“All Region” DVDs? Anyone heard of these? (Specific to Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Wayne A. Pflughaupt, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,207
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    After recently catching a snippet of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” late-night on one of the classic movie channels, I decided to see if I could get a DVD of it off eBay. The one I want is the 1956 remake with Jimmy Stewart.

    I’ve noticed that there are two versions available. One is “Region 1” and is full screen. The other is an “Import” that claims to be “All Region,” and it’s 16:9 wide screen. Naturally, I want the wide screen version, but I’ve never heard of this “All Region” thing.

    Can I bid with confidence that this thing will work in my DVD player?

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
    "All region" means that it has no region code and will work in any DVD player that can handle the video format. But in this context, it's the sure sign of a bootleg.

    The Universal region 1 DVD of The Man Who Knew Too Much (the Jimmy Stewart version) is 16:9 enhanced widescreen. I'd be suspicious of anything else.

    M.
     
  3. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Larry
    Do you have a link to the auction with the full frame version? (not sure if that's allowed in any event). As MR says, it appears that the in-print Universal DVD of the 1956 version of "TMWKTM" is 16x9 1.85:1 widescreen.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110

    It isn't, but he can email it to you.

    M.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,207
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Thanks for the info, Michael. From what you said I poked around the eBay offerings a little more and found the one you were talking about. Turns out the one that’s full screen has a bunch of Chinese writing on the cover. Hmm…


    Since I can't post auction links, here some pictures of them:

    The Chinese version – the site says it’s NTSC full-screen.

    [​IMG]



    The import version. I noticed this one doesn’t specifically indicate NTSC.


    [​IMG]



    The one Michael was talking about – the anamorphic wide screen.

    [​IMG]


    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    A lot of Hitchcock's movies are public domain and wouldn't be bootlegs. Is this one still under copyright?
     
  7. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That Chinese one's a bootleg. As such, it's probably a direct rip from the Universal edition. I've seen virtually all the Universal Hitchcock DVDs turn up in the pirate shops for about six bucks a pop. Other than the Chinese lettering on package and disc, the addition of Chinese subtitles where none were present previously, and that little round hologram sticker that lends "authenticity" to most of their product, it's probably identical to the original, unfortunately.

    That said, I got several cheap Australian Hitchcock's (identical to the U.S. versions save for the packaging) off of cd-wow a year or so ago (including TROUBLE WITH HARRY, SHADOW OF A DOUBT and THE BIRDS) for about $13 bucks shipped. Now they go for about $10 shipped.

    http://www1.cd-wow.net/detail_result...duct_code=4434

    Only problem is, they're region 4, so you'd need a region-free player, which is always preferable to searching around for region-free discs.

    CD-wow DOES, however, have a region 2 version that is fullscreen:

    http://www1.cd-wow.net/detail_result...duct_code=4426

    If that's the case, perhaps the bootleggers ripped this one instead of the U.S. version.
     
  8. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,317
    Likes Received:
    964
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Steve


    The public domain Hitchcocks are primarily his British films and they date from the 30s.

    His American films are all still under copyright.

    With the upcoming Warners set and the MGM reissues, only "Lifeboat" will be missing from the American canon. Rather than going to ebay and taking your chances, you're better off going to ddd.com or amazon.com and get the real thing.

    Steve
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,762
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Real Name:
    Damin J. Toell


    And, actually, they're not in the public domain, either. They had their U.S. copyrights restored in the mid-1990s. Releases purporting to be "public domain" sadly continue to proliferate. Official releases properly licensed from the British rights holders (such as the Criterion releases or the upcoming MGM releases) are the way to go, for both quality and legality.

    DJ
     
  10. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,317
    Likes Received:
    964
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Steve


    Thank you for the clarification Damin. I learn something new everyday on HTF.

    I do have the Criterions of the 2 British films they put out. What are the "official" licensed versions of the silent Hitchs and the early soundies (like the original MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH)? All I've ever seen are the PD versions.

    Steve
     
  11. DavePattern

    DavePattern Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunately the CD-WOW R2 info for "Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956) is incorrect - all of the R2/R4 DVD releases are 16:9 anamorphic.

    I'd include a link to the relevant page on my site, but I'm a newbie here and can't include links in posts yet [​IMG]

    Also, the majority of the PD releases I've seen of Hitch's early films are inferior to the official releases (e.g. Criterion and the German "Early Years" set from Concorde).

    The only advantage that the many budget releases have (e.g. Madacy and Laserlight/Delta) is that they provide a quick and cheap method of sampling Hitch's early films.
     

Share This Page