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Psycho (SE)
DVD disk
10.10.2008 By: Sturdy
Psycho (SE) order
Director:
Alfred Hitchcock

Actors:
Anthony Perkins
Vera Miles
Janet Leigh

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When a woman goes missing, her sister and a private investigator stop at the Bates Motel looking for her. While there, they encounter a strange and suspicious hotel owner with all kinds of mommy issues.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Reviewing classic films 48 years after their initial release is a pretty difficult task. So many films have used tricks and methods that were first used in PSYCHO that we forget just how groundbreaking the film was and that makes it hard to put to the film in perspective. We all know Hitchcock was a genius and light-years ahead of his time, but Iím still impressed with him when I watch his films.

PSYCHO is not my favorite Hitchcock film. In fact, I wouldnít put it in my top five favorite Hitchcock films because itís just not one that I enjoy watching, especially on repeated occasions. Thatís not by any means a slam to the film, but itís more of a compliment to Alfred Hitchcock. It says something about your body of work when a film as brilliant as PSYCHO isnít even your best film. When I watch it now, Iím in awe at how masterful Hitchcock was with the camera and just about all aspects of filmmaking.

After watching it for the fifth or sixth time on this Legacy Series DVD, I wouldnít say I noticed anything I hadnít noticed before, but I will say that I developed a greater appreciation for Janet Leigh. She has a small, but much publicized role and she manages to turn in a wonderful performance. Everyone in the film does a great job, but Hitchcock always manages to get the best out of his actors.

PSYCHO is a classic film. I wonít call it a classic horror film, because thatís not doing it justice. Todayís horror directors could do well by going back and watching some Hitchcock films and how well he used suspense to build up the fear within a scene. Itís not necessary to show blood spewing out of peopleís necks. Sometimes the buildup is more scary than the event, and thatís something Hitchcock understood better than any other director.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Stephen Rebello: Stephen does a decent job, but overall I was a little bored with what he had to say. He throws in a few interesting tidbits, but it does drag a little bit. Again, this is one of the features that you really need to be a huge Hitchcock fan to really appreciate.

Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho (7:45): Alfred Hitchcock contributes to a voiceover of stock news footage of the release of PSYCHO. Itís great that Hitchcock insisted that no one enter the film after it starts. Thatís a rule that should stand for all films. Whatís also great is that they made that part of the marketing campaign.

The Shower Scene (2:32): This is the shower scene with and without music. Iím assuming this was to show the vast importance of the music.

The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass (4:11): These are simply storyboards. I donít find storyboards very interesting, so I didnít care too much for this.

The Making of Psycho (94:08): This is a long, comprehensive feature on the making of PSYCHO. It covers every single thing you need to know about the film and then some. It features interviews and comments from just about everyone alive when the feature was made. If you like PSYCHO, then you have to watch this.

In the Masterís Shadow: Hitchcockís Legacy (25:58): Now this is a great featurette! It gives you a Hitchcock scene with current film and shows you how the current film borrowed from the Hitchcock film. I loved watching this and seeing the comparisons. This is great and I highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

Hitchcock/Truffaut Interview Excerpts (15:22): Truffaut wrote a book about Hitchcock and this is a recording of the interview he did with him for that book. I found it to be a little dull, but for huge Hitchcock fans, I could see why it would be interesting.

Alfred Hitchcock presents ďLamb to the SlaughterĒ (26:13): This is an episode of his old TV show. I enjoy watching his show and I find just about all of them to be worthwhile. This is one is about a housewife and her husbandís ďdisappearanceĒ. Once you watch it, youíll know why they chose this one to put on the disc.

There are also some Previews, Photographs and Production Notes
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I appreciate Universal re-releasing Hitchcockís films on the Legacy Series, but at this point, it would have been better to release them on Blu-ray. Iím not sure the special features are worth the double dip.
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