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Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (2012)

4.3 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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  • Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (2012)
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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 Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more.  Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Kim Novak, this definitive collection showcases a true cinematic master at his best.  Featuring over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.


Special Features

Disc 1 - Saboteur:
  • Saboteur: A Closer Look
  • Storyboards
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Sketches
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 2 - Shadow of a Doubt:
  • Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock’s Favorite Film
  • Production Drawings by Art Director Robert Boyle
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 3 - Rope:
  • Rope Unleashed
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 4 - 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 5 - The Trouble with Harry:
  • The Trouble With Harry Isn’t Over
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 6 - The Man Who Knew Too Much:
  • The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Re-Release Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 7 - 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


  • Disc 8 - 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 9 - 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 10 - 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


  • Disc 11 - Marnie:
  • The Trouble With Marnie
  • The Marnie Archives
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 12 - Torn Curtain:
  • Torn Curtain Rising
  • Scenes Scored by Bernard Herrmann
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 13 - Topaz:
  • Alternate Endings
  • Topaz: An Appreciate by Film Historian and Critic Leonard Maltin
  • Storyboards: The Mendozas
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 14 - Frenzy:
  • The Story of Frenzy
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 15 - Family Plot:
  • Plotting Family Plot
  • Storyboards: The Chase Scene
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • My Scenes

  • Product Details

    • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
    • Format: Blu-ray, Limited Edition, NTSC
    • 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), French (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (DTS-HD 2.0)
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 15
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
    • Run Time: 1759 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B008DCAG9M
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By William McKeldin Jr. on November 28, 2012
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    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)
    2. Psycho

    Seven of the transfers are acceptable high definition upgrades from their previous standard def releases:
    1. Saboteur
    2. Shadow of a Doubt
    3. Rope
    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
    6. Topaz
    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.
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    The four stars are an accurate rating of the transfer quality of most of the films in this collection. A few rate five stars ("Vertigo", "The Birds" and "Rear Window", for example).

    But there are real defects in two of the titles in this set: Both "Marnie" and "Family Plot" were given slipshod transfers. "Marnie" particularly (a film I consider one of Hitchcock's masterpieces) has visual specks throughout, and some scenes of "weak" color. If you don't believe me, just go to a scene mid-way in the film and freeze the frame on a closeup. You'll see what seems a shabby grill on the faces. The images aren't clear and seemingly form a grill pattern. ("Frenzy" also exhibits flaws but not as seriously as those two.) These problems are obviously due to a lack of quality control in mastering these discs. To see the difference compare these two titles to "The Birds" or "Rear Window" and check the clarity and brightness of their color images in a freeze-frame. This crappy transferring is reprehensible for Universal in not taking the proper care to make sure the master Hitchcock has been given the treatment he deserves. They made so much money from the great works by this brilliant filmmaker they could have at least given ALL these films the highest quality treatment in Blu-ray technology!

    This is certainly a trivial point, but also demonstrating Universal's inherent sloppiness, is that on a few of the discs, the spectacular new Universal corporate logo is actually shown TWICE in a row through an error in the disc making! (Note: I noticed this only in the UK region-free release!)

    Most of the other discs are very good to superb, but these two (and some transferring flaws in "Frenzy" as well) could be enough for many to reject this set.
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    Format: Blu-ray
    After having watched all the movies in this set I have mixed feelings about the quality of the transfers for "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection"; a number of transfers look exceptinally good while others look exceptional bad. I'm hoping as archievist Robert Harris as suggested in comments that Universal will recall the titles that weren't done correctly and redo them. Let's examine the individual titles shall we?

    All the titles in this set features the original special features (except for the commentary track featuring James Katz, Robert Harris and Herbert Coleman) from the DVD releases/boxed set from a couple of years back but presented in standard definition. The commentary tracks are also included as well. The original mono soundtrack for "Vertigo" appears here and the redone 5.1 mix improves on the previous version which featured new sound effects, etc. that had to be done because the original elements are missing. The mix is a bit more subtle and more closely resembles the original mono track (although it hasn't been redone I suspect it was tweaked a bit for this new transfer).

    1. "Saboteur"-The earliest film in this set looks quite nice with nice depth and clarity. Grade: A

    2. "Shadow of a Doubt"-I've seen complaints that the film uses an older HD master and that digital noise reduction was overused on this title. I think it looks fine if a bit soft. Grade: A

    3. "Rope" looks decent although the colors could have been stronger and there are speckles evident in the film used for the transfer that haven't been cleaned up. Grain is inconsistent. Grade: C

    4. We jump ahead a number of years to Hitch's classic "Rear Window".
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