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Why does there always have to be controversy? Another thing that led to confusion was the fact that Hitchcock DID let someone else shoot the Arbogast murder.
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Bass' original storyboards had insert shots of Arbogast's hands gripping the railing as he walked up the stairs in the Bates home, with cuts to his feet taking each step. Hitchcock agonized over how to shoot the scene, and decided to do a complicated shot that would be from above, and would require the cameraman to shoot and pull focus himself.
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But when the day of the shoot came, Hitchcock fell seriously ill with the flu, and he let assistant director Hilton Green direct the scene - while he had Hitchcock on the phone constantly. They shot a version that incorporated both the overhead shot, but also some of Bass' cutaways, inserted to cover a moment when the focus got soft.
When Hitchcock saw what they had put together he hated it, and wanted to keep just the overhead shot, including the soft moment. The director himself reshot the fall down the stairs, using a background plate.
Later in life Hitchcock would give Bass credit for the unused version of the Arbogast murder, but never gave him any credit for the shower scene. Bass himself, years later, would take back many of his claims about the shower, but would still hold on to the idea that there was a sense of autership based on the use of his boards.
Jamie Lee Curtis Recreates the Psycho Shower Scene
In the end, though, it seems obvious that Hitchcock conceived and directed the scene; film is a collaborative medium and one of Hitch's strengths was knowing how to choose his collaborators well. It's the oldest standing set in the country, if not the world. After shooting the scene, Leigh - who died on 3 October at the age of 77 - revealed she never looked at showers the same way again.
The fact that I was in the opening scene in a half-slip and half-bra almost caused them to go crazy. And as much as you think you saw something, you never saw anything, because you could now show it back then. Sign in.