"A boy's best friend is his mother" - Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). "Psycho" is one of Hitchcock's most famous films and this book is a fascinating account of how the film was made and some of the problems that had to be overcome before the film could be completed. Author Stephen Rebello has done an excellent job and describes in detail how Hitchcock chose his screenwriter, his crew and the actors. It is interesting to discover how little some of these people were paid for what turned out to be a classic money making Hitchcock film. "A man should have a hobby" - Marion Crane (Janet Leigh). Following the enormous success of his latest film "North by Northwest" Hitchcock was looking for something different - but interesting. When the "Psycho" book by Robert Bloch came to his attention he realised that this could be just what he wanted but he was unsure how the censors would react to the gruesome storyline. He decided to purchase the screen rights to the book and very cleverly did so for a bargain price. The authors agents had no idea who was after the rights to the book and thought they had a good deal when $9,000 was agreed upon. However, after Robert Bloch had paid commission to the publishers, his agents fees and the tax he was left with approx $5,000. It was at this point that he discovered the buyer was a certain Mr Alfred Hitchcock!! Joseph Stefano was hired to write the screenplay after many others had been under consideration. Hitchcock's main concern was to keep the plot twists under wraps during filming and did not release any advance information about the film to the Press. He also had an unusual advertising campaign insisting that no-one was admitted to the theatre once the film had started. "12 cabins - 12 vacancies" - Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Hitchcock wanted a famous actress for the role of Marion Crane and Lana Turner, Shirley Jones, Hope Lange, Piper Laurie, Martha Hyer and Eva Marie Saint were all considered before the part eventually went to Janet Leigh. Anthony Perkins was the only choice for Norman Bates but several actors were in line to play Sam Loomis (Marion Crane's boy friend). These included Stuart Whitman, Cliff Robertson, Leslie Neilsen, Brian Keith, Jack Lord, Rod Taylor and Robert Loggia. The role of Sam Loomis was played in the film by John Gavin. Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia also had a small role in the film. The music by Bernard Hermann was a major contribution to the success of the film and Hitchcock was so pleased with the result that he doubled the composer's salary. Hermann has written the music for several other Hitchcock films including "The Trouble With Harry", "The Man Who Knew Too Much", "The Wrong Man", "Vertigo", "North by Northwest" and "Marnie". "Well, if the woman up there is Mrs Bates - who's that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?" - Sheriff Chambers (John McIntire). The book explains how certain scenes were filmed but later disregarded by Hitchcock and deleted from the film as they slowed down the story. Much attention is given to the famous shower murder scene and the controversy that it was Saul Bass who directed this and not Hitchcock. Differing views are given by people who were present at the time but all is revealed here in Stephen Rebello's book. "Psycho" was remade in colour in 1998 by Gus Van Sant. This was an interesting experiment as it was a word for word, scene by scene actual copy of the original. However, it is of course difficult for anyone to top the Hitchcock version.