Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
9 out of 10
Extras Rating:
10 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating:
Saboteur - PG
Shadow of a Doubt - PG
Rope - PG
Rear Window - PG
The Trouble with Harry - PG
The Man Who Knew Too Much - PG
Vertigo - PG
Psycho - R
The Birds PG-13
Marnie - PG
Torn Curtain - PG
Topaz Not Rated
Frenzy R
Family Plot - PG

Special Features:
Ultra-premium velvet packaging
36-page collectible book

Saboteur
Saboteur: A Closer Look
Storyboards
Alfred Hitchcock's Sketches
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Shadow of a Doubt
Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock's Favorite Film
Production Drawings by Art Director Robert Boyle
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Rope
Rope Unleashed
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Rear Window
Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary
A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes
Production Photographs
Production Notes
Re-Release Trailer Narrated by James Stewart
Theatrical Trailer

The Trouble with Harry
The Trouble With Harry Isn't Over
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Vertigo
Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece
Feature Commentary with Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, Restoration Team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz and Other Vertigo Participants
Original Theatrical Trailer
Restoration Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes
Foreign Censorship Ending
The Vertigo Archives

Psycho
Theatrical Trailer
Re-Release Trailers
Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho
The Shower Scene
The Psycho Archives
Production Photographs
Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass
Lobby Cards
Posters and Psycho Ads
Production Notes

The Birds
Deleted Scene
The Original Ending
Storyboard Sequence
Tippi Hedren's Screen Test
The Birds Is Coming (Universal International Newsreel)
Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock (Universal International Newsreel)
Production Photographs
Production Notes
Theatrical Trailer

Marnie
The Trouble with Marnie
The Marnie Archives
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Torn Curtain
Torn Curtain Rising
Scenes Scored by Bernard Herrmann
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailers
Production Notes

Topaz
Topaz: An Appreciation by Film Historian and Critic Leonard Maltin
Alternate Endings
Storyboards: The Mendozas
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Frenzy
The Story of Frenzy
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes

Family Plot
Plotting Family Plot
Storyboards: The Chase Scene
Production Photographs
Theatrical Trailers
Production Notes

Bonus Disc
AFI Salute to Alfred Hitchcock
Masters of Cinema
The Making of Psycho
All About the Birds

Other Info:
Full Frame (1.33:1) Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope
Widescreen (1.66:1) Rear Window
Widescreen (1.85:1) The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy, Family Plot

Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono All Films
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound Vertigo

Saboteur - Run Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
Shadow of a Doubt - Run Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Rope - Run Time: 1 Hour 21 Minutes
Rear Window - Run Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
The Trouble with Harry - Run Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
The Man Who Knew Too Much Not Listed
Vertigo - Run Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Psycho - Run Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
The Birds Not Listed
Marnie - Run Time: 2 Hours 11 Minutes
Torn Curtain - Run Time: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
Topaz - Run Time: 2 Hours 23 Minutes
Frenzy - Run Time: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
Family Plot Not Listed

Synopsis:
You'll find the following movies contained in this collection:

Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble With Harry (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Topaz (1969), Frenzy (1972), Family Plot (1976)

The following is the text from the DVD cover:

"14 of the finest works from the universally acclaimed Master of Suspense come together for the first time in one collection. These captivating landmark films boast three decades of Hollywood legends, including James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Anthony Perkins, Sean Connery and Doris Day. The premium packaging and collectible book make Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection the must-own, definitive anthology of gripping works by a true genius."

The Movies:
Typically I view all of a movie and all of the bonus features before reviewing a DVD, but it's next to impossible to do with the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. There are just too many movies and too many bonus features to do it before the end of the year. And how do I go about reviewing such classics as Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and more? They're classics for a reason and it's more than likely you've already seen them and know if you want to add them to your collection.

This set is perfect for those who are building up their DVD collection. It contains a great selection of movies, it has an incredible cast of stars, and at $120 it comes out to $8 per DVD (assuming you pay full price, otherwise it's even less). You can't ask for much better than that. It is also a great set for younger movie fans that may not be familiar with Hitchcock's classics. Though I had seen Psycho and The Birds in the past, I had forgotten a lot about them. I also forgot just how many films Jimmy Stewart starred in for Hitchcock. I certainly didn't know Sean Connery was in Marnie. Yes, my Hitchcock ignorance is out there for the world to see, but now I have this Masterpiece Collection to help educate me.

The Extras:
There are hours and hours worth of bonus features included on this DVD. First off you have 14 featurettes for the individual films including Frenzy, Family Plot, The Trouble With Harry, Rear Window, Rope, and more. Each of these takes a closer look at the respective movies. Then there are in-depth documentaries on The Birds and Psycho. Each interviews most of the surviving cast members and they feature production photos, behind the scenes footage, and more. They also address myths about the movies. To round things out you have two documentaries on Alfred Hitchcock himself, "AFI Salute to Alfred Hitchcock" and "Masters of Cinema: Alfred Hitchcock". Finally, there are your standard production notes, storyboards, production photographs, trailers, poster galleries, and more. It's worth noting that Vertigo includes an alternate ending required by foreign censorship and the only commentary included in this set while The Birds includes Tippi Hedren's original screen test.

The Bottom Line:
This is really a perfect gift for film lovers and a great addition to the collection of film students, suspense fans, and anyone learning to love Alfred Hitchcock's films.

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