Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection: which movies live up to the title?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by mdekoning, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. aperfecttool

    aperfecttool Ænimic

    RDU, NC, USA
  2. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    I'd be interested in assessments, as well, though I understand the quality of the transfers essentially is the same. The lack of North by Northwest in the former really hurts, but any price difference could go to buying the film separately.
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  3. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    By the way, I compared portions of Vertigo on Blu-ray to a recent DVD version of the film (both played on a Blu-ray player). The Blu-ray looked better, but it wasn't the stunning update I was hoping for. But I think the fairly inexpensive price makes either box a worthwhile purchase if you don't have good versions of the movies already.
  4. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
  5. What size screen were you using?
  6. Slappy9001

    Slappy9001 Forum Resident

    Kingston, PA
    Four stars and above I would rate as a masterpiece

    Saboteur: ** 1/2 stars
    Shadow Of A Doubt: ****
    Rope: Absolutely. ***
    Rear Window: *****
    The Trouble With Harry: *** 1/2
    The Man Who Knew Too Much: ** 1/2
    Vertigo: *** 1/2
    North By Northwest (not included in some copies): ****
    Psycho: ****
    The Birds: ****
    Marnie: ****
    Torn Curtain: ** 1/2
    Topaz: **
    Frenzy: ***
    Family Plot: **
  7. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    Not sure. Whatever is appropriate for Cinemascope, I think. The people and objects in the screen did not look compressed or otherwise distorted. The TV is a 42" (or so) LG 1080 (i or p or whatever). It isn't a 4K TV. Is there a secret to watching these on Blu-ray?
  8. johnnyyen

    johnnyyen Forum Resident

    None, I don’t think he made a masterpiece. There were some great films, but I wouldn’t go as far as masterpiece, in the “Citizen Kane” meaning of the word.
    misterjones likes this.
  9. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    I might take slight issue with some, but I'm hoping quality Blu-ray transfers will help me look beyond what I see as story flaws and focus on the direction and cinematography. For example, I thought the story of Rope was mediocre and ultimately unsatisfying, but I saw it in the theaters when it was re-released back in the 1980s, and I thought it was very atmospheric (at least on the big screen). My attention had been drawn to a 16 or so minute unedited shot ahead of time, and I spent too much time looking for it.

    What about the transfers?
  10. Phillip Walch

    Phillip Walch Forum Resident

    The UK box lacks North By Northwest, Strangers on a Train, and Dial M for Murder. Those 3 are available from the UK in a simple slip

    It is a lovely box, and the presentation of the movies are the best available currently. A recent repress and steelbook of Vertigo was just that, nothing new. These are all watchable. Will I upgrade as new transfer appear? Absolutely because I want the best Hitch experiences but these are pefectly fine for most viewers.

    Psycho has since been released with a new transfer and is uncut but is only available as part of a German Psycho box-set of them all.

    Another option to get all the movies in the Masterpiece box and 3-film set is the newer box House of Hitchcock.

    The House of Hitchcock Blu-ray Release Date October 14, 2019

    Same transfer, just updated housing, literally!
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
    misterjones likes this.
  11. Robur

    Robur Paperback Writer

    San Francisco
    This seems to be not a trivial question.

    Especially that I now read about the House of Hitchcock ... Time to compare the list.

    - The House of Hitchcock is just a repackaged Ultimate Collection
    - The UK Master Collection isn't really cheaper vs. the US one and is missing the TV specials that are in the above two
    - None of these contain Dial M for Murder/North By Northwest/Strangers on a Train and To Catch a Thief

    The best route seems to be House of Hitchcock or the Ultimate Collection plus the 3+1 seperate movies. Why they didn't package ALL of these movies together in the House edition is beyond me.
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
    CusBlues likes this.
  12. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    I read a very negative review of the visual quality of the smaller collection - I forget where - which made me decide to avoid it. With House of Hitchcock, do I have to find a place to put that silly house?
    CusBlues and Robur like this.
  13. Phillip Walch

    Phillip Walch Forum Resident

    I think all three movies could do with a new transfer tbh but they are OK, NbNW is fine, Dial M for Murder is the poorest imo and I actually found Strangers on a Train to be quite decent.

    Haha that house! Well the set includes 4 cases so the house and the extra content can be stored away and the cases kept on the shelf.

    Movies included in the House of Hitchcock:

    ROPE (MC)
    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (3-movie set)
    DIAL M FOR MURDER (3-movie set)
    TO CATCH A THIEF (standalone)
    NORTH BY NORTHWEST (3-movie set)
    PSYCHO (1960) (MC)
    TOPAZ (MC)
  14. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    It’s calked marketing and I’m good with labeling all of Hitchcock’s movies that way.
  15. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Marnie better than Vertigo? That's er .... interesting. ***** for me.
  16. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    New York City
    I don't like it that none of these collections gets you either Spellbound or Notorious. I think I would enjoy the B&W cinematography on those (and Suspicion).
    wayneklein likes this.
  17. No but the bigger the screen, the more noticeable the difference is between the DVD and Blu. A 4K will also reveal the flaws in both transfers as it is upscale s there’s less information to work with for the DVD. You’ll notice a nice uptick. At least that was my experience. It’s a nice transfer. Is it perfect? Nope. With more money and work it could have been but it is pretty darn good IMHO. Others may disagree. Take my opinion with a grain of salt but I am watching it on a 56 inch 4K monitor. On my smaller TV upstairs, it wasn’t as big a jump.
  18. The Notorious Blu Criterion beats the MGM Blu ray hands down. Get it on a sale.
    longdist01 and Phillip Walch like this.
  19. Robur

    Robur Paperback Writer

    San Francisco
    Wait, while N by NW is included, these three are *not* included in the House of Hitchcock:

    - STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (3-movie set)
    - DIAL M FOR MURDER (3-movie set)
    - TO CATCH A THIEF (standalone)
  20. Phillip Walch

    Phillip Walch Forum Resident

    My apologies, clearly I should have stated what all that meant. All the movies listed are in The House of Hitchcock. The MCs are the ones in the masterpiece collection, the 3-movie are the 3 bundled and To a catch Thief is standalone. So to reiterate, all the movies are in the new House of Hitchcock box.
  21. Phillip Walch

    Phillip Walch Forum Resident

    And I would that Criterion also deliver the best transfer of Hitch's finest movie of all and the greatest movie ever made, Rebecca. It comes from a 4K scan and is far better than the MGM blu. Now there finally needs to be a UK release.
    longdist01 likes this.
  22. finslaw

    finslaw Its muzak to my ears

    Rear Window is his absolute masterpiece IMO. It even had my preteen daughter's eyes glued to the screen.

    Also rans:

    Strangers on a Train
    North By Northwest
    Robur and longdist01 like this.
  23. I enjoy "Rebecca" and think it's a classic but would differ with you on it being his finest movie. It's the finest he made with Selznick producing for sure.
    Phillip Walch likes this.
  24. Robur

    Robur Paperback Writer

    San Francisco
    This is rather weird, has two different versions of the house available - that's what confused me.

    There is a 15 movie version with 11 cards that lacks the three movies I listed:


    And then there is an 18 movie version with 14 cards:


    Amazon is very confused and states that both consist of 18 disks.

    I was lucky earlier today and ordered one of the last 18 movie variants for 65.99 USD and will report how many movies are in there after all.
    Phillip Walch likes this.

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