A PEEK AT PSYCHO UNCUT, THE THIRD SECRET, ETC.

3 Stars

Haven’t done one of these in a while, so here goes.

THE PSYCHO LEGACY BOX SET (from Germany)

Okay color me dopey, but I bought this, knowing that it wasn’t a new transfer for the original Psycho or the other films in the set. They are all older transfers, with the only difference being the inserted footage into Psycho (hence the “uncut”).

The big come on for this set’s existence is the uncut version of the Hitchcock masterpiece. There’s probably less than twenty seconds of additional footage that existed in a German 35mm print that has been seamlessly added into the normal release we all have.

The additional footage involves one extra shot where Norman Bates is peeping on Janet Leigh undressing. In the version we all have and that every home video release has contained, we have one shot of her in her bra and slip, then a cut to Norman looking, then back to Janet Leigh having just put on her robe. In the uncut German print there is an additional shot of Leigh as she begins to take her bra off (and gets pretty far for 1960). The second sequence with additional footage is post-murder. Tony Perkins drags the lifeless body from the bathroom onto the shower curtain. He then looks at his hands and we have a shot of them covered in blood. Then it cuts to his face, he turns and goes in the bathroom and washes the blood off in the sink. In the longer German version there are longer shots of his hands covered in blood, mostly holding on the hands as he walks in the bathroom and goes to the sink. The final extended shot is in the Martin Balsam murder. He falls down the stairs, and mother comes after him, and stabs him again, then raising the knife in the air to stab again, at which point the shot fades out. In the extended German print, she stabs him once, the knife rises and she stabs him again, another rise, and stabs a third time, the knife rises for the fourth stab and the shot fades out.

No one really knows what the deal is here, but I actually have a pretty good idea what the deal is and an e-mail from Universal sent to the German company who released this is somewhat telling: It states that what the German release contains is the Psycho that was released in 1960. And I completely believe that, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute. So, what I think happened, and this is just my supposition, is that the film had those brief shots edited out subsequent to the original release, and for its re-release and then TV showings. I was so scared to see the re-release and then TV showings, because the film I’d seen in 1960 on opening day so scared me silly I was too nervous to put myself through that again. But when I saw it, I sensed something was not quite right and I remember saying that to anyone who would listen. Because, as a twelve-year-old, the film was rather seared into my memory, and I have always remembered the bra shot (I was a horny little twelve-year-old), but more importantly, I always remembered vividly the multiple stabs. And when I saw the re-release with one stab I questioned my memory, of course, but something told me I was right, and now I believe I was right. I think the film as released in 1960 is exactly what is reflected in that German print. Complicating matters is the Richard Anobile book that replicates Psycho in stills and dialogue. The extra footage is not reflected in his stills, but his book was done in 1974 and I believe he was given the re-release print to work from. I suppose we’ll never really know without a definitive answer from Universal, but I feel what they said in their e-mail is indicative that I may just be right, that this uncut German print IS the release version everyone saw in 1960, including the United States.

I also watched the Gus Van Sant redo – it’s just horrible – the cast is wretched, the few added bits are awful (including what Master Bates (get it) is doing as he spies on Marion – I mean, there’s not a thing that works save for the adaptation of the Herrmann score. I’ll catch up on the rest of the set this weekend. You should know that the set is completely region-free.

THE THIRD SECRET

I first saw this film at a sneak preview and absolutely loved it. I loved the way it was shot, the feel, and most especially Pamela Franklin, who, at the time, was one of the very best young actresses working in film. I didn’t see it again for years until the DVD was released and I liked it very much seeing after all those years. Now it’s out on Blu-ray in the UK. It’s from Fox, and you know that Twilight Time would have released it had it been from a new scan, but alas it’s the same scan used for the DVD. It’s perfectly okay, but not what it could and should be. I still love the movie, as silly as it gets occasionally, and I absolutely love the ending of it. Miss Franklin’s performance is still the rock of the film, but Stephen Boyd is very good, as are Diane Cilento and Jack Hawkins. Charles Crichton’s direction is great, as is the black-and-white scope photography. Perhaps Fox will get around to this someday with a luscious new transfer. This is a UK import and not region-free.

HUMAN DESIRE

I love Fritz Lang. This is not one of his greats, but even lesser Lang is better than most other directors. We have a great cast, including Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, and Gloria Grahame, and Lang’s direction is wonderful. If it never achieves greatness, it’s still very enjoyable and well done. Again, if this was a new transfer it would be on Twilight Time – but alas, it’s an older transfer. That said, it looks very good for the most part and I doubt this would be high on Sony’s list for a new transfer. Also a UK release and not region-free.

PSYCHE 59

Why I missed this when it first came out is anyone’s guess, since it at least looked like it was right up my alley. So, when this came out a week ago I ordered it. Again, a Sony release of an older master, but reasonable-looking. Certainly the cast is fine – Patricia Neal, Curt Jurgens, and Samantha Eggar. Sadly, it’s a bad movie, never really adding up to anything. It just drags on and on and on. UK release, but this one is region free.

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Kevin Collins

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103 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info, Bruce. I am not interested in the whole set, but I would love to have the uncut German print of the original by itself… does anyone know if that is available? The Amazon de web site is a tad confusing insofar as release dates go.

  2. Hey, Bruce. Thanks as always for the informative & entertaining post. I had a similar experience to you in terms of watching PSYCHO. I saw it in 1960 when it opened at a neighborhood theater in wide release, not at the DeMille, which was first run in New York; and yeah, it was really scary, but of course I loved it. Didn't see it again until 69 when I read Truffaut's book on Hitchcock and had a serious hankering to see PSYCHO again. Now back in New York in those days there was a weekly magazine called CUE which would list every movie playing in the New York area & I noticed at a neighborhood theater on Pelham Parkway in the Bronx, they were showing PSYCHO on the second half of a double bill with DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING. So I saw it and yeah, I also thought this is not the film I originally saw in 1960. Not only was stuff missing–in particular, the extra knife slashes on the staircase and more material of Norman Bates with blood on his hands– but during the shower scene, the image had been slightly matted on the bottom, so the frame shrunk, completing cutting off Janet Leigh's chest, so you could hardly see any skin at all; it looked like those windowboxes they put the titles in on DVDs, except only the bottom was slightly altered, not the whole image, and I thought to myself, this definitely wasn't on the original print I saw in 1960, and then assumed what they re released must have been slightly altered for television. And then promptly forgot all about it until I saw your post.

  3. My parents wouldn't let me go to Psycho in 1960, but when it came back around in 1964 or 65, I was allowed, and I have never screamed that loud before or since. Honestly, I wanted to duck under the seat and not look any more. It was some relief that I wasn't the only one screaming in that theater. Reading Bruce's comments on the German likely original print makes me long to see the "original" now.

  4. So no one has noticed that Psycho- the most famous movie from arguably the greatest director in the history of film- has been edited from its original version until nearly 60 years later? The most likely answer to me is that Hitchcock wanted that footage in but it was edited to satisfy US censors but German censors weren't as strict and Hitch's 'uncut' version played there.

  5. TravisR

    So no one has noticed that Psycho- the most famous movie from arguably the greatest director in the history of film- has been edited from its original version until nearly 60 years later? The most likely answer to me is that Hitchcock wanted that footage in but it was edited to satisfy US censors but German censors weren't as strict and Hitch's 'uncut' version played there.

    No, what we're saying is that it also played HERE uncut and was the same as the uncut German – and then was edited for its re-release and TV airings. That is what I think and what makes sense, frankly, given the e-mail the Germans received from Universal.

  6. lark144

    Hey, Bruce. Thanks as always for the informative & entertaining post. I had a similar experience to you in terms of watching PSYCHO. I saw it in 1960 when it opened at a neighborhood theater in wide release, not at the DeMille, which was first run in New York; and yeah, it was really scary, but of course I loved it. Didn't see it again until 69 when I read Truffaut's book on Hitchcock and had a serious hankering to see PSYCHO again. Now back in New York in those days there was a weekly magazine called CUE which would list every movie playing in the New York area & I noticed at a neighborhood theater on Pelham Parkway in the Bronx, they were showing PSYCHO on the second half of a double bill with DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING. So I saw it and yeah, I also thought this is not the film I originally saw in 1960. Not only was stuff missing–in particular, the extra knife slashes on the staircase and more material of Norman Bates with blood on his hands– but during the shower scene, the image had been slightly matted on the bottom, so the frame shrunk, completing cutting off Janet Leigh's chest, so you could hardly see any skin at all; it looked like those windowboxes they put the titles in on DVDs, except only the bottom was slightly altered, not the whole image, and I thought to myself, this definitely wasn't on the original print I saw in 1960, and then assumed what they re released must have been slightly altered for television. And then promptly forgot all about it until I saw your post.

    Funnily, I was living in NY in 1969 and saw Daddy's Gone a Hunting at the Albermarle in Brooklyn, where I was living for that one year. I WISH that the second feature had been Psycho 🙂

  7. Dick

    Thanks for the info, Bruce. I am not interested in the whole set, but I would love to have the uncut German print of the original by itself… does anyone know if that is available? The Amazon de web site is a tad confusing insofar as release dates go.

    At nearly $150 plus shipping for the box set you can forget them releasing a standalone version of the first one. That's the one everyone wants and that's why they'll be able to shift units. But it's mighty tempting to buy something that is not available anywhere else. I purchased a US NTSC VHS player and was importing US NTSC VHS tapes of horror and porn films back in the '80's to get uncut versions of films that weren't available locally.

    https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0…1d2-6ff1a2e98cf0&pf_rd_r=C19J10HGWMQ37R8N3XP4

  8. I'm glad I didn't see Psycho when I was 12, it was traumatic enough seeing it at 15. I had no interest in it really, but Paramount re-released it on a double bill with War Of The Worlds (UK), & I really wanted to see War after seeing pictures of it in Famous Monsters Of Filmland. Anyway, War was on first, lovely, & I should have left then, but wanting to get my moneys worth I stayed on for Psycho, & wow, that creeped me out for ages, it must have been around 10 years before I could look at it again on TV & enjoy it. I blame Bernard Herrmann.

  9. And yet another interesting Psycho anomoly.

    Apparently, there were a few prints prepared very early on, that had a color main title sequence.

    Emerald green.

    One seems to have been run for critics in London, and may be the same print delivered from Hitchcock’s vault to Ron Haver, when he was doing his tribute series.

    The prints were returned, after screening for the best copies, but not returned for the public exhibition.

    The cuts would be annotated in the printing cards,

  10. It seems likely at some point the cut version must have become Hitchcock’s preferred version or he would have spoken up to have the trims restored, particularly by the time of Frenzy when there was so much more freedom.

  11. Billy Batson

    I'm glad I didn't see Psycho when I was 12, it was traumatic enough seeing it at 15. I had no interest in it really, but Paramount re-released it on a double bill with War Of The Worlds (UK), & I really wanted to see War after seeing pictures of it in Famous Monsters Of Filmland. Anyway, War was on first, lovely, & I should have left then, but wanting to get my moneys worth I stayed on for Psycho, & wow, that creeped me out for ages, it must have been around 10 years before I could look at it again on TV & enjoy it. I blame Bernard Herrmann.

    Saw the same double bill as you Billy.
    In north east London.
    Psycho scared me shitless but will always remember War of the Worlds when the priest went towards the Martians waving his bible and was zapped, the very sizable audience roared with laughter!!!
    I must have been about 14 and was shocked.
    Now I would join them!!

  12. Ha, unbelievably I can still remember going to see it, The Odeon, Shepherds Bush, West London (never liked that cinema, such a cavernous & soulless place). Late fifties & all through the sixties I can still remember every cinema I saw every movie in, my slightly older sister can't remember any of them. Films really have been far too important in my life.

  13. haineshisway

    Funnily, I was living in NY in 1969 and saw Daddy's Gone a Hunting at the Albermarle in Brooklyn, where I was living for that one year. I WISH that the second feature had been Psycho 🙂

    That's so funny! In 69, I was living around the corner from the Albermarle. But I traveled all the way to Pelham Parkway in the Bronx to see PSYCHO with DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING.

  14. A little off-topic, but DADDY'S GONE A-HUNTING was a terrific psychological suspense thriller, almost completely forgotten now. Maybe SCREAM Factory can get hold of it. I saw it as a stand-alone feature in '69, and was completely satisfied when I exited the theater. I have a DVD of it and watch it periodically, but a Blu-ray would be awesome. I can see how this might make a good second feature alongside PSYCHO.

  15. haineshisway

    Did you ever go there? I worked there as an usher for a few weeks – mostly during the run of Once Upon a Time in the West.

    Yeah. I went there all the time, but I don't remember ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST playing there. The films I remember seeing at the Albermarle are WILD IN THE STREETS, PRETTY POISON & DEADFALL. I could see the billboard over the marquee from my corner. Flatbush & Church was still a really vibrant community in the late 60's. There were five movie theaters, three of them palaces, in a five block radius. I loved going to the last show on Saturday night, because a news vendor would be waiting outside each movie theater selling the Sunday Times.

  16. haineshisway

    Not sure what you mean. There is the uncut version in English, which has the letter in English, of course,, and they also included the same uncut version but with the German titles and letter insert in German.

    Thanks – it wasn't clear that both the uncut English and German versions were included.

  17. Here's a Youtube video showing the scenes from the German print that are not on the US home video releases:

    As for the availability of just the uncut original without all the other discs, I assume that this will be released at some point – but not until they've sold as many units of the full box set as possible. Of course, it's equally possible there will not be a stand-alone release, but I'm willing to wait and see (at least for a while).

  18. Harold Chasen

    Here's a Youtube video showing the scenes from the German print that are not on the US home video releases:

    As for the availability of just the uncut original without all the other discs, I assume that this will be released at some point – but not until they've sold as many units of the full box set as possible. Of course, it's equally possible there will not be a stand-alone release, but I'm willing to wait and see (at least for a while).

    SO glad to see this. Thanks for posting!

  19. Bruce, does the video quality of the trimmed footage match the rest of the blu-ray? Or if the blu-ray is a new complete transfer of the German print, how does the quality compare to the previous blu-ray?

  20. JohnMor

    Bruce, does the video quality of the trimmed footage match the rest of the blu-ray? Or if the blu-ray is a new complete transfer of the German print, how does the quality compare to the previous blu-ray?

    It's pretty seamless – the actual transfer is exactly the same as the US Hitchcock box set, with the added fifteen seconds taken from the German print.

  21. OT but Psycho-related, maybe one of you can set me straight: the last time I saw Psycho (BD), for some reason I got hung up on the dates. I don't know much about Psycho, but I always figured the times/dates were important because Hitchcock made them quite prominently apparent.

    What upset my "keeping track" was near the end of the movie, a meeting in a bank or similar. Specifically the date shown on the wall calendar doesn't match the story dates, as best I could tell. They used to always have these calendars in "official" buildings where people might fill out documents, and they always showed the correct date, especially important in banks. I seem to recall this date was off by 2 days, but don't hold me to that, it was more than one day off though. I considered that the people may have been meeting on a weekend and somebody didn't update the calendar, but that didn't work into the time-scheme either. Like other dates, this wall calendar was very clearly shown, not just a passing sweep of the camera.

    After all these years it's extremely likely 🙂 that I am mistaken…but it's Hitchcock! Is he challenging us to keep track and to realize something is wrong? Is it just a minor error (didn't see it listed in imdb at the time). It's been 3 years since I last watched Psycho and this still is in my mind…

  22. Is this the Turbine Legacy Collection Region Free Blu-ray set (?) that dvdbeaver says

    ” . . . are transferred in the superior AVC where the older Universal used VC-1. Despite the Universal having the slightly higher bitrate – the use of encode is significant – especially in-motion. We have made some captures matches below. We do like the benefits of the Turbine! Stay tuned for more!”

    ?

    I’m not paying 130 Euros, but if this does look superior to the USA Blu-ray of “Psycho”, I do hope for an individual release.

  23. warnerbro

    I'm sure we'll be getting the uncut version soon here in the U.S. on blu ray.

    I have to admit I don't see a lot of appeal in this "uncut" version. It sounds like it includes 20 seconds of content slightly too graphic for US screens in 1960, so it's not like it's some long-lost "director's vision"…

  24. Colin Jacobson

    I have to admit I don't see a lot of appeal in this "uncut" version. It sounds like it includes 20 seconds of content slightly too graphic for US screens in 1960, so it's not like it's some long-lost "director's vision"…

    By all accounts, those shots *were* in the original USA release and edited for the reissue and TV prints. The 35mm print I ran 10 years ago (that was printed for the original release in 1960) contained those shots. It did not come from Universal, but from a private collector.

  25. Peter Apruzzese

    By all accounts, those shots *were* in the original USA release and edited for the reissue and TV prints. The 35mm print I ran 10 years ago (that was printed for the original release in 1960) contained those shots. It did not come from Universal, but from a private collector.

    I stand corrected!

    I still think the uncut version lacks broad appeal, though, just because it's barely different. Seems hard to sell a Blu-ray to people just because of 20 seconds more slightly graphic content.

    If Uni wanted to use the uncut version as a way to help promote a 4K UHD disc, though, that could make sense….

  26. As Pete said, this WAS the 1960 release version – all cuts were made subsequent to that – I had an e-mail from someone who saw it many times prior to its "M" rating and those shots were always in it, which is the same as my memory. So, all these years Universal has foisted on the American public a cut version of Pyscho – and basically admitted it in an e-mail to Turbine – whether they now try to spin that somehow will be interesting. I do believe it will be released here again, to get yet more dough out of people, but they'll probably lie about it.

  27. Colin Jacobson

    I still think the uncut version lacks broad appeal, though, just because it's barely different. Seems hard to sell a Blu-ray to people just because of 20 seconds more slightly graphic content.

    I know I'm not the only one to import the Australian Blu-ray of Casino Royale to get an additional 20 seconds or so.

    Neil

  28. It all depends what those 20 seconds entail. For instance, I have no interest in the 8 seconds of Hammer's DRACULA that was found on a Japanese print, because they weren't in the film I originally saw, and also I don't need a few extra seconds of Dracula's face disintegrating where you can see the light bulb and wires. However, these 20 seconds of PSYCHO were there when I saw the film originally; also they're shots I still remember all these years ago being scared and stunned by. So yes, if this comes out on a single disc, I'll buy it immediately.

  29. I would happily buy an individual blu-ray of the uncut version. Just by looking at the Youtube video above, I think those extra shots add a lot to the impact, particularly in the murder of Arbogast.

  30. haineshisway

    No, what we're saying is that it also played HERE uncut and was the same as the uncut German – and then was edited for its re-release and TV airings. That is what I think and what makes sense, frankly, given the e-mail the Germans received from Universal.

    That is exactly my memory of it when I saw PSYCHO several times in the early 1960s in the USA. And I firmly believe the original, uncut theatrical version IS more powerful and disturbing for having those shots in them. That is why Hitchcock put them there in the first place.

    I will posit a theory about why Universal pulled ALL authorized re-release and home video versions of the original, uncut theatrical version sometime in the early 1970s (?) and instead simply went with the late 1960s, watered down, more tame, edited-for-television version:

    I believe PSYCHO was caught in a similar "corporate image" dilemma as Disney's SONG OF THE SOUTH. Both films are directly associated with a major attraction in a very family-friendly theme/amusement park. SONG OF THE SOUTH is the movie associated with the entire Bear Country section of Disneyland while PSYCHO is directly associated with the Bates Motel attraction in the Universal Studios Tour Park. Consequently, corporate interests would just rather eliminate any controversy, go bland, not put parents or social activists in a position to have to explain anything to the kiddies either about perceived racism in one case or a much more lurid and uncomfortable set of sequences in the other. As it stands in the edited-for-television version of PSYCHO, one could almost tell the kiddies Norman did not see her naked at all, only in her bra and panties. lol. okay.

    Of course, SONG OF THE SOUTH suffered more from this kind of "corporate image" worry in that it has yet to see the light of day in its entirety for several decades. But one might argue that the fate of the original, uncut, theatrical release version of PSYCHO is an even greater artistic outrage in that what has been tacitly asserted by almost every theatrical re-release and home video version since the early 1970s to BE the original version of one of the greatest movies of all time has in reality NOT been so at all.

  31. Colin Jacobson

    I stand corrected!

    I still think the uncut version lacks broad appeal, though, just because it's barely different. Seems hard to sell a Blu-ray to people just because of 20 seconds more slightly graphic content.

    If Uni wanted to use the uncut version as a way to help promote a 4K UHD disc, though, that could make sense….

    Oh, I think the difference in our emotional state by almost seeing (along with Norman) Janet Leigh's breasts compared with only seeing her reach for the waistband of her slip is tremendous. Hitchcock put the original theatrical audience in a state of shame for being brought right up to the frame of seeing her completely topless in one minute and then seeing that same beautiful body we lusted over and, frankly, thought we were going to see topless trashed so mercilessly the next. There is still a moment or so while she is taking her shower that some of us thought Hitchcock would go just one or two frames further in revealing what he so craftily denied us ever so closely in the peephole scene. He had us in exactly the most complex and vulnerable emotional state any filmmaker had gotten his audience at such a moment.

    But that level of diabolical complexity is virtually non existent in the edited-for-television version.

    The bloody hands sequence? Watch the edited version in the YouTube comparison. It looks for all the world that he turned the sink faucet handle with his HAND, the one covered in blood. Which contradicts the whole purpose of us watching Norman clean up the mess and remove all incriminating evidence, essentially participating in the cover up. But watching the UNcut version, we see that Norman turned on the sink faucet with his elbow. Now there is no part of our minds still occupied all through the rest of the clean up with thinking that maybe he didn't clean off the sink faucet handle well enough after turning them on with his bloody hands. Also, extra or longer POV shots of his bloody hands made "us" even more anxious to wash the blood off, clean up this mess and put things back to normal.

    But none of those elements are as clearly asserted in the edited-for-television version.

    The THREE knife plunges into Arbogast instead of fading out after the first one? We have to know with certainty that Arbogast has really been killed by "Mother" right there in that moment, that there wasn't a greater struggle that we didn't see, perhaps leaving "Mother" injured or worse. One shot of one upheld knife that fades into black is not enough. Three makes it absolutely certain and now we can start paying attention to the next scene.

    IMO, the way Hitchcock shot it and assembled the shots originally made perfect narrative and emotional sense. The edited-for-television version does not.

  32. Mark B

    The "bra" shot is in the Making of Psycho documentary that has been released with the film since 1997, so I would gather it is in the vault at Universal in the US, wouldn't you think?

    IMO, the Making of Psycho documentary added to the confusion about whether or not Hitchcock edited out the part of Leigh unhooking her bra before the original theatrical release. I love that documentary, but I honestly believe they went wrong on this particular issue.

    In the documentary, Joan Harrison, Hitchcock's assistant during the shooting of PSYCHO, is talking about Hitchcock "tidying up" a couple of shots here and there before the theatrical release at the request of the censors. She mentions a worrying shot of "Janet Leigh's slip". HOWEVER, at that precise moment in the interview they insert a shot of Miss Leigh unhooking her bra (taken from the same German tv version source as mentioned earlier here) and the viewer will naturally assume THAT is the scene to which Harrison is referring that Hitchcock "tidied up". I disagree.

    Obviously, the shot that was cut in the edited-for-television version we've been seeing all these years has little or nothing to do with Miss Leigh's slip. It is about her bra.

    I don't believe Joan Harrison was talking about that peephole/bra removal shot at all. I believe she was talking about the opening scene that has Sam standing next to the bed while Marion is laying with her legs pointing toward the camera/audience. There is indeed an odd, weirdly choppy instant that sure looks to me like something was edited out and a shot of a wrapped sandwich and dixie cup soda drink inserted after the fact. Up until that weirdly choppy instant, everything was flowing along as smoothly and perfectly shot and edited as in any of Hitchcock's greatest films. But that instant looks clumsy, as though some "fix" had been put to it.

    Had Janet Leigh uncrossed her legs and provided the audience with a bit too much insight into her private life up her slip during that sequence? Perhaps as she was righting herself up to swing around and face Sam? If so, then it fits that Joan Harrison was talking about Hitchcock "tidying up" THAT slip scene and at the request of the censors and not the now famous bra removal scene that comes later in the film.

  33. Cineman

    IMO, the Making of Psycho documentary added to the confusion about whether or not Hitchcock edited out the part of Leigh unhooking her bra before the original theatrical release. I love that documentary, but I honestly believe they went wrong on this particular issue.

    In the documentary, Joan Harrison, Hitchcock's assistant during the shooting of PSYCHO, is talking about Hitchcock "tidying up" a couple of shots here and there before the theatrical release at the request of the censors.

    To me, that's confirmation that that (and presumably the rest of this footage) was cut prior to release. Harrison's memory of actually working on the movie holds more weight over people's memories from 60 years ago. Not to mention that it's nearly impossible for me to believe that one of the most popular and analyzed movies of all time was edited and no one noticed prior to this.

    That being said, it's exciting that Hitchcock's non-censored cut is now available.

  34. Neil S. Bulk

    I know I'm not the only one to import the Australian Blu-ray of Casino Royale to get an additional 20 seconds or so.

    Neil

    I didn't say the uncut "Psycho" holds no appeal – I said it'd lack broad appeal to the movie-purchasing public.

    It's an extra 20 seconds or so. We can debate how important those 20 seconds may be, but "Psycho" was already viewed as a complete classic without those 20 seconds, so I think there's only so much difference the footage can make.

    As I said, the uncut version would be a nice carrot to help sell a 4K UHD disc, but I just can't imagine there's a wide audience who'll drop $20 just to get "Psycho" with an extra 20 seconds of footage…

  35. Cineman

    Obviously, the shot that was cut in the edited-for-television version we've been seeing all these years has little or nothing to do with Miss Leigh's slip. It is about her bra.

    I’m confused about the term “edited-for-television ” as used use here. I used to have a 16mm print of the real “edited-for-television” version. In that one the shower scene stabbing lasts about two seconds. That’s how it first aired on TV. I watched it that way before I had the print.

  36. TravisR

    To me, that's confirmation that that (and presumably the rest of this footage) was cut prior to release. Harrison's memory of actually working on the movie holds more weight over people's memories from 60 years ago. Not to mention that it's nearly impossible for me to believe that one of the most popular and analyzed movies of all time was edited and no one noticed prior to this.

    That being said, it's exciting that Hitchcock's non-censored cut is now available.

    I think Joan Harrison's memory of actually working on the movie holds more weight, too. That is why I am sure she was not confused about whether the "tidying up" that she refers to in the interview was in relation to content involving Janet Leigh's slip and not content involving Janet Leigh's bra.

    If it can be shown in notes or somewhere else in the recorded interview that Joan Harrison herself confirmed that the clip the documentary filmmakers inserted into that portion of her interview, the uncut shot of Janet Leigh about to remove her bra, was the slip content she was talking about then I would be more inclined to believe it that was the scene she was talking about. Instead, I think the fact that she refers to a scene or shot involving Janet Leigh's slip instead of her bra is very strong evidence that the documentary filmmakers inserted the clip they THOUGHT was the scene she was referring to instead of the one she was actually referring to.

  37. Gary16

    I’m confused about the term “edited-for-television ” as used use here. I used to have a 16mm print of the real “edited-for-television” version. In that one the shower scene stabbing lasts about two seconds. That’s how it first aired on TV. I watched it that way before I had the print.

    It was my understanding that there was a version originally edited for a local New York television channel screening sometime around 1968 but was pulled at the last minute and not shown on the scheduled date due to a recent stabbing death of an elected official's daughter (sorry, I don't remember more details than that at the moment). Then, again as I understand it, there was another version edited for a national television presentation a year or so later that might have gotten Hitchcock's okay and approval. Not sure about any of that, though. But it is possible there were a couple of edited-for-television versions floating about for a while because I do recall there being that local New York television channel version, the one that did not air at the scheduled time and I don't see why NBC, CBS, ABC or whichever national channel aired it later would just pick up that local New York channel version to air. Seems to me they would start over and at least try to get Hitchcock involved in an authorized edited-for-television version.

    However, I'm guessing even IF Hitchcock had authorized a commercial television edited version of his movie, he did not intend for that or any other version to now become the official reference version for any and all subsequent theatrical or other media re-releases.

  38. lark144


    However, these 20 seconds of PSYCHO were there when I saw the film originally; also they're shots I still remember all these years ago being scared and stunned by. So yes, if this comes out on a single disc, I'll buy it immediately.

    If I may rhapsodize a bit more on the importance of those missing seconds, particularly the peephole shot leading right up to the very frame before we see Janet Leigh lower her bra to reveal her breasts. Because I believe it is totally relevant to how the subsequent shower scene affected you and me and everyone else in that audience so much more than the current widely released version does.

    On the most basic "Shocker" movie level, Hitchcock's original cut brought us right up to the very frame that would reveal Janet Leigh's body in a way nothing like an old-style Hollywood movie would have allowed. We had already seen Leigh in her slip and bra a couple of times in the movie. This time we saw that AND almost caught a glimpse of her breasts. I distinctly remember a round house groan of disappointment when Hitchcock cut away from what we could hardly believe we were about to see (but didn't get to) and back to Norman's eye looking though the peephole.

    Here is the amazing misdirection Master Magician Hitchcock had just created in that very instant; he was virtually ordering us to "Don't blink. Don't look away. Don't turn your head. Don't start chatting with your seat mate about what to have for lunch tomorrow. Don't even think about getting up to buy popcorn. Keep your eyes focused on this screen and maybe I will reward you naughty boys and girls with another chance to see this lovely lady's body when she takes a shower in a moment. Just a few more frames than I gave you here would do it, right?"

    And that is exactly the state of mind and locked focus we carried into the image of her removing her robe, closing the bathroom door, stepping into the tub, pulling the shower curtain closed and on and on. We THOUGHT we might be getting more "sex" on the screen and did not want to miss a frame of it. Even as the dark figure approached the shower from behind the curtain, it was lingering in our mind that whatever confrontation occurs might reveal more of this beautiful lady's body.

    Instead, a figure from Hell rips open the curtain and we are punished for our naughty thoughts more horribly than anyone could have imagined before this movie.

    IMO, none of that ultra focused expectation and hope for more "sex" exists in a sequence that only gets tee'd up as bold and lurid as the most tame old-style Hollywood movie showing a lady possibly and only possibly reaching for the waistband of her slip before cutting away. And without the ultra focused expectation of more genuinely revealing "sex", there is no complex horror at being as over-the-top unfairly punished for feeling that way as the younger Norman must have felt when Mother caught him alone in his bedroom.

    That edited peephole scene loses a major element of impact, shock and horror that Hitchcock brilliantly built into it, tee'd it up if you will, with the shot of us nearly getting a glimpse of Leigh's breasts. And in terms of commanding our unwavering and undivided attention for what follows as effectively as Hitchcock did with the bra removal shot, I submit that today's audience needs to be slapped into attention for what's to come even more than the 1960s audience did. He would add to his order, "Don't check your phone either!"

    I would love to sit in a theater with as uninitiated (to PSYCHO) a modern audience as possible to see how much better the original, uncut version of the movie works to keep today's drifting eyes and multi-tasking folks from checking their phone or playing Candy Crush during the moments following that bra removal shot than the one that would almost inspire them to look away and do something else for the next few minutes.

  39. There is no convincing those who will not be convinced. Clearly, Joan Harrison was talking about the first scene when mentioning Janet Leigh's SLIP tidying up – in 1960 you have no idea how prurient and shocking that scene was. There are some who believe the trims were made just prior to its TV airing (the first aborted airing, which, BTW, was a national thing, as it was cancelled here in LA and everywhere else, and just prior to its receiving an "M" rating, in those very early days of ratings, when the original version may well have not gotten an "M" with those shots in. But enough people have seen these shots because they were burned into the memory – and yes, that happened with this film – that to disbelieve that the "uncut" German Blu-ray release is anything BUT the original theatrical version of Psycho is just not wanting to believe it for its own sake, IMO.

  40. Cineman

    It was my understanding that there was a version originally edited for a local New York television channel screening sometime around 1968 but was pulled at the last minute and not shown on the scheduled date due to a recent stabbing death of an elected official's daughter (sorry, I don't remember more details than that at the moment). Then, again as I understand it, there was another version edited for a national television presentation a year or so later that might have gotten Hitchcock's okay and approval. Not sure about any of that, though. But it is possible there were a couple of edited-for-television versions floating about for a while because I do recall there being that local New York television channel version, the one that did not air at the scheduled time and I don't see why NBC, CBS, ABC or whichever national channel aired it later would just pick up that local New York channel version to air. Seems to me they would start over and at least try to get Hitchcock involved in an authorized edited-for-television version. The same thing happened with syndicated TV shows, where different prints of episodes had different scenes cut in order to fit in more commercials.

    .

    Back in the day when local stations broadcast 16MM prints instead of downloading films from a satellite, TV stations did their own editing ether for time, to fit a 90 minute or 120 minute slot or for objectionable content.
    Some films may have come pre edited, others not so. Some edited films may have been edited further by the station. The point being there could very well be multiple edited versions of a given film.

    I have to agree with others who have stated it is very odd that these cuts wouldn't have been mentioned before in regards to a film as popular and studied as "Psycho"

  41. Garysb

    I have to agree with others who have stated it is very odd that these cuts wouldn't have been mentioned before in regards to a film as popular and studied as "Psycho." Why didn't Truffaut ask Hitchcock about it?

    Why assume that either Truffaut or Hitchcock would have been aware of the cuts? It's entirely possible Hitchcock wouldn't have known. There was no home video, no internet. no VCRs. Movies were watched once upon initial release and usually forgotten. Discussions about the minutiae of different edits weren't nearly so common as they are now.

  42. If Psycho was edited AFTER its theatrical release and for those edits to have only just resurfaced, doesn't that mean that Paramount or Universal cut all of their prints & negatives (that seems like alot of extra work to have gone to the trouble of for a screening on TV) and none of the prints from the first 6 years of the movie's existence survived and no one remembered that a massively popular and endlessly discussed movie was cut until just recently? Dracula and Frankenstein were edited after their release but that footage was known to have been cut, prints survived and the footage was restored about 30 years ago. If it had been edited, how and why wouldn't Psycho have had the same fate?

  43. TravisR

    If Psycho was edited AFTER its theatrical release and for those edits to have only just resurfaced, doesn't that mean that Paramount or Universal cut all of their prints & negatives (that seems like alot of extra work to have gone to the trouble of for a screening on TV) and none of the prints from the first 6 years of the movie's existence survived and no one remembered that a massively popular and endlessly discussed movie was cut until just recently? Dracula and Frankenstein were edited after their release but that footage was known to have been cut, prints survived and the footage was restored about 30 years ago. If it had been edited, how and why wouldn't that footage from Psycho have been known and restored long ago?

    No, it means they created a new negative for the "M" version and all subsequent releases. I can't imagine they'd have cut the original negative, but then again, you never know, maybe they did. But you simply want to believe what you believe and that's fine. Those of us, and there are MANY, who saw this originally know these cut shots were in the original release. As to why Universal wouldn't have done something, someone there would actually have to be aware, and I'm not sure they've ever done a transfer of the original negative. And then, there's that pesky e-mail they sent to Turbine, clearly stating that what Turbine was releasing WAS the original US theatrical cut of Psycho. So, perhaps now someone knows something. Clearly you're not budging and just as clearly none of the rest of us are either. And so it goes 🙂

  44. I haven’t seen any mention of the music score accompanying these cut or uncut scenes. Wouldn’t Universal have had to make changes in the music so as to avoid any jump cuts or lack of synchronization with the video? They couldn’t have just cut or restored parts of scenes without adjusting the music.

  45. Garysb

    I have to agree with others who have stated it is very odd that these cuts wouldn't have been mentioned before in regards to a film as popular and studied as "Psycho." Why didn't Truffaut ask Hitchcock about it?

    As was mentioned already, the publication of that book was before Universal decided to authorize only edited versions of it for theatrical re-release, before widely available home video versions and so on. I don't think either of them had any idea such an ongoing distribution of the edited version would appear anywhere other than on commercial television presentations.

    The photo in the Hitchcock/Truffaut book accompanying their discussion of PSYCHO does indeed show the moment in the peephole scene where Marion has unhooked and is removing her bra (not seen in the generally distributed version now). And it is my judgement that the photo of the upraised knife during the Arbogast scene is NOT the first and only upraised knife shot we now have left in the edited version. There is a slightly different angle of the knife blade and it seems to have more of a light glint reflection on the blade than is seen in first plunge. I believe the photo of the upraised knife in the Hitchcock/Truffaut book is of either the second or third plunge, the ones that are not left in the edited version.

    I don't see any reason for Hitchcock and/or Truffaut to authorize the insertion of photos of iconic scenes in a movie only from some obscure German version of it, not the version that was seen during its initial theatrical release throughout the USA, and, more incredible, not mention a word about that in the discussion or with a caption a the bottom of the photos to explain to the readers of their book why they were seeing photos of shots they'd likely never seen before.

  46. Gary16

    I haven’t seen any mention of the music score accompanying these cut or uncut scenes. Wouldn’t Universal have had to make changes in the music so as to avoid any jump cuts or lack of synchronization with the video? They couldn’t have just cut or restored parts of scenes without adjusting the music.

    In another thread that touched on this subject, one of the first things I mentioned was a slight but still noticeable glitch in Herrmann's score during the peephole scene, a tell-tale sign that something had been cut right there.

    I don't think there is music accompanying the other two edited scenes. For sure not during the bloody hands shots. And during the knife plunging moments, the music has stopped by the time the knife plunges begin.

  47. Cineman

    In another thread that touched on this subject, one of the first things I mentioned was a slight but still noticeable glitch in Herrmann's score during the peephole scene, a tell-tale sign that something had been cut right there.

    I don't think there is music accompanying the other two edited scenes. For sure not during the bloody hands shots. And during the knife plunging moments, the music has stopped by the time the knife plunges begin.

    There is music during the knife plunges right up to the fade out.

  48. haineshisway


    As to why Universal wouldn't have done something, someone there would actually have to be aware, and I'm not sure they've ever done a transfer of the original negative. And then, there's that pesky e-mail they sent to Turbine, clearly stating that what Turbine was releasing WAS the original US theatrical cut of Psycho. So, perhaps now someone knows something.

    It is possible something else was happening. The edited version master was handy. It was clearly family-friendly enough to have been shown on commercial television so no threat of theme park attraction-related controversy, no threat of much controversy at all. Sales were fine and since so much attention had always been given to the shower scene and, perhaps, the shot of the toilet bowl, as long as neither of those shots were tampered with and the vast majority of people who saw the original had not sat down to really examine and analyze why those scenes were as disturbing as they were in its original release, why bother introducing problems to address?

    And on that count, who was the executive at Universal willing to insist on returning the bra removal shot, the longer shots of bloody hands and those next two knife plunges? What reward would he or she get for putting Universal in an uncomfortable position that, as far as anyone could tell, was not necessary to sell a lot of home video versions and keep the Universal Studios tour buses cruising past the sets?

    A possible but imperfect analogy; The Senate raising the national Age of Consent to 20 in order to appease their religious constituency. Which then causes a few problems with folks looking to hook up sometime after highschool graduation without waiting two more years. So…who is the incoming Senator willing to die on the hill of promoting the Age of Consent be LOWERED back to 18 where it was before? Nobody is going to tackle the now highly charged issue of arguing in favor of lowering the Age of Consent.

    So too with the shot of Janet Leigh unhooking and removing her bra, the longer shots of the bloody hands and those two additional knife plunges. If it was a matter of replacing a cut Rogers & Hammerstein song in FLOWER DRUM SONG, then I imagine there would be no problem getting an executive at Universal to argue passionately in favor of it. But more nudity, more blood and more knife plunges in a movie directly related to one of their most iconic family-friendly theme park attraction? Not so much.

  49. Gary16

    There is music during the knife plunges right up to the fade out.

    Ah, thanks for the reminder. Then the reason we don't notice a glitch in the music there is because nothing is cut from the middle of a sequence. The music fades out right along with the visual.

    In the peephole scene, the music is mostly sustained notes. So it is a very subtle but, imo, still noticeable glitch and jump when the visual returns back to Norman's eye too soon.

  50. Ken Koc

    Just received the PSYCHO boxset. Woah! It is massive! Programs , stills, Bates Motel stationary and Do Not Disturb signs and one sheet replicas of the 4 films. The supplements are almost overwhelming !View attachment 56234

    I ordered it last night, too. I cannot read German, but I assume the text states explicitly that this version of PSYCHO is the original, uncut, "as seen in theaters during its initial release" version.

    Which is something I have not seen on any other home video package graphic or on any revival theater screening poster since the early 1970s. It used to be mentioned often during those revival theater screenings. Then that claim came to a halt. Regardless of their reasons for not making the original, uncut version widely available if not exclusively available for any theatrical or home video presentation, at least Universal never came right out and claimed something about it that wasn't true in their ads or posters. It was certainly strongly implied and most purchasers would have no reason to question it. But it was never explicitly stated on any home video version that I have seen until now that the product herein is the original, uncut version as seen in its initial theatrical run.

  51. haineshisway

    No, it means they created a new negative for the "M" version and all subsequent releases. I can't imagine they'd have cut the original negative, but then again, you never know, maybe they did. But you simply want to believe what you believe and that's fine. Those of us, and there are MANY, who saw this originally know these cut shots were in the original release.

    Memories from nearly 60 years ago aren't known for their reliability. And if they are, why does it seem like people weren't even aware of the original version until now? Of all of the complaints I see on the internet, I can't believe that Psycho could be edited and there wouldn't be an uprising among movie fans. How could Universal have not released the 'original' theatrical cut if only just to squeeze a little more money out of Psycho before now? Is there any other example of something like this happening with another movie? There's a million less significant and lesser known movies that were edited and they're known but somehow a big hit and endlessly studied movie like Psycho has been unknown until now?

    And it's not that I won't budge on my position, it's that I can't see any reasonable explanation to those questions.

  52. Cineman

    Wow, that is a really old VHS/Beta tape of it. Do you know what year that was produced and distributed? And, most important, which version of the scenes in question are on that tape?

    I'd be very surprised if it's not the same version we've had on video for decades.

    I think the "every scene intact!" blurb meant to differentiate the video release from the hacked-up versions seen on TV…

  53. Colin Jacobson

    I'd be very surprised if it's not the same version we've had on video for decades.

    I think the "every scene intact!" blurb meant to differentiate the video release from the hacked-up versions seen on TV…

    I would be surprised about that as well. However, the introduction of video tape movies came so close to the time when Universal began to distribute only the cut version, I always wondered if there wasn't an overlap where at least one USA tape of the original uncut version got released in the wild even if inadvertently.

    If the blurb on the graphic was intentional and truthful for that particular video tape and if it is the same cut version we've been seeing on home video for decades, then that flies in the face of the letter from Universal sent to the German distributors of the new Blu-ray.

    That blurb about it being the uncut version is so strong and pertinent to what had befallen PSYCHO with regard to its television presentations, one wonders why Universal hasn't made a point of including it somewhere on the box, in the booklets, in the bonus material or anywhere else in the point-of-sale material for every VHS, Beta, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, Collection Set they have put out over the years. Unless, of course, they knew that doing so would be false advertising considering the version of the movie they were actually selling at the time.

  54. Cineman

    Wow, that is a really old VHS/Beta tape of it. Do you know what year that was produced and distributed? And, most important, which version of the scenes in question are on that tape?

    The photo looks like a reproduction of an early re-release theater poster.

    The first time I saw the film, in 1984, was when I rented this version on VHS. It was the version we have been watching all these years on home video. Your post jogged my memory of the "uncut" claim on the slip case.
    I find this whole thing very interesting. I've wondered for years, since seeing the 1997 documentary and being confused by the slip vs. bra commentary, what the deal was behind this fascinating deleted bit. And now it has all become clear. As clear as muddy water, that is.

  55. The 1979 DiscoVision Laserdisc seems to be the earliest issue on home video. I'm watching a few eBay auctions and will be picking it up before too long. I've been collecting Magnetic Video lasers of late, and they tend to be different masters from what CBS/Fox released a few years later. Will be interesting to see if DiscoVision discs follow suit.

  56. Cineman

    I ordered it last night, too. I cannot read German, but I assume the text states explicitly that this version of PSYCHO is the original, uncut, "as seen in theaters during its initial release" version.

    Which is something I have not seen on any other home video package graphic or on any revival theater screening poster since the early 1970s. It used to be mentioned often during those revival theater screenings. Then that claim came to a halt. Regardless of their reasons for not making the original, uncut version widely available if not exclusively available for any theatrical or home video presentation, at least Universal never came right out and claimed something about it that wasn't true in their ads or posters. It was certainly strongly implied and most purchasers would have no reason to question it. But it was never explicitly stated on any home video version that I have seen until now that the product herein is the original, uncut version as seen in its initial theatrical run.

    I watched PSYCHO last night. The uncut version looks great and integrated scenes , seamless. Interestingly there is also an unrestored 4:3 version included ..looks like it is from a tape source and says as it begins…"airline version"…which is the cut version the we have in the US.

  57. TravisR

    Memories from nearly 60 years ago aren't known for their reliability. And if they are, why does it seem like people weren't even aware of the original version until now? Of all of the complaints I see on the internet, I can't believe that Psycho could be edited and there wouldn't be an uprising among movie fans. How could Universal have not released the 'original' theatrical cut if only just to squeeze a little more money out of Psycho before now? Is there any other example of something like this happening with another movie? There's a million less significant and lesser known movies that were edited and they're known but somehow a big hit and endlessly studied movie like Psycho has been unknown until now?

    And it's not that I won't budge on my position, it's that I can't see any reasonable explanation to those questions.

    Don't think there's much point of carrying on save for the fact that you have repeatedly ignored the e-mail sent by Universal to Turbine saying what they were releasing WAS the original theatrical version of Psycho. Yes, you have managed to ignore that in every single response. It's all good.

  58. haineshisway

    Don't think there's much point of carrying on save for the fact that you have repeatedly ignored the e-mail sent by Universal to Turbine saying what they were releasing WAS the original theatrical version of Psycho. Yes, you have managed to ignore that in every single response. It's all good.

    I've ignored it because the only e-mail I've seen is from a guy who says he saw it 50 years ago. I can show you a ton of people who would swear on their children that they saw the "Biggs scenes" in Star Wars when it was on TV and that absolutely did not happen. It's a long thread so maybe I missed it but feel free to post or repost the Universal e-mail where they specify that this new Blu-ray contains the original cut of the movie and that they've been using an edited version for the last 5 decades.

    I'm willing to allow that you may be right but I'm not taking 50 or 60 year old memories as proof.

  59. TravisR

    I've ignored it because the only e-mail I've seen is from a guy who says he saw it 50 years ago. I can show you a ton of people who would swear on their children that they saw the "Biggs scenes" in Star Wars when it was on TV and that absolutely did not happen. It's a long thread so maybe I missed it but feel free to post or repost the Universal e-mail where they specify that this new Blu-ray contains the original cut of the movie and that they've been using an edited version for the last 5 decades.

    I'm willing to allow that you may be right but I'm not taking 50 or 60 year old memories as proof.

    What are you talking about, seriously? I said someone at UNIVERSAL, you know, the studio that owns the film, wrote Turbine and told them that what they are releasing is the original theatrical version of Psycho. That's not someone relying on memory – that's the STUDIO acknowledging to Turbine. Really, I'm done with talking about this to you because you simply will not see any other viewpoint, and have totally ignored the e-mail in question and then misunderstood it completely.

  60. JohnMor

    It seems likely at some point the cut version must have become Hitchcock’s preferred version or he would have spoken up to have the trims restored.

    I might take issue with that, because Hitch seemed like the type who, once he was done with a project and it was released, would simply move forward and not back.

  61. haineshisway

    What are you talking about, seriously? I said someone at UNIVERSAL, you know, the studio that owns the film, wrote Turbine and told them that what they are releasing is the original theatrical version of Psycho. That's not someone relying on memory – that's the STUDIO acknowledging to Turbine. Really, I'm done with talking about this to you because you simply will not see any other viewpoint, and have totally ignored the e-mail in question and then misunderstood it completely.

    Agreed.

    Numerous times, I've praised the current execs and staff at Universal of getting things correct.

    It was Universal that when told of an old video master held in Germany, tracked down the print, from which it had been derived, in Amsterdam, and arranged for the scenes to be shared with Turbine.

    It's nice when everything goes well.

  62. haineshisway

    What are you talking about, seriously? I said someone at UNIVERSAL, you know, the studio that owns the film, wrote Turbine and told them that what they are releasing is the original theatrical version of Psycho. That's not someone relying on memory – that's the STUDIO acknowledging to Turbine.

    I'm unaware of the e-mail that you're talking about. Post the e-mail and I will comment on it. If you can't post it, I'm not going to comment on it.

    Really, I'm done with talking about this to you because you simply will not see any other viewpoint, and have totally ignored the e-mail in question and then misunderstood it completely.

    That's fine and more than welcome but it's hilarious that you of all people would make that accusation. I'm more than willing to admit when I'm wrong and if those shots were originally in the movie, I'll gladly say I'm wrong. As of now, the only thing I've seen is people saying that they saw those shots decades ago and you referencing an e-mail. None of that qualifies as proof to me.

  63. I recall a different form of censorship with this film that caused arguments constantly — that of cropping the image during the shower sequence. In fact, on prints including the Super 8mm ones, you could clearly see a black bar on the bottom similar to letterboxing, but only on the bottom (covering a bit more of the breasts). I assume this has been corrected and that subsequent prints have not merely "blown up" the frame to hide the bar.

  64. I recall a different form of censorship with this film that caused arguments constantly — that of cropping the image during the shower sequence. In fact, on prints including the Super 8mm ones, you could clearly see a black bar on the bottom similar to letterboxing, but only on the bottom (covering a bit more of the breasts). I assume this has been corrected and that subsequent prints have not merely "blown up" the frame to hide the bar.

  65. Dick

    I recall a different form of censorship with this film that caused arguments constantly — that of cropping the image during the shower sequence. In fact, on prints including the Super 8mm ones, you could clearly see a black bar on the bottom similar to letterboxing, but only on the bottom (covering a bit more of the breasts). I assume this has been corrected and that subsequent prints have not merely "blown up" the frame to hide the bar.

    I believe the optical was always in place, presumably to hide the moleskin.

  66. TravisR

    I'm unaware of the e-mail that you're talking about. Post the e-mail and I will comment on it. If you can't post it, I'm not going to comment on it.

    That's fine and more than welcome but it's hilarious that you of all people would make that accusation. I'm more than willing to admit when I'm wrong and if those shots were originally in the movie, I'll gladly say I'm wrong. As of now, the only thing I've seen is people saying that they saw those shots decades ago and you referencing an e-mail. None of that qualifies as proof to me.

    I said this back in post 37:

    By all accounts, those shots *were* in the original USA release and edited for the reissue and TV prints. The 35mm print I ran 10 years ago (that was printed for the original release in 1960) contained those shots. It did not come from Universal, but from a private collector.

  67. Peter Apruzzese

    I said this back in post 37:

    I apologize for missing your post and I can accept that as actual proof that there were edits after its initial release. I'm still shocked that this has gone basically unreported and uncorrected for decades but I was wrong. Your polite correction and the information is appreciated.

  68. Dick

    I recall a different form of censorship with this film that caused arguments constantly — that of cropping the image during the shower sequence. In fact, on prints including the Super 8mm ones, you could clearly see a black bar on the bottom similar to letterboxing, but only on the bottom (covering a bit more of the breasts). I assume this has been corrected and that subsequent prints have not merely "blown up" the frame to hide the bar.

    That's only visible when the film is not projected in the proper aspect ratio.

  69. Robert Harris

    Agreed.

    Numerous times, I've praised the current execs and staff at Universal of getting things correct.

    It was Universal that when told of an old video master held in Germany, tracked down the print, from which it had been derived, in Amsterdam, and arranged for the scenes to be shared with Turbine.

    It's nice when everything goes well.

    It is great to hear about current Universal execs and staff taking pro-active measures to put an original, uncut version of it together again, even if not yet for a wider revival release or larger home video market. It gives me hope that the original, uncut version might someday, and someday soon, become the official studio authorized version of it for all future presentations, re-releases, revival screenings, streaming media, home video versions, etc.

    It is interesting that your report suggests Universal didn't already have an original, uncut version of it in their vaults all these decades and had to go to Amsterdam for it. Did I understand that correctly?

  70. Robert Harris

    I believe the optical was always in place, presumably to hide the moleskin.

    IIRC I read that that shot was hard matted in the camera. When the film ran in the intended 1.85 ratio there was no bar visible. When the 16mm and 8mm prints were made for TV and home the 4:3 ratio exposed the matted shot.

  71. TravisR

    I'm still shocked that this has gone basically unreported and uncorrected for decades but I was wrong.

    It was discussed several years ago. I thought there was a thread on it here, but I've searched and searched and come up with nothing. Perhaps I read about it on another board.

    Here's an article from 2012 talking about it:
    https://deadlymovies.wordpress.com/…se-of-the-german-uncut-version-of-psycho-196/

  72. TravisR

    I'm unaware of the e-mail that you're talking about. Post the e-mail and I will comment on it. If you can't post it, I'm not going to comment on it.

    That's fine and more than welcome but it's hilarious that you of all people would make that accusation. I'm more than willing to admit when I'm wrong and if those shots were originally in the movie, I'll gladly say I'm wrong. As of now, the only thing I've seen is people saying that they saw those shots decades ago and you referencing an e-mail. None of that qualifies as proof to me.

    If you read the HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT book, Hitchcock also specifically talks about those shots.

  73. lark144

    If you read the HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT book, Hitchcock also specifically talks about those shots.

    For me, the real smoking gun with finger print and beyond reasonable doubt DNA evidence is the inclusion of a photo of one of the most revealing frames of Janet Leigh removing her bra in the section of the HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT book where they discuss PSYCHO.

    It is right there in line with other photos from the peephole sequence as a matter-of-fact example of what was in the movie, what audience saw at the time of its original theatrical release and what both men (who are both credited with authoring the book, btw) at the time of their discussion naturally assumed future audiences would see in a screening of it as in sections for all the other films discussed in the book.

    And there is zero mention that it is taken from a shot that was cut from any widely seen theatrical version of the movie, the "European version", a "rarely seen" segment from a German TV presentation or anything of the kind. It appears in that section of the book because Hitchcock (and presumably Truffaut) recognized that moment as key to the dramatic impact of the movie and concluded it would be perfectly suitable if not essential for inclusion in a learned discussion of it.

    Furthermore, anyone can view and assess this evidence without reading an e-mail from Universal, screening a copy of it from a private collector or relying on 60 year old memories. Just go to your book shelf, a book store with a Film section or a library, flip open the pages to that section of the book and look at it.

  74. haineshisway

    Well, there's a finite number of sets they can sell, as it's a numbered limited edition. I think it's around 4500 or 5000, not much more than that. Doubtful they'd ever get anywhere near that, however.

    I just received my set yesterday. There was a card right at the top as I opened the rather big, heavy box with a typical late 1950s style postcard stating, in English, "When in California…visit Bates Motel". Lovely color photo of the quaint little place with, I believe, Marion Crane's car parked outside. And on the other side of that card is a certificate that says, in German, "PSYCHO LEGACY COLLECTION DELUXE EDITION is strictly limited to 3,636 copies and is issued only once. 1823." That last number is apparently the number for my copy. I don't speak or read German. I just used the Google Translate camera capture option on my smartphone for the translation. I suppose I could translate and read the entire German language "HOTEL REGISTER" background info bonus material book a few sentences at a time that way as well.

    It is a damned impressive set. I was happy to pay about $100 USD for it with (in my case, since I live in Asia now) an additional $45 USD or so for shipping. Not only am I relieved to finally have the version I saw in USA theaters back in 1960, but if my buying it helps them to sell out or get close to it and that puts a little more fire behind Universal to produce a USA stand-alone version of it then it is worth it to me for the sake of one of the greatest movies made by, imo, the greatest filmmaker of all time.

    Re-watching it again last night, it was so obvious why Hitchcock force-fed us the "tease" in the voyeuristic strip tease of Marion in the peephole scene right up to the very frame where we almost saw it all, only to be grudgingly denied it like an expert fan dancer covering herself at the last instant when Hitch cut away and back to Norman's (even more intensely watching, soaking it in) eye. Going that far was so unlike what one would have expected then, and I dare say even now, from a more conventional Hollywood production. Follow that soon after with the giant close up of a flushing toilet and, bingo, our eyes were widening by the second. There was no telling what we might see next, how much we might get a glimpse of after Marion drops her robe, steps into the tub and…

    The edited version we'd been viewing for decades works counter to that purpose. As long as this movie was going to cut away from Marion before she even touches an undergarment to remove it, we were still in a tame, conventional Hollywood safety zone. No reason to suspect we might see more of anything particularly sexy after she steps in the shower. Our eyes were not nearly as riveted to the screen, afraid to blink and miss anything, as was the case in Hitchcock's original version.

    The extended bloody hands shot? Longer and longer POV shots in any Hitchcock movie always create a more intense identification with the character whose POV we share. It is essential that we get those longer shots from Norman's POV now that Marion is no longer with us. He is the new "us" in the movie now. The longer Hitch held on the shot of those bloody hands, the more time WE had to be repulsed and think what we'd better do about it. Oh yeah, wash those hands asap if not sooner. And that is exactly what we/Norman does. Turning the moment into a brief insert shot seemingly for the mere sake of, what, plot information, significantly diminishes the power and greater purpose of it, imo.

    Those two additional stabs re Arbogast? It is brutal and merciless. And after a pursuit down the stairs, too. Mother does not seem to be weakening or losing her zest for killing with each murder. I detected a slight hesitation in the upraised knife after the third plunge. Did she see he was clearly dead by then and there was no need to waste another plunge? Save your strength for the next one, Mom.

    Honestly, I can't imagine any true PSYCHO fan waiting too long on this one and risk missing out, despite the likely (?) small risk of it only appearing in this version. I was struck by the report that Universal had to go to Amsterdam to locate a print with those scenes intact. Good lord, could that mean even the big wigs in the head office or on the lot did not have a 35MM print of it laying around or locked in a vault? The mind boggles to think even someone like Steven Spielberg did not have a beautiful, uncut, original theatrical release version of Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO to screen all these years if for nothing more than personal pleasure.

    But now I have one.

  75. And there were a lot of prints in 1960 – the film opened wide – not like today wide – but wide, on August 10. And not great theaters. It was only after its first two weeks and doing the business it did, that it suddenly got some premium theaters in LA. And then ran for quite a while.

    And I cannot imagine that the original camera negative was cut, at least one hopes Universal was not that stupid.

  76. haineshisway

    And there were a lot of prints in 1960 – the film opened wide – not like today wide – but wide, on August 10. And not great theaters. It was only after its first two weeks and doing the business it did, that it suddenly got some premium theaters in LA. And then ran for quite a while.

    And I cannot imagine that the original camera negative was cut, at least one hopes Universal was not that stupid.

    I believe the OCN was cut, as many prints were to be struck from it.

  77. Robert Harris

    I believe the OCN was cut, as many prints were to be struck from it.

    Oh dear. The hope would have been, of course, that they made a dupe negative from which to do the cuts. But there are clearly original 1960 35mm prints around should they have thrown out the trims.

  78. haineshisway

    Oh dear. The hope would have been, of course, that they made a dupe negative from which to do the cuts. But there are clearly original 1960 35mm prints around should they have thrown out the trims.

    Same situation with Mockingbird

  79. Cineman

    Wow, that is a really old VHS/Beta tape of it. Do you know what year that was produced and distributed? And, most important, which version of the scenes in question are on that tape?

    The photo looks like a reproduction of an early re-release theater poster.

    I found the release on the VHS Collector website here. It's from 1980, as indicated on the side of the tape, and borne out by the mention of the 1968 "M" rating, as opposed to the "R" re-rating from 1984.

    Interestingly, as far as I can tell, the aforementioned DiscoVison CAV LD from 1979 doesn't use that "uncut" tagline on the packaging, and neither does the 1981 CLV version, but, courtesy of the LaserDisc Database, I did find it used on the back of the 1984 release:

    [​IMG]

    So, I think it's probably just a marketing ploy based on the censored television versions of the day, that home video was the only way to see the uncensored film.

  80. Going back to the original header of this thread, I wanted to share a few thoughts about THE THIRD SECRET here rather than start a separate thread about it. Based on Bruce's review, I ordered this and have now watched it twice.

    I still think of Charles Crichton primarily as a director who made terrific British comedies, some for Ealing, and A FISH CALLED WANDA late in his career. He also, unfortunately, was responsible for the only weak (and overlong) tale that was part of the otherwise classic DEAD OF NIGHT (1945), which I personally find to be completely unamusing "comedy" relief while putting the brakes on the momentum built up to that point in the film. But it turns out he was very adept at the psychological thriller, as demonstrated by THE THIRD SECRET.

    Prior to this thread, I hadn't even been aware of TTS. And, once I saw that Stephen Boyd was in the male lead, I was wary about how well he would function in this type of story. I needn't have worried. This is an absorbing, sometimes exhilarating drama with some rather cool twists that only a few will have figured out ahead of the climax. The pacing is deliberate and there is a lot of heavy (but well-written) dialog. Doesn't matter. In fact, I appreciate that it takes its time to establish its characters as fully-rounded people, each with his or her own secrets. The performances are all superb. Richard Attenborough is almost unrecognizable, but is delightfully compelling. Boyd is surprisingly effective. Jack Hawkins is rarely disappointing and isn't here. Diane Cilento should have been Oscar-nominated.

    And then there is 14-year-old Pamela Franklin, who is an absolute wonder. Watch her grow up starting with THE INNOCENTS (at age 11) and followed by THE THIRD SECRET, OUR MOTHER'S HOUSE, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and others in between, and you can see how supernaturally beautiful and instinctively talented she was as a young actress, Few child/young adult actors could touch her. I am even more proud now to have her autograph on my copy of JEAN BRODIE. Ms. Franklin is exactly my age.

    I know this film will continue to grow on me, as it is a repeat-view title. Thanks, Bruce!

    It may not sport a new scan, but to my eyes, it looks damn nice. The black and white image is presented in the 2.35:1 ratio, which is my favorite shape for black and white (oddly, my favorite color ratio is 1.66:1). The transfer is sharp, with good contrast and deep blacks. The sound is fine…I have lost a bit of my hearing over the years, but could understand the dialog here easily without subtitles (which are available). The Indicator release is loaded with supplementary materials such as commentary, interviews with the likes of Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, etc., isolated music and effects track, trailer, and a 32-page booklet.

    Don't wait for a U.S. release…which might never happen!

    https://www.powerhousefilms.co.uk/collections/frontpage/products/the-third-secret-le

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