MovieChat Forums > The Psychopath (1966) Discussion > Will we ever see it restored to its orig...

Will we ever see it restored to its original Techniscope aspect ratio?

Imho this is the best Amicus film and one of the best directorial efforts by cinematographer Freddie Francis.

The most frustrating issue about the much sought-after PSYCHOPATH is, that not too long ago, indeed a restored release seemed to be near but eventually was canceled due to problems with the available film elements.

In the English-speaking world there is nothing left of the PSYCHOPATH than TV-prints cropped to 4:3. It never appeared on VHS or Laserdisc worldwide, so there is no Techniscope 1:2,35 master around. In 2011 there was a rumour it was chosen by Legend Films within their Paramount-deal along with "The Skull" (UK 1965) for DVD and possibly Blu-Ray. However, the elements offered by Paramount reportedly were in such bad condition that Legend returned the PSYCHOPATH and switched its license to the Hammer film "The Man Who Could cheath Death" (UK 1959) by Terence Fisher.

A particular problem with THE PSYCHOPATH may be, that its original ending is said to have been hastily re-worked by Paramount the last minute before the theatrical run:
„The original script had the son as the killer. When they were showing the rough cut to Paramount, everyone knew it was the son, so the ending was reworked, some dialog changed and as the film plays now the mother is the killer. It's confusing because the script was poor and the last minute fix the best they could do with no money and no time left.“
LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORROR issue 20, Amicus special

Maybe someone has the article mentioned above in full and can quote all the passages dealing with the fate of the PSYCHOPATH herel – would be very interesting.

Sad but true: as far as I see, an 80s MAZ taken from a more or less battered old German-language theatrical print cropped to 1:1,78 aspect ratio used for TV showings in Germany seems to be the best available version of the film worldwide (!) today. Whether it contains censorship cuts I do not know without having any comparison, but it’s quite likely. So meanwhile it has happened, that fandubs of the German print with English sound are floating around.

Thus, it was promising when an Italian label called Golem Video announced a dvd in 1:2,35 ("La Bambola Di Cera") in 2012. But completing the disappointments, it was only the German TV-rip provided with English and Italian audio. Most probably a bootleg.

Next, one could hope that Olive Films, which began releasing a large part of the Paramount back-catalogue would finally do something about the movie. Of course, one would trust in much more competence for such a difficult title by Olive than by Legend. Indeed, there were rumors that Olive was definitely considering it but also has thrown in the towel soon lms/page-44#entry3833274

With the Warner-Paramount-deal, which migrates the Paramount back-catalogue to the Warner Archive Collection, the future of Olive releasing more Paramount titles has become questionable anyway.

Too bad, because the eerie PSYCHOPATH truly would deserve to strike terror again in Techniscope and brilliant Technicolor. The rather weak reputation today simply is owed to the fact that nobody had a chance to see the film in proper quality throughout the last 47 years...

Does anybody know more details about the condition of the film elements and previous attempts in restoring the film? Sadly, Olive never responded to any of my emails.


I surmise the reason for the film's less than glowing reputation stems more from content than presentation. The "Psycho" parallels are blatant, most of the characters are uninteresting, the mother and son are both over-the-top, and there aren't enough red herrings to make a good whodunit. That said, the thing they really got right is the atmosphere. Odd angles, wide lenses, long shots, checkered floors, rooms filled with creepy dolls, a seemingly labyrinthine warehouse -- this is a flick with a real sense of style. Shame that more than half the picture's missing.

As for the quality of the film elements, just because poor elements were offered for a DVD release, it doesn't mean that's the only elements that exist. On more than one occasion such an excuse has been given, taken as fact online and later been disproven (the 'Little Shop of Horrors' musical instantly springs to mind). At the very least, there's doubtlessly prints in the hands of private collectors. Here's hoping it's seen again in its full ratio someday.