Edgar Allan Poe Related Organizations, Links, Information: Edgar Allan Poe
The shower scene has long been studied in film classes as a preeminent example of masterful editing. The scene is highly unique, as the camera becomes the knife. It has been claimed that the knife never actually pierces the skin, but this is technically untrue. In three frames, the knife penetrates the skin just below the navel about ¼ of an inch. Regardless, the decision to shoot the scene in close-up from the point of view of the knife itself both limited the gore and made the scene much more personal to the audience than most on-screen attacks.Filming the shower scene took seven days and more than 70 separate camera angles. Interestingly, it is often claimed that while Anthony Perkins (Norman) was present for the filming of the shower scene, Janet Leigh (Marion) was replaced by a body double. The truth is actually the opposite. According to interviews with both actors, Janet Leigh actually played the role of Marion for the duration of the shower scene, although a stand-in was used for the next sequence, when Norman wraps Marion’s body in the shower curtain for disposal. However, Anthony Perkins did not perform that scene. He was in New York rehearsing for a play, and a body double was used for Mother. That is the reason that Mother’s face is darkened in the scene.