Psycho Special Edition Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho Special Edition Alfred Hitchcock
One fascinating aspect in the career of master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock (as illuminated by three new Legacy Series two-disc sets from Universal, which include Rear Window and Vertigo) is his inclination, having accomplished a great success, to attempt its opposite. Having mastered the montage — and there’s no better example than the "shower scene” here — he made a film with almost no cuts (Rope). After great success with his biggest, most ambitious film to date (North By Northwest), Hitchcock turned to Psycho, intentionally making it low budget (under a million dollars), shot not with his feature film team but the crew from his serialized TV show, and with a relative unknown in the lead (Anthony Perkins). Of course, one of Psycho’s greatest successes and legacies is its score, by Bernard Hermann; Hitch would later make another of his scariest pictures, The Birds, without a score at all. With a completely unusual narrative structure, Hitchcock upended all expectations with Psycho, a surprising and modern film that stands today as one of the scariest ever made. It’s on the back of Psycho and only a handful of others that Hitchcock’s reputation as a horror master rests. Yet as an extensive "making of” and other featurettes point out, Psycho was not an immediate success — only in retrospect is it seen as the innovative piece it is. This two-disc effort takes great pains to dissect its most important moments, particularly the shower scene and Hermann’s score. Another featurette looks at Hitchcock’s legacy with modern filmmakers, most obviously Steven Spielberg. Others include audio excerpts of Hitch interviewed by French nouveaux vague filmmaker Francois Truffault, an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and a commentary by historian Stephen Rebello. The sign of true greatness in a film like Psycho is that even after you’ve dissected every moment of how the film executes its vision it still has the power to scare the bejeezus out of you long after what’s under "Mother’s” wig has been revealed. Plus: posters, photos, more. (Universal)