Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Making of Psycho

Just heard that Scarlet Johansson is going to play Janet Leigh in the new movie, "the making of Psycho." This is supposed to be a behind the scenes look at all the adventures that occurred during the filming of this iconic horror flick.

We were lucky enough to interview Janet Leigh when she came to the Bala Theater for a screening of "Psycho" to promote a "save the old movies" campaign. Those old movies were filmed on a medium that was destroying itself.

She looked beautiful, dressed in a flowing white outfit, and graciously acknowledged all the applause that she received. She answered questions from the appreciative audience and, in a private session with us, she talked frankly and freely about her movie career.

Janet Leigh made movies with both Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock as directors. She referred to Mr. Welles and Hitch when she spoke about them. Welles was a spur of the moment director, always looking for new objects in the environment. Specifically, in a "Touch of Evil" the oil well was a last minute addition to the movie script. On the other hand, Hitchcock planned every second of every scene. She told us that he worked tirelessly on the "mother" model - with a different body structure and a different face until - one day, "while I was getting my make up on, he spun the chair next to me around, and I screamed and almost fainted. He knew he had his mother."

Another Psycho story involved the fall in the bathtub after the stabbing through the shower curtain. "I fell in a very awkward position and I was beginning to feel it in my neck. Then the moleskin started to melt away and I wondered if I should give the boys a show or move and have to redo the whole scene. I stayed still because I knew that Hitch would edit out what he had to."

A myth connected with Psycho is that the water in the shower was icy cold so that Janet Leigh would not have to act to scream in horror. She denied that. "The water was comfortable and warm," she said. "That's why the moleskin melted."

We hope that the movie makers keep the integrity and do an honest job in revealing the stories behind the making of the movie, "Psycho."

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