danny Elfman.
The soundtrack also includes the track "Living Dead Girl" by Rob Zombie , which can be heard during the film when Marion trades in her old car for a new one.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the film by Gus Van Sant. For the Hitchcock film, see Psycho film.
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