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Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection - Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 362 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Universally recognized as the Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of cinema’s most thrilling and unforgettable classics. Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection features five iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds each digitally restored from high resolution film elements. Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Tippi Hedren, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak and Rod Taylor, this essential collection captures the most memorable moments in the career of a true cinematic master.

Special Features

Disc 1 - Rear Window:
  • 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
  • Masters of Cinema
  • Feature Commentary with John Fawell, Author of Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Re-Release Trailer Narrated by James Stewart
  • My Scenes
  • pocket BLU App
  • BD-Live

  • Disc 2 - Vertigo:
  • Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece
  • Partners in Crime: Hitchcock's Collaborators
  • Hitchcock / Truffaut
  • Foreign Censorship Ending
  • The Vertigo Archives
  • Feature Commentary with Film Director William Friedkin
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Restoration Theatrical Trailer
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era
  • My Scenes
  • pocket BLU App
  • BD-Live
  • D-BOX

  • Disc 3 - North by Northwest:
  • 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
  • Feature Commentary by Screenwriter Ernest Lehman
  • Stills Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Disc 4 - Psycho (1960):
  • The Making of Psycho
  • Psycho Sound
  • In The Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy
  • Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts
  • Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho
  • The Shower Scene: With and Without Music
  • The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass
  • The Psycho Archives
  • Posters and Psycho Ads
  • Lobby Cards
  • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Re-release Trailers
  • My Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Stephen Rebello (author of "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho")
  • BD-Live

  • Disc 5 - The Birds:
  • Deleted Scene
  • The Original Ending
  • The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie
  • All About The Birds
  • Storyboard Sequence
  • Tippi Hedren’s Screen Test
  • Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts
  • The Birds Is Coming (Universal International Newsreel)
  • Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock (Universal International Newsreel)
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot
  • My Scenes
  • pocket BLU App
  • BD-Live
  • D-BOX

  • Product Details

    • Actors: James Stewart, Cary Grant, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly
    • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
    • Writers: Alec Coppel, John Michael Hayes, Samuel Taylor, Joseph Stefano, Evan Hunter
    • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, Collector's Edition, Limited Edition, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0), German (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (DTS-HD 2.0), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (DTS-HD 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (DTS-HD 2.0)
    • Subtitles: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: All Regions
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    • Number of discs: 5
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2013
    • Run Time: 609 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00BWJQEC6
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,055 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Before Blu-ray, the very best home video version of Vertigo was the anamorphic DVD that Universal sold only as one of the 14 Hitchcock titles in the Masterpiece Collection. (I believe this collection also had the only anamorphic DVD version of Psycho.) It appears that Universal has released its Blu-ray version of Vertigo only as part of two collections: The Masterpiece and The Essentials collections.

    I am glad that Universal has made Vertigo available in its far less expensive Essentials Blu-ray collection. In my opinion, Vertigo is not the greatest film ever made, but it is of special interest to me because of its San Francisco locations and overall Bay Area setting. Vertigo, along with Shadow of a Doubt and The Birds may also be of interest to Northern California natives. Anyway, here are my quality ratings of the 5 films contained in the Essentials Collection in order of their appeal:

    1. North By Northwest: I have seen nearly every Hitchcock film and this one is my all time favorite. It features outstanding video quality in nearly every scene. The contrast is almost perfect, the picture detail is remarkably-clear and the color is about as good as it gets on Blu-ray. The North By Northwest disk in this collection is exactly the same as the Blu-ray disk from the Warner Bros. 50th Anniversary Edition, with two exceptions: The artwork on the disk is different and the option for selecting a music-only soundtrack is not available on the disk included in the Universal Essentials Collection. If you can do without Warner's 44-page book and the music-only soundtrack, the Universal Essentials Collection is the way to go for this title.

    2. Vertigo: This film has very good to excellent color and picture detail.
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    I have just received this item. I already had owned all of these movies, all but one in the "Masterpiece" DVD collection, also offered by Universal. My reason to purchase the present set was to own "Vertigo" in the High Definition Blu Ray format. It is one of my favorite movies, and recently named the best of all time by the British Film Institute. Filmed in VistaVision, the large frame format would seem to provide an excellent substrate for high resolution images. Within a few minutes, it was obvious how wonderful this new Blu Ray transfer is, compared to the already excellent DVD version. The mosquito noise, seen on the DVD, has vanished, revealing absolutely crystal-clear images- one can read the license plates on most of the cars, and even the small newsprint Scotty is perusing, while eavesdropping on Kim Novak, as she leaves her apartment. As importantly, color fidelity, and particularly color saturation, is awesome. Certainly, we have to thank Mr. Robet Harris for his miraculous restoration of the negative, which was in such poor condition that it was almost beyond recovery. I know other very alert reviewers have found flaws in the transfer, particularly at the end of the film. But, even allowing these imperfections, the overall improvement in picture quality derived from the Blu Ray transfer is more than worth the purchase price.

    My only concern is what may be some very brief dropouts of the audio- I don't know if this is a disk problem or a malfunction of my player. Otherwise, the audio quality is excellent, with a remarkably fine stereophonic reproduction of Bernard Hermann's magical score, which makes an absolutely critical contribution to this extraordinary motion picture.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Though he was an undisputed genius of the cinema, not everyone needs the complete Hitchcock features. If you're a keen fan, they're available on DVD in large, rather expensive box sets: the 15-disc Masterpiece, nine-disc Signature, and eight-disc Premiere Collections (these don't include his "non-Hitchcockian" silent films and talkies from the 1920s and early 30s). But many Hitchcock lovers recall the five films on this reasonably-priced five-disc set most fondly, and they are without question among his finest achievements, all of them produced in Hollywood between 1954 and 1963.

    Presented with a few interesting extras and options, the DVDs will do nicely for many folks -- though not for the angry Blu-ray aficionados who've given the box single-star ratings. This may come as a shock to them, but some people who are just discovering Hitch have ordinary DVD players and 32-inch TVs and are not planning to spend thousands to upgrade their collections or their equipment. If you have a big TV and want Blu-rays, however, this and the Masterpiece boxes are both available in that format, offering excellent video and audio quality and far more supplementary material than their DVD editions.

    Following is a brief review of each film in this set. All are in color except for "Psycho," which is black and white.

    Rear Window: Jimmy Stewart is a housebound photographer who thinks he's witnessed a neighbor (Raymond Burr) commit a murder. He enlists his girlfriend, played by Grace Kelly, to investigate, and they're both drawn deeper and deeper into hotter and hotter water. A master class in the art of suspense.

    Vertigo: Stewart plays a detective haunted by loss, while Kim Novak portrays two women, one of whom is a doppelganger of the other. Is she a twin or a ghost?
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