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Psycho: Behind the Scenes

Filmed in 1959 and released in late 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has been voted  the #3 best horror movie of all time. Made with Hitchcock’s own money ($800,000) and generally regarded as too base and cheap a property for the great director. Psycho surprised everyone, making more money than any of his other pictures. Hitch was so confident in the film that he took no fee for direction instead opting for 60% of ticket sales. He certainly played his cards right, with Psycho making well over $40 million in his lifetime, giving him a tidy fortune and the last laugh.

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Alfred and Janet - The Shower

Alfred and Janet – The Shower

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Janet Leigh

Janet Leigh

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Anthony Perkins

Tony, Alfred and Janet

Tony, Alfred and Janet

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“We all go a little mad sometimes” Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho

As if you didn’t know…. Psycho was Alfred Hitchcocks 1960 low budget (made for less than $1 million), black and white thriller starring Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins and a old creepy house. Inspired by the Ed Gein murders in the late 50’s and the book of the same name, Hitchcock made what was first thought of as a low budget one-off into a classic.

“Psycho” was covertly referred to as “Production 9401″ or “Wimpy” — the name Wimpy coming from cameraman, Rex Wimpy, who appeared on clapboards, production sheets, and studio stills. Cast and crew (Hitch borrowed his same crew from his TV series, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”) were forced to raise their right hand and sworn not to utter a word about the film. Hitchcock even guardedly withheld the climactic ending from the cast all the way up until it was actually shot

The racy-for-the-time Janet Leigh bra scenes had a definite meaning within the film. Prior to swiping the 40K for her lover, her bra is white– symbolizing innocence. After the robbery, the bra is black– symbolizing her crossing over to the dark side.

A young Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the role that dogged him for the rest of his acting career. When asked decades later if he would have turned down the role in retrospect, he noted that he’d absolutely do it all over again.

The Bates’ house in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho” was modeled after Edward Hopper’s 1925 oil painting “House by the Railroad”

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Alfred’s daughter Pat and Janet Leigh

John Gavin, Alfred and Janet

Hitchcock with Anthony Perkins

1962 Harpers Bazaar Shoot – model Ina Balke

Alfred and Ina

Janet Leigh and John Gavin