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lark144

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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.
 

JohnMor

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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.
 

Cineman

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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 and Psycho House 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 the position of having 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 Hitchcock intended his audience to see of one of the greatest movies of all time has in reality NOT been so at all.
 
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Cineman

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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's every move, cleaning up the mess and removing 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 mind 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 it on with his bloody hand. 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 plunges with that huge knife blade makes it absolutely certain and now we can start paying attention to the next scenes with that particular plot point done and done and done.

IMO, the way Hitchcock shot it and assembled the shots originally made perfect narrative and emotional sense. The edited-for-television version does not and leaves a ton of brilliant complexity, well, on the cutting room floor.
 
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Cineman

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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 crossed, pointing mostly 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 at the request of the censors before the initial theatrical release and not the now famous bra removal scene that comes later in the film. There is a big difference between a "slip" and a "bra". I don't think Joan Harrison was confused about that. I think the documentary filmmakers simply misunderstood and assumed she was referring to the bra removal scene, which Hitchcock did not cut out of the movie before the original theatrical release.
 
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TravisR

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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.
 

Colin Jacobson

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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...
 

Gary16

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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.
 

Cineman

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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 doubt 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 Hitchcock's or Joan Harrison's contemporaneous 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 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 and they got it wrong.

It is understandable how they could have gotten it wrong. By the time they were making that documentary, the only home video or reference version of PSYCHO Universal was putting out was the version that had the footage of the peephole/bra scene cut out. And the existent German tv copy of the uncut version would mislead them into thinking that must be the scene she was talking about. But, imo, it wasn't.

Bear in mind that as far as anybody knows now and in the absence of some confirming notes from either Hitchcock or Harrison, it was only the documentary filmmaker's decision to plant in our minds that the clip of another edited scene, the one involving Janet Leigh's bra, was the scene Joan Harrison was talking about involving Janet Leigh's slip. And I seriously doubt Joan Harrison was confused about whether the scene that offended the censors so much that Hitchcock "tidied it up" before the original release involved her slip instead of her bra.
 
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Cineman

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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.
 

Cineman

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...
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.
 
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haineshisway

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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.

This is an e-mail I received from someone who read my blog about these Psycho cuts:

I first saw it on a local Baltimore/Washington TV station during it's first go-around. As you probably know it was slated for network presentation on CBS but pulled at the last minute.
Every time I saw it on TV during that time - basically whenever it was on - the extended shots from the "German" version were present. The shower scene, though, was severely truncated.
In 1968 it was re-released with an "M" rating. I saw it for the first time then in a theater - believe it or not at my local drive in. It was the first time seeing the shower scene intact BUT the two extended shots were gone.
Every time I saw the film subsequently in a theater - many, many times - all prints with the "M" certificate attached had those shots missing. Occasionally at revival houses - mostly in Washington - an errant print would turn up (without the "M" rating attached to that print) and it would contain those shots.
So, I'm thinking these cuts were made for the "M" rating.
 
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Garysb

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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." Why didn't Truffaut ask Hitchcock about it?

On a completely unrelated topic this is how we watched movies on TV before home video:
 
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Worth

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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.
 

JPCinema

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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 !
IMG_2248.jpeg
 
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TravisR

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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?
 

haineshisway

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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 :)
 

Gary16

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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.
 

Cineman

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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 the 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 tv version of it, not the version that was so widely seen during its initial theatrical release throughout the USA and elsewhere around the world and, more incredible, not mention a word about that in the discussion or with a caption at the bottom of the photos to explain to the readers of their book why they were seeing photos of shots they'd likely (supposedly) never seen before.
 
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