Robert Harris

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For those unaware, Alfred Hitchcock was a filmmaker of (generally) thrillers, occasionally with a bit of humor thrown in, and one single comedy - Mr. and Mrs. Smith (the 1941 RKO version).

For this 4k Hitchcock sampler of his productions either produced for or owned by Universal, of which there are 13, inclusive of five acquired from the Hitchcock estate, the studio selected four of the more well known.

Rear Window (1954), and Vertigo (1958), originally produced via Paramount, Psycho(1960) and The Birds (1963).

I've had the opportunity to sample all four, and have come away generally pleased.

All four have extremely stable images. Where dupes are involved, they appear clean. Color for the three color films - all shot on Eastman Color negative - is superbly rendered. Psycho is a very nice looking presentation in black & white.

For tracks, Rear Window in presented in two channel monaural.

Vertigo in DTS-X, as all as two-channel monaural - based upon positive prints, dupe optical tracks, original 3-track stereo music and original monaural music, along with new Foley and effects tracks. Original tracks for this film did not survive.

Psycho is presented in both DTS-X, as well as two channel Monaural.

The Birds, two channel monaural.

Except for Vertigo, which was photographed in VistaVision, the films are all standard issue 35mm 4-perf, with Rear Window in its proper 1.66:1 ratio, and the others, inclusive of Vertigo in 1.85:1.

Color is beautifully rendered, with a pleasant grain structure, and proper shadow detail.

Vertigo's roots in VistaVision seem, at least to my eye, to be reasonably obvious, and the overall textures and resolution of the film are pleasant.

Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho were all overprinted during their original releases, and beyond, but I find them to look quite nice here, with problems never being obvious.

Overall, an extremely nice package, especially for $60, for four films in both 4k as well as Blu-ray.

A steal, actually.

More, please.

As to Vertigo, I've heard people say that it may be Hitchcock's finest film. I like it just fine.

This is a set that belongs in every cinephile's collection. If you want more from the studio, I suggest that you help to create positive sales numbers.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (various)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Powell&Pressburger

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PSYCHO contains a fold down 2.0 audio track of the DTS X mix.

The original mono that should have been included is missing.

Hoping Universal will correct this error for those who wish to have a disc replacement.

I hope Robert will go a little more in depth for the transfers for each film when time permits.
 

DanH1972

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I've heard that some of the original sound effects were found (maybe culled from different source material) and inserted back into the mix that was used in the Vertigo audio restoration during the Harris/Katz efforts, which had a number of new Foley and effects created due to the deteriorated and/or missing condition of the original elements. True?
 

Robert Harris

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I've heard that some of the original sound effects were found (maybe culled from different source material) and inserted back into the mix that was used in the Vertigo audio restoration during the Harris/Katz efforts, which had a number of new Foley and effects created due to the deteriorated and/or missing condition of the original elements. True?
untrue
 
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Robert Harris

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But it's not the original mono audio, which the menu calls it. As others have said, I'm hoping Universal offers a replacement for this disc.
It is possible that the "original" monaural may not survive in quality condition. I've never asked. Hopefully, what survives is a three-stripe, from which the optical track negs would have been made.
 

Robert Harris

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The original Mono is also on the Turbine German Psycho blu-ray release from last year for both Uncut and Regular version.

Really shocked, there are major differences in the new audio mix of Psycho. The original Mono is preferred.
Are you certain that it’s the original? Not my area of expertise?
 

murrayThompson

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I have all four from the last BD release, I dont want the 4K versions, is this new release of all four an obvious improvement over the last four I have?
 
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PMF

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This 4K Hitchcock set shall see my support; due to its positive review, as authored by the gentleman who restored both “Vertigo” and “Rear Window”.

Now, with that said and established, I have taken both note and interest in what HTF member Neil S. Bulk has pointed out in matters concerning the original mono track of “Psycho”. With Mr. Bulk knowing a goodly bit about sound, I would hope that Universal will take his cue; if possible; in providing consumers with a replacement disc. This original mono version clearly has its place of importance and should be given its contextual and historical due; as had, and no differently than, those few restored seconds from the original 1960 shower scene.
 
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Dave MJ

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Are you certain that it’s the original? Not my area of expertise?
Referring to Psycho, I can't say for sure it's the 1960 original, but it's the same mix that has been used for every release I have ever seen. The remix used computer wizardry to transform the music stem into pseudo stereo and replaced nearly all sound effects with modern sounding versions. The music balance is off. The included mono mix is labelled as the original but is a fold down of the remix. The included mono French and Spanish tracks use the original music and effects stems, not the remix. The previous blu-rays included the remix and the original mono. All prior releases had that same mono mix. It appears Universal made an honest mistake, but they really should offer corrected discs because the original mix is considerably different and superior IMO.
 

Neil S. Bulk

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This 4K Hitchcock set shall see my support; due to its positive review, as authored by the gentleman who restored both “Vertigo” and “Rear Window”.

Now, with that said and established, I have taken both note and interest in what HTF member Neil S. Bulk has pointed out in matters concerning the original mono track of “Psycho”. With Mr. Bulk knowing a goodly bit about sound, I would hope that Universal will take his cue; if possible; in providing consumers with a replacement disc. This original mono version clearly has its place of importance and should be given its contextual and historical due, no differently than those few restored seconds had been for the original 1960 shower scene.
Oh please don't cite me as your only example. I haven't had the opportunity to hear the disc yet. But if you can't trust Bruce Kimmel, whom can you trust?
 

PMF

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Oh please don't cite me as your only example. I haven't had the opportunity to hear the disc yet. But if you can't trust Bruce Kimmel, whom can you trust?
When it comes to sound, I most absolutely do trust Mr. Kimmel and his experiences from the get-go.

Please forgive, Neil, as I had read another thread concerning the mono tracks of “Psycho” and could’ve sworn that it was you who had written a letter to Universal.

Short of this, I’m taking my cue from RAH and shall give of my purchased support to Universal and this, otherwise, promising 4K set.
 
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Bryan Tuck

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Oh please don't cite me as your only example. I haven't had the opportunity to hear the disc yet. But if you can't trust Bruce Kimmel, whom can you trust?
I've heard the disc, and the English 2.0 mono track definitely has all the replacement sound effects, while the mono on the previous Blu-ray did not. As Dave said, though, it does appear to be an honest mistake (the audio menu identifies the track as "Original Audio), so here's hoping it will be corrected.

Also Mr. Harris - would you happen to know for sure if the extra 13 seconds or so in the "Uncut" version of Psycho were actually in the original theatrical release? It seems odd that they would have been cut later in the 1960s when so many other boundaries were being tested.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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It seems odd that they would have been cut later in the 1960s when so many other boundaries were being tested.
It doesn’t strike me as being that odd. It would have made its first run in its uncut form, and the trims would likely have been made to allow the film to be suitable for aftermarket venues like television.
 
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Neil S. Bulk

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Please forgive, Neil, as I had read another thread concerning the mono tracks of “Psycho” and could’ve sworn that it was you who had written a letter to Universal.
That I did. I'd like to own this set and see the uncut Psycho in 4K, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it with the revised audio.
 
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