Compared are the Theatrical Version (US DVD by MGM) and the Director's Cut (US Blu-ray by Olive Films).
Jenny runs away from home to find her lost brother Steve in San Francisco's hippie district Haight-Ashbury where she runs into Stoney, a musician, and his friends. They assist in the search of her brother. The culture of free love and excessive drug abuse is new for her at first but as time went by, she adapts. Jenny finds out that her brother is an artist knows as "The Seeker" and that he is in hiding because he had trouble with a group of rowdies.
After the huge success of "The Trip" (1967) in which commercial director takes acid while being watched by his friend John, the movie "Psych-Out" with a similar plot was released one year later. And again, the original screenplay was written by Jack Nicholson but it was too experimental for director Richard Rush. For that reason, it was rewritten by other screenplay writers. Nicholson got the male lead - he is playing the Stoney character. Further familiar faces from "The Trip" are Susan Strasberg (this time she plays the female lead character Jenny) and Bruce Dern (as her lost brother Steve). Basically, the plot of "Psych-Out" is more compelling than the plot of "The Trip" but the focus is on hippie culture. Familiar techniques such as the visualization of a trip can be found in Psych-Out as well. Further highlights are Jack Nicholson playing the guitar and Bruce Dern dressed up as guru - including a wig. Shots of Haight-Ashbury in the late 60s creature the atmosphere of that time.
On DVD, only the approx. 14 minutes shorter Theatrical Version is available. The Olive Films Blu-ray on the other hand contains the longer Director's Cut. Accompanied by the song "Incense and Peppermints", the scene in which posters for Stoney's concert are being hung up is much longer in the Director's Cut. A trip with several barely dressed women is back in the movie and so is Jenny's fashion show. If one can pick, the Director's Cut should be chosen. Though scenes may not be relevant for the main plot but they are the essence of the movie which makes them vital.
US DVD: 89:33 Min.
US BD: 103:05 Min.
After the beginning of the opening, we see furter hippies on the streets. Jenny is listening to some street musicians and a woman asks her for change. Another guy wants to know if she had a place to crash. Jenny says she did.
Director's Cut: 1:03 min
Stoney and his group are screwing around. Harry walks across the bar, takes a seat at Jenny's table and asks if she was a Gemini. She does not respond and when he tries to kiss her, she backs off. He explains he was a Leo assorted well with Gemini. He then grabs another woman and takes her to Stoney's table.
Director's Cut: 1:01 min
The shot of the bus is longer. Elwood is tripping. After that, we see the boys hanging up more posters.
Director's Cut: 1:31 min
Jenny tries on more clothes until she finally finds what she was looking for.
The hippie jam session starts with a long tracking shot. Several shots of a party follow. Elwood asks Pandora why she was dancing so slowly. She says she was not and explains she was actually dancing anyone else. Sparkling item attract attention, several people are just hanging.
Director's Cut: 5:30 min
Lynn asks a guy if everything was fine but the guy is heavily tripping and sees a lot of colors. He also has visions of barely clothed women.
Director's Cut: 4:32 min