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78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene

A serviceable (if blandly presented) documentary with about a zillion variously-credentialed talking heads discussing Psycho’s iconic shower scene. The scene’s cultural context and lasting influence are 101 stuff, but 78/52 is at its best when it digs into the minutiae of the storyboards, staging, cinematography, sound design—casaba!—editing, symbolism, etc. Even the most dedicated Hitchcock scholar will probably learn something new. The interviews’ steady fawning tone gets a bit grating (only one person acknowledges any flaws in the scene), but this doc is packed with more than enough fascinating factoids to recommend it.

The screening I attended was followed by a Q&A with Janet Leigh’s body double, Marli Renfro, now pushing 80 and thoroughly charming.