Bras, Screams, & Shower Scenes: How 'Psycho' Changed Horror Forever

By | October 28, 2022

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Left: The original poster for 'Psycho,' featuring a scandalous shot of Janet Leigh wearing a bra. Right: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates watching Janet Leigh's character through a hole in the wall. Source: IMDB

Released in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho announced a new era in scary movies. The story was darker than what we'd seen in movies before, featuring both internal psychoses and external, bloody violence. Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, became one of the most memorable characters in film history, while Janet Leigh, as the first screaming victim of a slasher villain, claimed another spot in the pantheon of horror movies. Psychological horror has since become a staple of scary cinema, thanks to the boldness of Hitchcock's taboo-breaking classic.

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Left: Alfred Hitchcock in a publicity photo for 'Psycho.' Right: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. Source: IMDB

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the most claustrophobic thrillers of the 20th century, and it features easily the most famous shower scene in film history. Considered to be one of the highlights of Hitchcock’s career, Psycho is one of those films that you just have to see. Even though the film made a truckload of money at the box office upon its release, its distributor, Paramount, had zero faith in the source material or in Hitchcock’s directing.