Theatrical Trailer-1.33:1, Dolby Digital 1.0
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1960|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Alfred Hitchcock|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is a struggling assistant in a real estate agency. She has a lover, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), who is in debt to his ex-wife. Once his debt is cleared, he intends to marry Marion. Marion's boss makes a big real estate sale, which the purchaser settles in cash, all $40,000 worth. Marion is entrusted with the task of taking this hefty sum of cash to the bank (in the remake, the cash amount has multiplied by a factor of 10), but temptation proves to be too much and she heads for Sam's residence. Along the way, she stops at the Bates Motel, run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), which is where things go from bad to worse.
How do the two versions compare? Well, for starters, the original is genuinely edge-of-your-seat thrilling whereas the remake is rather dull. This is despite the two versions being shot-for-shot identical. There is something about the original that is simply far more convincing, not the least of which is the characterizations of the principal players, which simply seemed wrong in the remake. The fact that the original is black-and-white adds to the tension markedly. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I had not seen the original version of this movie until I viewed this disc - the first time I saw this movie was last month when I reviewed the remake.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was reasonably sharp and clear most of the time, with a small number of scenes exhibiting some film grain. Shadow detail was reasonable in the brightly lit shots, but lacking in the lower-lit shots. There was no low level noise in the transfer.
The film is black-and-white, so no comments can be made about the colours.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. There was some image wobble present, especially early on in the movie, but I suspect that this was on the original print rather than something that was an issue with the transfer. In regards to film artefacts, there were some nicks and scratches that were visible at times, but they remained perfectly acceptable for a transfer of this vintage. Indeed, I was expecting to see more artefacts than were actually present. The opening logo and credits exhibited lots of film artefacts, but this settled down as the film proper began.
English, French and Greek subtitles are available on this disc, and are selectable at all times. The packaging incorrectly states that the only subtitles on this disc are English.
Dialogue was relatively clear and easy to understand given the compressed and frequency-limited monaural nature of this soundtrack. Significant hiss intruded into the dialogue at times.
Audio sync was somewhat problematic with this disc. Early on, the sync wandered in and out, and then settled down for the majority of the movie until the very end, when the psychiatrist's speech was again significantly out of sync. This sync problem was the same on both my DVD player (Pioneer DV-505) and on my DVD-ROM setup (Panasonic SR-8583 and PowerDVD 2.0), so it is inherent in the disc. It is my belief that this is most likely inherent in the original print of the movie, but I would need to compare this version of the disc to the Region 1 version of this disc and thence to the movie to confirm that this is not a mastering error.
The score by Bernard Herrmann is excellently suited to the on-screen action. The frequently strident and jarring strings add enormous tension to the proceedings.
The surround channels were not used.
The .1 channel was not used.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is acceptable given the vintage of the movie.
The audio quality is poor, and sync is a problem.
The extras are good but limited.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|