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Alfred Hitchcock and Janet Leigh On Set of Iconic ‘Psycho’ Shower Scene, 1960

78 camera setups. 52 cuts. 45 seconds.

Hitchcock Leigh Psycho Shower
Hitchcock Leigh Psycho Shower

The shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” was revolutionary.  Not only did the scene involve the shocking death of the supposed heroine, but its depiction of violence and nudity was practically unheard of in 1960s cinema. Hitchcock’s risk reaped high reward, and the shower scene is still being studied today for its technical brilliance and unprecedented visuals.

Alfred Hitchcock, known as “the Master of Suspense,” is one of the most comprehensively studied figures in cinematic history (I’ve already studied him in three of my film classes), and rightfully so.  A cultural icon and directorial genius, Hitchcock has created twisted masterpieces that delve deep into uncanny characters and prey on the public’s psychological fears.

While Hitchcock’s other classics like “The Birds,” and “Rear Window” display his unparalleled ability to reveal the wickedness beneath a seemingly ordinary town, it only took 45 seconds of “Psycho” for Hitchcock to cement himself as a filmmaking virtuoso and, quite possibly, the greatest director of all time. You can view the shower scene in its entirety below but – be warned – it might make you want to stick to baths for a while!