A masterclass in suspense: Hitchcock’s Psycho turns 50 Alfred Hitchcock’s cult classic and suspense masterpiece Psycho is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the historic occasion the film has been digitally re-mastered and given a limited run in select cinemas from 2 April. Find out more about Psycho with our fascinating film facts. Phoenix real-estate secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) picks the wrong place to spend a night: The Bates Motel, run by a peculiar young man (Anthony Perkins) and his crotchety old ‘mother’. Based on Robert Bloch’s novel, the film’s numerous set pieces remain unsurpassed – the superbly edited shower sequence, storyboarded by Saul Bass is one of the most influential in film history – with the film having accrued the reputation as the master of all suspense movies. 2 April screenings of Psycho at NFT Southbank, Curzon Mayfair, Gate Notting Hill, Vue Westfield, Everyman Belsize Park, Vue Islington, HMV Curzon Wimbledon, Phoenix Finchley 9 April screenings of Psycho at Picturehouse Clapham, Picturehouse Greenwich, Rich Mix Bethnal Green For a look behind the scenes, and to get you into the mood for some suspense, here we have a list of fascinating facts about the movie: Chocolate syrup was used for the blood in the famous shower scene. The scene lasts for about 45 seconds in the movie, but took 7 days to film. Norman Bates was based on infamous serial killer Ed Gein who notoriously kept the limbs of his victims and creating masks from their skin – notice Bates’ creepy love of taxidermy. During the original theatrical release cinemas prevented any late -omers from entering the cinemas due to the early death of Janet Leigh’s character Marion. This caused quite some controversy at the time as it was the first film where the lead actress only survived the first third of the film. In the murder scene in the shower, we never see the knife actually touching the victim’s body. The sound that the knife makes penetrating the flesh is actually the sound of a knife stabbing a casaba melon.