The Hitchcock 9 - any word on a DVD release?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by SeanAx, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. SeanAx

    SeanAx Stunt Coordinator

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    "The Hitchcock 9" is the nine surviving silent films directed by Alfred Hitchcock and recently restored by the BFI, currently being shown around the U.S. in special programs. The project is a collaboration between BFI and Studiocanal and so far does not seem to have an American partner.

    The films have all been restored from the original negatives and BFI has created DCP editions of them all. So there is a high definition digital master of each film already created. This seems like a natural for a Criterion / Eclipse release, but to date I have not heard of any home video plans in the U.S. Even in Britain, only "The Lodger" has been released on DVD and Blu-ray from this restored batch.

    Anyone out there know of any plans, rumors, or educated guesses on the future of these restorations? I can imagine Criterion doing special editions of "The Lodger" and "Blackmail" on Blu-ray and DVD and tossing the rest onto Eclipse DVD editions, but just because it's a good fit doesn't mean anything will come of it. Studiocanal has been working with Lionsgate, but would that extend to this project also?
     
  2. Wade Sowers

    Wade Sowers Second Unit

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    Yes, this is driving me crazy as well. Back in 2007, Lionsgate did release some of these (unrestored) as a set:http://www.amazon.com/Alfred-Hitchcock-Manxman-Murder-Strange/dp/B000KJU12S/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1374953849&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=alfred+hitchkcock+3%27disc+collector%27s+edition. . . which, at the time, was certainly better than nothing. It does seem odd they have yet to be released to DVD/Blu in England, but, perhaps, they are stll making the rounds in cinemas here and there. Fingers crossed.
     
  3. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Money burns a hole in my pocket for the Hitchcock 9.

    I'll buy them individually or collectively in a heartbeat.

    Meanwhile, I get older. And REAR WINDOW and VERTIGO are available in region-free blu-rays from amazonU.K. so need to wait for those.
     
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  4. SeanAx

    SeanAx Stunt Coordinator

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    A little more information I found at the screening of "The Pleasure Garden" in Seattle today: Rialto has signed on as the American theatrical distributor of the series, which would suggest a likely Criterion connection for the disc release. But there's still that Studiocanal connection with the restoration.

    There's also this secondhand information I got at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival last weekend. I was talking to some of the musicians there, some of whom had played live to screenings in San Francisco, New York, and other American cities. The BFI commissioned scores for all 9 films, a mix of orchestral, traditional piano, and non-traditional modern scores (including a sampled score by a DJ team), so they could play in venues that could not afford live music. But according to my musician source, who is friends with some of the British artists commissioned to score the films, the contracts were for public screenings (theatrical, cinemateque, college). No home video rights were conferred in the contract. It suggests that BFI isn't interested in producing more disc releases.

    Does that mean they will license out any subsequent releases in the UK? Certainly that's how any US release would happen, but it sure seems odd for British release. Unless they already have someone lined up there ready to commission their own (more traditional, one hopes) scores for home video release.

    Should Criterion end up with the films (as I hope they do), I hope they consider Stephen Horne and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, who have been making the rounds with the films. I haven't heard their score myself, but friends of mine who have are quite impressed.
     
  5. calvinm

    calvinm Stunt Coordinator

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    The BFI actually have no home video rights to the Hitchcock 9 - they just conducted the restorations. ITV have the rights to The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, Easy Virtue and Downhill while Studio Canal have the rights to The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer's Wife, The Manxman and Blackmail. In the UK, ITV titles often come out via Network who, as you know, released the restoration 'The Lodger'. Unfortunately, they don't have plans to release any of the others from what they've told me. Criterion have licensed many of ITV's Hitchcock titles (The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, Young and Innocent) so I wouldn't be surprised if they have also got the silents. Studio Canal distribute through Lionsgate.
     
  6. rdimucci

    rdimucci Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw THE MANXMAN a few weeks ago at the AFI's Silver Theatre. Stephen Horne did the live musical accompaniment. He had composed a score for four instrumentalists, but adapted it admirably by himself, alternately playing the piano, the flute, and an accordion.
     
  7. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    If Criterion has the home video rights to any or all of the Hitchcock 9 we may never see them. Criterion sits on films for so long they unwittingly prevent them for being released. They've withheld Monte Hellman's westerns and Costa-Gavras's political thrillers (The Confession 1970, State of Siege 1972) for several years already. It could take a decade before they get around to releasing one title. Then the rest would trickle out slowly over the course of years. I love what Criterion does, but I'd rather see some other company release the blu-rays when this theatrical tour is completed than wait for Criterion.
     
  8. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I just picked up the Blu for THE LODGER, which includes 2 CDs of the newly commissioned orchestral score, for less than $15 shipped during the 40% off sale this week at Network.

    I also want them all, but I decided not to wait forever for THE LODGER to make it to Region A, though if any of these do come out in the US, that certainly will be the first (and maybe only?) one.
     
  9. John-Weller

    John-Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Gah, that new score drove me up the wall. Singing and all!
     
  10. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    I'm thinking that the majority of the Studio Canal titles will probably not be available outside of Europe for several years. Hopefully I'm wrong but the only likely venue will be from Lionsgate and that company hasn't exactly been on top of those titles.

    The Lodger is the most likely title to turn up in North America in the near future out of the ITV owned films. I haven't picked up the UK disc yet but will probably do it soon if nothing shows up on the radar like I did with many British Hitchcock films on DVD already.
     

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