The first Hitchcock toilet?

Everyone knows that Psycho (1960) was one of the first — if not the first — Hollywood feature film to show a flushing toilet, but was it the first Hitchcock film to show a toilet?

The Lodger (1927) has a scene set in a bathroom, but no toilet is shown. Perhaps the Buntings only have an outside toilet?

Nor do we get to see Sir John Menier’s toilet in Murder! (1930) whilst he shaves in his bathroom:

When Bob Lawrence rushes into Louis Bernard’s hotel bathroom in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), we get to see the bath and a sink, but not a toilet in sight:

However, Hitchcock sets an early scene in Secret Agent (1936) in a hotel bathroom. As Richard Ashenden and Elsa Carrington attempt to decipher a message, we see a toilet roll hanging just inside the bathroom…


…Ashenden wanders into the bathroom and we get to see the toilet — with a gramophone sat on it! — and another toilet roll on top of the cistern…


…then The General (played by Peter Lorre) enters and we see the cistern again…


…The General get annoyed…


…and starts ripping the toilet roll apart…


Given the US Production Code Administration‘s (PCA) dislike of toilets — Hitchcock was apparently told he couldn’t show a toilet in Anna Paradine’s prison cell in The Paradine Case (1947) — I’m curious to know if this entire scene was originally cut from the US release of the film?

For the scene in Mr and Mrs Smith (1941) set in the office restroom, where Jeff Custer talks to his parents, Hitchcock had apparently wanted their conversation to be repeatedly interrupted by the sounds of toilets being flushed on the floor above them. Fearing the wrath of the censor, RKO overruled Hitch and instead we hear the sound of knocking pipes.

Finally, going back to Psycho, Leigh played a prank on Hitchcock:

I did present Hitch with a surprise of my own, however. Because of the toilet’s importance, I schemed with the prop man to put a regular potty in my dressing room, and then the still man took a picture of me sitting on the john reading the script. Hitch got a good chuckle from that.

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