Hitchcock Complete Boxset DVD


From the 'Master of Suspense' this box set features many of his very best films. Titles comprise: 1. Vertigo 2. The Birds 3. Rear Window 4. Marnie 5. Frenzy 6. Topaz 7. The Trouble With Harry 8. Torn Curtain 9. Psycho: Special Edition (includes the Bonus disc the Hitchcock legacy) 10. Family Plot 11. Saboteur 12. Shadow Of A Doubt 13. The Man Who Knew Too Much 14. Rope For individual synopses please refer to the individual products.

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17 October 2005
Universal Pictures Video 
1605 minutes 
Box set, PAL 
  • Average Rating for Hitchcock Complete Boxset - 4 out of 5

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  • Hitchcock Complete Boxset
    Kashif Ahmed

    Master filmmaker Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, affectionately known to fans as 'Hitch' which, I suppose, is better than being known as 'Cock', is finally honoured with a decent DVD box set. For when Hitch told us "...to make audiences suffer as long as possible" I'm sure he didn't mean do it by releasing a multitude of DVD sets with various cuts of the same film, some films missing or a vanilla surreptitiously snuck in amongst the special editions. But when you've secured the rights to market a cinematic genius of Hitchcock's calibre and fame, the scope for fleecing fan's of their hard earned cash time and time again, is probably too tempting an option to resist. And even though 'North By Northwest', 'Foreign Correspondent', 'Dial M For Murder', 'The Wrong Man', 'Notorious', 'I Confess' and 'Strangers On A Train' are conspicuous by their absence, this 14-disc collection is still the best of the recent Hitchcock box sets and definitely worth looking into.
    1. Vertigo (1958)
    'Cahiers Du Cinema's'' favourite film, 'Vertigo' sees alleged real life Satanist; Jimmy Stewart as an acrophobic tec obsessed with an old pal's wife (Kim Novak). Excellent cinematography and mis-en-scene (including the now often imitated depth-of-field shot) very atmospheric in spite of some plot holes, 'Vertigo' is one I liked better the second time around.
    2. The Birds (1963)
    Spoofed with Dolphins in 'The Simpsons', 'The Birds' sees Melanie Griffith's mother; Tippi Hedren, menaced by an aviary of ornithological terrors in Hitchcock's third adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier novel. Great fun, beautiful cinematography and a genuine sense of increasing panic when the winged creatures assert their authority, DVD features Hedren's screen-test and an informative making of featurette.
    3. Rear Window (1954)
    Hitch shows us exactly why he's lauded as the master of suspense, when Jimmy Stewart takes on the role of a voyeuristic, wheelchair bound photographer who's convinced his neighbour is a murderer. Grace Kelly co-stars in this claustrophobic paranoid thriller which was cleverly (albeit not as skilfully) remade 40 years later with the late / great Christopher Reeve in the lead role. Classic.
    4. Marnie (1964)
    Film noir in Technicolor, 'Marnie' harks back to the novels of Cornell Woolrich with a little bit of Truffaut's 'Mississippi Mermaid' thrown in for good measure. An effortlessly cool Sean Connery befriends mysterious, ever so slightly mad, thief Tippi Hedren. Reasonably entertaining, some themes and ideas don't work as well as they should (watch the excellent making of for the reasons why), but its an unusual little picture that holds your attention throughout.
    5. Frenzy (1972)
    Gripping, but over-directed, serial killer yarn with shades of 'The Wrong Man' about it. A psychopathic strangler is on a killing spree in London though the police, unsurprisingly, have the wrong guy. Hitchcock's penultimate picture is a hit & miss affair that skilfully walks the genre tightrope between black comedy and explicit suspense thriller; proves the old cliché that less is more.
    6. Topaz (1969)
    French secret agent swans around the world in this slow burn, cold war picture centred around the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Similar in style to 'The Quiller Memorandum', "Topaz" is quite an engaging film for its time and features just enough cloak & dagger intrigue, over-the-shoulder paranoia and political machinations to make it a credible edition to the Hitchcock cannon.
    7. The Trouble With Harry (1955)
    Marginally successful farce with a decent script and some witty one-liners, the movie seems outdated now, in that the corpse comedy (never as funny as it sounds) has been done to death from 'Head Above Water', 'Diabolique' to 'The Last Supper'. Notable for being Shirley McClaine's screen debut.
    8. Torn Curtain (1966)
    More cold war shenanigans as scientist Paul Newman infiltrates Communist East Germany in this overlong, character driven suspense drama. An engaging central performance by Newman makes up for a miscast Julie Andrews, whilst Leila Kedrova (best known for her award winning performance in 'Zorba The Greek') lifts proceedings as Countess Kuchinska. Features a memorable Hitchcock murder, which ranks as the one of most unpleasant / realistic slayings ever seen in cinema, 'Torn Curtain' makes for an interesting companion piece to 'Topaz' and is well directed, though the movie's pace limits repeat viewing potential.
    9. Psycho: Special Edition (1960)
    A classic given a decent release at long last, includes bonus disc 'The Hitchcock Legacy'...need I go on?
    10. Family Plot (1976)
    Hitch's long and illustrious career ends with a nudge & a wink in this offbeat comedy/drama, that works surprisingly well, given that its so out of step with the independent spirit of mid 70's filmmaking. Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris are well cast as a pair of chancers who encounter a criminal gang, lightweight, but enjoyable fare.
    11. Saboteur (1942)
    Gripping, often surreal, WWII melodrama that pre-empted themes featured in post-war film noirs. Aircraft munitions factory worker Robert Cummings is wrongly accused of sabotage and goes on the run, future influences include 'The Bourne Identity', 'Lost Highway' and even 'X-Men 1.5'.
    12. Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)
    Featuring an excellent retrospective, Hitchcock's personal favourite film is an intense, and often darkly humorous take on the crazy-relative-comes-to-stay scenario. Joseph Cotton is excellent as possible serial killer uncle Charlie (think Chris Morris meets Norman Bates) whilst Teresa Wright does well as his namesake and increasingly suspicious / vulnerable niece. Its small town setting gives it the feel of a stage play, which only serves to heighten the anxiety. Vintage Hitch
    13. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
    Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day star as an unhappily married couple whose façade of marital bliss comes apart at the seams when they become embroiled in complex kidnapping/ assassination conspiracy. Too many themes at work here, overall, a finely constructed film though not as good as some make it out to be. Dazzling Technicolor & cinematography makes it a worthy remake of Hitchcock's 1934 version.
    14. Rope (1948)
    Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart's first, and finest, collaboration is an excellent, innovative adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's controversial 1929 stage play. Set almost entirely in one room, 'Rope' sees a pair of arrogant, bourgeois gay men, murder a mutual friend for no apparent reason other than to prove themselves above & beyond conventional morality. They then proceed to host a banquet served upon a chest containing their pal's corpse, trying to add insult to injury, they invite the victim's fiancé, and their former college professor (played by James Stewart). Jimmy Stewart puts in an incendiary performance as he begins to decipher the pair's heinous deed and, perhaps, how his own Nihilistic teachings may have influenced them. An underrated masterpiece.

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A collection of 14 classic films directed by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. The titles featured are: 'Saboteur' (1942), 'Shadow of a Doubt' (1943), 'Rope' (1948), 'Rear Window' (1954), 'The Trouble With Harry' (1955), 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (1956), 'Vertigo' (1958), 'Psycho' (1960), 'The Birds' (1963), 'Marnie' (1964), 'Torn Curtain' (1966), 'Topaz' (1969), 'Frenzy' (1972) and 'Family Plot' (1976).

Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. The Birds: All About The Birds - Making Of, Tippi Hedren's Screen Test, Universal News Reel Stories x 2, Storyboard Sequence: Deleted Scene (Script Pages), Alternative Ending (Sketches & Storyboards), Production Photographs.   Family Plot: Plotting Family Plot - Making Of, Storyboards.   Frenzy: The Story Of Frenzy - Making Of.   The Man Who Knew Too Much: The Making Of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Trailer Compilation.   "Marnie": The Trouble With Marnie - Making Of, Production Photographs.   Rear Window: Rear Window Ethics: Remembering & Restoring a Hitchcock Classic - Making Of, Featurette, Trailer Compilation.   Saboteur: A Closer Look - Making Of, Storyboards, Hitchcock Sketches.   Shadow Of A Doubt: Beyond Doubt: The Making Of Hitchcock's Favourite Film, Production Drawings.   Topaz: An Appreciation by Film Critic/Historian Leonard Maltin - Making Of, Alternative Endings x 3 - Duel/Airport/Suicide, Storyboards, Production Photographs.   Torn Curtain: Torn Curtain Rising - Making Of, Scenes Scored By Composer Bernard Herrmann.   The Trouble With Harry: The Trouble With Harry Isn't Over - Making Of, Trailer Compilation.   Rope: Rope Unleashed - Making Of, Trailer Compilation.   Vertigo: Obsessed with Vertigo, Feature Commentary, Cast And Filmmakers, Production Notes.   Psycho: Masters Of Cinema: Alfred Hitchcock, American Film Institute Salute to Alfred Hitchcock, Production Notes, Cast And Filmmakers.   Theatrical Trailers.   Art Gallery.

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