One of Alfred Hitchcock's most sensational thrillers, "Psycho" is based on the novel by Robert Bloch. The black-and-white film features Anthony Perkins as the disturbed mamma's boy, Norman Bates. Janet Leigh stars as ill-fated heroine Marion Crane, who, while on the lam, should have kept on driving past the Bates Motel—or, better yet, passed on using the motel shower. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Stephen Rebello, Author of Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho; "The Making Of Psycho," an original documentary featuring new interviews with Hitchcock's daughter Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell, Janet Leigh, Screenwriter Joseph Stefano, Assistant Director Hilton A. Green, Assistant Peggy Robertson, Costumer Rita Riggs, Clive Barker, and Paul Hirsch (SD 34:12); three featurettes: "Psycho Sound" (HD 09:58); "In The Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy" (SD 25:58) and "Hitchcock/Truffaut" (SD 15:20); the Newsreel Footage: The Release Of Psycho (SD 07:45); The Shower Scene (SD 02:30); The Shower Scene: Saul Bass Story Boards; The Psycho Archives; posters and Psycho ads; lobby cards; behind-the-scenes photographs; production photographs; the theatrical trailer; the re-release trailer; My Scenes; and BD-Live functionality.
Originally reviewed in Issue 29 as a non-anamorphic dual-layered DVD, it exhibited dramatically enhanced resolution compared to the softly focused LaserDisc. This 1080p VC-1 picture is remarkably defined and pristine, while still preserving the light grain that contributes to the cinematic look. The black-and-white picture exhibits a good gray scale with generally well balanced contrast and revealing shadow delineation. While occasional artifacts are noticeable, such as shimmer and aliasing, such instances are not terribly objectionable. Overall the imagery is sharp and nicely defined, for a pleasing visual experience—the best that the film has ever appeared. (Gary Reber)
The DVD Dolby® Digital 1.0 monaural soundtrack sounded bright and thin when compared to the fuller-sounding monaural PCM LaserDisc. Deep bass was equalized into the Dolby Digital track. Neither version was distinguished. The new repurposed and re-mastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is the result a careful creative effort to add dimension. Audionamix, a French company, was employed to reverse engineer the monaural soundtrack, to create three separate elements: dialogue, sound effects, and music. Bernard Herrmann's music score is heard with a fullness never before experienced, though, still the fidelity is strident. The squirming response created by the sound during the shower scene is heightened due to the effective layering of the high strings, cellos, and double bass at the end of the segment, and the aggressive surround envelopment. The rain burst downpour is effectively layered with depth and surround envelopment. Pans are appropriately injected in the street scene in front of the used car lot, and the car sinking segment sounds more dimensional. Occasionally the .1 LFE channel adds strength to the sound's foundation. Dialogue sound perfectly natural and integrated spatially. While fidelity sounds dated, the improvement is dramatic and benefits the experience. A DTS 2.0 monaural soundtrack version is included as well. (Gary Reber)