Psycho–My Favorite Scary Movie of All Time

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you are all excited about this fun-filled weekend. I am feeling a little festive, and am looking forward to a night in with some scary movies, so I thought I would post on my favorite, “Psycho.” How can you beat the soundtrack and creepy Norman Bates?

Hitchcock’s “Psycho” changed the horror film industry forever. He was able to scare us to death without a lot of gore. Here are some interesting facts about the film:

1. Chocolate syrup was used for the blood in the original Psycho.

2. The sound effect used during the stabbing scene was actually the sound of a knife stabbing a melon.

3. Among the actresses considered to play Marion Crane were: Martha Hyer, Hope Lange, Lana Turner, Shirley Jones and Piper Laurie (who wonderfully portrayed the religious fanatic, Margaret White in Carrie [1976]). Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother) ultimately landed the role.

4. Alfred Hitchcock received a letter from an angry father whose daughter refused to take a shower after viewing the movie. Hitchcock simply replied, “Send her to the dry cleaners.”

5. In the “Peeping Tom” scene Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins) removes a painting from the wall to watch Marion undress. The painting is called “The Lock” by Jean-Honore Fragonard and illustrates a man about to rape a woman.

6. Psycho cost $800,000 to film and earned an astounding $40 million.

7. In the trailer, Hitchcock yanks back a shower curtain to expose a screaming woman. The woman is Vera Miles, who plays Marion’s sister, Lila Crane.

8. The MPAA insisted on the removal of the term “transvestite” from the film, deeming it vulgar. They allowed it once it was explained to them that the term was not vulgar, but used to describe a psychological condition

9. During the filming, Alfred Hitchcock placed the prop used as Mrs. Bates’ corpse in Janet Leigh’s dressing room without her knowledge. He did this to test the fear factor of the prop.

10. Every time a driver exits a vehicle in the film, he/she does so via the passenger side door.

11. Unlike anyone before him, Hitchcock absolutely insisted that viewers be present from the very start of the film. In some theaters, a record was played, counting down the time left before the show commenced.

12. In the movie, Marion Crane embezzled $40,000; ironically, that is the exact amount of money that Anthony Perkins was paid for his performance as Norman Bates.

13. Hitchcock originally wanted the shower scene to be silent, but after hearing Bernard Herrmann’s musical score, he had a change of heart. Hitchcock credits one-third of the film’s success to the brilliant and compelling musical score and doubled Herrmann’s salary.

14. When the film begins, Marion is seen in a white bra; Hitchcock chose white to symbolize purity. After she embezzles the money and is undressing at the motel, she is wearing a black bra; this was meant to symbolize that she was no longer pure because she had committed an evil act. The same effect was used with her pocketbooks in the film: prior to the theft, her purse was white; after the theft, her purse was black.

15. The 1957 Ford driven by Marion in the film is owned by Universal and is the exact same car used by the Cleavers in “Leave it to Beaver.”

16. The woman who played Janet Leigh’s body double in about half of the shower-scene shots was named Myra Jones. In a sad case of life imitating art, Jones was stabbed to death in 1988. Her killer? A mentally disturbed handyman who targeted older women. He’d murdered at least one other before her – that police know about.

Interesting huh? Have a great Halloween!!! See you tomorrow!

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Join the Discussion!

  1. Wow, your research is impeccable. And here I thought I knew a lot about this movie, when in fact, there was more I didn’t. I love watching scary movies, especially at night with the lights out.

    Now, I have that shower scene music playing in my head. Thanks :)

  2. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this movie – something’s wrong with me! I don’t like the modern “horror” movies that rely on the huge blood and guts factor. But back in the day, they knew how to be scary without being just plain gross. :)

  3. Such fun trivia, honey! I love how jam packed with fantastic info (and images!) your posts are. Thank you for posting so many wonderful Halloween themed pieces this week – loved them all!

    Tons of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  4. You have to watch them Bobbi! So much fun! Thanks for the comments ladies. Hope you have a great Halloween! Kori xoxo

  5. Great trivia!!! I read once that the driver-side door on cars didn’t used to open from the inside as it wasn’t considered proper to exit a car into the street — so everybody used the passenger-side doors. Weird!

  6. That was fun to read. I just watched Psycho about two weeks ago, for the 100th time…lol! It’s such a great movie. Great blog you have. I love the music!

  7. Omg that movie freaks me out big time lol LOVE the trivia- bit of a profit they made there huh!! but I guess that makes sense when you use chocolate syrup for blood ;p
    Love your blog it’s so much funnnnn- that is why I have an award for you on mine :)

  8. Just love all your vintage photos and the very interesting trivia. Psycho – and all of Hitchock’s movies are fantastic. Thanks for creating such a fun site!

  9. oh my gosh, psycho is my favorite movie too!!

    I used to be obsessed with anthony perkins and tried to buy every movie he was ever in. I am assuming you have also seen psycho 2, 3, and 4?! I love them all!

    Happy Halloween!

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