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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Universal – 1942, 1943, 1948, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1976
MPAA Rating: PG, R
Feature running time: 1762 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Mystery/Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC, VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio, English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio (Psycho), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (North by Northwest)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak and Sean Connery
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Music by: Frank Skinner, Dimitri Tiomkin, David Buttolph, Franz Waxman, Bernard Hermann
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 30, 2012

"The Master’s Collection"

Film Synopsis:

Spanning three-and-a-half decades of the director’s prolific career, Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection includes the classic thrillers The films feature performances from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak and Sean Connery. One of the most influential and revered cinematic innovators of all time, Alfred Hitchcock had a profound and lasting impact on modern moviemaking. Renowned for his signature wit, thrilling plots, pioneering camerawork and original editing style, Hitchcock’s masterful ability to wring every drop of suspense out of each scene is still studied and emulated by filmmakers around the world. He was nominated for five Best Director Academy Awards®, and four of his films (all of which are included in this collection) appear on AFI’s prestigious “100 Years…100 Movies” list.

My Take:

Saboteur: This riveting wartime thriller stars Robert Cummings as Barry Kane, a Los Angeles aircraft factory worker who witnesses a Nazi agent firebombing his plant. However, it is Barry who is accused of the fiery sabotage, and to clear his name he sets off on a desperate, action-packed cross-country chase that takes him from Boulder Dam to New York's Radio City Music Hall to the top of the Statue of Liberty. Hitchcock's first film with an all-American cast moves with breakneck speed towards its final heart-pounding confrontation and remains a suspense classic.

Shadow of a doubt: Joseph Cotton stars as Uncle Charlie, a calculating and charming killer who hides out in his relatives' small hometown. There, he befriends his favorite niece and namesake, Young Charlie (Teresa Wright). But she begins to suspect he may be the famed Merry Widow murderer. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues as the psychopathic killer plots the death of his young niece to protect his secret.

Rope: James Stewart, Farley Granger and John Dall star in this macabre spellbinder, which was inspired by a real-life case of murder. Two thrill-seeking friends (Granger and Dall) strangle a classmate and then hold a party for their victim's family and friends, serving refreshments on a buffet table fashioned from a trunk containing the lifeless body. When dinner conversation revolves around talk of the "perfect murder," their former teacher (Stewart) becomes increasingly suspicious that his students have turned his intellectual theories into brutal reality.

Rear window: Directed by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is an edge-of-your-seat classic starring two of Hollywood's most popular stars. When a professional photographer (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbors play out across the courtyard. When he suspects his neighbor of murdering his nagging wife, he enlists his socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to help investigate the suspicious chain of events, leading to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history.

The trouble with Harry: Academy Award® winner Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick and Jerry Mathers star in this charming comedy mystery. The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and while no one really minds, everyone feels responsible. Academy Award® winner Shirley MacLaine makes her screen debut in this New England romp that includes romance, humor...and several unearthings of the corpse. In The Trouble With Harry, the Master of Suspense proves the range of his genius with a decidedly different work.

The man who knew too much: James Stewart and Doris Day give magnificent performances as Ben and Jo McKenna, an American couple vacationing in Morocco, whose son is kidnapped and taken to England. Caught up in international espionage, the McKennas' lives hang in the balance as they race to save their son in the chilling, climatic showdown in London's famous Royal Albert Hall.

Vertigo: Vertigo creates a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder after an acrophobic detective (James Stewart) rescues a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) from the bay.

North by Northwest: Cary Grant teams with director Alfred Hitchcock for the fourth and final time in this superlative espionage caper where he plays a Manhattan advertising executive plunged into a realm of spy (James Mason) and counterspy (Eva Marie Saint) and variously abducted, framed for murder, chased and in another signature set piece, crop-dusted. He also holds on for dear life from the facial features of the Presidents on Mount Rushmore (backlot sets were used). But don't expect the Master of Suspense to leave star or audience hanging.

Psycho: Criminal on the run, Marion Crane take refuge at the motel operated by Norman Bates - a troubled man who's victims encounter a grisly fate at the hands of his "mother." Marion soon becomes the next victim and her disappearance prompts inquiries from her sister and a private investigator. They both soon discover the morbid bond linking Norman to his mysterious "mother" at the Bates Motel.

The Birds: Nothing equals The Birds for sheer terror when Alfred Hitchcock unleashes his foul friends in one of his most shocking and memorable masterpieces. As beautiful blond Melanie Daniels ('Tippi' Hedren) rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds are flocking into town, preying on school children and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can't be explained and can't be stopped in one of Hollywood's most horrific films of nature gone berserk.

Marnie: Hitchcock creates a masterful psychological thriller about a compulsive liar and thief (Tippi Hedren), who winds up marrying the very man (Sean Connery) she attempts to rob. When a terrible accident pushes her over the edge, her husband struggles to help her face her demons as the plot races to an inescapable conclusion.

Torn curtain: World-famous scientist Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancée/assistant, Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews), travel to Copenhagen for a physics conference. When Sarah mistakenly intercepts a message meant for Armstrong, she believes that he is secretly defecting to East Germany. Or is he? As Armstrong goes undercover to glean top-secret information, the couple find themselves running for their lives from enemy agents in this action-packed thriller.

Topaz: The best-selling spy novel bursts onto the screen in this riveting story of adventure and international intrigue. John Forsythe stars as an American CIA agent who hires a French operative (Frederick Stafford) to travel to Cuba and investigate rumors of Russian missiles and Topaz, a NATO spy. The inquiry soon spins into a life-threatening escapade of espionage, betrayal and murder.

Frenzy: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen and Barry Foster star in this morbid blend of horror and wit - the first Hitchcock film to earn an "R" rating. The Necktie Murderer has the London Police on red alert, and an innocent man is on a desperate quest to find the real serial rapist-murderer and clear his own name. Alternating heart-pounding tension with distinctive Hitchcock humor, Frenzy marked the Master of Suspense's return to his native England after almost twenty years.

Family Plot: A wealthy old woman hires a con man (Bruce Dern) and a phony psychic (Barbara Harris) to find her long-lost nephew. The results are diabolically funny as this suspense-comedy combines mystery and mayhem in nonstop excitement from beginning to end. Co-starring Karen Black and William Devane.

Alfred Hitchcock, a name synonymous with masterful filmmaking is recognized the world over for some of the best movies to come out of Hollywood. This collection is comprised of some of his best works, several of which are considered among the best films ever made. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres via a distinctive and recognizable directorial style developed over a career spanning more than 50 years. Many of his films have twist endings and thrilling plots featuring depictions of violence, murder, and crime, although many of the mystery plot points function as decoys or "MacGuffins" meant to underscore thematic elements and the psychological interpretations of the characters.

Alfred Hitchcock’s films are timeless. He knows how to tell a story, how to lure the audience in and exactly when to lower the boom. His films aren’t just driven by suspense but are alluring from careful examination of the characters and how they fit into the narrative like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. 15 of the finest works from the universally acclaimed Master of Suspense come together for the first time in one collection. These captivating landmark films are some the genre's most enduring and spine-tingling classics.

This collection of classics runs the gamut, featuring a variety of memorable characters, iconic moments and genre bending narratives. Saboteur is an edgy thriller of mistaken identity, diffident romance, and uncalculated risk. Shadow of a doubt’s story of underlying evil, upended devotion and malice is goose pimple raising. Rope’s Technicolor tale of superiority, sociopathy, and murder is effectively disturbing thanks to its seemingly one take perspective. Rear window’s claustrophobic take on voyeurism, circumstantial born theory, and jarring conclusion make it one of the most engaging films of the set.

The man who knew too much and Vertigo are inspirationally compelling albeit for different reasons with each speaking to the human condition on emotional levels derived from elements of mystery that will keep you guessing. Eerily frightening and dark, Psycho is among Hitchcock’s most recognized and iconic films thanks in part to one of the most memorable sequences ever shot. The Birds is a horror genre offshoot that expertly plays upon the inherent danger that Mother Nature’s inexplicability can be.

Marnie and North by Northwest feature Tippi Hedren and Cary Grant as different but slightly the same caricatures caught up in seemingly complex romantic entanglements encapsulated by crime driven narratives that include odd maternal relationships and rather interesting twists.

These of course are just are my personal favorites from this terrific collection that also includes, The trouble with Harry, Torn curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family plot. This superb collector’s set features 13 films previously unavailable on Blu-ray, a collectible 50-page book featuring storyboards, costume sketches, correspondence, photographs, and more. The entire set comes housed in an attractive book style keep case that is sturdily bound and features “pages” for storing each of the discs while including accompanying photos from each film. The “pages” are glossy cardboard which the disc’s slide into. The book slides into a sturdy matching cardboard slipcover.

Alfred Hitchcock amassed a superlative body of work as a filmmaker and is cultural icon. This 15 disc collection represents some of his most defining films and is simply a must have for fans and film enthusiasts alike.

Parental Guide:

The films in this collection contain thematic material, violence and mature elements that would be inappropriate for young viewers.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 78

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Video: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC or VC-1 encoded video (see below) and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo sound for the 13 previously unreleased films and the same 5.1 channel lossless mixes for North by Northwest and Psycho.

With 15 films in this collection I have decided to incorporate them all into this review. In many cases my comments regarding the quality of the video runs along similar lines with minor fluctuations that may or may not require deductions worthy of note. I have grouped them and will score them individually while noting specifics related to variations in overall quality. Generally speaking I found little to complain about with these high definition renderings although some exhibit some issues worthy of note. From what I could tell much of this is owed to the quality of the source with one clear exception that appears to suffer from heavy handed digital tinkering. The lossless soundtracks are pretty even across the board and will be addressed together with any specific items of note addressed.

The following applies to Saboteur, Shadow of doubt and Psycho which come to Blu-ray in their original aspect ratio via AVC (VC-1 for Psycho) encodes that look great. The masters are in excellent shape overall with Shadow of a doubt exhibiting a few rough spots that aren’t to a deleterious level. Images onscreen have excellent depth with rendering that draws out plenty of delineation. Close ups and mid level pans reveal perceptible detail in the faces, hair and clothing worn by the cast as well as the texture on surfaces within the frame. This adds a noticeable sense of depth to the image making it appear more lifelike.

Shadow of a doubt has moments where sharpness fluctuates but again it is minor and more than likely innate. Blacks have plenty of dynamic range and consistency which played very well against the various stages of white and gray. The film uses lots of low light interior and exterior scenes. The superb cinematography uses a variety of lighting schemes and purposeful shadows that are brought out in high definition. Contrast is stable and supports the film’s elements quite well. Grain is present in fine, even layers that appear to be preserved naturally. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies, bit starvation or compression related artifacts. Fidelity appears intact which results in an enriching and filmic presentation that looks great.

Saboteur: Video rating = 90
Shadow of a doubt: Video rating = 88
Psycho: Video rating = 90

The following comments applies to North by Northwest, The Birds and Torn curtain which come to Blu-ray via AVC (VC-1 for North by Northwest) encodes presented in their original aspect ratio. Colors are tonally balanced with lustrous primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are warm with discernible texture and primarily natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity appears intact.

Resolution is excellent as interior and mid level exterior shots offer clarity, detail and dimension that belie the films age. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enliven bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is visible in fine even layers with no apparent signs of image degrading digital noise reduction. I didn’t note the presence of any video related artifacts and thought that the presentation as a whole was top notch.

North by Northwest: Video rating = 90
The Birds: Video rating = 86
Torn Curtain: Video rating = 90

The following applies to Rear window, The trouble with Harry, Vertigo, and Topaz, which come to Blu-ray via AVC encodes presented in their original aspect ratio. Having no frame of reference regarding the original film elements I found that colors appear tonally balanced with vivid primaries, clean rendering and natural looking secondary hues. Fleshtones are warm with a balmy quality that isn’t as natural as I would like but doesn’t prove distracting. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is notable but occasionally fluctuates from a texturally revealing standpoint. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual penetration but I found the majority of the exterior and interior shots to reveal appreciable levels of refinement and dimension. Contrast is spot on while blacks are slightly elevated, which I didn’t find to be an issue. Grain is modestly rendered and I saw no signs of excessive digital manipulation of video related artifacts.

Rear window: Video rating = 86
The trouble with Harry: Video rating = 84
Vertigo: Video rating = 86
Topaz: Video rating = 86

The following applies to Rope and The man who knew too much which come to Blu-ray presented in their original aspect ratio via an AVC video encode that I found to be pleasing from an overall perspective. There a few issues with color balance and cakey fleshtones but both are forgivable. Images onscreen exhibit discernible depth and revealing levels of detail. Contrast is laid back but the video doesn’t appear flat. Blacks are respectable and detail in low level shots and backgrounds is respectable. Grain is visible and doesn’t appear to suffer from any digital manipulation. The print is in fair to good shape with only minor flecks here and there.

Rope: Video rating = 82

The man who knew too much: Video rating = 82

Looking at Marni, Frenzy, and Family plot each is presented in their original aspect ratio via AVC, or in the case of Family plot, VC-1 encodes. I found overall image quality that fell below that of the others in the collection. Marni looks fine in terms of color, contrast and brightness however resolution noticeably fluctuates and for some reason the reproduction of film grain ranges from moderately heavy to overloaded at which point the video becomes almost fuzzy. I found that this applied more to close ups but that wasn’t always the case. When things aren’t out of whack it presents just fine. Like Marni Frenzy looks fairly good in terms of the reserved color palette, and contrast/brightness levels.

Resolution is quite good however it is clearly evident that digital noise reduction has been applied to a deleterious degree that imparts a smooth aesthetic that looks less than film like. Family plot is the worst looking presentation in the set and suffers from a variety of problems. The opening segment provides a clear indication of what can be expected. The collar on Blanche’s blouse is crawling with noise, the print has noticeable (sometimes distracting) wear, colors are faded and fleshtones are just plain pallid. Resolution is uneven and the video has an edgy quality both of which obscure fine detail. This is pretty consistent throughout and makes for a painful viewing experience.

Marni: Video rating = 76
Frenzy: Video rating = 70
Family plot: Video rating = 58

In general I found the quality of all of these soundtracks to be high. Presented in DTS-HD Stereo with the exception of North by Northwest (offered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1) and Psycho (offered in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio) each audio presentation has an open expression with a central primary focus. Clarity and detail are excellent which pays dividends with vocal and music reproduction. Bass frequencies are held to the upper registers which doesn’t leave much work for the subwoofer but I never missed them. The dated components in the recording are apparent but overall sound quality is top notch. This applies to the multi-channel mixes as well. The only hiccup I found occurred in the opening moments of Rope. At several points while David and Philip are talking the dialogue momentarily drops off either altogether or in volume. It occurs right around 03:24 and later at 03:55. Beyond that point it sounds fine. Purists will appreciate these audio presentations as they appear faithful to the original recordings while delivering an enhanced representation that elevates the experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Saboteur:

  • Saboteur: A Closer Look

  • Storyboards: The Statue of Liberty Sequence

  • Alfred Hitchcock’s Sketches

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Shadow of a Doubt:

  • Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock’s Favorite Film

  • Production Drawings by Art Director Robert Boyle

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Rope:

  • Rope Unleashed

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Rear Window

  • Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary

  • A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes

  • Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of The Master

  • Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock

  • Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts

  • Masters of Cinema

  • Feature Commentary with John Fawell, author of Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Re-Release Trailer Narrated by James Stewart

  • Blu-ray exclusives: BD Live, Pocket Blu

  • The Trouble with Harry
  • The Trouble with Harry Isn’t Over

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much

  • The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much

  • Production Photographs

  • Trailers


  • Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock’s Masterpiece

  • Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators

  • Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts

  • Foreign Censorship Ending

  • The Vertigo Archives

  • Feature Commentary with Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, Restoration Team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, and Other Vertigo Participants

  • Feature Commentary with Director William Friedkin

  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Restoration Theatrical Trailer

  • BD Live, Pocket Blu (Blu-ray Exclusive)

  • North by Northwest

  • Feature Commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman

  • The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style

  • Cary Grant: A Class Apart

  • North by Northwest: One for the Ages

  • Destination Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest

  • Music-only audio track

  • Stills gallery

  • Theatrical trailers and TV spot

  • Psycho

  • The Making of Psycho

  • Psycho Sound

  • In The Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy

  • Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts

  • Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho

  • The Shower Scene: With and Without Music

  • The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass

  • The Psycho Archives

  • Posters and Psycho Ads

  • Lobby Cards

  • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Re-release Trailers

  • Feature Commentary with Stephen Rebello (author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho)

  • The Birds

  • Deleted Scene

  • Original Ending

  • The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie – New! (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • All About The Birds

  • Storyboards

  • Tippi Hedren’s Screen Test
  • Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts

  • The Birds Is Coming (Universal International Newsreel)

  • Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock (Universal International Newsreel)

  • Production Photographs

  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics

  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • BD Live, Pocket Blu (Blu-ray Exclusive)

  • Marnie

  • The Trouble with Marnie

  • The Marnie Archives

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Torn Curtain

  • Torn Curtain Rising

  • Scenes Scored by Bernard Herrmann

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Topaz

  • Alternate Endings

  • Topaz: An Appreciation by Film Historian and Critic Leonard Maltin
  • 700
  • Storyboards: The Mendozas

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Frenzy

  • The Story of Frenzy

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Family Plot

  • Plotting Family Plot

  • Storyboards: The Chase Scene

  • Production Photographs

Final Thoughts:

Alfred Hitchcock’s films are timeless. He knows how to tell a story, how to lure the audience in and exactly when to lower the boom. His films aren’t just driven by suspense but are alluring from careful examination of the characters and how they fit into the narrative like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. This 15 disc collection 13 of which are making their high definition debut on Blu-ray, represent some of the finest works from the universally acclaimed Master of Suspense. These captivating landmark films are some the genre's most enduring and spine-tingling classics. The Alfred Hitchcock: Masterpiece Collection comes to Blu-ray featuring excellent overall video quality that in all but a few cases appears faithful to the original source, and crystal clear lossless sound. The supplemental package is hit or miss with the more well known films getting the gravy. Regardless this is solid offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. I am thrilled to add it to my collection and it comes recommended for fans and film enthusiasts alike.


Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 01:39 PM
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Curious: Is the level of thrill in having this collection related to how much you paid for it? biggrin.gif

This is an expensive set. I'd sure rather see them all released separately at $15 each. (Which is what they're charging for the set)
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Curious: Is the level of thrill in having this collection related to how much you paid for it? biggrin.gif
This is an expensive set. I'd sure rather see them all released separately at $15 each. (Which is what they're charging for the set)


Great question rdgrimes. It didn't cost me anything so my answer might not carry much weight..wink.gif

I agree that having them released separately would be a nice option. smile.gif


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post #4 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 04:56 PM
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Nice review.


I'll be interested to see how the color cinematography looks in Vertigo and Marnie when they're released separately. The other two I'd like to see released on BD (which aren't in this collection) are The Paradine Case and I Confess. Those also had pretty decent B&W lensing imo.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-01-2012, 06:55 AM
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The hefty price of this set coupled with the fact that I have most of these on DVD means I may not be ready for the upgrade until they are released individually.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-01-2012, 09:45 AM
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To clarify the audio formats - Psycho, Vertigo and North By Northwest are 5.1 mixes. All the rest are 2.0 MONO.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-03-2012, 01:40 AM
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Thanks for the review of this much anticipated set, Ralph. I haven't received my copy yet but I was thrilled to read that this version of VERTIGO has the restored audio, foley effects, musical soundtrack dynamics and proper silence after the final fade out and Paramount logo that the restorers Harris and Katz had intended for the big restoration release several years back (which carefully followed Hitchcock's notes on the elements) but which had been disregarded and replaced with a sloppy rush job that was wrong on so many levels by the distributing studio.

Bottom line, all previous versions of the "restored" VERTIGO we'd been seeing in theatrical presentations and on home video, and I'm talking about the big deal 70 mm re-release and Legacy DVD, are notably diminished by a slap-dash audio treatment. But this Blu-ray, for the first time since the restoration, has apparently fixed all the inappropriate over-Dolbyized sound effects, filled in on the missing ones, and removed that atrocious reprise of the opening credits music at the end to accompany the newly added restoration credits. I honestly regarded what had been done to VERTIGO'S soundtrack in that previous restoration to be more-or-less a desecration of Hitchcock's work. From what I've read and from what I've heard on the iTunes downloadable version of this new release, they've finally restored it to where it should have been previously.

On a more negative note, however, I understand the PSYCHO we're getting on this set, as it was in the previous individual Blu-ray release, is the same incorrect 1970s television censored version that has somehow inexplicably been allowed to live on through all home video versions ever since pretending to be the full movie as it appeared in its original theatrical run (going for a Norma Bates metaphor here...). Alas, it is not. There are two sequences where a few seconds each of significant imagery (and what isn't significant imagery in a Hitchcock film?) had been cut for the television run back in the 1970s and, unbelievably, that cut version is what we've all been seeing of PSYCHO on every home video version (VHS, LD, DVD, now Blu-ray) ever since. How Universal and the Hitchcock Family have allowed this to happen and done nothing about it for the past 35 years or so is a mystery.

Do you have any info on this, Ralph? I had so hoped this major box set re-release of PSYCHO on Blu-ray would have finally restored what audiences saw in theaters all around the world back in 1960. If this Blu-ray of PSYCHO has indeed restored those missing segments, that would be really good news!
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-03-2012, 10:44 AM
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Thank you Mr. Potts for taking the time to write a review of each movie in this collection. I preordered the UK version since I already have North by Northwest on bluray. I sold all my previous Hitchcock dvds that will be in this set. I recently watched Strangers on a Train in bluray and it looked fantastic to me. Vertigo is my favorite one of this set and I look forward to seeing this on bluray. Thanks again.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-06-2012, 07:45 PM
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Just saw the movie preview of a bio type move on Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins in the lead role. He looked very convincing! cool.gif Coming out later this month.

Thanks for the reviews Ralph. I think I will buckle down and buy this.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 07:04 AM
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Marnie and North by Northwest feature Tippi Hedren and Cary Grant

Tippi Hedren wasn't in North by Northwest!
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by grover11 View Post

Marnie and North by Northwest feature Tippi Hedren and Cary Grant
Tippi Hedren wasn't in North by Northwest!


The reference was regarding a comparison between the two characters Tippi in Marnie and Cary in North by Northwest. wink.gif


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