This year is the 50th Anniversary of the movie ‘Psycho’.
We’re all familiar with the famous ‘shower scene’. But did you know that Hitchcock’s 1960 chiller is the first American movie to show a flushing toilet on-screen?
Marion Crane – played by Janet Leigh – has arrived at the Bates Motel after embezzling cash from her employer and fleeing. Marion is seen counting the remaining cash she has, calculating how much she needs to repay her employer on a note, then flushing it down the toilet before getting into the shower. We all know what happens next.
The flushing toilet with its contents visible on-screen was cause for concern for the censors. Reputedly, Hitchcock didn’t want the toilet to be seen, just the sound of flushing off-screen, but screen writer Joseph Stefano was able to script the film to show Marion throwing the note paper into the toilet, making it integral to the plot, so impossible to remove from the film.
Following best advice from Drain Doctor, Marion wouldn’t have thrown the paper in the toilet because it could have caused a blockage in the drains.
- Psycho: The mother of all horror movies (theglobeandmail.com)
- Psycho: the No 1 horror film (guardian.co.uk)