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Do all the Hitchcock Anamorphic DVD's look as bad as THE BIRDS?

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#1 of 65 Dick


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Posted May 27 2005 - 04:16 PM

THE BIRDS looked absolutely stunning on my 32" direct view. Even in the theater when I saw it in '63, it didn't look as good as that. For some reason, though, using all the same player and t.v. settings I use for other anamorphic discs, this film looks awful on my 46" Toshiba DLP using color streaming. The grain doesn't bother me. But it's full of artifacting and just looks terrible compared with most of my anamorphic discs. Why is this, and do all the Hitchcock's look this bad? Even the non-anamorphic PSYCHO looks better!

#2 of 65 RoyGBiv


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Posted May 28 2005 - 01:54 AM

I haven't seen the DVD of the birds, but North by Northwest is one of the best restorations I've seen.


#3 of 65 Dick


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Posted May 28 2005 - 02:31 AM

Yes, NBNW is excellent. I meant to narrow this down to the Universal series.

#4 of 65 Roger Rollins

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Posted May 28 2005 - 03:54 AM

Universal is planning a major Hitchcock blitz in October of this year. New versions of every title...and the release of the TV series....

It's been confirmed by multiple sources.

#5 of 65 richardWI


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Posted May 28 2005 - 04:37 AM

which hitch films are under Universal?

#6 of 65 GlennH


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Posted May 28 2005 - 05:31 AM

which hitch films are under Universal?
Universal has released these ones on DVD (Region 1):

The Birds
Family Plot
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Rear Window
Shadow of a Doubt
Torn Curtain
The Trouble With Harry

and Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show volumes

Lots of good information here:


#7 of 65 Jeff Swearingen

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Posted May 28 2005 - 06:42 AM

Hadn't heard about these new Universal versions as of yet. Are they new transfers or just repackagings of the old discs? I'm not sure if I'd want to replace 14 DVDs in one fell swoop unless the picture quality was greatly improved.

#8 of 65 Vincent_P


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Posted May 28 2005 - 02:59 PM

I haven't seen the DVD of the birds, but North by Northwest is one of the best restorations I've seen.

As I understand it, NORTH BY NORTHWEST wasn't truly "restored" in the proper sense of the word. It was cleaned up at HD resolution, but the film elements are supposedly still a mess and new 35mm prints can't be made that'd look very good.


#9 of 65 Thomas T

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Posted May 28 2005 - 03:21 PM

Save one, I think all of Universal Hitchcock titles look fine.

The "one" is Marnie which looks downright ugly. It's the one Hitchcock title I hope Universal revisits and I would willingly double dip (only AFTER being reassured it's a better transfer, of course).

#10 of 65 Simon Howson

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Posted May 28 2005 - 03:49 PM

I hope Universal goes all out and does 4K scans of original elements in order to make the best possible HD masters. Like what was recently done to all of the Bond films.

I imagine these films will be released on a HD format reasonably soon after the release of the format standards, so Universal should invest some time and money now to make high quality video masters for DVD reissues and for the new HD format(s).

#11 of 65 Jing_B


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Posted May 28 2005 - 05:13 PM

New editions of Hitch's films? Where did you learn that? Well if it's confirmed than I guess I'll have to double dip again (just like with Jaws)!!! I thought the current releases were good enough, especially Psycho and Rear Window.

#12 of 65 Lyle_JP


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Posted May 28 2005 - 05:51 PM

I think the only Universal Hitch disc that looks really bad is The Man Who Knew Too Much. All sorts of ugly print damage on that one!

-Lyle J.P.

#13 of 65 James Luckard

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Posted May 28 2005 - 09:24 PM

I should have known this would happen. I wait for ages, then finally buy the 2 Universal boxsets last year when I have some spare cash, only to learn I'll have to replace them all, which I'll undoubtedly end up doing.

Of course, watching Hitchcock's films last year made me rediscover why I loved them, so it was totally worth the $200 I spent for the two sets. I hadn't seen the films for about 15 years since I got on a Hitchcock kick as a kid. I'm sure I'll get something more out of seeing them restored.

The Man Who Knew Too Much looked especially bad on the Universal disc, I'll be glad to relpace that one, and if they do a bargain package like Warner did for their Hitchcocks, with a signifigant savings for buying the lot, it'll make replacing the whole bunch more palatable.

#14 of 65 Joe Caps

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Posted May 29 2005 - 12:12 AM

I totally agree with THOMAS T> The MARNIE is plain awful.
the colors don't ever look like the correct colors, the picture is not sharp.
Even worse, the sound has been fiddled around with and hoplessly filtered and noise gated.
On the dvd there is a making of Marnie and the clips used are from an older transfer that has the correct color and better sound.,
A Letterboxed marnie is frequently shown on TCM and it is an older transfer with far better color and great sound. they should use this tranfer for a dvd ( I transferred it to dvd-r a long time ago. )

#15 of 65 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 29 2005 - 03:57 PM

I read somewhere (vagueness is my metier!) that Universal are in the process of transfering all of their Sir Alfred films to hi-def, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Whether this is for TV or DVD, I do not know, but season 1 of A.H. Presents is on the way soon.

Have any of the Universal Hitch films been shown in hi-def on American TV yet?

I also want to see the original mono included on Vertigo, regardless of fidelity quality. The foley on the 5.1 mix is awful (the gunfire in the opening is a sick joke, right?).

#16 of 65 ScottR


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Posted May 29 2005 - 04:16 PM

The current Psycho has muddy sound. You can't even hardly make out Mother's voice when Marion is in the hotel room, although you can hear it plainly in the documentary.

#17 of 65 Ravi K

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Posted May 29 2005 - 07:19 PM

Does anyone else think that the current Vertigo disc is excessively DVNR'ed?

#18 of 65 James Luckard

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Posted May 29 2005 - 09:35 PM

Although I'm sure there are fans out there who want season sets of AH Presents, frankly, I'd prefer restorations of only the Hitchcock directed episodes, like the existing DVDs, but this time in chronological order. I have the two AH Presents discs that came with the Universal 7 film boxsets. Since the only way of getting the other two AH Presents discs was to be stupidly forced to buy 2 disc sets of films already in the bigger boxsets, just to get the AH Presents discs, I never bothered.

#19 of 65 MarcoBiscotti


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Posted May 30 2005 - 01:12 AM

I knew Universal would finally come around to doing this and I excercised great patience all along. I can't believe I've actually held out for so long on some of my favorite films of all-time. I can't wait for these new releases and hope that every single one is given the full anamorphic remastered treatment with a plethora of bonus features and all the extras previously released on Universal's discs. I also hope they upgrade the cover art to something more along the lines of the classier artwork that the UK and Korea saw...

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#20 of 65 oscar_merkx


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Posted May 30 2005 - 06:40 AM

good thing I have waited so far
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