Art History in “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello

In this audiobook edition, author Stephen Rebello entertains with numerous stories of behind-the-scenes intrigues between Hitchcock, movie studios, and censors.  Other stories include Hitchcock’s inability to come to terms with losing Grace Kelly, the technical advancements made for Psycho, and the world after the film’s premiere.  I recommend this book.

Rebello also took into account the art history references that emerged during the filmmaker’s creation of Norman Bates’ house and Bates himself.  One is an already discussed similarity between the Bates House and the dwelling found in the Edward Hopper painting, House by the Railroad.  Rebello also included Hitchcock’s dislike of the Bates Houses’ architectural style.  Finally, the author records another art history reference that was found in pre production stages but did not make it into the film (I think).  What was the painting?

James Abbott McNeill Whistler [Public domain]


After learning this revelation, I think you can still find a subtle, yet twisted connection between the film and Whistler’s Mother.

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