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One of the most shocking films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed the thriller genre forever. 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).
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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"
Bernard Herrmann's iconic score sets the tone for each scene with its loud stabs and haunting crescendos. Herrmann's music builds the atmosphere all its own and elevates already incredible filmmaking. It is no wonder every horror movie after Psycho tries to emulate its score. You will never forget these notes.
Anthony Perkins is the lead actor in Psycho. He truly gives the performance of his career. Perkins plays the Bates Motel owner Norman Bates with a quiet charm and sweet innocence, so that you, like the characters, would never suspect a thing. His dialogue is clever, but his delivery is even better spoken with Perkins' natural manner and inventive speech quirks. He makes interesting choices with his tender voice, vocal trembles, nervous hand motions, awkward stance, walking gait, and dark eye glares that all culminate in a legendary performance. This is peak acting from Perkins in a very respectable role. I wish he had been given more roles after Psycho, but unfortunately, audiences could not shake the image of him as Norman Bates out of their heads. I can see why. Anthony Perkins is inspired in Psycho. He gave us everything in this one role.
Janet Leigh is really engaging as the main actress as well as Vera Miles as her sister. They are both lovely and play scared with believable shrieks and uneasy glances. I think they both gave it all whenever they are on screen.
Overall, the short length, quick pace, eerie setting, top tier acting, lovely cinematography, and fearsome innovation all work together to ensure that Psycho remains an all time classic horror film. There is no other film quite like Psycho. Everyone tries in vain to replicate its genius.
Do yourself a favor and watch it . . . if you dare!
Acting was good, enjoyed the work all around. Anthony Perkins nails the charm, and crazy.
I watched this for the first time in 2017 so while I kinda knew the ending due to famous pop culture references (Mrs. Doubtfire, Simpsons, many others) I still enjoyed the film thoroughly. The iconic scenes parodied in other forms of entertainment were still appreciated having seen those first. I think the film still works in terms of the emotional ploys used toward the audience. It is easy to feel the fear and paranoia felt by the woman fleeing with stolen money. I wouldn't say this movie is scary but still has suspense. Anthony Perkins, who plays Norman Bates did a great job of pulling off a man with a veneer of charm that once the layers are stripped the insanity is laid bare. I loved the movie so much, I thought it was worth buying the DVD.
Top international reviews
'Psycho' is a stunning thriller and one of the early 'serial-killer' films in all but name, long before the genre became overused and over hyped ---- it is based on the real serial killer Ed Gein, an unassuming gentle loner who was abused and manipulated by his mother until the opportunity arose to freak out. There is no background story of Norman Bates, our antagonist, in the film but clearly director Alfred Hitchcock knew his facts about that killer and in Anthony Perkins he found the perfect, quirky actor who could convey to the audience the 'ordinariness' of Bates' character, creepy but pleasant.
It's the shower scene that lifted the film into the 'horror' category but for me the film is more of a detective thriller full of intrigue and tension expertly handled by Hitchcock which never disappoints on repeated viewings over the years. The Special 2 disc version tells us that the shower scene took 70 camera setups over 7 days to film that 45 second scene.
I'm quite rightly reminded by Micheal Elkington, a reviewer with so much oversight on his compositions, that this 2 disc dvd set is the perfect aperitif for anyone interested in the excellent tv series 'Bates Motel' ---- Hitchcock himself, no stranger to tv series, would have been intrigued and delighted with the captivating performance of British actor Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates who appears as ambiguous as Perkins in the opening season, a fledgling awaiting his first flight. Indeed 'Psycho' has spawned many projects about serial killers and can be favourably compared to the later equivalents, the films Michael Mann's 'Manhunter' (1986) and Jonathan Demme's 'Silence Of The Lambs' (1991) which gave us Hannibal Lecter.
Several languages including English and English subtitles for the hearing impaired on this version, 149 minutes long, black & white 1:85:1 picture on the film. Disc 2 has the special features, partly in colour.
Superb film, well worth a buy from Amazon.
Starting with the well designed sleeve image this disc really delivers...The image in 1:85-1 ratio(1080p hi-def) has been cleaned up & there is now a clarity ,depth & life to the film I've never seen before.
The audio :DTS-HD 5.1& DTS 2.0 mono in English & 2.0 mono in 6other languages is a vast improvement & there's clear subtitles in English & 15 other languages. The extras are also subtitled..
There's thorough 134min & 26min 'Making Of' & 'In the Masters Shadow' docs',(2008)with the writer & various tech crew from the film+ input from Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del toro,William Friedkin & Eli Roth + the director of 'basic instinct part 2'(?!) & others...
An excellent commentary from author Stephen Rebello ,who as a cinema viewer of Psycho when it was released gives some great 'eye witness' stories & clearly knows about the film ,giving many worthwhile details & is entertaining throughout.
There is also much vintage material ,inc' a (3min)poster & Ads section, (8mins) of Publicity shots, 'Vintage press footage'(7mins), the original & re-release trailers, Archive production & behind-the-scenes photos, A (15min) Truffaut-Hitchcock audio section , and a very entertaining (26min) edition of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents..' -'Lamb to the Slaughter' starring Barbara Bel Geddes
There's a feature allowing you to view the shower scene without music & also the Saul Bass story boards to this scene(4mins)
The (10min) section showing the complicated,time consuming but worthwhile effort that went into 'upgrading' a mono soundtrack for modern set ups without additions & while 'remaining true' to Bernard Herrmanns score & the original film is also very good.
And there's a couple of other extra features that if you don't know about must mean you don't own this disc.....Which can be fixed easily enough..
Diese Szene dauert im Film nur knappe 2 Minuten, der eigentliche Mord gar nur 45 Sekunden, trotzdem dauerte es eine ganze Woche bis diese Szene endlich im Kasten war.
Der Film basiert auf dem gleichnamigen Roman von ROBERT BLOCH, der von JOSEPH STEFANO fürs Kino aufbereitet wurde. Der Film weicht an einigen Stellen vom Roman ab, am gravierendsten in der Charakterisierung von „Norman Bates“, der im Buch als kleiner dicker Säufer beschrieben wird. Im Buch nimmt die berühmte Duschszene auch nur einen ganz kleinen, eher unwichtigen Teil ein, und endet mit der Enthauptung von „Marion Crane“.
Die Musik komponierte BERNARD HERRMAN, der sich bei der berühmten Duschszene gegen HITCHCOCK durchsetzte, der ursprünglich nur eine musikalische Untermalung wollte, HERRMAN aber das extra komponierte Streicherstück „The Murder“ favorisierte. Auf HERRMAN zu hören war eine der besten Ideen von HITCHCOCK, „The Murder“ gehört heute zu den meist zitierten Musikstücken der Filmgeschichte.
Für den weltberühmten Schnitt war George TOMASINO verantwortlich, die grandiose Kameraführung ging auf die Kappe von JOHN L. RUSSEL.
„Psycho“ gehörte 1960 zu den gewagtesten Filmen, schon gleich zu Beginn gibt es eine leicht bekleidete MARION CRANE im Hotelbett zu sehen, heute nichts worüber man auch nur einen Gedanken verschwenden würde, damals sehr gewagt. Ein Dialog zwischen MARION CRANE und SAM LOOMIS lautete: „Ich werde das Wochenende im Bett verbringen.“ – „Im Bett? Das ist der einzige Spielplatz, der besser ist als Las Vegas.“
Der war damals so anstößig, dass er aus der Endfassung des Films wieder herausgeschnitten wurde – das waren die 60er! ;-)
Auch die berühmte Duschszene wurde von den Zensurbehörden ein paar Mal abgelehnt, bis sie dann endlich angenommen wurde. Angeblich lehnte die Behörde die Szene einmal ab, weil man eine Brustwarze sehen würde, HITCHCOCK schickte sie dann ungeschnitten ein weiteres Mal ein, worauf sie dann ohne Beanstandung angenommen wurde. Nicht auszudenken, wenn diese berühmte Szene der Zensur zum Opfer gefallen wäre!!!
Auch die Szene, in der man eine Toilettenspülung sehen und hören konnte, wurde von den Zensoren beanstandet, das Wort „Transvestit“ wurde erst gestattet, nachdem Drehbuchautor STEFANO nachgewiesen hatte, dass es sich um einen medizinischen Fachbegriff handelte.
Eine weitere Szene, die ursprünglich herausgeschnitten wurde, war zum Beispiel die in der „Marion“ ihren BH auszieht und dabei von „Norman“ beobachtet wird.
Wie immer kamen natürlich auch wieder die Kritiker um die Ecke, die an diesem Film was auszusetzen hatten. Psychiater warnten vor einem Kinobesuch, die katholische Kirche forderte gar ein Verbot des Films. Einige fanden den Film schlicht zu brutal und stellten gar HITCHCOCK als Regisseur infrage.
Dem Publikum war es egal, sie strömten in Massen die Kinosäle, worauf einige „Kritiker“ ihre Meinung änderten und den Film neu bewerteten! Ich sag's ja …. Kritiker …. Keine Ahnung! ;-)
Für ALFRED HITCHCOCK war „Psycho“ auch finanziell ein Erfolg, er hatte zugunsten einer 60%-igen Gewinnbeteiligung auf eine feste Gage verzichtet – clever!
Für JANET LEIGH (Marion Crane) und ANTHONY PERKINS (Norman Bates) war der Film ein Karriereschub, der Nachteil war, das sie zukünftig auf ähnliche Rollen festgelegt wurden. Vor allem ANTHONY PERKINS hat sehr oft ähnliche Charaktere gespielt, nicht nur in den drei Fortsetzungen von „Psycho“.
Ich denke nicht, dass ich an dieser Stelle auf den Inhalt eingehen muss, der dürfte nun wirklich jedem bekannt sein. Wer den Film tatsächlich noch nicht kennt, dem möchte ich dann auch nicht allzu viel verraten, in jedem Fall sollte man ihn aber einmal im Leben gesehen haben, das gehört zur Allgemeinbildung – finde ich!
Mein Fazit: „Psycho“ gehört zu den absoluten Filmklassikern, es ist ein Film der nicht nur ein ganzes Genre beeinflusst hat, sondern auch ein Film der in Sachen Schnitt, Filmmusik und Kameraführung wegweisend war.
HITCHCOCK ist hier ein Meisterwerk gelungen, er hat mit ganz wenig Aufwand einen spannenden Film hingezaubert, selten war die „Macht der Bilder“ so augenscheinlich und beeindruckend wie hier.
Für mich ein Klassiker den man gesehen haben sollte, ich kann ihn nur empfehlen!
It has to be one of the most influential films ever made: for example, William Friedkin describes, on the accompanying extra documentary short, `In the Master's Shadow' how he found out how Hitchcock filmed the scene in which Martin Balsam, playing the P.I. Arbogast, falls backwards down the stairs in the Bates' house while trying to maintain his balance, and then used it in a similar scene in the Exorcist. Various other luminaries add their own anecdotes revealing the master's influence on their own and other's films and the massive debt the art of movie making owes him.
Along with this there is a feast of other extras: for the price, this is ludicrously inexpensive and should be on the shelf of any serious film fan.
And yet the first half of the film only hint at something like a noir thriller. Performances are all exceptional, though added praise must go to Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates.
A wonderful movie from start to finish. The only problem I have with Psyhco's releases are the extras. Depending which copy you pick up you may end up with the invalueable AFI tribute to Hitchcock. But why is it that I can view the unedited version for free on you tube and not have the extended version here? Also foreign markets seem to get added extras, why is this? One day perhaps Psycho will be treated with the respect that it deserves- something like a 5 disc edition wouldn't go amiss.
Moreover, the superb music score by Bernard Hermann has also made the film what it is today, a masterpiece in film making which has never really been surpassed.
The blu-ray edition is superb showing great detail in the darker scenes and there are many. Moreover, the soundtrack has been remastered for 5:1 surround which adds depth and realism.
There is no need for me to say too much about the story since it is so well known. One great element about this disc however, are the extras. The documentary which includes an interview with Joseph Stefano, the screenwriter, who reveals that upon seeing a rough cut of the film, he complained bitterly how awful it was. This was before the music was added, which as Stefano explains, blew him over!!
There is also a revealing interview with Janet Leigh who sadly died a few years ago. This is a must watch.
Also amongst the extras is the original trailer done like an episode of Alfred Hitchock Presents. This is worth seeing for it is a classic!!
Overall then, a great blu-ray presentation which I am sure will please many Hitchock admirers and movie buffs alike.
DVD Psycho 1960 arrives at my address.
DVD is perfect. This movie is very interesting it is horror with Anthony Perkins, i like it.
This movie is important for my collection with Alfred Hitchcock.
Thank you very much to you.
How sad that ( apart from Gavin who must be in his eighties now ) all of these actors have long since passed on.
This BD version is simply superb with minimal grain and pristine images throughout which shows just how good BD can be in the right hands.
Simply superb throughout this BD deserves its rightful place as one of the top ten movies ever made !
It's a great addition to my dvd collection and for anyone that loves this I strongly recommend the Bates Motel Series Too!!!
But my God! how exciting it must have been to see Psycho with no knowledge of the shocking event 30 minutes in.
It remains a remarkable piece of work, and features one of the most sinister performances of all time.