- Jun 3, 2001
Mr. Harris,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.
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
I have concerns about the benefit of upgrading to 4k on three on these films. I suspect Vertigo will look noticeably in 4K, but the other three I'm not so sure. You omitted the Upgrade from Blu Ray in your review, I'm wondering why?
Disregard the fact that Hitchcock is my favorite director. As I was also born on August 13th I had no choice.