UPDATE: Alfred Hitchcock gets the deluxe treatment on October 30, 2012 (originally scheduled for 9/25) as part of Universal’s on-going 100th Anniversary celebration, with Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection. The Blu-ray behemoth includes no less than 15 Hitchcock-directed films, a staggering 13 of which are making their high definition debut.
Before carping about what isn’t on the set, keep in mind that these are the titles Universal has the distribution rights to – of course the Master of Suspense’s filmography is jam-packed with other classics. But let’s look at what IS on this set. First of all, Psycho and North by Northwest (which I was surprised to see here, because previous editions have been via Warner Bros.) are the two that have already been available on Blu-ray.
The following are all new to Blu-ray: 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), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Topaz(1969), Frenzy (1972), and Family Plot (1976).
That’s a lot of Hitchcock – with some obvious classics mixed in with often-overlooked and underrated gems (Rope is one of my favorites). Brand new features are light – though there is a new documentary piece called “The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie” – but it looks like everything from the previous DVD editions has been carried over, meaning every title will have extra features.
Universal is touting Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection as being available for a “limited time only.” The collector’s set – which also includes a 50-page book – is available for preorder. The release lists for $299.98, but preorder deals are available.