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TravisR

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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.
 

haineshisway

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Read and don't ignore Robert Harris's comment. I believe the e-mail in question has been talked about on other forums and on the Turbine site. I shan't reply to any more of your posts, sorry.
 

Dick

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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.
 

Robert Harris

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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.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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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.
 

TravisR

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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.
 

Mark B

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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.
 

Cineman

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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 screening 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?
 
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Gary16

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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.
 

Jeff Adkins

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lark144

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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.
 

Cineman

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If you read the HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT book, Hitchcock also specifically talks about those shots.
For me, conclusive beyond reasonable doubt, smoking gun, finger print and DNA evidence is the inclusion of a screenshot 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 screenshots from the peephole sequence and the shower scene as a matter-of-fact example of what was in the movie, what audiences 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 screenshot photo 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 and image as key to the dramatic and cinematic impact of the movie and concluded it would be perfectly suitable if not essential for inclusion in a learned discussion of it.

Best of all, 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.
 
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Jack Theakston

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The hard matte in the shower closeup was a post-production addition. Here is the work order from Pathé for when the censorship was ordered:

9E7550B4-6A83-40FC-AA8D-13A6479688B5.jpeg
 

Cineman

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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.
 
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haineshisway

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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.
 

Robert Harris

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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.
 

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