It’s no secret that Alfred Hitchcock is one of film’s leading directors, and his works are timeless classics. ‘The Father of Suspense,’ as he is known to many fans and horror enthusiasts, was a peculiar man who made even stranger films, and for that reason, there is nothing more old school than the locations of his infamous films.
He was born in Kent, England, and began his professional career in theatre before turning to the silver screen, where he became a household name and still is years after his death.
The World Through The Eyes of Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock inspired a generation of filmmakers and film lovers alike. Because of that, the locations of his film will be graced by movie buffs until the end of time.
Hitchcock saw the world through a tinted lens. More often than not, he was interested in the kind of thing most people would rather brush under the carpet. He was interested in why evil and sadism existed in the world, and for that, he created visceral films.
Psycho is the film that most people can recognize from the infamous shower scene, where Marion is murdered by a shadowy figure. Though visually dynamic, the film is set in many places throughout the United States, just as Marion travels with the money she has stolen to run away with her true love, Sam.
Let’s take a trip down the film-history lane and admire the cities and places that helped Psycho reach its level of infamy.
The View From The Sky
The opening scene to Psycho shows a bird’s eye view of the city. The camera glances at different windows, hoping to peer inside, like a voyeur, until it settles on Marion’s apartment, where the window is open, and the curtain is being blown by the wind.
The camera moves inside and reveals what Marion and Sam have been up to, and the suggestion is something of the seedy nature, or at least it was for that period in history.
This location is 101 S. Central Ave. Phoenix, Az. 85004.
As with most cities, the skyline will have grown since Hitchcock filmed there, but there are still some buildings on the avenue that can be recognized from the opening moments of Psycho.
“NO ONE REALLY RUNS AWAY FROM ANYTHING. IT’S LIKE A PRIVATE TRAP THAT HOLDS US IN LIKE A PRISON”
Another often visited location is when Marion Crane has decided to run away with the money, moments ago handed over to the bank she works in. Marion has come to terms that she must leave phoenix if she and Sam can ever be together.
The money troubles the couple experience lead Marion to commit theft, and then she leaves Phoenix in pursuit of a better life where Sam will eventually meet up with her. At least, that was the icy blonde’s theory before she meets her fatal end with Norman Bates.
The second filming location isn’t far from the first, which creates a sense of continuity within the film. This is when George, Marion’s employer, spots her at the traffic lights, where she is making her escape from Phoenix.
Little does George know, Marion is successful, at least, in the beginning.
You can find this street at N. Central Ave. and E. Adams St. Phoenix Az. 85004.
The Quick Change
After a brief encounter with a police officer, Marion realizes that her car’s plates give away where she has come from. In her panicked state, she is easily trackable when the bank learns the money has disappeared along with Marion.
The icy blonde makes her way to the car lot and asks to buy a car, cash in hand. She isn’t fussy or picky and selects the first one that she sees.
In true Hitchcock style, Marion carries the large sum of money in her handbag wrapped up in a newspaper, and she pays for the car with different plates and signs with a fake name.
This car park can be found at 4270 Lankershim Blvd. N. Hollywood, Ca. 91602.
Later spun off into a prequel series for Psycho, the infamous 12 cabin motel is the final stop along Marion’s route to freedom and your must-see old school film locations.
The cabins and the house that looms over the murder scene from the top of the hill is still and will remain, one of the key images in horror, suspense thrillers, along with a lot Hitchcock created while he was alive such as the Dolly Zoom.
The motel is where most, if not all, of the film’s infamy, comes from. Everything from the shower scene to the office scene where stuffed birds loom overhead and the final encounter with Norma Bates.
As a living relic to Hitchcock’s suspense-filled film, this can be found at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Not only this, but the Bates manor has made many different trips around the states, not the least of which was the MET in New York City.
The locations of Hitchcock’s Psycho have inspired countless films that came after it. Though most of the nods to his brilliance rest in the capable hands of horror directors and Neo-Noir enthusiasts, it is a testament to the power of location.
Although there is no doubt that Alfred Hitchcock could have made a film in one room with no cast, a simple bird would have sufficed, and maybe an excellent score and editing to match.