For cinephiles, it goes without saying that good ole Hitch had a wicked sense of humor -- just look at his body of work, and the number of thrillers he directed that were laden with twisted humor. Hitchcock always referred to his masterpiece Psycho as a comedy, though for audiences,
seeing Janet Leigh sliced to bits doesn’t exactly play like a punchline.
On set, Hitchcock had a reputation as a dry wit and cruel prankster. Janet Leigh recalled walking in her dressing room one day and finding a prop corpse waiting for her. She screamed in hysterics, only to find Hitchcock laughing like a madman nearby. Hollywood lore holds that on the set of The Birds, he presented a young Melanie Griffith with a doll made up to look like her mother, actress Tipi Hedren, the star of the movie…in a tiny coffin. Hitchcock also forced Hedren to perform with birds tied to her costume during filming, making her performance something beyond simple acting. Hitch also boasted that actors should be treated like cattle, which isn't the highest regard.