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Psycho (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
50th Anniversary Edition
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One of the most shocking films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is now available on Blu-ray featuring perfect picture, a newly created 5.1 audio track and bonus features that take you beyond the movie! Join the Master of Suspense on a chilling journey as an unsuspecting victim (Janet Leigh) visits the Bates Motel and falls prey to one of cinema’s most notorious psychopaths - Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Named #1 on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills list, this notorious film has become a cultural phenomenon. Featuring one of the most iconic scenes in film history - the famous “shower scene”, Psycho is “still terrifying after all these years” (Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide).
Consumers who purchased the 1998 Collectors' Edition DVD of Psycho will already be familiar with most of the extra content on this Blu-ray, but the sheer quality of the material makes the repeat purchase entirely tolerable. Nearly every aspect of Psycho's production is covered in the supplemental features; the "Making of Psycho" provides an excellent overview through interviews with most of the surviving participants (as of 1998), including Janet Leigh, screenwriter Joseph Stefano (The Outer Limits), editor Paul Hirsch, and Hitchcock's daughter, Patricia, who also appears briefly in the film. Stefano in particular provides exceptional insight into working with Hitchcock and translating Robert Bloch's dark source material into film. Other previously released features include the scholarly commentary track by Hitchcock authority Stephen Rebello; Hitchcock's radio interview with François Truffaut; newsreel footage of the film's release in 1960, with the director's famous admonition that no one be admitted late to a showing; and Saul Bass's storyboards for the shower scene, which is also covered in a three-minute bit that shows the strength of Bernard Herrmann's score in the set piece. The new material is comprised of "In the Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy," in which a wealth of directors, from Martin Scorsese and William Friedkin to Guillermo del Toro and Eli Roth, discuss the impact of Hitchcock's work on their respective careers. There's also a brief look at how the film's sound was remastered for Dolby 5.1, as well as galleries of poster art and several rerelease trailers and TV spots. --Paul Gaita
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PHOTO 2 = version B: Front Cover (November 4, 2014)
PHOTO 3 = version C: Front Cover (July 12, 2016)
PHOTO 4 = version A: Back Cover
PHOTO 5 = version B: Back Cover
PHOTO 6 = version C: Back Cover
Universal has issued "Psycho" on blu-ray three times, each time with a different cover (it's also in the 15 disc "Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection").
Two obvious questions:
1) Did Universal add any deleted scenes or bonus features that were missing from the first blu-ray?
2) Is the 2016 edition (version C) a new digital transfer?
Unfortunately, the answers are No and No.
This is pure cynicism on the part of Universal.
All three blu-rays are identical.
Only the covers are different.
Version B is the "Steelbook" edition.
Version C is part of Universal's "COLLECTIBLE POP ART SERIES"
-- The "steelbook edition" (version B) simply means that the blu-ray comes packed in a steel case instead of a plastic case.
Marketed as the "Deluxe Limited Edition".
It will survive a nuclear holocaust, but if you drop it, it will get dented and look crappy.
-- Unless you are an aging hipster, the "Collectible Pop Art Series" (version C) is beneath contempt.
-- One difference that no longer matters:
The back cover of Version C reveals that the "Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy" included with versions A & B is no longer included.
BUT the offer expired on May 2, 2016 anyway.
Version A: Psycho (1960) [Blu-ray]
Version B: Psycho (1960) - Limited Edition Steelbook (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
Version C: Psycho (1960) [Blu-ray]
Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection:
available in two versions:
-- 15 film box: Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]
-- 14 film box: Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection [Blu Ray]
The fourteen disc box is a British import.
The British box does not include "North by Northwest", but it costs a lot less.
The individual British and American Blu-Rays are identical.
Unlike most British Blu-Rays, these are region-free and should play on any US player.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK FILMOGRAPHY:
So this review won't be a total waste of time, I am including a Blu-Ray Filmography of Hitchcock.
Alfred Hitchcock directed 56 feature films (one is lost) over a 51 year period.
To date, 32 Hitchcock films have been released on Blu-Ray.
PART ONE: BRITISH PERIOD
Alfred Hitchcock directed 26 feature-length films for British studios between 1925 and 1939.
The first ten were silent.
'The Mountain Eagle" (1927) is a lost film.
"Blackmail" (1929) is counted twice - it was Hitchcock's final silent film, and simultaneously filmed as his first talkie.
To date, the Criterion Collection has released five of the British films on Blu-Ray.
I hope more will follow, but have no inside information.
All but two of the remaining films are on DVD. The exceptions:
-- "Blackmail", the silent version (1929)
-- "Mary" (1931), the German language version of "Murder!"
These obscure titles seem to cry out for the deluxe treatment in a double bill with the readily available version of the same film, but so far no company has risen to the bait (Criterion? Kino? anybody?)
1925 The Pleasure Garden - silent film
1927 The Mountain Eagle - silent film [lost film]
1927 The Lodger - silent film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] [coupled with "Downhill"]
1927 The Ring - silent film
1927 Downhill - silent film BLU-RAY [Criterion Collection, coupled with "The Lodger"]
1928 Easy Virtue - silent film
1928 The Farmer's Wife - silent film
1928 Champagne - silent film
1929 The Manxman - silent film
1929 Blackmail - silent version
1929 Blackmail - sound version
1930 Elstree Calling [musical comedy revue with four directors]
1930 Juno and the Paycock
1931 Mary [German language version of "Murder!" with a separate cast]
1931 The Skin Game
1931 Rich and Strange
1932 Number Seventeen
1934 Waltzes from Vienna
1934 The Man Who Knew Too Much [first version] The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1935 The 39 Steps The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1936 Secret Agent
1937 Young and Innocent
1938 The Lady Vanishes The Lady Vanishes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1939 Jamaica Inn
PART TWO: HOLLYWOOD PERIOD
30 feature films were directed by Hitchcock after he was lured to Hollywood (some of them were filmed in the UK, but for American studios)
ALL BUT THREE HAVE BEEN RELEASED ON BLU-RAY
1940 Rebecca = Criterion (recommended) or MGM blu-rays
1940 Foreign Correspondent
1941 Mr. & Mrs. Smith = DVD ONLY
1943 Shadow of a Doubt
1947 The Paradine Case
1949 Under Capricorn = DVD ONLY
1950 Stage Fright = DVD ONLY
1951 Strangers on a Train
1953 I Confess
1954 Dial M for Murder [2-D and 3-D versions]
1954 Rear Window
1955 To Catch a Thief
1955 The Trouble with Harry
1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much [second version]
1956 The Wrong Man
1959 North by Northwest
1963 The Birds
1966 Torn Curtain
1976 Family Plot
Amazon only allows ten links per review.
For Amazon links to to Hitchcock's American films on blu-ray, see Comment One (dated July 1, 2017). Click on "Oldest first"
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of course, it's lack of suspense can be easily explained away as Big Mouth...Read more