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Psycho (Collector's Edition)
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Very loosely based on Robert Bloch's pulp novel, which was itself very loosely based on killer Ed Gein, PSYCHO presents us with the tale of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh)--who, in a moment of madness, steals forty-thousand dollars. Running scared, Marion checks into the out-of-the-way Bates Motel. And there, as the DVD production notes gracefully state, she becomes the most grossly inconvenienced hotel guest in cinema history.
The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a deluge of low budget and badly made films that commanded box office business via tawdry subject matter, and according to lore director Alfred Hitchcock was curious to see what might happen if he himself made such a film--but made it well. Working with a remarkable script and gifted cast and crew, the result was a masterpiece. Although it is often described as a horror film, PSYCHO is less horror than it is a study in paranoia and suspense, and certainly a lesson in the fact that one need not bother with graphic gore or big budgets to impress audiences.
Much of the film's success is in its detail. Joseph Stephano's script is memorable for its repetition of verbal motifs and its extremely disquieting tone; Bernard Herrman's famous all-strings score builds tremendously upon it.Read more ›
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.
The rest of the cast is outstanding as well...notably Janet Leigh as the doomed Marion Crane. She deserved her Oscar nomination for her performance.
The DVD is loaded with a dandy of an extra "The Making of Psycho" plus additional trailers and bonus materials that make this edition well worth owning. Even without the extras though, this film would still be a masterpiece thanks to Hitchock, Stefano's screenplay, and Perkins' unparalleled acting!
I do have one quibble and I realize that a lot of people are not going to agree with me on this. I highly recommend watching this movie with the original mono soundtrack. The 5.1 soundtrack is the aural equivalent of colorization. I am not completely opposed to punched up soundtracks. I have heard some that are subtle and effective, but not this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hitchcock is the master and I can see why this movie practically created a new genre in film. It still works 56 years later.Published 17 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Love that Original movie...brings back the past in my teenage years.Published 5 days ago by Robert K. Martin
B-O-R-I-N-G....but if u watch Bates Motel series...it gives u a lil insight for the younger folks that don't remember the original.Published 7 days ago by Angela Fitzsimmons
I've seen it multiple times and love it. My teenage granddaughters wanted to see it. They loved It as well.Published 9 days ago by Jeanne K. Clark
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