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Psycho (1998) Poster

(1998)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (4)
Scriptwriter Joseph Stefano felt that even though Anne Heche is saying the same lines that Janet Leigh said, she played Marion Crane completely differently.
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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.
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In Psycho (1960), Sir Alfred Hitchcock wanted his opening shot to be a long, complete pan and 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 remake does a complete travelling shot, as Hitchcock had intended.
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When asked why he did a shot-for-shot, full color remake of Psycho (1960), Gus Van Sant replied "So no one else would have to."
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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.
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In the original film, Marion Crane embezzled forty thousand dollars from her employer. The remake has upgraded this to four hundred thousand dollars.
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When Gus Van Sant cameos in the same scene Sir 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.
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Although this remake was critically panned, it did get a blessing from Sir Alfred Hitchcock's daughter, Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell. She even claimed that remaking a film shot-for-shot is something her father 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.
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The film was shot in six weeks, as was Psycho (1960).
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Gus Van Sant doesn't consider this film a copy of Sir 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."
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The buttons on Marion's dress are the same pattern as on the shower curtain.
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Aside from a few modern additions (Lila's headphones and some of the music on the soundtrack), the remake follows the original's story and camera set-ups almost identically.
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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. She was raped and murdered in 1988 at the age of seventy-one. Her killer was arrested and charged just days after the film's premiere.
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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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Tobey Maguire, Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard, Jeremy Davies, Henry Thomas, and Joaquin Phoenix were considered for the role of Norman Bates. Thomas had previously played Bates as a teenager in Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990).
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The new house and motel sets were constructed directly in front of the original sets.
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A sign for the Bates Motel reads "Newly Renovated".
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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 Sir 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.
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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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Although the original motel exterior from Psycho (1960) had long since been demolished, the exterior motel set seen in this remake was originally constructed for Psycho II (1983). 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.
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Laura Linney was offered the role of Marion Crane, but turned it down in favor of The Truman Show (1998).
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Anne Heche had never seen Psycho (1960) before being cast as Marion Crane.
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When remaking Psycho (1960), Gus Van Sant wanted to flesh out the supporting characters. He felt that, in the original film, Norman was the only fully developed character, while everyone else existed merely to advance the plot. He relied on the actors and actresses 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 from 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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Julianne Moore had been considered for the role of Marion Crane before being cast as Lila.
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DIRECTOR CAMEO (Gus Van Sant): Talking to someone looking just like Sir Alfred Hitchcock, in the beginning of the movie when Marion Crane enters the office after her lunch break. In Psycho (1960), Hitchcock had a cameo in the same scene.
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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.
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Sam Loomis is also the protagonist in Halloween (1978), which starred Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of the original Marion Crane, Janet Leigh.
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The second time in 1998 Viggo Mortensen appeared in a remake of a Sir Alfred Hitchcock classic. The first was A Perfect Murder (1998), a remake of Dial M for Murder (1954).
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The opening shot zooms into the Westward Ho Hotel just north of downtown Phoenix. The corresponding shot in 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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Reunited cast members Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn who had previously starred together in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). In addition to this, William H. Macy starred in Jurassic Park III (2001).
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The kitchen knife is credited as belonging to John Woo.
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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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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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Early in the film, when Marion Crane (Anne Heche) drives through the main street of the town which she has just entered, she passes a bus station that has a poster up for the romantic comedy Six Days Seven Nights (1998), which also starred Heche.
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Director Ti West has been one of the few defenders of this movie. He argues that Van Sant as a director - by remaking Psycho (1960) completely shot-for-shot - was experimenting and creating a commentary on the quality of a film. By taking a beloved classic that has been worshipped and acclaimed since its release by critics and film scholars, the fact that the shot-for-shot remake was so derived upon release is (to West) a fascinating result of this particular experiment, since Van Sant took a great film and copied it completely.
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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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Just before Anne Heche as the character of Marion Crane arrives at the used car lot to switch cars a poster of "Six Days And Seven Nights" can be seen at a bus stop on the right of the screen. Anne Heche also starred in that film.
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When Robert Forster received the script, he believed the producers had accidentally sent him a copy of the script for Psycho (1960), and had his agent contact the producers to request a copy of the "new" script. Director Gus Van Sant then personally contacted Forster to confirm that they were in fact using the exact same script from the original movie.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

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).
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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.
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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 re-create the original shot in exact detail, using the same type of rear-projection that Sir Alfred Hitchcock did.
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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.
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