Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

image

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]

image

Below is a breakdown of what to expect from each disc:

Saboteur:
•Saboteur: A Closer Look behind-the-scenes featurette
•Storyboards for the “Statue of Liberty” setpiece
•Alfred Hitchcock’s sketches
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Shadow of a Doubt:
•Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock’s Favorite Film behind-the-scenes featurette
•Production drawings by art director Robert Boyle
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Rope:
•Rope Unleashed behind-the-scenes featurette
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Rear Window:
•Commentary with Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film author John Fawell
•Masters of Cinema featurette
•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
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailers
•Re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart
•BD Live and Pocket Blu (BD Exclusive)

The Trouble with Harry:
•The Trouble with Harry Isn’t Over behind-the-scenes featurette
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailers

The Man Who Knew Too Much:
•The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much behind-the-scenes featurette
•Production photographs
•Trailers

Vertigo:
•Commentary: Filmmaker William Friedkin
•Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock’s Masterpiece
•Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators
•The Vertigo Archives feature
•Hitchcock-Truffaut interview excerpts
•Foreign censorship Ending
•100 Years of Universal featurette: The Lew Wasserman Era
•Theatrical trailer
•Restoration theatrical trailer
•BD Live and Pocket Blu (BD Exclusive)

Psycho:
•Commentary with Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho author Stephen Rebello
•The Making of Psycho
•Psycho Sound
•In The Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy
•Breakdowns of the “Shower Scene” setpiece: with and without music, storyboards by Saul Bass
•The Psycho Archives feature
•Vintage newsreel: The Release of Psycho
•Hitchcock-Truffaut interview excerpts
•Posters and Psycho ads
•Lobby cards
•Behind-the-scenes photographs
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer
•Re-release trailers

The Birds:
•The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie (BD Exclusive)
•All About The Birds
•The Birds Is Coming Vintage Newsreel
•Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock Vintage Newsreel
•Tippi Hedren’s screen test
•Hitchcock-Truffaut interview excerpts
•Deleted scene
•Original ending
•Storyboards Production photographs
•Restoring the Classics
•The Lot Theatrical trailer
•BD Live and Pocket Blu (BD Exclusive)

Marnie:
•The Trouble with Marnie behind-the-scenes featurette
•The Marnie Archives feature
•Theatrical trailer

Torn Curtain:
•Torn Curtain Rising behind-the-scenes featurette
•Selected scenes scored by Bernard Herrmann
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Topaz:
•Alternate endings
•Topaz: An Appreciation with film historian and critic Leonard Maltin
•Storyboards for “The Mendozas” setpiece
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Frenzy:
•The Story of Frenzy behind-the-scenes featurette
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

Family Plot:
•Plotting Family Plot behind-the-scenes featurette
•Storyboards for the chase scene
•Production photographs
•Theatrical trailer

North by Northwest:
•Commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman Destination
•Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest
•North by Northwest: One for the Ages
•The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style
•Cary Grant: A Class Apart
•Music-only audio track
•Stills gallery
•Theatrical trailers and TV spot

This massive collection also comes with a 50-page book featuring rare stills, storyboards,sketches,notes and correspondence.

Rear Window Review from Blu-ray.com

Reviewed by Kenneth Brown (All credit goes to him)
Source: blu-ray.com

An injured photographer becomes obsessed with watching his neighbors, one of whom might be a killer…

image

Rear Window might just be a perfect film. If not a perfect film, then perfect Hitchcock. It’s impossible to draw a line between the mystery and the suspense, the story and the setting, or the performances and John Michael Hayes’ dialogue. A melting pot of paranoia, isolation and the very real threat of murder most foul, it teases and toys, accelerates and tiptoes, delights and surprises, shocks and scares. It’s Hitchcock at his peak. Hitchcock at his most playful. Hitchcock at his most devious. Grace Kelly’s search of Raymond Burr’s apartment is torture, even some sixty years after the fact; torture made all the more unbearable with the knowledge that Jimmy Stewart’s wheelchair-bound L.B. Jeffries is helpless to do much of anything as Burr’s suspected murderer, Lars Thorwald, returns and catches Kelly’s Lisa in the act. Even then, his guilt or innocence is uncertain. Even then, we’re forced to ask if Jeffries has it all wrong. The single, shocking image that follows shortly after — of Thorwald craning his neck and staring directly at Jeffries — is as brilliant a shot and sequence as any Hitchcock committed to film. It’s also a testament to his prowess and punch as a filmmaker, not to mention his keen sense of pacing, plotting and mounting unease. The moment Thorwald makes eye contact with the audience, who’s unwittingly become entangled in the story, the director’s trap is sprung. All the distraction, all the pleasantries, all the characters, all the suspicion, all the suspense… all to form an inseparable bond between viewer and voyeur. Jeffries almost ceases to exist. It’s us sitting in that apartment, watching as the door to our apartment swings open and a hulking madman steps through. Rear Window is without a doubt one of Hitchcock’s best and an undisputed masterwork that belongs in any box set that dares call itself a Masterpiece Collection.

image

image

Rear Window Blu-ray Movie, Special Features and Extras

-Audio Commentary: Author John Farwell (“Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film”) provides a somewhat dry but undeniably detailed analysis of Rear Window, without so much as missing a shot or scene.

-Rear Window Ethics: Remembering and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic (SD, 55 minutes): From short story to screenplay to Hitchcock masterpiece, track the development, casting, production, performances, style and, eventually, the restoration of Rear Window.

-Masters of Cinema (SD, 34 minutes): A lengthy “Masters of Cinema” interview with Hitchcock that, despite its age, is one of the must-see extras in the 15-disc Masterpiece Collection set.

-A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes (SD, 13 minutes): Hayes covers a lot of ground, touching on his first meeting with Hitchcock, his first days on the job, his take on the director, his impressions of Stewart and Kelly, and more.

-Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master (SD, 25 minutes): An in-depth, career-spanning look at Hitchcock’s filmmaking prowess, desires as a director, contributions to cinema, and influence on generations of filmmakers that followed. “Pure Cinema” doesn’t focus on Rear Window, but it’s no less welcome.

-Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock (SD, 24 minutes): Hitchcock had a penchant for unforgettable visuals, but his meticulous mastery of sound was just as crucial to the impact, suspense, dread and mood of his films.

-Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts (SD, 16 minutes): Excerpts from filmmaker Francois Truffaut’s 1962 interview sessions with Hitchcock (for his book, the aptly titled “Hitchcock”) are set to a montage of clips and stills from the film.

-Production Photographs (SD, 3 minutes): Movie posters, vintage ads and production photos.

-Theatrical and Re-Release Trailers (HD, 9 minutes)

image

image

Criterion Collection Spine #3

#3 The Lady Vanishes

image

Synopsis from Criterion.com

“In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Dame May Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights.”

-High-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
-Audio commentary featuring film historian Bruce Eder
-Crook’s Tour, a 1941 feature-length adventure film starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as Charters and Caldicott, their beloved characters from The Lady Vanishes
-Excerpts from François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 audio interview with director Alfred Hitchcock
-Mystery Train, a video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
-Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
-PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr

image

This Day in History (August 13)

Aug 13, 1899: Hitchcock born

History.com

Alfred Hitchcock, the macabre master of moviemaking, is born in London on August 13, 1899. His innovative directing techniques and mastery of suspense made him one of the most popular and influential filmmakers of the 20th century.

Born the son of a grocer, Hitchcock attended St. Ignatius College, a Jesuit school in London where he studied engineering, and took art courses at the University of London. In 1920, he began to work in the silent-film industry, writing and illustrating title cards. Determined to become a filmmaker himself, he rose to the positions of art director, scriptwriter, and assistant director. In 1925, he directed his first film, The Pleasure Garden. With The Lodger (1926), the story of a man wrongly suspected of being Jack the Ripper, Hitchcock began making the suspense dramas with which he was to become identified.

His Blackmail (1929) was Britain’s first widely successful talking feature, and Hitchcock used sound effectively and imaginatively. During the 1930s, he gained international fame with immensely popular thrillers such as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), and The Lady Vanishes (1938). In 1939, he left England for Hollywood, lured by its superior technical facilities. His first American film was Rebecca (1940), a drama starring Laurence Olivier that won an Academy Award for Best Picture and further cemented Hitchcock’s reputation.

Hitchcock remained in Hollywood and directed a string of memorable thrillers in the 1940s, including Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and Notorious (1946). By the 1940s, he was serving as his own producer, thereby ensuring greater artistic control over his films. The psychologically complex and technically innovative films that followed are regarded as his most brilliant. These masterpieces of moviemaking, which starred some of the leading actors and actresses of Hollywood, include Strangers on a Train (1951), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), and The Birds (1963). In these meticulously orchestrated films, protagonists descend out of everyday life into tense and nightmarish situations where nothing is as it seems. To build and maintain suspense, Hitchcock employed unusual camera angles, elaborate editing techniques, dynamic soundtrack music, and touches of wry humor and the macabre.

With his courtly manner, pear-shaped figure, and farcical drawl, Hitchcock became a celebrity in his own right, and in the 1950s and 1960s he produced and hosted two mystery series on television, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” He also made cameos in most of his films, and movie fans stayed alert to catch his fleeting, often humorous appearances on the screen.

Although he never won an Oscar for his film direction, he received the prestigious Irving Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1967. In 1980, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of his native Britain, even though he had long been a naturalized U.S. citizen. Hitchcock died later that year, having directed nearly 60 films in his long career.