Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Today's film is the classic Hitchcock film, "Psycho." This is truly my favorite Halloween movie. It still scares me to death. What do you think of it? How do you like the series so far? Here's some trivia for you:
Oh, by the way, thanks so much to Closer to Lucy for my fabulous award!!!
--Considered for the role of Marion were: Eva Marie Saint, Piper Laurie, Martha Hyer, Hope Lange, Shirley Jones, and Lana Turner.
--Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.
--One of the reasons Alfred Hitchcock shot the movie in black and white was he thought it would be too gory in color. But the main reason was that he wanted to make the film as inexpensively as possible (under $1 million). He also wondered if so many bad, inexpensively made, b/w "B" movies did so well at the box office, what would happen if a really good, inexpensively made, b/w movie was made.
--This was Alfred Hitchcock's last feature film in black and white, filmed November 30 1959-March 1 1960.
--During filming, this movie was referred to as "Production 9401" or "Wimpy". The latter name came from the second-unit cameraman on the picture Rex Wimpy who appeared on clapboards and production sheets, and some on-the-set stills for Psycho.
--Janet Leigh has said that when he cast her, Alfred Hitchcock gave her the following charter: "I hired you because you are an actress! I will only direct you if A: you attempt to take more than your share of the pie, B: you don't take enough, or C: if you are having trouble motivating the necessary timed movement."
--The license plate on Marion's first car is ANL-709. The license plate on Marion's second car is NFB-418. The latter could be a Québec reference. NFB stands for National Film Board of Canada, the famous office in which Norman McLaren, Claude Jutra, Michel Brault and many others worked, and 418 is the regional phone code for the region of Québec city. Although the real regional code of the NFB is 514 and not 418, this could have been mistaken by Hitchcock, as he shot I Confess (1953) in Québec years earlier in the effective 418 area.
--The film only cost US$800,000 to make and has earned more than US$40 million. Alfred Hitchcock used the crew from his TV series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) to save time and money. In 1962 he exchanged the rights to the film and his TV series for a huge block of MCA's stock, becoming its third-largest stockholder).
--Director Cameo: [Alfred Hitchcock] about four minutes in wearing a cowboy hat outside Marion's office.
--Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie, 'Psycho'."
--This was Alfred Hitchcock's last film for Paramount. By the time principal photography started, Hitchcock had moved his offices to Universal and the film was actually shot on Universal's back lot. Universal owns the film today as well, even though the Paramount Pictures logo is still on the film.
--In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black.
--First American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen.
--According to Janet Leigh, wardrobe worn by her character Marion Crane was not custom made for her, but rather purchased "off the rack" from ordinary clothing stores. Alfred Hitchcock wanted women viewers to identify with the character by having her wear clothes that an ordinary secretary could afford, and thus add to the mystique of realism.
--If you look attentively you can notice that nearly every time a driver gets out of his car he does so through the passenger side, a seemingly odd behavior. This is due to the bench seating in older cars, and Alfred Hitchcock's desire to continue the shot without either moving the camera to follow the actor or having the actor walk between the car and the camera.