Rebecca The Criterion Collection
Special Edition, Criterion Collection
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Romance becomes psychodrama in Alfred Hitchcock s elegantly crafted Rebecca, his first foray into Hollywood filmmaking. A dreamlike adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel, the film stars the enchanting Joan Fontaine as a young woman who believes she has found her heart's desire when she marries the dashing aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (played with cunning vulnerability by Laurence Olivier). But upon moving to Manderley her groom s baroque ancestral mansion she soon learns that his deceased wife haunts not only the home but the temperamental, brooding Maxim as well. The start of Hitchcock's legendary collaboration with producer David O. Selznick, this elegiac gothic vision, captured in stunning black and white by George Barnes, took home the Academy Awards for best picture and best cinematography.
TWO-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Audio commentary from 1990 featuring film scholar Leonard J. Leff
- Isolated music and effects track
- New conversation between film critic and author Molly Haskell and scholar Patricia White
- New interview with special effects historian Craig Barron on the visual effects in Rebecca
- Documentary from 2007 on the making of Rebecca
- Screen, hair, makeup, and costume tests including actors Joan Fontaine, Anne Baxter,
Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, and Loretta Young
- Casting gallery annotated by director Alfred Hitchcock and producer David O. Selznick
- Television interviews with Hitchcock and Fontaine from 1973 and 1980
- Audio interviews from 1986 with actor Judith Anderson and Fontaine
- Three radio adaptations of Rebecca, from 1938, 1941, and 1950, including Orson Welles s version for the Mercury Theatre
- Theatrical rerelease trailer
- PLUS: An essay by critic and Selznick biographer David Thomson and selected production correspondence, including letters between Hitchcock and Selznick
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Photo 2 = MGM Blu-Ray (2011) Rebecca [Blu-ray]
Photo 3 = Hitchcock's cameo @ 2:06:57 (MGM) or 2:07:01 (Criterion) into "Rebecca" (walking in the background)
Photo 4 = NOT Hitchcock's cameo (this is a still photo taken on the set)
Criterion Collection's new two-disc blu-ray release of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" is in competition with MGM's 2011 blu-ray release.
The MGM has one advantage: It is half the price of the Criterion blu-ray.
I watched both blu-rays on my five year-old 40" JVC TV.
Criterion's new 4-K digital restoration has a (slightly) better picture.
I imagine the difference would be more pronounced on a brand-new 70" TV.
Criterion has a lot more bonus features, requiring a second disc.
UNIQUE TO CRITERION BLU-RAY
-- 4K digital restoration with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
-- Featurette on the visual effects in Rebecca (17 minutes)
-- French TV production from 2016, "Daphne du Maurier: In the Footsteps of Rebecca" (55 minutes) with English subtitles.
-- Conversation between film critic Molly Haskell and scholar Patricia White about the role of women in Hitchcock films (25 minutes)
-- Audio commentary with film scholar Leonard J. Leff.*
-- Screen tests with Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, Loretta Young and Joan Fontaine (only Vivien Leigh and Margaret Sullavan were on MGM).*
-- Hair and makeup tests with Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh and Margaret Sullavan.*
-- Costume tests with Joan Fontaine.*
-- 38 page booklet with selected production correspondence, including letters between Hitchcock and Selznick.*
-- "The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder" - this show followed the "Tonight Show" on NBC:
----- 1973: Alfred Hitchcock (45 minutes).*
----- 1980: Joan Fontaine (17 minutes).*
-- Audio interviews from 1986 with Judith Anderson and Joan Fontaine.*
* Carried over from the 2001 Criterion DVD
COMMON TO CRITERION AND MGM BLU-RAYs
-- The Making of "Rebecca" (28 minutes)
-- Isolated music and effects track.
-- Three radio adaptations of "Rebecca"
----- 1938: Margaret Sullavan & Orson Welles
----- 1941: Ida Lupino & Ronald Colman
----- 1950: Vivien Leigh & Lawrence Olivier
-- Theatrical re-release trailer from the late Forties (MGM misidentifies it as "original release trailer")
-- English SDH subtitles.
UNIQUE TO MGM BLU-RAY
-- Audio commentary with film scholar Richard Schickel.
-- The Gothic World of Daphne du Maurier (18 minutes)
-- Hitchcock/Bogdanovich interview.
-- Hitchcock/Truffaut interview.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK FILMOGRAPHY:
Alfred Hitchcock directed 56 feature films (one is lost) over a 51 year period.
To date, 32 Hitchcock films have been released on Blu-Ray.
PART ONE: BRITISH PERIOD
Alfred Hitchcock directed 26 feature-length films for British studios between 1925 and 1939.
The first ten were silent.
'The Mountain Eagle" (1927) is a lost film.
"Blackmail" (1929) is counted twice - it was Hitchcock's final silent film, and simultaneously filmed as his first talkie.
To date, the Criterion Collection has released five of the British films on Blu-Ray.
I hope more will follow, but have no inside information.
All but two of the remaining films are on DVD. The exceptions:
-- "Blackmail", the silent version (1929)
-- "Mary" (1931), the German language version of "Murder!"
These obscure titles seem to cry out for the deluxe treatment in a double bill with the readily available version of the same film, but so far no company has risen to the bait (Criterion? Kino? anybody?)
1925 The Pleasure Garden - silent film
1927 The Mountain Eagle - silent film [lost film]
1927 The Lodger - silent film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] [coupled with "Downhill"]
1927 The Ring - silent film
1927 Downhill - silent film BLU-RAY [Criterion Collection, coupled with "The Lodger"]
1928 Easy Virtue - silent film
1928 The Farmer's Wife - silent film
1928 Champagne - silent film
1929 The Manxman - silent film
1929 Blackmail - silent version
1929 Blackmail - sound version
1930 Elstree Calling [musical comedy review with four directors]
1930 Juno and the Paycock
1931 Mary [German language version of "Murder!" with a separate cast]
1931 The Skin Game
1931 Rich and Strange
1932 Number Seventeen
1934 Waltzes from Vienna
1934 The Man Who Knew Too Much [first version] The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1935 The 39 Steps The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1936 Secret Agent
1937 Young and Innocent
1938 The Lady Vanishes The Lady Vanishes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
1939 Jamaica Inn
PART TWO: HOLLYWOOD PERIOD
30 feature films were directed by Hitchcock after he was lured to Hollywood (some of them were filmed in the UK, but for American studios)
ALL BUT THREE HAVE BEEN RELEASED ON BLU-RAY
1940 Rebecca = Criterion (recommended) or MGM blu-rays
1940 Foreign Correspondent
1941 Mr. & Mrs. Smith = DVD ONLY
1943 Shadow of a Doubt
1947 The Paradine Case
1949 Under Capricorn = DVD ONLY
1950 Stage Fright = DVD ONLY
1951 Strangers on a Train
1953 I Confess
1954 Dial M for Murder [2-D and 3-D versions]
1954 Rear Window
1955 To Catch a Thief
1955 The Trouble with Harry
1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much [second version]
1956 The Wrong Man
1959 North by Northwest
1963 The Birds
1966 Torn Curtain
1976 Family Plot
Amazon only allows ten links per review.
For Amazon links to to Hitchcock's American films on blu-ray, see Comment One (dated June 22, 2017). Click on "Oldest first"