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Where to Start with Hitchcock?

Old 03-17-05, 07:30 PM
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Where to Start with Hitchcock?

I did a search, and couldn't turn up anything about what I'm inquiring, so hopefully this is okay. I've always been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (grew up watching it on Nick-at-Nite), but for whatever reason, my experiences with his films have been relitively limited considering what's out there. And there's so many releases and box sets to choose from that starting out is a bit tough.

So basically, what sets and releases are the ones to go for and the ones to avoid? Obviously the Signature Collection is one to chase after, but what about the older boxes?
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Old 03-17-05, 08:01 PM
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The Universal ones are the cream of the crop. Especially Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo.
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Old 03-17-05, 08:02 PM
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I'd say any of the following four boxsets are sure bets IMO. The two Universal sets, the Warner box set, and the oop Criterion set.
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Old 03-17-05, 08:06 PM
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First to get (before prices go up again) is the criterion boxset. Watch the 4 films, then decide if you want to go on with Hitch.
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Old 03-17-05, 08:08 PM
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the nice universal boxsets went out of print too I believe with 8 dvd's and alfred hitchcock presents episodes directed by hitchcock. the small boxsets did not I think.
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Old 03-17-05, 10:34 PM
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Alfred Hitchcock Presents is coming to DVD in a seperate TV set... i forgot when.
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Old 03-17-05, 10:38 PM
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I would reccomend North by Northwest or Rear Window, then the Criterion boxset.
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Old 03-18-05, 12:07 AM
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rear window, vertigo, north by northwest
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Old 03-18-05, 12:17 AM
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The Universal box sets are still available at Columbia House and a few other stores.
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Old 03-18-05, 12:34 AM
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The two big universal sets just went OOP as well so hurry up. Either one of those, the criterions, and the warner sets are great. MgM is supposed to be releaseing a set that will double up some of the criterions, and get a re-release of the paradine case. As stated above Alfred Hitchcock presents is on schedule to arrive later this year, but nothing is set.

Lifeboat is the only American talkie not released...Champagne is remastered and was supposed to air on turner last year...it showed up with no soundtrack...they are recording one, and It's my hope it will show up on a set similar to the keaton/chaney silent film sets.


some good reads if your looking at Hitch...Try looking through these, as there is a wealth of info. No need to close this thread, I don't think anyone minds discussing Hitchcock. Hope these help.

An Anamorphic Psycho?

Alfred Hitchcock - The Master Of Suspense: 10 Movie Set

Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT coming to DVD!

Vertigo - something bad has happened...Disc failure!

Hitchcock Signature Collection...Good Blind Buy?

Any HITCHCOCK collectors here?

The New Hitch Box Set: Whadya Think?

Hitchcock's TMWKTM (1934) - Which one?

Hitchcock's Best on DVD?

Buying Hitchock DVD's for my girlfriend...

The Universal Hitchcock sets
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Old 03-18-05, 12:50 AM
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Does anyone know if the Universal sets are going to be re-released? Especially since some of the discs are non-anamorphic. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-05, 01:02 AM
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just vertigo and psycho are not anamorphic. The box sets (all four big and small went OOP over the last few months)...and some of the single titles have started showing OOP even more recently (Marnie comes to mind)

The sets are not bad now, good transfers, and nice docs + trailers....the only thing i would like to see added are commentaries. Vertigo is the only disc that recieved one, and it is on the restoration more than the history/merits of the film. I don't see it in the near future, but assume that most of the old stock had been bought up. So it's a good time to re-release the titles. Hopefully when "Presents" comes out, they will announce these.
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Old 03-18-05, 01:22 AM
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I imagine the Universal ones are due for an update but then again they may be launch/early titles for the next format.
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Old 03-18-05, 10:34 AM
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My favorite Hitchcock films:

Shadow of a Doubt
Strangers on a Train
Notorious
Dial M for Murder
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Old 03-18-05, 10:47 AM
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My faves...

Rear Window
Rope
North by Northwest
Strangers on a Train
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Old 03-18-05, 02:34 PM
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...some oldies... more oldies... more Hitchcock...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 03-18-05 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 03-18-05, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
The Universal ones are the cream of the crop. Especially Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo.
I agree with this to the extent that Universal holds some of Hitch's best titles (Vertigo being my personal favorite Hitch film), but unfortunately the DVD transfers are second rate. Warner Brothers and Criterion have put out the best Hitch DVDs, with "North by Northwest" arguably being the best transfer of all. I'd also highly recommend "Notorious" (my second fave) and "Rebecca" from Criterion (I've never much cared for "Spellbound", but it's a good DVD), and "Strangers on a Train" from Warner Bros.
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Old 03-18-05, 05:53 PM
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Didn't Lowery Digital do a new 4K transfer of Vertigo for Universal or was it done in house? I remember watching a documentary about it a year or so ago. I know it was restored at least.
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Old 03-18-05, 06:02 PM
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Although most go for box sets, I like to pick and choose here and there. Aside from the essential Psycho, of course, I would go toward the other top flight ones like the Birds, Strangers on a Train, Notorious (CC), and Rebecca (CC). Those are the top five that I got, and have the highest re-watchability as far as I'm concerned. It's hard to go wrong with Hitchcock.
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Old 03-18-05, 06:13 PM
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The problem I face when looking for advice on where to start with a director's work, or a musician's work, is that everyone has their favorites. My practice has usually been to start with the earlier work and just go through their films. Gives you a good look at how their style evolves. He has the obvious hits which are all amazing movies in my opinion, but I think that working up to them (since his most famous films were pretty much made in the 50's and early 60's, and he started making films in the 20's) gives a great depth of understanding their entire work as an auteur.

Like most have suggested, I say go for the Criterion box since it will quickly be unattainable and also gives a nice look into some of his mid 30's-mid 40's work.
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Old 03-18-05, 11:08 PM
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My faves:

The Birds
Strangers on a Train
Rebecca
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Old 03-18-05, 11:38 PM
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I've got many I prefer to others, although really I'm hard-pressed to think of one I don't like (although the last 30 minutes of Vertigo are almost unbearable in a very unfortunate and strange way that I don't mind explaining if people are interested in spoilers). If you can find a college or university in your area doing a Hitchcock class, take it. After being a Hitchcock fan for so long, I took a class on him and watched probably 20-24 of his films in release order and found the evolution of his filmmaking fascinating.
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Old 03-24-05, 03:45 AM
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My Favorites:

Rear Window.
Vertigo.
The Trouble With Harry.
North By Northwest.
To Catch a Thief.
Shadow of a Doubt.
Rebecca.
Pyscho.
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Old 03-24-05, 04:13 AM
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If you havent see Psycho you have to start there IMO. SImply because what it is. Go with the main classics as they are classing for a reason. North by Northwest, Rear Window, Vertigo, Birds. After those go towards the Criterions (go fast); they have a different feel to the ones I noted previously but they are notable Hitchcock titles. Wait on Hitchcock presents to be released later this year. Should be great.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:14 AM
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They are doing a sale at the moment on Hitchcock at www.play.com but not box sets.
My faves are:
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
VERTIGO
REAR WINDOW
DIAL M FOR MURDER
REBECCA
NUTORIOUS
SHADOW OF A DOUBT
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
SPELLBOUND
SUSPICIAN
PYSCHO

Happy watching

Last edited by Sadie; 03-24-05 at 07:16 AM.
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