Thursday, 28 March 2019

On Blu-ray - David Hare discovers an uncut version of Hitchcock's PSYCHO

The frame above is part of the trim in length of the shot which Universal made to its US master negative for Psycho back then. Also trimmed were some of the six audible slashing sounds and at least two of the visible slashing knife shots from the shower scene. The full uncut print was obviously archived in Europe as the quality shows nary a drop in detail in this new German Blu-ray released on Turbine label in Germany as part of the Masterpiece collection. 

The existence of the longer sequence has always been accepted outside the USA where it never played uncut. Even back in Oz, for some miraculous reason possibly Hitchcock's own trip to Australia to help promote the film in 1960, it was passed uncut by the then ferocious Oz Censor, (before the "One Armed Bandit”, Dick Prowse took the Chief Censor job in 64.) And when it was being prepped for screening on Oz TV at the newly opened Channel 10 in the early 70s, it just so happened I knew the guy from Ten who did the editing and commercial cue work for the network. In those days they usually screened 35mm prints for broadcast. That transmission was the uncut 35mm too, as was a 35mm theatrical print some of us saw one day at a kid's matinee in suburban Oatley. The print was clearly a first generation, ten years after release.

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