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Hitchcock Classics Get ‘Blu’ Treatment

21 Jun, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Sept. 25 will release for a limited time a collection of 15 Alfred Hitchcock movies, including 13 titles on Blu-ray Disc for the first time, as part of the studio’s centennial anniversary.

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection includes a 50-page book of storyboards, costume sketches, correspondence and photos, and 15 hours of bonus material, in addition to digitally re-mastered versions in 1080p resolution of Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Marnie, Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, The Trouble with Harry, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot.

The films feature actors such as James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, Shirley MacLaine, John Forsythe and Sean Connery, among others.

Hitchcock was nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Director five times (but never won), and four of his films (all of which are included in this collection) appear on American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies” list. The director was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 1967.

Bonus features on Saboteur (1942) include “Saboteur: A Closer Look,” storyboards for the Statue of Liberty sequence, Hitchcock’s sketches, production photos and theatrical trailer. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) added material includes “Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock’s Favorite Film,” production drawings by art director Robert Boyle, production photos the and theatrical trailer.

Rope (1948) includes “Rope Unleashed,” production photos and the theatrical trailer. Rear Window (1954) includes “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 and Truffaut interview excerpts, production photos, the theatrical trailer, the re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart and a feature commentary with John Fawell, author of Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film

The Trouble with Harry (1955) includes “The Trouble with Harry Isn't Over,” production photos and the theatrical trailer.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) includes “The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much,” production photos and trailers.

Vertigo (1958) special features include “Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece”; “Partners in Crime: Hitchcock's Collaborators”; Hitchcock and Truffaut interview excerpts; a foreign censorship ending; “The Vertigo Archives”; commentary with associate producer Herbert Coleman, restoration team Robert Harris and James Katz, and other Vertigo participants; commentary with director William Friedkin; “100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era”; the theatrical trailer and the restoration trailer. 

North by Northwest (1959) includes 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,” a music-only audio track, stills gallery, trailers and a TV spot.

Psycho (1960) includes “The Making of Psycho,” “Psycho Sound,” “In The Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy,” Hitchcock and Truffaut interview excerpts, newsreel footage, “The Shower Scene: With and Without Music,” “The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass,” posters, Psycho Ads, lobby cards, behind-the-scenes photos, production photos, a trailer, re-release trailers and commentary with Stephen Rebello (author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho).

The Birds (1963) includes deleted scenes, the original ending, “The Birds: Hitchcock's Monster Movie” (Blu-ray exclusive), “All About The Birds,” storyboards, Tippi Hedren's screen test, Hitchcock and Truffaut interview excerpts, “The Birds Is Coming” (Universal international newsreel), “Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock” (Universal international newsreel), production photos, “100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics,” “100 Years of Universal: The Lot” and a trailer.

Marnie (1964) includes “The Trouble with Marnie,” “The Marnie Archives and the theatrical trailer. Torn Curtain (1966) features “Torn Curtain Rising,” “Scenes Scored by Bernard Herrmann,” production photos and the trailer. Topaz (1969) includes alternate endings, “Topaz: An Appreciation” by film historian and critic Leonard Maltin, storyboards, production photos and a trailer.

Frenzy (1972) includes “The Story of Frenzy,” production photos and a trailer. Family Plot (1976) includes “Plotting Family Plot,” storyboards, production photos and a trailer.


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