Alfred Hitchcock’s Rules for Watching Psycho And Behind The Scenes Photos

Ever the showman, Alfre Hitchcock stirred interest in his 1960 thriller Psycho with carefully stage-managed previews New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. Hitchcock commanded “no late admission”. Stationed outside the box office were 5-foot-tall cardboard standees of Hitchcock posing in the style familiar to viewers of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The standee held a sign that read:

WE WON’T ALLOW YOU to cheat yourself! You must see PSYCHO from beginning to end to enjoy it fully.
Therefore, do not expect to be admitted into the theatre after the start of each performance of the picture. We say no one – and we mean no one – not even the manager’s brother, the President of the United States, or the Queen of England (God bless her)!
– Alfred Hitchcock

 

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To further deter any rule breakers, a Pinkerton guard was hired to bar any late comers. And a recording of Hitchcock’s voice reported:

“The manager of this theatre has been instructed, at the risk of his life, not to admit to the theatre any persons after the picture starts. Any spurious attempts to enter by side doors, fire escapes, or ventilating shafts will be met by force. I have been told this is the first time such remarkable measures have been necessary… but then this is the first time they’ve ever seen a picture like Psycho.”

 

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“Psycho has a very interesting construction and that game with the audience was fascinating. I was directing the viewers. You might say I was playing them like an organ”
– Alfred Hitchcock

 

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Success mattered greatly. With Hollywood studios reluctant to back the movie, Hitchcock had invested $806,947.55 of his own money, via his company Shamley Productions.

 

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No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886156d)
Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins
Psycho – 1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Paramount
USA
On/Off Set
Psychose (1960)

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886156a)
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh
Psycho – 1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Paramount
USA
On/Off Set
Psychose (1960)

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886156bh)
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh
Psycho – 1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Paramount
USA
On/Off Set
Psychose (1960)

moviebrasexyjanetleighsethousenaked1960Psychoalredhitchcockbehindthescenesphotos moviebrasexyjanetleighsethousenaked1960Psychoalredhitchcockbehindthescenesphotos moviebrasexyjanetleighsethousenaked1960Psychoalredhitchcockbehindthescenesphotos

 

“Then she did see it there – just a face, peering through the curtains, hanging in midair like a mask. A head-scarf concealed the hair and the glassy eyes stared inhumanly, but it wasn’t a mask, it couldn’t be. The skin had been powdered dead-white and two hectic spots of rouge centered on the cheekbones. It wasn’t a mask. It was the face of a crazy old woman. Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher’s knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho

 

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“Once you began speculation about that, once you admited to yourself that you didn’t really know how another person’s mind operated, then you came up against the ultimate admission—anything was possible.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho

 

moviebrasexyjanetleighsethousenaked1960Psychoalredhitchcockbehindthescenesphotos Anthony Perkinsmoviebrasexyjanetleighsethousenaked1960Psychoalredhitchcockbehindthescenesphotos

 

“You hate people. Because, really, you’re afraid of them, aren’t you? Always have been, ever since you were a little tyke. Rather snuggle up in a chair under the lamp and read. You did it thirty years ago, and you’re still doing it now. Hiding away under the covers of a book.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho

 

How Hitchcock Got People to See “Psycho””