Undoubtedly one of the most influential movies of all time. This film broke new ground in terms of subject matter. Sure the idea of a serial killer may not of been new but never had one seemed so accessible.
Janet Leigh is also killed off within the first 45 minutes in one of cinema's most iconic scenes.
The history surrounding this feature will be heavily covered in the yet to be released "Hitchcock" starring Antony Hopkins in January 2013. I understand that Hitchcock had been heavily influenced by the story of real life killer Ed Gein who's exploits also influenced "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
It's hard to nail which Hitchcock picture ranks as his best as his brilliance is captured in so many different ways over so many different movies. I have always personally ranked this as his best. The camera work and placement is tremendous. The plug hole/victims eye shot, the high crane shot which proceeds the PI's demise, so many moments capture the scene with effortless genius.
I cannot fault this picture and do not hesitate in stating that this is a 5/5 masterpiece of cinema. Glorious.
As for the transfer onto Blu-ray............................
Universal have granted this a VC-1 encoded, 1.85:1 framed, 1080p transfer onto a 50GB Blu-ray disc of mixed quality.
Don't worry overall this is a solid and at times great transfer which trounces previous DVD releases for sharpness and detail, however there are moments that real videophiles will pick up on.
There are moments of artifacting here and there. The source elements haven't been digitally scrubbed so we do have film grain which is fine and unobtrusive. The contrast for the most part is excellent and the detail is clear and sharp.
The issue is occasional moments of aliasing and shimmer, this is most noticeable on the clothing worn by Businessman Tom when he visits the bank. His suit pattern is too much for the transfer to handle, although this is the worst instance it does happen in numerous other scenes.
The film itself is also in great condition, I'm not sure if a full restoration was carried out prior to this release or whether the restoration is from a previous DVD release but I did not detect and real time damage like white popping or scratches.
I think Universal should learn from Warner Bros and Sony Pictures when it comes to catalogue releases from its archives.
Overall though this is definitely worth an upgrade from owning the DVD.
Film 5/5 Transfer 4/5