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Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller Hardcover – May 16, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051770112X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517701126
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Leigh is perhaps best remembered for her role as Marion Crane, who is stabbed to death in the shower sequence of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Opening to mixed reviews in 1960, Psycho's sleazy storyline so spooked Paramount Pictures that Hitchcock was forced to finance it himself. So recounts Leigh in this amiable, somewhat scattershot look at the making of Psycho, occasioned, she notes, by the film's continuing popularity and the "blatant inaccuracies" that surround it. Attempting "to set the record straight," she recalls the jovial atmosphere on the set, the moleskin suit she wore in the shower, the ingenious publicity campaign for the film, her nomination for an academy award and her ongoing, real-life aversion to showers. Included are conversations with screenwriter Joseph Stefano and others, and fond remembrances of Anthony Perkins and "Mr. Hitchcock." Less compelling is Leigh's bubbly, critical evaluation of the film itself. Nickens has written biographies of Elizabeth Taylor and other performers. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Backstage at the Bates Motel, from someone who was there.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Nemeth on September 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Psycho: Behind The Scenes of the Classic Thriller is a book a lot of people have been waiting a long time for. Janet Leigh provides a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at almost all the aspects of the filming of Hitchcock's masterpiece. She provides stories and anecodotes as well as remembrances of others connected with the picture, including rare words from John Gavin. It's written in a memoir style, with Ms. Leigh discussing aspects as they occur to her, which is refreshing. Importantly, she also sets straight many of the rumors and misinformation surrounding this movie over the years (DID Hitchcock or someone else film the famous shower scene)? A wonderful book on the making of a classic. You'll enjoy it if you're a huge fan of the movie, Ms. Leigh, Hitchcock or just filmmaking in general. My only complaint of the book is the fact that it weighs in at under 200+ pages, thus I felt the price was a little on the high side. Well worth the price in the end, however.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By pmg1975 on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an admirer of the work of actress Janet Leigh and a fan of the director that was Hitchcock, it only seems fitting that someone with the know-how of Ms. Leigh could create a book that not only is a font of insights into the classic film that is "Psycho", but also a fitting tribute to the legend of Hitchcock.
With co-author Christopher Nickens, Ms. Leigh takes you through the various stages of events that made up the phenomenon of "Psycho". She takes you through the brainstorming of the picture, casting, the brilliant editing and photography that Hitchcock wanted to create with his film--everything you could ever want to know or had been curious about. With thorough research that included interviews with cast and crew members, and many photos, some from the personal collection of Ms. Leigh, the reader gets a sense of what creates a masterpiece that has reached such a cult status. Ironically enough, when the film first came out, it wasn't the critical success it is now.
For an admirer of the film itself, the work of Ms. Leigh or Mr. Hitchcock, or anyone with an interest in the art of movie making and what goes into creating a classic, this book has it all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph W. Smith III on April 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
To the massive wealth of writings on Hitchcock and his most influential film, add this slender but invaluable piece by the movie's star, Janet Leigh. By now everyone knows that Leigh hasn't taken a shower since she met Norman's mother "out on the old highway," but this book is filled with many other tidbits -- like Hitch refusing to use expensive costumes for his star, but instead insisting on cheap outfits from a discount store (to match the character's profile!); and the fact that in the famous roadside scene with the highway cop, Leigh was never on location; her scenes were filmed in the studio and blended seamlessly with location footage involving the cop. For Psycho fans, this book is a MUST.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be an entertaining read but nowhere as revealing as I'd hoped. It seems Ms. Leigh wasn't on the set long enough to give us a complete portrait of what happened. The value of this book, to me, was Janet's discussions of the aftermath of the film and how that affected her. I walked away from this wanting more but, as a Psycho fan, this is a valuable book nonetheless.
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By Lisa Lyons on May 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found it quite interesting about all the behind-the-scenes info and the way it was written was very easy to follow. My husband and I had just recently introduced our 16 year old to the magic of Hitchcock by watching "Pyscho". Needless to say she enjoyed the movie and I am hoping I can get her to read this very good and yet personal accounts of Janet Leigh's memories of that time with "Hitch".
Thanks for the prompt service and delivery! I was pleasantly surprised that it got here so fast!
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