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Old 04-19-2014, 02:44 PM   #401
musicfann musicfann is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeyHitchFan View Post
My goal when I started this thread was to create a place for Hitchcock fans to find and hopefully buy his films on blu-ray. Regarding the Masterpiece box set, I've seen these films since the 80's in revival theaters and in my opinion, with my own eyes, the majority of the transfers look very good to great to..it could be better. Marnie is the worst of the lot. Portions of The Man Who Knew Too Much and Family Plot look pretty bad. To my eyes the rest of them are mostly great. In a perfect world they would have scanned all the negatives and done full restorations. I wish they had. What we do have is a set of films on blu-ray that, while not perfect, recreates my personal film going experiences. Hopefully, this explanation will help you understand my point of view.

MARNIE is NOT 'the worst of the lot'...come on !

IT MAY BE, THAT..."For more discerning viewers it may be a distraction."

I have the UK REGION FREE release, at it's just fine ! Viewing it now, actually.

I feel it comes down, more to people, as them just not liking the movie itself !
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:05 PM   #402
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Marnie rocks. As a film it's below top tier hitchcock but stands head and shoulders above plenty of his movies. Marnie is actually one of the best characters in a Hitchcock movie and that character is portrayed brilliantly by Tippi. It would get praised a lot more if it weren't from Hitchcock.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:46 PM   #403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepbreathsanddeath View Post
Marnie rocks. As a film it's below top tier hitchcock but stands head and shoulders above plenty of his movies. Marnie is actually one of the best characters in a Hitchcock movie and that character is portrayed brilliantly by Tippi. It would get praised a lot more if it weren't from Hitchcock.
I agree with most of that. There's a few scenes that show her limited range as an actress, but for the most part I agree.

The quality of the transfer is bad, though. I saw this in a theater in re-release and on other home video formats and it never had that swarming noise all over it. I wouldn't call it unwatchable, just disappointing.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:21 PM   #404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepbreathsanddeath View Post
Marnie rocks. As a film it's below top tier hitchcock but stands head and shoulders above plenty of his movies. Marnie is actually one of the best characters in a Hitchcock movie and that character is portrayed brilliantly by Tippi. It would get praised a lot more if it weren't from Hitchcock.
I've seen 15 Hitchcock films in total, and my favourite three are Rear Window, Vertigo and Marnie. Marnie's so underrated, and has a similar f'ed up, weirdly revealing vibe to it that Vertigo has.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #405
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Originally Posted by nametag View Post
I've seen 15 Hitchcock films in total, and my favourite three are Rear Window, Vertigo and Marnie. Marnie's so underrated, and has a similar f'ed up, weirdly revealing vibe to it that Vertigo has.
Yes, there's a similarity with Vertigo there. Both men have obsessive fetishist behavior towards the women they are pursuing. Keep watching more Hitchcock films. There's lots of good ones out there.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:12 PM   #406
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Warner needs to release the few they have not--Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Suspicion, The Wrong Man, Stage Fright, and I. Confess.
Criterion has 5 in the collection; 3 are OOP, so those won't be coming and have already been issued by MGM. the other 2 that Criterion owns the rights to have been released already, and they added Foreign Correspondent from Warner.
MGM still needs to release Lifeboat, The Paradine Case, Sabotage, Young and Innocent, and The Lodger.
not sure which US company has the distribution rights to Under Capricorn and Jamaica Inn.
that leaves only early British silents and a few early sound pictures plus Waltzes From Vienna (Gaumont) I believe.
So really it's MGM and Warner that need to release the moost titles if they aren't going to license them out.
Recently saw The Wrong Man on dvd and it most certainly needs an upgrade. The print Warner used for the dvd is riddled with specs and there's even a few seconds missing at some point (not a jump cut but clearly spottable missing frames). It remains Hitch's only widescreen film not to have been issued on HD.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:03 AM   #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyHitchFan View Post
My goal when I started this thread was to create a place for Hitchcock fans to find and hopefully buy his films on blu-ray. Regarding the Masterpiece box set, I've seen these films since the 80's in revival theaters and in my opinion, with my own eyes, the majority of the transfers look very good to great to..it could be better. Marnie is the worst of the lot. Portions of The Man Who Knew Too Much and Family Plot look pretty bad. To my eyes the rest of them are mostly great. In a perfect world they would have scanned all the negatives and done full restorations. I wish they had. What we do have is a set of films on blu-ray that, while not perfect, recreates my personal film going experiences. Hopefully, this explanation will help you understand my point of view.
In my opinion, most of the transfers fall into the "decent - good" range. Then there are a few that are legitimately great (Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Trouble With Harry, Torn Curtain...North by Northwest, if you count the borrowed transfer), some disappointing (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Frenzy), and some just plain bad (Marnie, Family Plot). I might even throw Frenzy into the "bad" category, simply because it would have been easy enough to simply not DNR every bit of texture out of the image, and Universal did it anyway. But then, they were ready to send the set to market with misspelled credits for Frenzy, so that just goes to show how thorough their Quality Control was for the set.

Don't get me wrong...the thread is great, and kudos to you for keeping it up-to-date. But when it comes to the Masterpiece Collection, I think it's mediocre, overall, because the PQ is truly all over the place. Some of the films look amazing, some look terrible, and most basically look "good enough," but not as great as they should. All I'd like, really, is a little consistency...especially for a set that was one of Universal's biggest and most anticipated releases on the format. I don't think consistency is too much to ask for...even from Universal. We certainly got it from the Universal Monsters set...which they obviously cared about far more than the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. Probably because most of the Hitch films they own were not produced in-house. Honestly, though...were this not a filmmaker as important as Hitchcock, and were Hitchcock not one of the great cash cows that Universal has milked and milked for decades, the set might not be such a disappointment on that level. The reason it is, frankly, is that Hitch deserves more respect than Universal saw fit to give him. And as a lifelong fan of this creative giant, I resent that.

The fact that they're not even willing to restore The Man Who Knew Too Much, a film where the original elements are clearly deteriorating as we speak, is a tragedy. Not just because we fans would like to see it on BD in better shape than it is...but because if it isn't preserved on more stable film stock, before long, it's no longer going to exist on 35mm as a watchable, or even usable element. The color is going, and unless it's restored soon (which Universal seem unwilling to do), its days are numbered. And for a major film by one of the major filmmakers of the 20th Century, that is unacceptable.

Last edited by Oblivion138; 04-20-2014 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:18 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by bigbadwoppet View Post
Recently saw The Wrong Man on dvd and it most certainly needs an upgrade. The print Warner used for the dvd is riddled with specs and there's even a few seconds missing at some point (not a jump cut but clearly spottable missing frames). It remains Hitch's only widescreen film not to have been issued on HD.
Does anyone know or recollect, how the alleged HDTV versions of THE WRONG MAN, measure up ?
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:55 PM   #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblivion138 View Post
In my opinion, most of the transfers fall into the "decent - good" range. Then there are a few that are legitimately great (Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Trouble With Harry, Torn Curtain...North by Northwest, if you count the borrowed transfer), some disappointing (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Frenzy), and some just plain bad (Marnie, Family Plot). I might even throw Frenzy into the "bad" category, simply because it would have been easy enough to simply not DNR every bit of texture out of the image, and Universal did it anyway. But then, they were ready to send the set to market with misspelled credits for Frenzy, so that just goes to show how thorough their Quality Control was for the set.

Don't get me wrong...the thread is great, and kudos to you for keeping it up-to-date. But when it comes to the Masterpiece Collection, I think it's mediocre, overall, because the PQ is truly all over the place. Some of the films look amazing, some look terrible, and most basically look "good enough," but not as great as they should. All I'd like, really, is a little consistency...especially for a set that was one of Universal's biggest and most anticipated releases on the format. I don't think consistency is too much to ask for...even from Universal. We certainly got it from the Universal Monsters set...which they obviously cared about far more than the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. Probably because most of the Hitch films they own were not produced in-house. Honestly, though...were this not a filmmaker as important as Hitchcock, and were Hitchcock not one of the great cash cows that Universal has milked and milked for decades, the set might not be such a disappointment on that level. The reason it is, frankly, is that Hitch deserves more respect than Universal saw fit to give him. And as a lifelong fan of this creative giant, I resent that.

The fact that they're not even willing to restore The Man Who Knew Too Much, a film where the original elements are clearly deteriorating as we speak, is a tragedy. Not just because we fans would like to see it on BD in better shape than it is...but because if it isn't preserved on more stable film stock, before long, it's no longer going to exist on 35mm as a watchable, or even usable element. The color is going, and unless it's restored soon (which Universal seem unwilling to do), its days are numbered. And for a major film by one of the major filmmakers of the 20th Century, that is unacceptable.
Other than Frenzy, which I don't think looks as bad as you do, I agree with you about everything else. Universal didn't appreciate him enough when he was with them or after his death, most likely since his last few films were not big box office or critically praised (with the exception of Frenzy). The fact that Lew Wasserman (who was Hitchcock's former agent) would not let him make a few pet projects that he wanted to do must have irked him. The studio deal that gave him MCA shares and his TV show mad him rich, but creatively they certainly were holding the reigns. They should absolutely restore all his films for future generations to enjoy. I'm glad that you enjoy the thread and it sounds like you're as big a fan as I am.

Last edited by MikeyHitchFan; 04-20-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:59 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by musicfann View Post
Does anyone know or recollect, how the alleged HDTV versions of THE WRONG MAN, measure up ?
I saw a version in HD on TCM that looked pretty good. No damage was noticeable. Warners has done a fine job with the 3 titles they released so far. I wish they'd release the others they own instead of reissuing the same catalog titles with new swag.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:28 PM   #411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyHitchFan View Post
Other than Frenzy, which I don't think looks as bad as you do, I agree with you about everything else. Universal didn't appreciate him enough when he was with them or after his death, most likely since his last few films were not big box office or critically praised (with the exception of Frenzy). The fact that Lew Wasserman (who was Hitchcock's former agent) would not let him make a few pet projects that he wanted to do must have irked him. The studio deal that gave him MCA shares and his TV show mad him rich, but creatively they certainly were holding the reigns. They should absolutely restore all his films for future generations to enjoy. I'm glad that you enjoy the thread and it sounds like you're as big a fan as I am.
As far as Frenzy on BD is concerned, I simply can't abide one of my favorite suspense films has all of its texture removed with aggressive DNR. The film could have looked fine (if unremarkable) if they'd simply left the grain intact. They didn't have to do a whole new scan (though that would have obviously been preferable). All they had to do was NOT deliberately make it look waxy and textureless.

The Masterpiece Collection was a huge seller for Universal on DVD, and was guaranteed to be a huge seller for them on BD. Certainly, they could have put more care into it, considering it has proven itself to be a such a surefire moneymaker for them. It's the lack of care that bothers me. Even the titles that look "good" could have very easily looked perfect. And the titles that are disappointing or bad could have been brought up to at least a decent level. Worst of all, to me, though, is to see The Man Who Knew Too Much in a state where it obviously requires restoration in order to survive on 35mm...and to see Universal unwilling to preserve it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:49 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Oblivion138 View Post
Worst of all, to me, though, is to see The Man Who Knew Too Much in a state where it obviously requires restoration in order to survive on 35mm...and to see Universal unwilling to preserve it.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it's one of the films produced at Paramount, which Hitchcock then took ownership of and brought with him to Universal. Maybe that makes it more difficult. I remember reading that when Robert Harris restored Vertigo in the 90s he had to work with Paramount as well, as they still had some materials for the film (including music elements, if I remember right).
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:12 AM   #413
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All of this just reaffirms my belief that Universal is the worst studio when it comes to Blu-rays.
Just a fly in the ointment. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #414
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Looks to me that TMWKTM was restored not too long ago since it looks to be different from their DVD master:

http://www.caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergl...ss=1#vergleich

At times it looks good, and other times it looks bad. Which suggests that their may be something wrong with the original elements. There is also a huge difference between the best looking and the worst looking scenes in Vertigo and The Birds. Frankly, I don't care for TMWKTM a great deal and I find it to be a very mediocre Hitchcock movie. Topaz and Torn Curtain are the only Hitchcock movies that I dislike more of the ones I've seen. I agree that Marnie is definitely underrated.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #415
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To Catch A Thief looks amazing. I might say it is the best looking Hitch film on blu.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:20 PM   #416
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I think Tippi Hedren is a mediocre actress which is what keeps me from enjoying The Birds and Marnie (among other things in the case of the latter) as much as I probably would otherwise.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:29 PM   #417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal King View Post
I think Tippi Hedren is a mediocre actress which is what keeps me from enjoying The Birds and Marnie (among other things in the case of the latter) as much as I probably would otherwise.
For me, her performance in Marnie is better than any female performance in any Hitchcock movie I've seen.

Maybe it's the characters she portrays that keep you from enjoying those movies.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:42 PM   #418
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Germany has this coming, but a new and improved transfer is unlikely.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:49 PM   #419
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^looks like it'll match up with The Birds 50th Anniversary edition.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #420
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Just found this thread. In case anyone is interested, I received the below response a few months ago when I enquiries with the Cohen Film Group about the print of Jamaica Inn they acquired last year. Good news for Hitchcock fans!


"Thank you for your email regarding JAMAICA INN. We are currently working with the British Film Institute and will be accessing their nitrate negative for scanning. We hope to have the restoration done in the 3rd Quarter of 2014, with a home video release by the end of the year.

Best,
Cohen Film Collection"
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