Sundance Review: 78/52 Breaks Down Hitchcock's Infamous PSYCHO Shower Scene
If you're a lover of film then there's no doubt that you're a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. The guy was a genius who made some incredible films in his career. I love everything that he's done, but my favorite would have to be Psycho. I don't need to sit here and tell you how amazing that film is because you already know.
What you may not know, though, is that one of the main reasons behind why Hitchcock wanted to make Psycho was because of that shower scene in which Janet Leigh's Marion Crane is murdered. He was so obsessed with it that he spent seven days shooting it, and it was only three minutes long. That three minutes of had to be perfect, though. It had to be exactly what he wanted it to be, and it had to get his message across loud and clear. This one scene isn't just the most important scene in the film but it was one of the most important scenes in the history of filmmaking.
78/52 is a fantastic and fascinating documentary that breaks down and analyzes every little detail of that legendary shower scene, what it all means, and why Hitchcock did what he did when he was shooting it. It's wonderfully insightful and gives the audience plenty of food for thought. Movie fans will definitely love discussing it.
The doc is filled with interviews with various actors, directors, and other film experts that share their thoughts on the scene, how it affected audiences, and how it completely changed film forever. It paved the way for what was to come in modern-day horror and films in general. These people share their theories and discuss the symbolic hidden layers that are all over the place in the infamous scene.
Some of the people interviewed for the doc include Marli Renfro, who was Liegh's body double in the film, director Guillermo del Toro, editor Walter Murch, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Hitchcock's granddaughter Tere Carrubba, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, and Elijah Wood. There are also old interviews with Hitchcock himself talking about the scene and what he wanted to accomplish.
Hitchcock did things that no one had ever done before with this scene! Hell, he brutally killed off the star of the film only 40 minutes in, he made audiences see things that weren't even there, he ripped the feeling of comfort from people's homes, and he did it all to the sweet sounds of Bernard Herman's incredible musical score that served as Marion's heart beat speeding up with fear then slowly dying. Hitchcock originally wanted that scene to have no music, thankfully Herman changed his mind.
One thing's for sure, after watching this doc, I'll never watch Psycho the same way again. There's so much information packed into this doc and a ton of it was stuff that I'd never realized before.
Oh! And in case you're wondering, The title of the film 78/52 refers to the number of set-ups and cuts used by Hitchcock to create the three-minute sequence that utterly shocked audiences in the 1960s.
This is a must watch doc for any true film fan.