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February 2014 - Blog

Who Directed the PSYCHO Shower Scene?

On 15, Feb 2014 | 24 Comments | In Editing, Low Budget Filmmaking, Production | By vashi

The murder of Marion Crane is one of the most iconic and memorable scenes in film history. In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock shocked the viewers by killing the lead actress only 30 minutes into PSYCHO. The scene took 7 days to film in December of 1959. Of the 77 camera set-ups captured that week…only 51 shots were used in the final edit. The shower scene is a master class in filmmaking and displayed an advanced style in both editing and visual style.

It has been studied and analyzed ad infinitum by filmmakers, cinephiles and scholars…but what I find interesting about the shower scene is how ‘un-Hitchcockian’ the angles and editing are compared to almost all his other work. This is no doubt due to the contributions of legendary graphic artist Saul Bass who created the 48 storyboards for this scene.

What’s even more interesting is that both Alfred Hitchcock and Saul Bass claimed to have directed this scene. Let’s take a look at the evidence…


Hitchcock and Bass both claimed to direct the shower scene

Both Alfred Hitchcock and Saul Bass claim to have directed this scene

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