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Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Psycho

Janet Leigh in the infamous shower scene - Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About Psycho
Janet Leigh Shower Psycho

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Horror fans are unlike any other breed of cinephile. We go to great lengths to unearth little known facts about our favorite feature films. Because of that, it’s a challenge to find trivia that will pass fact check and surprise dedicated fans. But, in spite of that, we have taken it upon ourselves to attempt to unearth some lesser-known details about Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal classic Psycho. Read on for: Ten things you probably didn’t know about Psycho.

Casaba melons were used to create the stabbing noise associated with the shower scene

Hitchcock reportedly sent his props manager on an errand to retrieve watermelons to create the stabbing sound for Marion’s death scene. Rather than just bringing back watermelons, the props manager returned with an assortment of options and the master director wound up settling on casaba melons.

Norma Bates’ voice was a mixture of several different voices

The production utilized Anthony Perkins’ voice as well as several different actresses to achieve the sound of Norma Bates’ voice.

Anthony Perkins wore his own clothes throughout the shoot

Perkins declined to wear any of the ensembles presented to him by the wardrobe department, favoring instead to wear his own garments.

The entire picture was shot using a 50 MM lens

Hitchcock chose the 50MM because he felt that it most closely resembled the way things are seen through the human eye and thought this would intensify the experience for the viewer as well as give the film an even more voyeuristic feel.

The film rights to the novel on which the Psycho is based were bought for a mere fraction of what they were worth

The film rights were sold for slightly under $10,00, leaving Robert Bloch, who penned the tome on which the film is based, roughly  $5,000 after commissions and other fees were taken out. Hitchcock reportedly purchased the rights to the book anonymously, which likely aided in his ability to secure such a low price.

After securing the film rights, Hitchcock purchased as many copies of the Psycho book as he could get his hands on

The master director’s intent was to make sure that as few people as possible knew anything about the surprise ending before seeing it unfold onscreen.

It was Hitchcock’s original wish not to have any musical accompaniment to the shower scene

Composer Bernard Hermann reportedly went against Hitchcock’s wishes and put together the now infamous score that goes along with the murder scene. Hitchcock later admitted that his initial inclination was wrong.

Psycho is the first American-made film to show a toilet flushing

By today’s standards, showing a toilet flush onscreen isn’t a big deal but at the time of the film’s release, it was unheard of.

Paramount hated the idea of the film and wouldn’t fund its production

As a result, Hitchcock financed the film himself and made use of the crew he regularly used on his television series.

Every car used in the film is a Ford

Ford was a sponsor of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series, so it was only natural for the film to use Fords, as well.


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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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