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Great Films with Hi-Def Transfers That Vary Considerably in Quality
on November 28, 2012
There are three absolutely gorgeous new transfers contained in this set of 15 Hitchcock films:
1. Rear Window
2. The Trouble with Harry
3. Vertigo [the color issues discovered in the pre-release copies have been corrected, and the U.S. edition does have a fine sounding mono option]
The two transfers that have had previous releases and are still available as "stand alones" are also stellar:
1. North by Northwest (despite some color issues)
Seven of the transfers are acceptable high definition upgrades from their previous standard def releases:
2. Shadow of a Doubt
4. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) [This one really needs a restoration--but the problem here, isn't the transfer per se]
5. Torn Curtain
7. Frenzy [The problem with the credits that were discovered in pre-release copies has been corrected]
That leaves us with three very problematic transfers:
1. The Birds -- clearly a lot of work went into this so-called restoration -- and I understand how difficult it is to work with the primitive process shots that never looked very good to begin with -- but the amount of digital artifacting that is evident in some scenes (particularly the segment involving Tippi Hedren crossing and re-crossing a bay) is simply unacceptable. Much of the movie looks better than it ever has on home video, but "traveling" video noise should never be evident.
2. Marnie - I *love* film grain, but too frequently the grain in this transfer looks like old fashioned television static from a poor signal.
3. Family Plot - Grain the size of basketballs and an overall look that implies the movie was shot through a sand filter makes this disc, by far, the worst transfer in the set. Depending on your sensitivity to such things, the movie is viewable, but still this transfer should never have been allowed to leave the studio. It's an embarrassment.