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Tom Helmore

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  • Vertigo [1958] Vertigo | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £5.99  |  Saving you £4.00 (40.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Dreamlike and nightmarishly surreal, Vertigo is Hitchcock's most personal film because it confronts many of the convoluted psychological issues that haunted and fascinated the director. The psychological complexity and the stark truthfulness of their rampant emotions keeps these strangely obsessive characters alive on screen, and Hitchcock understood better than most their barely repressed sexual compulsions, their fascination with death and their almost overwhelming desire for transcendent love. James Stewart finds profound and disturbing new depths in his psyche as Scotty, the tortured acrophobic detective on the trail of a suicidal woman apparently possessed by the ghost of someone long dead. Kim Novak is the classical Hitchcockian blonde whose icy exterior conceals a churning, volcanic emotional core. The agonised romance of Bernard Herrmann's score accompanies the two actors as a third and vitally important character, moving the film along to its culmination in an ecstasy of Wagnerian tragedy. Of course Hitch lavished especial care on every aspect of the production, from designer Edith Head's costumes (he, like Scotty, was most insistent on the grey dress), to the specific colour scheme of each location, to the famous reverse zoom "Vertigo" effect (much imitated, never bettered). The result is Hitch's greatest work and an undisputed landmark of cinema history. On the DVD: This disc presents the superb restored print of this film in a wonderful widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic transfer, with remastered Dolby digital soundtrack. There's a half-hour documentary made in 1996 about the painstaking two-year restoration process, plus an informative commentary from the restorers Robert Harris and James Katz, who are joined by original producer Herbert Coleman. There are also text features on the production, cast and crew, plus a trailer for the theatrical release of the restoration. This is an undeniably essential requirement for every DVD collection. --Mark Walker

  • The Time Machine [1960] The Time Machine | DVD | (28/06/2013) from £3.60  |  Saving you £14.39 (80.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    In 1960 producer-director George Pal's The Time Machine reshaped HG Wells' thoughtful, ironic novel into a two-fisted action movie, but one that still appeals to children and adults immensely and deserves its classic status. Wells' themes of biological and social evolution are played down, but there is a surprisingly melancholy thread as Rod Taylor's Time Traveller keeps stopping off at future wars to find that human stupidity still persists. In the first week of 1900 a group of fussy Victorians gather in Taylor's chintzy, overstuffed parlour to hear him tell of his expedition to the future, where the world is divided between the surface-dwelling, childish, beautiful Eloi and the hideous, underground, cannibal Morlocks. Wells intended both factions to seem degenerate, the logical final evolution of the class system, but Pal has Taylor pull a Captain Kirk and side with the Eloi and teach them to fight against their oppressors. The time travel sequence remains a tour de force, with a shop window mannequin demonstrating a parade of fashions as the years fly by in seconds and charming but still-effective stop-motion effects. The future is a wonderfully coloured landscape with properly gruesome cave-dwelling monsters and a winning Eloi heroine in Yvette Mimieux. It may not be totally Wells, but it's a treat. On the DVD: The Time Machine arrives on disc in a lovely widescreen print which makes the film seem new all over again. The featurette "Time Machine: The Journey Back" combines some mild behind-the-scenes stuff about the film (and its star prop) with a moving mini-sequel reuniting stars Rod Taylor and Alan Young in a scene that actually addresses a plot point skipped over in the original. --Kim Newman

  • Vertigo [1958] Vertigo | DVD | (04/06/2007) from £3.25  |  Saving you £4.40 (44.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Set in San Francisco James Stewart portrays an acrophobic detective hired to trail a friend's suicidal wife (Kim Novak). After he successfully rescues her from a leap into the bay he finds himself becoming obsessed with the beautifully troubled woman. One of cinema's most chilling romantic endeavours: its fascinating myriad of haunting camera angles shot among some of San Francisco's renowned landmarks. This film is a must for collectors: Leonard Maltin gives Vertigo four stars.

  • Hitchcock: Volume 2 [DVD] Hitchcock: Volume 2 | DVD | (23/09/2013) from £13.52  |  Saving you £6.48 (32.40%)  |  RRP £20

    The Volume 2 of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films including The Birds Vertigo Frenzy Topaz Marnie Torn Curtain and Family Plot.Vertigo (1958)A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the activities of an old friend's wife whilst becoming dangerously obsessed with her. The Birds (1963) A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a Northern California town that takes a bizarre turn when birds of all kinds begin to attack people in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness. Marnie (1964) Mark marries Marnie although she is a thief and possesses serious psychological problems. Mark tries to help her confront and resolve the issues. Torn Curtain (1966)An American scientist defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin and has to figure out a plan to escape back West. Topaz (1969)A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in Cold War politics first uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and then back to France to break up a Russian spy ring. Frenzy (1972)A serial killer is murdering women in London with a necktie the police have a suspect but he isn't the correct man... Family Plot (1976)Suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while following a missing heir in California. Special Features: Disc 1 Frenzy Theatrical Trailer Featurette The Story Of Art Gallery Disc 2 Obsessed With Vertigo Feature Commentary Production Note Cast and Filmmakers Vertigo Theatrical Trailers Disc 3 All About The Birds - Making Of Tippen Hedren's Screen Test Universal News Reel Stories x 2 The Birds Theatrical Trailer Storyboard Sequence Deleted Scene Alternative Ending (Sketches and Storyboards) Production Photographs Disc 4 Documentary Scenes Scored By Bernard Herrmann Art Gallery Torn Curtain Trailer Disc 5 Documentary Alternate Endings: Duel Airport Suicide Storyboards Production Photographs Topaz Trailer Disc 6 Marnie Theatrical Trailer Documentary Production Photographs Disc 7 Documentary Storyboards Art Gallery Family Plot Theatrical Trailer 1 Family Plot Theatrical Trailer 2

  • The Hitchcock Collection, Volume 2 [1958] The Hitchcock Collection, Volume 2 | DVD | (06/03/2006) from £23.98  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £39.99

    A welcome second volume of classics from the Master of Suspense, this seven-disc Hitchcock Collection box-set consists of the following: The Birds: Based on a Daphne Du Maurier short story, The Birds (1963) is Hitchcock at his most terrifying, as the residents of a small town are attacked by thousands of apparently homicidal birds. Marnie: Tippi Hedren and newly Bonded Sean Connery star in this excellent 1964 thriller, which finds a calculating thief who robs her employers pursued by a her new boss, who is desperate to unlock her secrets Torn Curtain: This 1966 spy thriller, pairing Paul Newman and Julie Andrews, finds Newman as a world-famous physicist intent on defecting to East Berlin in order to obtain funding for his latest project. Topaz: Based on the Leon Uris novel, Hitch's 51st film, made in 1969, concerns a CIA agent who learns of Russian missiles in Cuba. With the aid of a French agent, they negotiate a plethora of corruption and murder. Frenzy: This critically acclaimed 1972 film was Hitch's first British-made film for more than 20 years. A classic Hitch story of an innocent man accused of being the "necktie murderer"--a vicious sex criminal terrorising London--he eludes the authorities and seeks the real killer. Family Plot: Hitchcock's final film, made in 1976, is a blackly funny mix of murder, theft and kidnapping as a cab-driver and a psychic team up to find a dead man--not actually dead--in exchange for a $10,000 reward. Bonus Disc--Vertigo: An irreducible masterpiece, this 1958 double-identity thriller finds Hitch serving aces, as Jimmy Stewart's detective is drawn in to a complex plot when the girl he loves apparently falls to her death. On the DVD: Like the first volume, this is an equally impressive package that will satisfy the rotund fright-master's fans. Along with the standard selection of trailers, production notes and picture galleries, each disc houses an impressive "making of" documentary, each expertly detailing Hitch's meticulous work. The Birds features Tippi Hedren's screen test and--in storyboard form--deleted scenes and the alternative ending. Topaz has no less that three alternative endings, while Torn Curtain includes scenes scored by composer Bernard Herrmann before his music was rejected by Hitch. The Vertigo disc features an excellent group commentary from producer Herbert Coleman and restoration experts Robert A Harris and James Katz, as well as a documentary, "Obsessed with Vertigo". Housed in attractive fold-out packaging, this is an excellent opportunity to obtain a rich slice of Hitchcock's dark magic.--Danny Graydon

  • The Time Machine (Deluxe Box) [1960] The Time Machine (Deluxe Box) | DVD | (12/08/2002) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £49.99

    In 1960 producer-director George Pal's The Time Machine reshaped HG Wells' thoughtful, ironic novel into a two-fisted action movie, but one that still appeals to children and adults immensely and deserves its classic status. Wells' themes of biological and social evolution are played down, but there is a surprisingly melancholy thread as Rod Taylor's Time Traveller keeps stopping off at future wars to find that human stupidity still persists. In the first week of 1900 a group of fussy Victorians gather in Taylor's chintzy, overstuffed parlour to hear him tell of his expedition to the future, where the world is divided between the surface-dwelling, childish, beautiful Eloi and the hideous, underground, cannibal Morlocks. Wells intended both factions to seem degenerate, the logical final evolution of the class system, but Pal has Taylor pull a Captain Kirk and side with the Eloi and teach them to fight against their oppressors. The time travel sequence remains a tour de force, with a shop window mannequin demonstrating a parade of fashions as the years fly by in seconds and charming but still-effective stop-motion effects. The future is a wonderfully coloured landscape with properly gruesome cave-dwelling monsters and a winning Eloi heroine in Yvette Mimieux. It may not be totally Wells, but it's a treat. On the DVD: The Time Machine arrives on disc in a lovely widescreen print which makes the film seem new all over again. The featurette "Time Machine: The Journey Back" combines some mild behind-the-scenes stuff about the film (and its star prop) with a moving mini-sequel reuniting stars Rod Taylor and Alan Young in a scene that actually addresses a plot point skipped over in the original. --Kim Newman

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