Hitchcock. Are you kidding me? Oh, hells yes. I will see this. Based on Stephen Rebello’s 1990 classic Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho — a literary deep-dive into Hitch’s low-budget (intentionally budgeted and shot for under $1M because he wanted to one-up the B-movie movement of that time…), black & white (because Hitch knew the film would simply be too damn gory for viewers and censors alike if shot in color…) menacing masterpiece. Scheduled for release on the big screen sometime in 2013 — and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. You’ve got time, so I recommend that you bone-up now and check out the book beforehand. It’s a great read for Hitchcock (and classic cinema) fans.

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “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. via

Alfred Hitchcock had a vacant cast chair marked “Mrs. Bates” placed eerily on the set of his 1960 “Psycho” throughout shooting, and even falsely reported to the press that he was auditioning for the role of Mrs. Bates to further add to the mystery around the film. — Image by © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Actress Janet Leigh and Director Alfred Hitchcock on the set of his chilling 1960 masterpiece, “Psycho.” The much-talked-about Janet Leigh bra scenes had a definite method to their mammory madness. In the film, prior to swiping 40K for her lover, the bra is white– symbolizing innocence. After the dirty deed, the bra is black– symboling her crossing over to the dark side. Same with her purse…

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. “Pyscho” had many bird references– for example, Norman Bates was into stuffing birds (taxidermy, people…), Janet Leigh’s character was named Marion Crane, etc. “The Birds” would be Hitchcock’s next film.

Scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” based on the novel by Robert Bloch, shows Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) by the Bates’ family home. — Image by © Underwood & Underwood/Corbis

The Bates’ house in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho” was modeled after Edward Hopper’s 1925 oil painting “House by the Railroad” — shown above in black & white, and hung at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.   

A very young, and handsome Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in a Paramount Studios still– looking right through the camera with an extremely “Psycho”, cold, and vacant stare.

Director Alfred Hitchcock and actor Anthony Perkins on the set of the 1960’s chiller, “Psycho”.

Actress Janet Leigh on the set of “Psycho” directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1960.

Alfred Hitchcock on the set of his 1960 masterpiece, “Psycho” during the unforgettable shower scene.

The actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins, in makeup as “Psycho” Director extraordinaire– Alfred Hitchcock.

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff — shot in 1962 with model Ina Balke

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff — shot in 1962 with model Ina Balke

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff, 1962 with model Ina Balke

The official “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” movie facebook page 


  1. What a great movie, so much better than all those slashers that followed. I watched it on TV of course, too young to see it on general release. It was always the scene on the stairs that got me, the detective who gets his throat cut. Hitchcock, absolute master of his trade. 😉

  2. Every film of this genre that followed ” Psycho ” has been a pathetic over done pastiche of the real thing . The Bates home in and of its self was an example of how masterful Hitchcock was . Referencing Hopper etc .

    But …….. and entire book on the film ….. seriously ? Convince me good sir that my $$ and time would be well spent

  3. Yes, Hitchcock may not be the one who invented the genre, but Psycho and Birds are its purest form, a definition of fear, and all that follows is laid after his work. Ever since I saw that movie, the feeling never left. He was a true master!
    Great blog, as always, great post. Keep on truckin!

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