On June 16, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock‘s legendary movie Psycho had its world premiere at the DeMille Theatre in New York City. Here are five horrifying facts you probably didn't know about Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"...
There Were Three Norma Bates
Three different people did the voice of Norman's mother: Jeanette Nolan, Paul Jasmin whom Anthony Perkins recommended for the job, and Virginia Gregg. Their recordings were then mixed together until Hitchcock found the right tone of voice for each particular scene.
Hitchcock Used A Melon For The Sound of The Stabbing Scene When Hitchcock and his sound guy searched for the perfect stabbing sound, they didn’t turn to stock Hollywood effects. They turned to melons. They laid out an epic spread of every kind of melon you can imagine, until they found that perfect sound. Enter: the casaba melon. This melon sounds denser, less hollow. And, as they found, it sounded even more realistic when interspersed with a slab of steak.
Chocolate Syrup Was Used For Blood It's not a secret that the vast majority of food productions mix a viscous liquid like corn syrup with red food coloring to create realistic-looking blood, but things are a little different in black-and-white filmmaking. As a result, Hitchcock instead decided to use Bosco Chocolate Syrup to double for blood, feeling that it created a stronger and more effective contrast on camera. When watching the final film, you'd never know it was actually a desert topping. This famous shower scene was so traumatic, Janet Leigh admitted that she could not shower in a unit with curtains for years after making the movie.
Secrecy Was Key to the Movie’s Shock Value Hitchcock had been hurt by media leaks in the past. So he beefed up security surrounding the plot and ending of the film. He did not allow film critics to preview the film before its release and withheld the release of movie stills. Because the key murder in the film takes place fairly quickly, Hitchcock knew that anyone arriving very late would end up asking about Janet Leigh and why they didn't see her in the film. To prevent this, he demanded that theaters not let people in after the film started. Hitchcock's requirement that everyone be seated before the film began changed how people treated filmgoing.
Janet Leigh Took Baths For The Rest Of Her Life Janet Leigh spent a week shooting the shower scene, and although she wasn't affected by the filming itself, she was decidedly more bothered when she saw the final cut of the movie. Leigh later commented that it illustrated to her how vulnerable people are in the shower, and as a result, she only took baths for the remaining 40-plus years of her life where possible. In an interview, Leigh said:"I stopped taking showers and I only take baths. And when I'm someplace where I can only take a shower, I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked. I also leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open. I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is."