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Psycho (1998) Poster

(1998)

Trivia

The exterior motel set was the same one used in the original Psycho (1960). However, the house was a new set constructed directly in front of the old house on the backlot at Universal Studios. On completion of filming, they moved this second house alongside the first for the backlot tour.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (4)
In the original Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock wanted his opening shot to be a long, complete pan/zoom over the city into Marion's hotel room. Sadly, the technology was not yet perfected, and he achieved his effect through a series of pans and dissolves. The new Gus Van Sant remake does a complete travelling shot, as Hitchcock had intended.
When asked why he did a shot-for-shot, full colour remake of Psycho (1960), Gus Van Sant replied "So no one else would have to."
During filming, Gus Van Sant brought along a DVD player and played the original Psycho (1960), and they used it for reference. When he spotted a mistake (a door opening without a key), van Sant decided to put the same mistake into his film.
Although this remake was critically panned, it did get a blessing from Alfred Hitchcock's daughter. She even claimed that remaking a film shot-for-shot is something he would have done. She seemed to forget that Hitchcock did indeed remake one of his own films, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), but it was not shot-for-shot.
When Gus Van Sant cameos in the same scene Alfred Hitchcock did in the original, he's talking to a man in a cowboy hat. Apparently it's supposed to be Hitchcock scolding Van Sant.
Laura Linney was offered the role of Marion Crane, but turned it down in favor of The Truman Show (1998).
Scriptwriter Joseph Stefano believed that even though Anne Heche is parroting Janet Leigh's lines, she played Marion Crane completely differently.
In the original film, Marion Crane embezzled $40,000 from her employer. The remake has upgraded this to $400,000.
Tobey Maguire, Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard, Jeremy Davies, Henry Thomas and Joaquin Phoenix were considered for the role of Norman Bates.
In a grisly ironic twist in timing, the murderer of Janet Leigh's shower stand-in was finally discovered. Myra Jones appeared in some of Alfred Hitchcock's film, notably as a splayed hand, and was also the voice of Norman Bates' mother. She was raped and murdered in 1988 at the age of 71. Her killer was arrested and charged just days after the film's premiere.
Gus Van Sant doesn't consider this film a copy of 'Alfred Hitchcock''s original. He remarked "If I hold a camera, even if it's in the same place, it will magically take on the character. Our "Psycho" showed you can't really appropriate. Or you can, but it's not going to be the same thing."
The new house and motel sets were constructed directly in front of the original sets.
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The buttons on Marion's dress are the same pattern as on the shower curtain.
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In Mr. Lowery's office the following exchange is heard: CASSIDY (to Marion): You should take a vacation in Las Vegas, playground of the world! MARION: Thank you, but I think I'll spend this weekend in bed. CASSIDY: Only playground to beat Las Vegas. The last sentence was in the original script used by Alfred Hitchcock for Psycho (1960), but he had to cut it due to the censors. Gus Van Sant put it into Psycho (1998) as Hitchcock originally intended.
The second time Viggo Mortensen has been in a remake of a Hitchcock classic. The first was A Perfect Murder (1998), which remade Dial M for Murder (1954).
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Nicole Kidman was offered the role of Marion Crane but turned it down. Drew Barrymore was also considered for the same role.
A sign for the Bates Motel reads "Newly Renovated."
The opening shot zooms into the Westward Ho Hotel just north of downtown Phoenix. The corresponding shot in the original Psycho (1960) shows the Heard Building, which at that time had a radio broadcast antenna atop it; but by the time of the remake, the tower had been removed, so Gus Van Sant used the Westward Ho, which still has one.
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Like the Alfred Hitchcock 1960 original, this was also shot in just six weeks.
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Bernard Herrmann's score for Psycho (1960) was adapted by Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek for this remake. Elfman and Bartek used vintage microphones for the recording.
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Aside from a few modern additions (Lila's headphones), the remake follows the original's story and camera setups almost identically.
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William H. Macy felt that Arbogast's fall down the stairs before his death in Psycho (1960) looked unconvincing, and volunteered to throw himself down the stairs for real. However, Gus Van Sant was adamant that they recreate the original shot in exact detail, using the same type of rear-projection that Alfred Hitchcock did.
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When remaking Psycho (1960), Gus Van Sant wanted to flesh the supporting characters more, because one thing he didn't like about the original film was that Norman was the only fully developed character, while everyone else was portrayed to advance the plot. He relied on the actors to develop their motivations more fully. William H. Macy tried to play Arbogast as Martin Balsam did, but Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore tried to interpret their roles differently to the way Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles played them. For example, Moore made Lila more aggressive. Also, the psychiatrist's long-winded description of Norman's condition was shortened in Van Sant's version. These changes were added to make the film accessible to a modern audience.
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The remake was met with universal disapproval; director Alexander Payne couldn't imagine Psycho (1960) in color because it was far more chilling in black and white.
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The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Julianne Moore; and four Oscar nominees: William H. Macy, Robert Forster, Gus Van Sant and Viggo Mortensen.
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Sam Loomis is also the protagonist in "Halloween" which starred Jamie Lee Curtis, the real life daughter of the original Janet Leigh.
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The kitchen knife is credited as belonging to John Woo.
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Julianne Moore had been considered for the role of Marion Crane before being cast as Lila.
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The scene with Marion talking to the police officer on the highway was the first scene to be shot.
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Anne Heche had never seen the original Psycho (1960) before being cast as Marion Crane.
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Vince Vaughn lost 2 stone to play the part of Norman Bates.
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Early in the film, when Marion Crane (Anne Heche) drives through the main street of the town she has just entered, she passes a bus station that has a poster up for the 1998 romantic comedy "Six Days, Seven Nights". That film starred Harrison Ford and Anne Heche - who plays Crane.
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Robert Forster's character's name is Dr. Simon, named after the actor who originally played the role, Simon Oakland.
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This was not the first or last shot-for-shot-remake: For example Michael Haneke directed an almost identical version of his own Funny Games (1997) about a decade later: Funny Games (2007). And it wasn't the first or last time a pre-existing music score was re-used: For example Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) remake re-used the score by Bernard Herrmann from Cape Fear (1962).
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Director Cameo 

Gus Van Sant: talking to someone looking just like Alfred Hitchcock, in the beginning of the movie when Marion Crane enters the office after her lunch break. In the original version of Psycho (1960), Hitchcock had a cameo in the same scene.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Two split-second, unrelated scenes are inserted during the killing of Arbogast. Right after the first knife strike, a scene of a nude blonde woman in a black half-mask appears. She is lying, propped on her side, and turns her head to the camera. After the second knife strike, a calf is seen in the middle of a country road with fog in the distance.
In the famous shower scene where Anne Heche's character is stabbed to death, blood on the shower tiles, the knife, and Heche's wounds were all digitally added after filming to enhance the shock value.
The last frame in the film is a skull that is superimposed over Vince Vaughn's face. This is the same skull used in the last frame of Psycho (1960), superimposed over Anthony Perkins' face.
In the last scene of the film, "Mother"s monologue is a multi track of three voices: "Mother" from this version, a male voice (probably Norman), and "Mother" from Psycho (1960).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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