Leigh is taking the shower, relaxing, oblivious to the world when a
shadow appears outside the curtain. That mind-bending shrieking
violin music starts up and the knife goes in her naked back again,
and again, and again. She falls down dead, ripping the shower curtain
with her, while her blood swirls down the drain.
today's jaded standards, the famous shower stabbing scene in Psycho
isn't the most lurid thing ever captured on film, but the setup,
execution, and sheer surprise value of it all was incredible. Just
imagine things 40 years ago, in 1960, a slasher movie was virtually
unheard of. Most killing scenes happened off camera, or with knives
that seemed to kill with little or no blood. Not to mention that
Leigh was the lead actress of the film, and to see her get killed
halfway through the film was a tremendous surprise.
many people have wondered if someone was outside the shower waiting
to get them, after they saw this? And hats off to Bernard Hermann,
who's eerie score ranks as one of the scariest to be in any movie.
His career, which spanned decades, began with creating music for
Orson Welles famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast, and continued with
"Citizen Kane", "Cape Fear", "Vertigo", and even "Taxi Driver." You
can read more about this fantastic composer
like to close with this swell email I got from TV Producer David
Kesterson, who's brought us great magic expose specials from "The
Movie "Psycho". Year: 1960, Place: Barbers Point, Hawaii. Naval base.
I was 4 years old, my sister was 7 years old, and my brother was 11.
My beloved mother was in the naval hospital having an operation to
restore her hearing, after being stone deaf for 8 years. It was
visiting hours when we got there, the nurse at the front desk
informed my father that children were not allowed in the rooms. My
brother pipes up "Dad it's OK. I will take Sue and Dave to the movie,
on the base, it's Walt Disney's 'Snow White'. Well my crying stopped
right away, it would be my first movie ! So off we went with my Dad's
blessing and money for snacks, too.
I was excited beyond words, as we settled down in our seats I gazed
all around me, up at the beautiful ceiling and just over all the
"MAGIC" that would be my first movie experience. The room was a buzz
with people talking (strange there were no other children in the
theatre). All of a sudden the lights dimmed and the room fell silent,
chills ran down my body as the screen lit up and the movie started.
Please keep in mind I am 4 years old and can't read believing I was
seeing Walt Disney. Well it wasn't. It was "Psycho"!
Long story short, 2 weeks later my father took us to the Hospital on
the way he said he was so proud how we have been behaving, he was
going to let us go back to the movie, this week it was Walt Disney's
I Flipped out ,Screaming and crying and begging him not to make me
go. My dad looked up at my brother and asked him "What was going on".
my brother fessed up and my dad explained what really was going on.
Then he took me, and I saw a real Walt Disney movie, Not the one a
woman gets hacked to death.