Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (2012)
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great collection but where is "North By Northwest"? BIG omission .Published 2 days ago by The Gornster
We love Alfred Hitchcock movies but previously only had the DVD's which were rather grainy. Really enjoy the bluray!Published 1 month ago by Kim
Wonderful transfers, and the darkness of Vertigo, so prevalent in the digital restoration on DVD..compare it to the VHS tape which is better.. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daniel G. Madigan
58 Page Collector Book completely missing from factory-sealed package! Universal's Total Lack of Quality Control Strikes Again! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Old white man with gun
Incredible to have all of these great movies on Blu-Ray and in one collection. If you like Hitchcock movies and want to collect them, THIS is the collection you first want to buy.Published 2 months ago by D.H.J.
I've always love Alfred Hitchcock movies and this collection is a great investment to get a majority of his greatest works at the same time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ashley Sanders
It's Hitchock at his finest. 'Nuff said, about the movies themselves. True, there are differences in the quality of the presentations (see other reviews for more indepth) but this... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark Wooden
Love that it's all there, quality is great. Wish I would've gotten it for cheaper, $165 seems high. Oh well I wanted it!Published 4 months ago by kyle kytta
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