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Psycho (Special Edition) (Universal Legacy Series)

Alfred Hitchcock , Janet Leigh    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (292 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.99
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Psycho (Special Edition) (Universal Legacy Series) + Psycho II / Psycho III / Psycho IV: The Beginning (Triple Feature)
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For all the slasher pictures that have ripped off Psycho (and particularly its classic set piece, the "shower scene"), nothing has ever matched the impact of the real thing. More than just a first-rate shocker full of thrills and suspense, Psycho is also an engrossing character study in which director Alfred Hitchcock skillfully seduces you into identifying with the main characters--then pulls the rug (or the bathmat) out from under you. Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as Norman Bates, the mama's boy proprietor of the Bates Motel; and so is Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, who makes an impulsive decision and becomes a fugitive from the law, hiding out at Norman's roadside inn for one fateful night. --Jim Emerson

Special Features

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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This restoration is worthy of Criterion Jan. 10 2011
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
***Spoilers within***

VC-1 | 1080p | 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS-HD 2.0
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0

English SDH, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (traditional), Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish

Single 50GB Blu-ray disc, region free

Alfred Hitchcock directed 67 titles, including more than 50 movies, but most people would rank Psycho among his five best works. It's certainly one of his most influential.

The marketing for the movie was clever and audiences were refused admission after the show had started. Hitchcock wanted them to experience the story from start to finish. He also urged people that had seen it to avoid spoiling it for others. I mention that because I don't want to spoil the experience for you. It's 50 years old, so the following comments contain spoilers and assume that you have seen the movie. If you haven't, please stop reading now and remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Psycho might seem a bit tame by today's standards. It was shot in black and white to lessen the impact of seeing the blood. The murders appeared brutal through the clever cuts and camera angles rather than explicitly showing flesh being cut. As with all of Hitchcock's work, what you imagine in your own mind is more frightening than what you see on the screen. To truly appreciate the impact of the movie, imagine what had gone before when this was originally released.

Without Psycho, we may never have seen franchises like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Saw.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has Made Many People Afraid To Take A Shower!!! June 28 2004
I seen this movie when I was around 8, and up to a few years ago, I was afraid to take a shower without leaving at least one eye open. Then again Janet Leigh was once quoted as saying that she has been afraid of taking a shower ever since she did the movie. But one has to remember this, this movie was the work of the Master of suspense, and I do not use that word loosely. Alfred Hitchcock was very detail minded. He did not just "throw together" films to make a quick buck, but was very detail oriented. He gave 100% to all of his works. As for the movie itself, it's the story of a motel located on the outskirts of town in which people check in, but they don't check out... at least alive. It is filled with horror, suspense, drama, and action. I want so much to share with you what makes this movie more shocking, more "catch you off guard", but if I do, it will lose some of its uniqueness (did I spell that right?) This is definitely not a movie for kids, not unless you want to deal with the possibility of yours having countless nightmares and being scared to take a shower! Remember what I said about when I seen it. If you want a movie that is a classic, and one of the top horror movies of all time, then please get this one. The DVD version comes with cool extra's, including a sort of "behind the scenes" tour. If you have never seen this film, you'll definitely want to put your seat up against the wall so you won't constantly be looking over your shoulder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Melodrama at Local Motel Aug. 3 2002
By J B
Format:VHS Tape
Psycho is a nightmare film. Not because it is scary - because it isn't particularly frightening. It is deeply unsettling, perhaps, more than scary. ''The Birds'' left me in shivers; this one only left me with deep elusive emotions and the memory of Norman's maniacal, psychotic smile at the close of the film, an image which almost twelve hours later has not left me. Any more than has ''Mother's'' voice. I suppose this film is a study: a disturbing, but true look into the human nature. We all could be psycho killers if we had been in his place, and although we cringe at the horror and sickness of Norman's twisted mind and split personality, we find it hard to despise him.
Norman Bates looks at first glance as innocent as anyone - he is really quite ordinary. Who would suspect he is a maniac scizophrenic? After all, practically anyone can acquire the aggravating habit of continuous candy corn consumption, or be twittery and stuttering, or look creepy in certain lights. But the moment the illumined ''Bates Motel'' sign comes into view through the weeping night, it is an edgy feeling that crawls over the viewer. But why? The cabins are no different from many others; in fact they are quite charming. Still, a peculiar air seems to be pervading the place, an air of dread, uncertainty and darkness. Not only the darkness of the hour, but of the mind. Perhaps it is the old house that stands guard of the cabins which is so menacing; perhaps she is protective of them. She looks as though she could reach out and destroy anything which threatened the solitude and silence of those twelve vacancies.
Mother's room is heavy, oppressive in its ornateness and antiquity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the ultimate mama's boy!!! Dec 5 2008
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

Early in this movie the viewer is told that a boy's best friend is his mother. Is this true??

This movie is a suspense/horror/the first psychoanalytic thriller directed by the "master of suspense" himself, Alfred Hitchcock. It is based on the novel "Psycho" by Robert Bloch, which in turn was inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein.

Briefly, this film depicts the encounter between secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) who is hiding in a motel after embezzling from her employer, and the motel's owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter.

Look for Hitchcock's traditional cameo that appears early in the story. (Note that it is difficult to find.)

The now famous motel mentioned in the summary above is called the "Bates Motel." It's sign is first seen just over 24 minutes into the movie. We learn later that business is bad at the Bates' Motel since it has "12 cabins, 12 vacancies."

About 28 minutes into the movie, we encounter Norman Bates. He lives with his mean, emotionally unstable, possessive, invalid mother in a now famous sinister-looking house (dubbed the Bates' Mansion) on top of a hill near the motel. His hobby: taxidermy (that is, "stuffing things."). He also stutters when under pressure.

This movie has several scenes that are legendary but perhaps the most famous is the shower scene. It occurs 46 minutes into the movie. This unforgettable scene took seven days to film and required about seventy camera set-ups. It lasts three minutes.

The performance given by Anthony Perkins (as Norman Bates) is incredible. Janet Leigh (as Marion Crane) also gives a decent performance.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars still a top notch thriller....
I have to admit that even being a movie buff that Hitchcock was never a favorite of mine. I understand why he is great and why others hold him in such high regard but his films... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joker-scar
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I must have one of those faces you can't help believing
"Psycho" is one of those rare movies that needs no introduction, by a director who also needs no introduction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this edition
I love this edition I had it awhile ago but it got stolen. I love the extras and the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents....
Published 9 months ago by Ken Earl
5.0 out of 5 stars psycho
still a great show ..there is nothing better than the original classic version..i couldn't be bothered to ever watch the remake
Published 11 months ago by P J
5.0 out of 5 stars so good
I bought this since no one I know had seen the original movie the tv series is based on. The extra part of the shower scene without the music is worth it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. Larson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Great transfer.
Wonderful transfer of this classic film, disc is near perfect. Widescreen is great for this, fills screen perfectly. Awesome, adds new life to this film.
Published 16 months ago by MorbiusMike
5.0 out of 5 stars Psycho Universal Legacy
Essentially, I was looking for a version of Psycho with a commentary, since I already have one with special features only. Read more
Published on April 9 2012 by whitefire390
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie
I think the original version of Psycho is excellent because it is Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie. This is even terrific to see this original version on blu-ray. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2010 by Kevin Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie-fast service
purchased for my son for christmas-he has developed an interest in Hitchcock movies-we all enjoyed watching it w him-he has added to his collection.
Published on Dec 26 2009 by Bonnie Botham
5.0 out of 5 stars CAREER BUSTER
One has to wonder whether Alfred Hitchcock would ever have done "Psycho" had he and some of the movie's players realized in advance what lay ahead of them. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2007 by J J BAGS
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