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I assume Psycho's production cost were less than Hitchcock's prior two movies Vertigo and North by Northwest for at least 3 reasons:

 

1) The stars; StewartNovak and GrantSaint had to cost more than PerkinsLeigh.

 

2) Location; As noted Psycho was filmed in Studio City and the other pictures had more on location footage. Of course To Catch A Thief had much higher cost in this regard.

 

3) Color; I assume filming a black and white picure cost less than a color one.

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I read a book on the making of Psycho some years ago and it was made very cheaply. I think it took less than 6 wks to film (or about that) and at least a week of that was the shower scene. Most (if not all) of it was filmed on the backlot or soundstage and he used technicians from his tv show to save money. I assume the actors in the film worked for low salaries, just to work for Hitch (unsure if Vera Miles was still under contract to him at this time or not). The Bates house on the lot now is not the original as that was torn down after the film was made (some of this post is meant for Fred).....It was later rebuilt as a tourist attraction..........I'm sure the film being in b&w also helped keep the cost down......

 

The parts of Marion driving obviously werent on the backlot but I doubt that took more than a day or two...

 

Edited by: Hibi on Sep 5, 2013 5:37 PM

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Both Wiki and IMDb in their webpages show the budgets of most films ever produced.

 

Here are the ones that have been brought into this discussion:

 

"Vertigo"-$2,479,000

"North bt Northwest"-$3,101,000

"Psycho"-$806.947

 

And so, yeah, while "Psycho"'s budget wasn't exactly Monogram Pictures level, compared to Hitch's previous two films, it could be considered relatively "low budget".

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Ahem...sorry Mr. R, but I don't think Paramount used the same prop department as Universal at that time. ;)

 

(...'cause as you probably know, one was/is located on Melrose Ave, and the other was/is on the other side of the Hollywood Hills in the San Fernando Valley!)

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What made it different from other low budget films was the way it was directed.(and scored and edited)........Still amazes me there was no nomination for its score, editing or Anthony Perkins........

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One scene that captivates me all the time is the conversation between Norman and Marion after he brings her the sandwich. As they sit across from each other in his office, I can;t take my eyes off of Janet Leigh --her reactions seem to shift depending on the either external forces (her response to Norman's odd and erratic behaviour) or the internal (she is overwhelmed with worry or guilt about the crime she had just committed that day). Yet overall, she conveys a calm, cool demeanor throughout the scene but the viewer is able to read her thoughts at any given moment....that is top notch acting.

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The sad thing about PSYCO and another Hitchcock classic, THE BIRDS is that they were both such a departure from what Hitch was noted for. The "sad" part comes from my knowing a lot of folks who dismissed much of Hitch's work after only seeing THESE two movies, because they "hate horror flicks". I've been able to "force" a few of these guys into watching REAR WINDOW, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH( both versions) and NBNW, and now they're converts. But that sort of thing probably occured to a LOT of people nationwide, and Hitch gets ignored unfairly due to it.

 

Incidentally, the cameo of Hitch in REAR WINDOW features, as I'm sure most of you already know, ROSS BAGDASARIAN, who would later become known as DAVID SEVILLE, creator of THE CHIPMUNKS, sitting at the piano, working out the song "Lisa".

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Sep 11, 2013 12:04 PM

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Wow, the 'guys' you know are a lot different than the ones I know.

 

Most of the guys I know love horror movies and while they are not studio era movies fans by any means, they had seen Psycho and The Birds and loved those movies (especially The Birds).

 

So I used that as an opening for other earlier Hitchcock movies. Most just didn't like them because there wasn't enough 'horror' for them. i.e. too much talk, not enough action, for their taste.

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ruylopez , I completely agree with about Janet Leigh's acting in her scene with Norman after he brings her the sandwich. It is captivating how she is able to convey a multitude of emotions while still maintaining a cool demeanor. She completely blew me away in this movie in a way I was not expecting. I was captivated from her very first scene with John Gavin in the hotel room in Phoenix.

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I loved Perkins in that scene also, the way he starts out as friendly and amiable and then, depending on Leigh's comments, he turns dark and angry, then tries to get hold of himself and laughs. His voice is nervous and he stumbles over words. You could almost read the minds of the actors. I could picture Leigh's character thinking, as she looks around, "What am I getting into?" It's just a shot of two people in the room "having a conversation", but you feel like you're there and your heart is in your throat, especially when Norman starts getting angry ("will he explode and get violent?").

 

I also love the static shot of Perkins as he stands by the swamp where the car sank, and he's looking at the camera with such a malevolent stare, showing the audience his "real face".

 

What did people think of the ending, with the psychiatrist giving the explanation? Hitch supposedly tacked that on to get the movie past the censors (to "explain" Norman's behavior). Simon Oakland was a little strong in the delivery (I thought), but I liked hearing what he had to say.

 

Love that very final scene, too!

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