Off Topic Messages

Hitchcock Blu-Ray Boxed Set

Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:38 pm

A tip for the wary: the blu-ray boxed set of Hitchcock's Universal films that is due out soon has got rather a damning review in Sight and Sound this month. The review is based on the preview set sent out to reviewers a couple of months back. Following this, the retail release date was set back 5 weeks in order to deal with "issues" on the set. It is the first version of the box that has been reviewed for S&S, but how much and how well the numerous issues listed have been dealt with are as yet unknown. Going by the review and the worries about the set, delaying purchase until the revised version has been reviewed sounds like a VERY good idea!

Re: Hitchcock Blu-Ray Boxed Set

Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:24 am

Hopefully, whatever issues Sight & Sound appreciated with this release have been corrected -- mainly, in relation to Frenzy and Family Plot. North by Northwest and Psycho are said to be the same as their individual blu-ray releases, which are excellent, whilst the transfer of Vertigo has been cited as an improvement on the recent D.C.P. cinema release -- which looked - and sounded - marvellous to my eyes and ears. Reviews of Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and Rear Window have also been positive, despite reservations on the latter. And, although it was disheartening to find this release being delayed, it's gratifying to know that a studio will listen to criticism, acknowledge their mistakes and withdraw to amend.

I've had the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection on pre-order for some months, and haven't cancelled my purchase. Hopefully, it will live up to expectations, although, I don't believe it will be perfect. The overall set looks very impressive, though -- and I am quite partial to a box-set. I've also got the Lawrence of Arabia collector's edition pre-ordered for release on the same day as the Hitchcock set. Reviews of David Lean's masterpiece on Blu-ray have been effusive in their praise, citing this as a benchmark for the format. It's also back in cinemas later this month.

Re: Hitchcock Blu-Ray Boxed Set

Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:51 am

greystoke wrote:Hopefully, whatever issues Sight & Sound appreciated with this release have been corrected -- mainly, in relation to Frenzy and Family Plot. North by Northwest and Psycho are said to be the same as their individual blu-ray releases, which are excellent, whilst the transfer of Vertigo has been cited as an improvement on the recent D.C.P. cinema release -- which looked - and sounded - marvellous to my eyes and ears. Reviews of Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and Rear Window have also been positive, despite reservations on the latter. And, although it was disheartening to find this release being delayed, it's gratifying to know that a studio will listen to criticism, acknowledge their mistakes and withdraw to amend.

I've had the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection on pre-order for some months, and haven't cancelled my purchase. Hopefully, it will live up to expectations, although, I don't believe it will be perfect. The overall set looks very impressive, though -- and I am quite partial to a box-set. I've also got the Lawrence of Arabia collector's edition pre-ordered for release on the same day as the Hitchcock set. Reviews of David Lean's masterpiece on Blu-ray have been effusive in their praise, citing this as a benchmark for the format. It's also back in cinemas later this month.


Vertigo was one of the titles that was flagged up in S&S, from what I remember. It will be interesting to see what improvements have been made. I confess that I won't buy the set just yet - the DVDs have been watched a few times each and I'm not in any hurry to see the films again, wonderful though they are. Going by the recent screenings of The Lodger and Downhill on Sky Movies, I would be interested in a set of the silent movies coming out on blu-ray, and I think this is likely to happen some time next year. They are certainly a vast improvement on what we have already, despite the fact that the two boxed sets covering the British Hitchcock from a few years back were most welcome.

I'm really not a Lean fan, and have quite an aversion to "epics", so won't be picking up Lawrence. I did nearly pick up Great Expectations on Blu-ray a week or so back as I realised I didn't have it on DVD and quite fancied watching it, but the blu-ray has quite bad reviews and so plumped for the cheaper DVD instead. Despite having had a blu-ray for a couple of years, I don't seem to have quite made the transition yet and been willing to start buying films again, with a couple of exceptions. The few blu-rays I do have are, indeed, wonderful - and it's great to see films such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Wings and Sunrise getting the releases they deserve. I hope to pick up the Testament of Dr Mabuse some time soon too, and no doubt Lifeboat as well as it's the one Hitchcock film I don't have.

Re: Hitchcock Blu-Ray Boxed Set

Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:08 pm

Eureka's Blu-ray release of Lifeboat is quite excellent -- highly recommended if you like the film. I also plan to buy The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Again, from Eureka. Reviews for this release have been terrific. The Blu-ray release of The Lodger has also been well-received, so that's another on my list, but I do wonder if an early Hitchcock and a Dr. Mabuse collection are in the works. The past month, or so, however - and throughout November - has seen a tremendous amount of blu-ray releases. So many that it's difficult to keep up. But the range of Hitchcock films on blu-ray is splendid, with Dial M for Murder also due for release later this month.