Trivia / Psycho

  • Acting in the Dark: Alfred Hitchcock withheld the ending from the cast and crew until it was time to shoot it.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Anthony Perkins lost his father at the age of five and was raised by his mother, like his character Norman.
  • Affectionate Parody / Adam Westing: Anthony Perkins hosted an episode in the first season of Saturday Night Live, which included an almost-obligatory, and hysterical, Norman Bates skit.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Black Sheep Hit:
  • Creator Backlash: Averted with Anthony Perkins. While acknowledging that starring in the film led to him being typecast as a maniac killer, when he was asked if he still would have taken the role knowing what it would do to his career, he replied with a definite "yes."
  • Directed by Cast Member: Anthony Perkins directed the third movie.
  • Doing It for the Art: Hitchcock went to a lot of trouble to try and avoid the film's twists being revealed. Most notably, he went about buying up copies of the source novel out of his own pocket.
  • Enforced Method Acting: An urban legend is that Hitchcock arranged for the shower to suddenly go cold to get the appropriate screams out of Janet Leigh.
  • Genre-Killer: Many film historians consider Psycho to the be movie that killed Film Noir, as the purpose of the first hour or so is to continuously set up and subvert the tropes of that genre.
  • Life Imitates Art: The shower scene ended up genuinely frightening Janet Leigh when she saw it back. Realising how vulnerable a woman was in the shower, she only ever took baths for the rest of her life.
  • Lying Creator: Hitchcock lied to the press that he intended to cast Helen Hayes as Mrs Bates. Several actresses wrote to him looking for the part as a result.
  • Not Screened for Critics: Alfred Hitchcock actually played this card and then some in order to conceal the film's classic plot twist. This makes Psycho a rare example of a film Not Screened for Critics that is acclaimed by them later.
  • The Other Marty: There were rumours that George Reeves was originally cast as Arbogast and had already filmed some of his scenes by the time he died. As the script wasn't even started until four months after Reeves's death, this is quite unlikely.
  • Playing with Character Type: Bates initially appears to be the same sort of character Perkins was known for playing up to that time - a likeable, socially awkward supporting role. This makes the Twist Ending all the more shocking.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The brief appearance of young Norman in Psycho II was by Anthony Perkins' son, Oz.
    • Marion's co-worker Carolyn is played by the director's daughter Pat Hitchcock.
  • Reality Subtext: Part of Hitchcock's love for the story was because he sympathised with Norman - having also grown up with a rather domineering mother. Thankfully she was not as bad as Mrs Bates. Likewise the screenwriter wrote the screenplay while he was in therapy, dealing with the troubled relationship with his own mother.
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • Subverted yet played straight: History will tell you that Psycho was not a box-office nor a critical failure, and it's obviously considered one of the best films ever made. However, many consider it to be the film that simultaneously heightened and ruined Anthony Perkins's career as an actor because he was subject to typecasting afterwards, and most moviegoers only knew him as Norman Bates. Perkins never had any backlash because of it, but plenty of his fans will vouch Perkins was one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood history, and Psycho is to blame. Ironically enough, at the time Psycho was Perkins Playing Against Type. After Psycho, if there was a movie where he wasn't playing a "psycho," it was him playing against type again.
    • The same applies to Janet Leigh. Although not subject to typecasting afterwards, pretty much all she is really remembered for was the shower scene.
  • Throw It In:
    • Location shooting (for the scene where Marion drives out of town with the money) was done in downtown Phoenix in December 1959. After Christmas decorations were discovered to be visible in the footage, a graphic was added to the beginning of the film setting the date as "Friday, December the Eleventh".
    • Also, Norman's Character Tic of eating candy was a suggestion of Perkins's that Hitchcock happened to like.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Gus van Sant's 1999 remake, thanks to the only new line of dialogue van Sant put in the script. Julianne Moore as Lila is listening to a Sony Walkman when she's introduced, and she says "Let me get my Walkman" when she and Sam are leaving his hardware store.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Hitchcock originally wanted the shower scene to play without music, but Herrmann begged him to try it. Yes, the Trope Maker for Psycho Strings very nearly didn't come about at all.
    • He also wanted the opening zoom in to Marion's afternoon delight to be a single continuous shot, but the technology to do it didn't exist at the time. Restoring that idea now that it did exist is pretty much the only legitimate reason for the existence of the Gus van Sant remake.

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