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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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This movie is about 80% music and 20% cutting (rimshot) dialogue. The movie is controversial for a number of reasons. We're going to just skip over the whole Oedipus complex thing to bring you tidbits of facts like this is the first movie to show a toilet flushing on screen. The shower head used in the iconic scene with Janet Leigh was 6 feet in diameter. It was that big so the camera could film water streaming down without hitting the camera. This is an iconic suspense film. It's what helps make a clean break from film noir (one of my personal favorite genre of film) and into a whole different genre of film, where the music tells the story and actors just...exist. It's a great film. You won't be disappointed.
Psycho's story is easy to follow and very suspenseful; the ending throws an amazing twist at the audience with a haunting final image/monologue. The film really hooked me and was extremely immersive; the conversations between the characters are memorable and engaging, the murders are unforgettable (the shower scene is still one of the most iconic scenes in film history, in my opinion), and the music is thrilling and epic. The acting was great from the entire cast; however, Anthony Perkins is genuinely creepy as Norman Bates and is definitely the standout in Psycho.
I own the Psycho (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]. The picture quality is amazing and makes Psycho look like a recently released film; the sound quality is also great. It has plenty of special features including theatrical trailers, the making of, and other goodies. This version only comes with a Blu-ray disc; no DVD or digital copy, and it does not come with a slip cover.
Overall, Psycho is an extremely suspenseful horror film with great performances. I highly recommend purchasing and/or renting, especially if you can get your hands on the Blu-ray.
Psycho has some violence and blood. No sex or nudity.
The 50th Anniversary Blu Ray edition is wonderful. The special features make up the majority of this package because the original film (which looks great in Blu Ray) is very short. The Special Features include a long documentary on the making of the film and then lots of shorter detailed stuff, trailers, etc.
Psycho was made when Hitchcock was at the height of his Television career and it was his last film at Paramount. He wanted very much to do this after seeing a review of Robert Bloch's book and then reading the book. He wanted to make it for less than $1,000,000 (which was still a lot in those days) so he did it with his Television crew. He also to have at least one big star in it. Janet Leigh agreed to make the film without seeing a screenplay or even knowing what they would pay her; Hitchcock was so big in those days actors would do most anything to work with him. Anthony Perkins, who was not as big but still a major star, had agreed to do the film with as little information. In my opinion Perkins should have at least been nominated for an Oscar (he did receive the Best Actor Award from the International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers) for Psycho, but there you go.
The film is about as 'bare bones' as it gets. Hitchcock made films for the public and did not care much what critics or 'film makers' thought. He wanted, more than anything, to have people enjoy his films.
Even though you know what's going to happen and the 'surprise' ending this film is still a hoot to watch. I still jumped at all the right moments and was very pleased at the end. I watched and enjoyed all the features; even the ones that are a bit repetitive. Highly recommended.