Alfred Hitchcock's landmark masterpiece of the macabre stars Anthony Perkins as the troubled Norman Bates, whose old dark house and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. No one knows that better than... more » Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the ill-fated traveler whose journey ends in the notorious "shower scene." First a private detective, then Marion's sister (Vera Miles) searches for her, the horror and the suspense mount to a terrifying climax where the mysterious killer is finally revealed.« less
"This film is a great masterpiece of filmmaking! Perfect in every sense. It is Anthony Perkin's masterpiece as well....no other character in film history makes you cringe yet feel sorry for at the same time. It takes a special talent to do that and why he didn't get nominated for the Oscar much less win will never be understood!! Just as Vivien Leigh will always be Scarlett O'Hara, Judy Garland will always be Dorothy, Anthony Perkins will always be Norman Bates.
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!"
Room Service, Please
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alfred Hitchcock guarded the plot of PSYCHO against publicity, and in 1960 audiences came to the film without being able to anticipate the unexpected twists and turns of the plot. More than forty years later, the movie's fame is such that even those who have not seen it are often able to sketch the basic outline of the story in a few words. This demonstrates the film's fame; what demonstrates it quality, however, is the fact that even those who know the plot before seeing it are seldom disappointed.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. The simple yet meticulous sets communicate building unease, and the strangely flat, semi-documentary black and white cinematography has a voyeuristic edge that is extremely disturbing.There are elements that can be justly criticized--moments at which the script sounds a false note or characterizations seem a bit artificial--but these small points fade against the overall power of Hitchcock's vision, a vision that here makes viewers squirm even when there seems nothing tangible on screen to squirm about. But in the end, this is the film for which Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and John Gavin will forever be remembered... and one of the several films that will forever be associated with one of the twentieth century's most masterful directors.This DVD largely restores PSYCHO to its original form. Although the first few minutes of the print show wear and tear, for the most part it is remarkably pristine and (after years of pan and scan television broadcasts) is returned to its original ratio. While there is no audio commentary track, the DVD package includes the original trailer with Alfred Hitchcock, extensive production notes, and an extremely impressive documentary that includes numerous interviews, newsreel footage, production photographs, storyboards, and the like. Even if you have the film on VHS, you'll likely want to purchase the DVD. Strongly recommended.GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
A Horror Masterpiece -- Get It on DVD!
Michael K. Beusch | San Mateo, California United States | 03/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film was listed 18th on the American Film Institute's 100greatest films of all time and I still think it was underrated. Fromthe memorable performances by Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Martin Balsam to the spooky black and white cinematography to Bernard Herrmann's often imitated but never duplicated score, Psycho is about as close to perfect as a film can get. The only possible way this movie could be improved would be to somehow replace the overacted hysterical performance by Vera Miles as Lila Crane with that of Julianne Moore -- the ONLY thing better about the remake. By the way, those of you who actually think Gus Van Sandt's remake is better than Hitch's original need psychiatric care more than Norman Bates. Those of you who are fans of the original and do not have a DVD player should plunk down $300 and buy one so you can see this DVD edition. It's spectacular! Besides the usual biographies on the cast and crew, theatrical trailers, and still photos, this DVD edition contains many more valuable nuggets like the inclusion of a version of the shower scene without music. This enables the viewer to both hear the sound effects more clearly and to appreciate what an enormous contribution Bernard Herrmann's great score made to Psycho. The documentary, likewise, is not just another boring rehash of facts everyone knows, but an extremely informative record of the film with dozens of fascinating interviews with, among others, Janet Leigh, Hilton Green, Joseph Stefano and Patricia Hitchcock. In addition, the DVD includes great still photos as well as Psycho posters from both the U.S. and foreign releases. The DVD edition even includes Saul Bass' original storyboards for the shower scene (for those of you who are wondering, Janet Leigh, in the documentary, states rather emphatically that Hitchcock, and not Saul Bass, directed the shower scene). In short, if you are a fan of this great movie, you must get the DVD version -- you're missing out on so much with just the VHS tape. Finally, to all those people who gave Psycho a negative review, no one is saying that Rosemary's Baby, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, etc. are not great horror films, but NONE of the them would have been made without Psycho! George Romero has stated very clearly that the final scene in Night of the Living Dead is an homage to the fruit cellar sequence in Psycho. Stephen King, one of the greatest horror writers of all time, has stated numerous times that Psycho is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest horror films of all time. Perhaps the thing that galls me the most, however, are the reviews that state that Psycho is not scary because it doesn't reach the level of gore seen in modern horror films. That's simply disgusting! You don't have to have eyeballs being ripped out, brains being splattered on walls and guts being spilled all over the floor to make a great horror film! Alfred Hitchcock had the great intelligence to realize that you did not need to stick the camera inside someone's guts to frighten. Not once in the course of Psycho do you actually see the knife penetrate flesh. Instead of splattering us with gore, Hitchcock leaves enough to the imagination to let our minds fill in the missing details. It's sad that so many movie fans these days are so desensitized to graphic violence and so lacking in imagination that they have to have gore spilling all over their screen in order to be scared. Thankfully positive reviews of this film seem to outnumber the negative reviews by a wide margin. Alfred Hitchcock was a genius -- one of the greatest, if not THE greatest director of all time -- and nowhere is that genius more evident than in Psycho."
Frightful Fun....Fabulous DVD
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 06/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hitch said it's "...an exquisite murder with a touch of the bizarre..."
So...You may never want to take a shower(alone) again as "Mother" Bates goes on a psychotic killing spree in "Psycho", the mother of all fright flicks! It stars Anthony Perkins(who "wouldn't hurt a fly"), Janet Leigh and Vera Miles.
It's a film that has scared us silly for over 45 years now, and even though we already know what's coming, we still feel our hearts racing, everytime we hear that familiar music to murder by, and then jump when that shower curtain gets pulled back.
You know it's one that you can watch over and over, so without further ado about the film(there are many great reviews here, speaking to the story and the wonderful performances), here's a look at the DVD.
Universal has made a beautiful transfer of this classic and cherished work. The black and white images are crisp, sharp. The special features include a documnetary, introduced by Hitch, that runs the length of a feature film itself, and even has it's own chapter stops. It has everything you wanted to know about the making of and more! The sound, both dialouge and the wonderfully eerie music is good,in Dolby Dig 2.0 Mono (the score alone probably would be great in at least stereo, though). Languages are English (with captions if needed) and French, and there are subtitles in Spanish as well.
Looking for Hitch? You don't have to wait too long, Check outside the realty office.
Have dinner with Norman and his "mom" tonight...if you dare!
more Hitch stuff: Hitchcock's Notebooks: An Authorized and Illustrated Look Inside the C
Alfred Hitchcock: 4 Tales of the Macabre - Secret Agent / The Lady Vanishes / The Man Who Knew Too Much / Sabotage
Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie
Groundbreaking film with many dvd extras
audrey | white mtns | 12/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hitchcock's Psycho shocked filmgoers in many ways -- he had the sympathetic lead killed early in the movie, a gruesome (though nearly bloodless) murder scene, strong symbolism (look at all the 'bird' images in the film), a return to stark black & white filming accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's strings-only soundtrack, and sophisticated marketing. Hitch was always a bit ahead of his time, and this is one of his pictures that really makes that point.This DVD edition looks and sounds great, and has many bonus features: the excellent one-and-a-half hour documentary, 'The Making of Psycho', which includes interviews with Hitchcock's daughter and leading lady Janet Leigh; a small but interesting set of production notes; information about the cast and filmmakers; theatrical and re-release trailers and newsreel footage of the film's release; the shower scene with and without music -- this was very interesting. There were also some bonus features that I couldn't get to run on my G4 Macintosh: production and behind-the-scenes photos; shower scene storyboards; lobby cards; posters and ads. The film can be heard in English or French, and subtitles are in English or Spanish.This is a landmark film. It looks and sounds good. The bonus features are very good. Highly recommended."