Psycho Solution

Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, is famed for its grisly shower scene (in which Janet Leigh's character is butchered by Norman Bates in her bathroom at the Bates Motel). Shortly after the film's release, Hitchcock received a letter from a man complaining that, since she had seen the movie, his wife had been terrified to shower or bathe. What remedy, he wondered, could the director suggest. "Sir," Hitchcock replied, "have you ever considered sending your wife to the dry cleaner?"

[Janet Leigh herself stopped taking showers. "And not because of the shooting of it," she later explained. "It was the seeing of it. It never dawned on me how truly vulnerable we are. But that's what Hitchcock did. A shower. A bird. All these things that are absolutely ordinary, he made extraordinary." (The scene shows only the bloody knife, the shower, blood running down the drain, and Leigh's lifeless body. Hitchcock brilliantly left horrified audiences to interpolate the actual stabbing -- which many viewers "remember" seeing.) "Psycho also gave me very wrinkled skin," Leigh recalled. "I was in that shower for seven days -- 70 set-ups! At least, he made sure the water was warm."]

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