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Quality of laserlight Alfred Hitchcock Collection?

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Quality of laserlight Alfred Hitchcock Collection?

Old 01-02-00, 01:36 AM
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Hi,

The Subject: line pretty much says it all. I am thinking about buying both collections and was wondering how good they are. I've seen lots of comments about how awful the Madacy transfers are and some suggestion that the Laserlight ones are better, but even after searching high and low, I have been unable to find anything more than a couple of isolated comments on a couple of particular releases. Any information about these sets?

Old 01-02-00, 04:46 AM
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I have 39 Steps and the Lady Vanishes in the Laserlight versions.

Having never seen these movies before, I really have no reference point, but they were watchable. The sound was adequate. The image was showing its age, but I had no trouble seeing anything.

What's really bad are the little bookend pieces by Tony Curtis. That will scare you something awful!

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Old 01-02-00, 07:17 AM
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I have Laserlight's "The Lodger/Sabotage," "murder!" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much." They are not on the same level as Criterion's versions of the early Hitchcock but quite good, in my opinion. "The Lodger" is really bad as far as the transfer but I found myself drawn into the film after a few minutes and was not distracted by the film elements. Unfortunately, "Murder!" is not the longer version which is available from Madacy. I intend to buy more.
Old 01-02-00, 11:45 AM
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I've seen all the DVDs in both Laserlight collections and I can say that, as a general rule, the Laserlight versions are much better than the Madacy versions.

Because these are public domain films put out cheaply, Laserlight hasn't done any restoration (ala Criterion) but they have found pretty decent elements to work with and seem to have put them on disk with care. All of the films were watchable and some were surprisingly good. I can definitely recommend these 2 boxed sets.

Blade, if you liked 39 Steps and Lady Vanishes, I'd also recommend The Man Who Knew Too Much and Sabotage -- both great.

(And Blade is right -- the Tony Curtis intros are terrible. Let's take a poll as to how many people think that he's drunk...)
Old 01-02-00, 11:56 AM
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My friends and I (I actually do have friends) have made side-by-side comparisons between the Laser Light & Criterion versions of The 39 Steps & The Lady Vanishes. The difference between the transfers is negligible. You might want to purchase the Criterion version of The 39 Steps because it is loaded with excellent supplements - some of the best I have seen. Save your money and buy the Laser Light version of The Lady Vanishes is my advice.

Old 01-02-00, 02:01 PM
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I also have both the Laserlight and Criterion versions of both 39 Steps and Lady Vanishes -- and I disagree that the differences are negligible. The Criterion versions are sharper, with deeper blacks and much less dust and scratches on the print.

That's not to say that the Lasderlight is bad -- it's actually quite good. I'd say: if you have a small screen or low quality monitor, don't bother getting the Criterion. If you have a big screen tv (ours is 53") you may well notice. I'm definitely glad I have the Criterion discs.
Old 01-02-00, 02:44 PM
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bbiosvrt,

Which version do you recommend?

I found a laserlight version of Man Who Knew Too Much.

There are also Madacy versions of a 1 and 2 disc set for Man Who Knew Too Much / Sabotage

And there's a Madacy version of Sabotage available too.

Thanks for the recommedations. I'll be adding them to my want list.

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Old 01-02-00, 03:09 PM
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Want a good Hitchcock film? Get Rebecca, released by Anchor Bay. I've ordered it, not actually seen it yet, so I can't comment on the quality of the DVD.
Old 01-02-00, 05:40 PM
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I've seen the Madacy "Man Who Knew Too Much" and the Laserlight version is definitely better.

I've never seen the Madacy "Sabotage", but the Laserlight version is very good and is a double-feature disc that also includes Hitchcock's "The Lodger", IMHO one of the best silent films ever made -- although it's in fairly rough shape (as you could imagine).

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