Psycho: The Christian Hipster’s Summer Guide to Hitchcock

It well may be the greatest horror film ever made. And even though it’s a little bit mainstream, hipsters love it so much they already know the trivia. Or do they? This week’s post starts out with a psychoquiz:



Psycho. (1960) With Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Trivia Hipsters Will Use to Weed Out Real Hitchcock Fans From the People Who Only Know the Universal Amusement Ride (answers at the bottom of the post):

  1. What is the date and time when Marion and Sam meet?
  2. Where is Hitch’s cameo?
  3. How much money does she steal?
  4. Bates Motel is in what state?
  5. What name does Marion sign in under?
  6. What cabin does she stay in?
  7. How many minutes into the film does Marion die?
  8. How many times do Marion and her reflection in a mirror appear in the shame shot?
  9. Where does she hide the cash in the hotel room?
  10. What kind of bird is right behind Norman as he talks with Marion over dinner?
  11. How many times does mother stab Marion?
  12. What is the license plate number of the car Marion drives to the motel?
  13. Who plays Mr. Arbogast, the PI trying figure out where Marion is?
  14. How many films had Anthony Perkins been in previous to this?
  15. How many characters appear reflected in mirrors? All the principles.

EXTRA CREDIT: In the end, who got the money?

Favorite Shots and Sequences as Hipsters Would Post Them on Instagram:

I think she didn't go to the bank, we just zoomed in on the money and her packed suitcase... #blackbrameansyourebad #theplotsinthecamerawork

I think she didn’t go to the bank, we just zoomed in on the money and her packed suitcase… #blackbrameansyourebad #theplotsinthecamerawork

I can't see a thing through this rain! #herrmannsscore #iloveblackandwhite

I can’t see a thing through this rain! #herrmannsscore #iloveblackandwhite

Norm has a weird hobby. And that's not the half of it. #theominousstuffedowl #creepy #lighting #symbolism  #batesmotel

Norm has a weird hobby. And that’s not the half of it. #theominousstuffedowl #creepy #lighting #symbolism  #batesmotel

"A boy's best friend is his mother" #eyelashes #greyscale #batesmotel #youreapsycho

“A boy’s best friend is his mother” #eyelashes #greyscale #batesmotel #youreapsycho

 Close of Norman's eye as he peeps at Miriam. #eyelashes #greyscale #batesmotel #cinematographytodiefor #mother #youreacreeper #youreapsycho

Close of Norman’s eye as he peeps at Miriam. #eyelashes #greyscale #batesmotel
#cinematographytodiefor #mother #youreacreeper #youreapsycho

I told you not to shower!  #slowzoom #eyelashes #editingtextbook #shedidntevenblink #hitchcockviolenceagainstwomen #theshowersstillrunning #mostfamousmusicalfilmcueinhistory  #mother #hermannscore #iloveblackandwhite #cinematographytodiefor

I told you not to shower!  #editingtextbook #hitchcockviolenceagainstwomen #mostfamousmusicalfilmcueinhistory  #mother #hermannscore #iloveblackandwhite #cinematographytodiefor

#slowzoom #eyelashes #shedidntevenblink #theshowerisstillrunning

#slowzoom #eyelashes #shedidntevenblink #theshowerisstillrunning

Way to get rid of the evidence, Norman. #creepy #greyscale #youreapyshco #howmanycarsdoyouthinkareinthere 

Way to get rid of the evidence, Norman. #creepy #greyscale #youreapyshco #howmanycarsdoyouthinkareinthere

Don't go up the stairs Mr. arbogast! #batesmotel #staircaseofdeath #mother #editing #cinematographytodiefor #trackingshot

Don’t go up the stairs Mr. Arbogast! #batesmotel #staircaseofdeath #mother #editing #cinematographytodiefor #trackingshot

Who is Norman talking to? #cinematographytodiefor #youreapsycho #mother #creepy #whoisthatwomanburiedingreenlawncemetery 

Who is Norman talking to? #cinematographytodiefor #youreapsycho #mother #creepy #whoisthatwomanburiedingreenlawncemetery

Lila be careful in the basement! #costumes #cameramovement #slowzoom #batesmotel #artdirection #greyscale #creepy #mother #hermannscore #editing

Lila be careful in the basement! #costumes #cameramovement #slowzoom #batesmotel #artdirection #greyscale #creepy #mother #hermannscore #editing

Aaaaaaahhhh! #mother #swinginglightbulb #creepy #thatbadbusinessouttherethathappenedtenyearsago #eyesockets

Aaaaaaahhhh! #mother #swinginglightbulb #creepy #thatbadbusinessouttherethathappenedtenyearsago #eyesockets

Normal Bates no longer exists. #slowzoom #creepy #youreapsycho #cinematographytodiefor #themotherhalf #motherkilledthegirl #iloveblackandwhite #notexactlyatransvestite #whyshewouldntevenhurtafly

Norman Bates no longer exists. #slowzoom #creepy #youreapsycho #cinematographytodiefor #themotherhalf #motherkilledthegirl #iloveblackandwhite #notexactlyatransvestite #whyshewouldntevenhurtafly


Life Lessons Hipsters Learn From Watching This Movie:

  • Never have an affair with a married man. In real life, it has awful moral consequences. In the movies, it means you die.
  • Never steal from the boss. In real life, it has awful moral consequences. In the movies, you never get to enjoy the money anyway. Plus, in the car you’ll start imagining all kinds of scenarios, and when you decide to give it back it’s really too late because the motel where you’re staying is run by a schizophrenic psychopathic killer.
  • Never ask the police officer if he thinks you’re acting suspicious.
  • Never buy a used car without taking a day to consider it.
  • Never use the Bates Motel stationary to, “make your friends at home feel envious.” (But feel free to work that quote into everyday conversation.)
  • Never stay at a motel where no one stays unless they make a wrong turn, or at a motel where a boy is having a fight with “mother” who “isn’t quite herself today” or where men bring sandwiches and milk to a motel parlor full of stuffed birds.


  • Don’t spend time with men who stuff birds for a hobby because birds seem more passive than other animals then talk about their strange “relationship” with their “mother” at length.  And we all thought it would be a robbery/suspense picture.  Oh Hitch, you slay me! Or actually, you slay (Janet) Leigh!
  • Do be careless when you flush the note with your figures down the toilet. It’s the only way your sister will know for sure you were there.
  • Do turn your life around and go back to Phoenix–but don’t shower first.



Quiz Answers:

  1. Friday December 11th, 2:43 P.M. Mark your calendars and make it Psycho day!
  2. Outside the real estate agency as Marion enters after her “lunch break” with Sam. He’s wearing a Stetson. Reportedly, Hitch wanted his cameo to be early since he knew audiences would be looking for it and he didn’t want to distract from the plot.
  3. $40,000. Ironically, the same amount of money Perkins was paid to do the film.
  4. California. According to IMDB trivia, “On the Interstate 99 that eventually turns into Pacific Ave. near the Fife/Tacoma boarder in Washington State, there are several older hotels up along the strip. One of the former owners of one of the hotels is a horror movie buff and puts on costume parties in his retirement. Being a fan of the horror movies, he renamed the motel, Bates Motel. In April of 2012, the hotel was torn down, but the hotel sign is still intact.”
  5. Marie Samuels. Make it your internet password or the name you give guys when they hit on you…or try to show you their stuffed owl collection.
  6. Number 1. There are a total of 12 rooms, and 12 vacancies both times Norman check people in.
  7. 48 minutes, not quite halfway. (the film totals 108 minutes). Advertisements in theater lobbies instructed management not to let anyone into the film late (common practice at the time was to drop into a show at any time) because the star of the picture was gone before the film was half done. The shower scene has been subject to much scrutiny and debate, and that’s because it’s one of the most famous–and chilling–scenes ever shot. It was shot over 7 days, contains over 70 camera angles, lasts around 3 minutes, and has over 50 cuts. Lots of cutting. Lots… It also contains the most famous musical cue in history. Bernard Herrmann’s score is performed by only string instruments, and Hitch said that 33% of Psycho‘s power was Herrmann’s score.
  8. 2, After stealing the money, after Norman invites her to dinner and she hides the money. These are the two times she is “self reflecting.”
  9. Rolled up in copy of the LA times, on the nightstand. Note to self: when carrying a large sum of cash, do not put it in something disposable. Not that it mattered in this film anyway since, you guessed it, the money is a MacGuffin.
  10. A pheasant. It has noted that Marion’s last name, Crane, is also a “bird” indicator and potential symbol.  Hitch’s next film would be 1963’s The Birds.
  11. 8. The stabbing sound effect was made using a casaba melon. Apparently several different fruits and vegetables were tried until Hitch found the sound that worked best.
  12. NFB 418. It’s a California plate. Serious Hitchcock hipsters should consider getting a custom plate for their vehicles. But perhaps should avoid driving in rural California…
  13. Martin Balsam, who hipsters might know from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (as O.J. Berman, you know, the guy who says, “Ah you got yourself stuffed, eh Polly baby? Serves you right, big mouth,” to Holly’s stuffed bird.) 12 Angry Men, or Tora! Tora! Tora!
  14. 11. Including Friendly Persuasion (1956) and Desire Under the Elms (1958).
  15. Marion, Norman, Sam and Lila. All of which indicate either self-reflection, “two-faced-ness” or split personality, except perhaps Lila, who looks a lot like Marion and becomes yet another disposable Hitchcock blonde.

Extra credit: The swamp. #howmanycarsdoyouthinkareinthere



About jenletherer

BA, Theater and Speech Communication; English:Creative Writing. Siena Heights University, 2002. MFA, Film Production. Boston University, 2005
This entry was posted in Hipster's Guide and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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