Psycho is often regarded as one of the finest films ever made. Anthony Perkins portrays the nuanced, subtle and emotionally disturbed Normal Bates in one of the best acting performances ever seen.
Such was the success of Alfred Hitchcock's low-budget black-and-white slasher, Perkins went on to star as Bates in both Psycho II (1983) and Psycho III (1986). He died aged 60 in September 1992.
Born on April 4, 1932, today would've been Perkins' 84th birthday. To celebrate, here is some of the most chilling trivia around the 1960 classic Psycho:
1. The Infamous Shower Scene Had A Lasting Effect On Co-Star Janet Leigh
The murder scene in the shower is one of the most iconic in cinematic history, but at first Janet Leigh wasn't too perturbed by performing in the piece.
However, after watching the scene played back to her, she realized how vulnerable someone could be while taking a shower. As a result, she took baths for the rest of her life.
2. The Scene Was Originally Going To Be Silent
Hitchcock didn't initially plan for any noise over the scene. However, composer Bernard Herrmann produced a soundtrack regardless, and after seeing the impact it had, Hitchcock changed his mind.
3. Hitchcock Made The Film As Cheaply As Possible
Part of the reason the director chose black and white was to keep costs at a minimum. However, he also identified with the fact that a lot of poorly made B movies were making money at the box office and wanted to see what would happen if he made a quality version of one.
The film's eventual budget was an impressive $806,947.
4. The Rights To The Novel Cost Just $9,000
Ever the perfectionist, Hitchcock was so determined to prevent people from discovering the ending that he even tried to purchase all available copies of Robert Bloch's novel after anonymously obtaining the rights to the story.
5. Hitchcock Only Ever Referred To Perkins As 'Master Bates'
No pun intended, I'm sure.
6. Perkins' Voice Was Deliberately Altered
During the scene where Bates yells "Mother! Oh God! God! Blood! Blood!" Hitchcock deliberately removed the bass frequencies from Perkins' voice to make him sound like a scared teenager.
Do you think 'Psycho' is the best film ever made?