Trivia: Although it lasts for only 45 seconds on screen, the stabbing scene in the shower took seven days to shoot and used 70 different camera angles.

Trivia: The blood in the infamous shower scene is actually chocolate syrup.

Trivia: Psycho was the first American movie to show a toilet, and hear one flushing - both viewed as inappropriate in that era.

Trivia: Alfred Hitchcock didn't want to have the ending of the movie given away. So after buying the rights to make the movie, he bought every copy of the book that he could find so that no one would be able to read it and know what happens before watching it.

Trivia: The film somewhat stirred controversy when it was released because it was the first time that a leading actress' (Janet Leigh) character dies during the first third of the film. Before Psycho, the leading actress' character either lives throughout the film or dies at the end. Her character never dies early in the film.


Trivia: Anthony Perkins did not participate in the shower scene. At the time, he was in New York preparing for a play on stage.

Trivia: Alfred Hitchcock adapted Psycho from a story by author Robert Bloch, who had modeled the character of Norman Bates after Ed Gein, who is suspected to have killed his victims between 1954 and 1957. In the asphyxiation death of his brother Henry (who was verbally critical of their neurotic-controlling mother) in 1944, though the supposedly harmless young Gein was quickly dismissed as a suspect, it's believed that he was guilty of that crime too. Other characters very loosely based on Gein are Buffalo Bill in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) and Thomas Hewitt in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974). The main similarities to Gein that appear in "Psycho" include the feminine qualities of Norman Bates and the disturbingly strong attachment to the cruel domineering mother.

Super Grover Premium member

Trivia: During the theatrical release of Psycho, no one was allowed in the cinema after the movie started because Marion (played by Janet Leigh) dies quite early on in the movie.

Trivia: The three letters on the license plate of the car which eventually ends up in the swamp are NFB. The represented the initials of Norman Francis Bates.

Trivia: There are many references to birds in this film, few examples are: Marion's surname is Crane which is a bird, the movie is set in Phoenix which is a legendary bird which rose from the ashes, there are stuffed birds in Norman Bates' parlour and his hobby is stuffing them, there are numerous pictures of birds through out the hotel, and Norman makes many references to birds such as telling Marion she "eats like a bird." Hitchcock was fascinated with birds, even making another horror movie called "The Birds" (1963).

Trivia: 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 Marion steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black.


Trivia: The interior set for the Bates home is the same set that was used by Hitchcock for "The McKittrick Hotel" in Vertigo two years earlier.


Psycho trivia picture

Trivia: Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo during the scene when Marion Crane walks into her office - he is standing outside the office on the right. (00:07:00)

Trivia: Christopher Lee was asked which part of Psycho did he consider the scariest, and he replied, 'Well, it wasn't the shower scene because you knew something was going to happen, right? So it wasn't that. What was scary was when the detective, played by Martin Balsam, climbed the stairs in the house to the second floor when a door opens and out steps a woman who stabs him, causing him to fall backward to his death. Now that scene I found very scary.'

Allister Cooper, 2011

Trivia: Janet Leigh spent three weeks on the set. A whole week was devoted to the infamous shower scene.

Trivia: The design of Norman Bates' house was based on the Edward Hopper painting "The house by the railroad" painted in 1924. Hitchcock described the Gothic architectural style of the house as "California Gingerbread."

Trivia: When the original Psycho was first released, a concerned man wrote to Alfred Hitchcock to say that since watching Psycho, his wife refused to shower or bath. Hitchcock promptly wrote back saying "sir, have you ever considered taking your wife to the dry cleaners?"

Trivia: Sales of showers plummeted after this movie was released.

Revealing mistake: When Marion is driving her car through the night, she keeps looking at her speedometer. You can clearly see that the gear shift lever is in "park" as she is driving.

More mistakes in Psycho

Norman Bates: She might have fooled me, but she didn't fool my mother.

More quotes from Psycho

Question: I'm doing horror movies in my Media Studies course and we're looking at this film in great depth. There were many themes that came up a lot in the film, mainly mirrors, birds and eyes. I've had loads of interpretations of all of these, but does anyone know what they symbolise?

rabid anarchist

Chosen answer: Birds are just a favourite choice of spooky animal that Alfred Hitchcock seems to use hence the film "The Birds". Eyes show the window to our soul where our deepest fears originate and who isn't scared of getting knifed in the shower. The mirrors i can't explain but I can suggest that it just looks creepy.

More questions & answers from Psycho

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.