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Alfred Hitchcock directs this Oscar-nominated thriller starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Marion Crane (Leigh) goes on the run after stealing $40,000 from one of her employer's clients. Taking a wrong turn in a storm, she arrives at the isolated Bates Motel, run by the twitchy Norman (Perkins), who is constantly at the beck and call of his unseen mother. When Marion takes a shower in her room, a sudden knife attack brings her life to an end. Upon discovering her body Norman covers up the murder, but it is not long before Marion's sister and boyfriend are attempting to track her down. Leigh's performance won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
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. Psycho gets the masterpiece treatment it deserves on DVD. --Jim Emerson
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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.