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Release Date: September 8th, 2020 Movie Release Year: 1963

The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

Four iconic films by the undisputed Master of Suspense make their 4K UHD debut in The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection, which presents Rear WindowVertigoPsycho, and The Birds in the eye-popping splendor of HDR10. Astounding clarity and gorgeous color make this quartet of Hitchcock masterworks look brand new, and the upgraded DTS:X audio tracks for Psycho and Vertigo enhance each movie's disquieting mood. An "uncut" version of Psycho that features less than a minute of "new" footage is also included in the set, as well as digital copies and standard Blu-ray discs of each film. "Hitchcock Heaven" might be a better title for The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection, which is without question the classic movie release of the year. It just might be the year's best 4K UHD release, too. Must Own.

Universally recognized as the Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of cinema’s most thrilling and unforgettable classics. THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK CLASSICS COLLECTION features four iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds in stunning 4K resolution. Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak and Rod Taylor, this essential collection features hours of bonus features as well as the original uncut version of Psycho for the first time ever. This collection with collectible Discbook packaging includes hours of bonus features such as documentaries, expert commentaries, interviews, screen tests and much more!

THE BEST OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK FILMS INCLUDED:

  1. Rear Window

  2. Vertigo

  3. Psycho – Includes two versions of the film for the first time ever!

    • PSYCHO UNCUT: The extended version of the movie as seen in theaters in 1960 is exactly as intended by Alfred Hitchcock and now available with additional footage for the first time ever.

    • PSYCHO: The most widely seen version of the movie was edited for content and subsequently used for TV broadcasts, theatrical re-releases and home entertainment over the last 60 years.

  1. The Birds

BONUS FEATURES ON Rear Window 4K ULTRA HD:

  • Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary

  • A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes

  • Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of The Master

  • Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut - In 1962, filmmaker François Truffaut, aided by his translator and associate, Helen G. Scott, spent numerous hours interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for his book, Hitchcock. The audio recording of those interviews provides the soundtrack to this montage of film clips and stills, giving audiences a deeper insight into one of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces.

  • Masters of Cinema

  • Production Photographs

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Re-release Trailer Narrated by James Stewart

  • Feature Commentary with John Fawell, Author of “Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film”

BONUS FEATURES ON VERTIGO 4K ULTRA HD:

  • Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece

  • Partners In Crime: Hitchcock's Collaborators

    • Saul Bass: Title Champ

    • Edith Head: Dressing the Master's Movies

    • Bernard Herrmann: Hitchcock's Maestro

    • Alma: The Master's Muse

  • Foreign Censorship Ending

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut - In 1962, filmmaker François Truffaut, aided by his translator and associate, Helen G. Scott, spent numerous hours interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for his book, “Hitchcock.” The audio recording of those interviews provides the soundtrack to this montage of film clips and stills, giving audiences a deeper insight into one of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces.

  • Feature Commentary with Film Director William Friedkin

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Restoration Theatrical Trailer

  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era

BONUS FEATURES ON PSYCHO 4K ULTRA HD:

  • The Making of Psycho

  • Psycho Sound

  • In The Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut - "In 1962, filmmaker François Truffaut, aided by his translator and associate, Helen G. Scott, spent numerous hours interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for his book, “Hitchcock”. The audio recording of those interviews provides the soundtrack to this montage of film clips and stills, giving audiences a deeper insight into one of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces.

  • Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho

  • The Shower Scene: with and without Music

  • The Shower Sequence: Storyboards by Saul Bass

  • The Psycho Archives

  • Posters and Psycho Ads

  • Lobby Cards

  • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs

  • Production Photographs

  • Psycho Theatrical Trailers

  • Psycho Re-release Trailer

  • Feature Commentary with Stephen Rebello, author of "Alfred Hitchcock and The Making of Psycho"

BONUS FEATURES on the BIRDS 4K ULTRA HD:

  • The Birds: Hitchcock's Monster Movie

  • All About The Birds

  • Tippi Hedren's Screen Test

  • Deleted Scene

  • The Original Ending

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut - In 1962, filmmaker François Truffaut, aided by his translator and associate, Helen G. Scott, spent numerous hours interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for his book, “Hitchcock.” Viewers can listen to excerpts from their discussion of The Birds.

  • The Birds is coming (Universal International Newsreel)

  • Suspense Story: National Press Club hears Hitchcock (Universal International Newsreel)

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring The Classics

  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot

REAR WINDOW FILMMAKERS:

Actors: James Stewart (L.B. 'Jeff' Jeffries), Grace Kelly (Lisa Carol Fremont), Raymond Burr (Lars Thorwald), Wendell Corey (Det. Lt. Thomas J. Doyle), Thelma Ritter (Stella)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: John Michael Hayes

Based on the Work(s) of: Cornell Woolrich

Director of Photography: Robert Burks

VERTIGO FILMMAKERS:

Actors: James Stewart (Det. John 'Scottie' Ferguson), Kim Novak (Madeleine Elster / Judy Barton), Barbara Bel Geddes (Marjorie 'Midge' Wood), Tom Helmore (Gavin Elster)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Alec Coppel, Samuel Taylor

Music: Bernard Herrmann

Based on the Work(s) of: Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac

Art Direction: Hal Pereira, Henry Bumstead, Sam Comer, Frank McKelvy

PSYCHO FILMMAKERS:

Actors: Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates), Janet Leigh (Marion Crane), Vera Miles (Lila Crane), John Gavin (Sam Loomis), Martin Balsam (Milton Arbogast), John McIntire (Dep. Sheriff Al Chambers)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Joseph Stefano

Music: Bernard Herrmann

Based on the Work(s) of: Robert Bloch

Director of Photography: John L. Russell

Art Direction: Joseph Hurley, Robert Clatworthy, George Milo

THE BIRDS FILMMAKERS:

Actors: Tippi Hedren (Melanie Daniels), Rod Taylor (Mitch Brenner), Jessica Tandy (Lydia Brenner), Suzanne Pleshette (Annie Hayworth), Veronica Cartwright (Cathy Brenner), Malcolm Atterbury (Deputy Al Malone)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Evan Hunter

Visual Effects: Ub Iwerks

REAR WINDOW TECHNICAL INFORMATION 4K:

Street Date: September 8, 2020

Selection Number: 61212451 (US) / 61212455 (CDN)

Layers: BD-100

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.66:1

Rating: PG

Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin American Spanish

Video: 2160p UHD HDR 10 Widescreen 1.66.1

Languages/Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono ; French European DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono

Run Time: 01:52:24

VERTIGO TECHNICAL INFORMATION 4K:

Street Date: September 8, 2020

Selection Number: 61212451 (US) / 61212455 (CDN)

Layers: BD-100

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.85:1 Widescreen

Rating: PG

Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin American Spanish

Video: 2160p UHD HDR 10 Widescreen 1.85.1

Languages/Sound: English DTS:X, English Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; French European DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono

Run Time: 02:08:24

PSYCHO TECHNICAL INFORMATION 4K:

Street Date: September 8, 2020

Selection Number: 61212451 (US) / 61212455 (CDN)

Layers: BD-100

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.85:1 Widescreen

Rating: R

Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin American Spanish

Video: 2160p UHD HDR 10 Widescreen 1.85.1

Languages/Sound: English DTS:X, English Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; French European DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono

Run Time: Theatrical - 01:48:44 , Extended - 01:48:57

THE BIRDS TECHNICAL INFORMATION 4K:

Street Date: September 8, 2020

Selection Number: 61212451 (US) / 61212455 (CDN)

Layers: BD-100

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.85:1 Widescreen

Rating: PG-13

Subtitles: English SDH, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian, Japanese, Latin American Spanish

Video: 2160p UHD HDR 10 Widescreen 1.85.1

Languages/Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono ; Brazilian Portuguese DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; French European DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; Japanese DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono ; Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0 Mono

Run Time: 01:59:21

OVERALL:
Must Own
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
8-Disc Set with Digibook packaging
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Length:
473
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.66:1, 1.85:1
Audio Formats:
(The Birds, Rear Window) English: DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish (The Birds also has Japanese & Portuguese)
Special Features:
Theatrical Trailers
Release Date:
September 8th, 2020

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Rear Window

"Alfred Hitchcock almost always delivers the goods, but with Rear Window, he showers us with riches. Artistry, intrigue, and - of course - suspense abound in this unforgettable, visually stunning tale of voyeurism, romance, and murder. James Stewart gives one of his best performances as a laid-up photographer who wiles away the hours peering out of his tenement flat's rear window and examining the behavior of his eccentric neighbors, one of whom just might have killed his wife. Grace Kelly provides the glamor and Thelma Ritter supplies the sass in an endlessly fascinating film that stands as one of Hitchcock's best." 5/5

Read the full Rear Window 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review


Vertigo

"Obsession. Transformation. The burning desire to mold another human being into an unattainable ideal and vision of perfection. That's what Vertigo is about. It's also about a vulnerable man's desperate need to alleviate the guilt he feels over the death of a colleague by saving the life of a mysterious, disturbed, suicidal, and oh-so-beautiful woman. And finally, it's about an iconic director and his own obsession with creating, refining, and glorifying a cinematic type that remains an enduring symbol of his work. That director, of course, is Alfred Hitchcock, and though Vertigo was not a critical or popular success at the time of its release in 1958, this fascinating, artistic, often gripping film is now considered by many to be the Master of Suspense's masterpiece. Vertigo is one heady movie, and as Hitchcock spins his tangled yarn, he makes us dizzy...with delight." 5/5

Read the full Vertigo 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review


Psycho

"Potent is exactly what Psycho remains 60 years after it scared America away from the shower. Whether it occupies the top slot on your list of Hitchcock favorites is irrelevant. Psycho is unique among Hitchcock films in its tone, execution, and look, and will continue to fascinate – and scare – audiences far into the future. "We all go a little mad sometimes," Norman says to Marion. "Haven't you?" "Yes," she responds. "And sometimes, just one time can be enough." One time, however, will never be enough to drink in the story and style of Psycho. It's a movie to watch, enjoy, study, and scrutinize over and over again." 5/5

Read the full Psycho 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review


The Birds

"Unique in the Hitchcock canon, The Birds satisfies on multiple levels. The Master of Suspense takes a gimmicky idea and lends it gravitas, all while scaring us silly. Of course, in 2020, all of us scare a lot easier than we used to, but even without the added stress and strain we all feel, this Hitchcock foray into fright delivers the goods. So if you're looking for a classic man-vs.-beast creature feature to take your mind off the pandemic, social unrest, the election, and everything else this horrific year has thrown at us, The Birds just might be your ticket. It won't cheer you up, but like almost all of Hitchcock's movies it will provide a much-needed jolt of exhilaration." 5/5

Read the full The Birds 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review

The Ultra-HD Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection arrives on Ultra-HD Blu-ray in packaging that's almost identical to the 2012 Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. The four 4K UHD discs and four Blu-ray discs are housed in a handsome digibook that's nestled in a slipcase with raised lettering. The discs lie in slots in the "pages" devoted to each film, which are decorated with reproductions of each film's poster art, a notable quote from one of the characters, and a listing of the included bonus features. It's an attractive layout, but the discs fit a little too snugly in their slots, making their retrieval somewhat difficult. (It's virtually impossible to pry the discs out of their respective envelopes without leaving a fingerprint or two on them. When I watched Vertigo, I didn't wipe off the slight print on the edge of the disc before inserting it, and sure enough, about two-thirds of the way through the film, I encountered some disturbing video interference. When I used a dry, soft cloth to clean the disc, the interference vanished.)

A leaflet containing the code to access the digital copies of all four movies is tucked inside the book's back cover. Sadly, no accompanying booklet is included with this collection. Video codec for all four 4K UHD films is 2160p/HEVC H.265 (HDR10). Video codec for all four Blu-ray films is 1080p/AVC MPEG-4. Default audio for Vertigo and Psycho is DTS:X. Default audio for Rear Window and The Birds is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono. Once the discs are inserted into the player, the full-motion menus with music immediately pop up; no previews or promos precede them.

Video Review

Ranking:

Rear Window

"Rear Window is a beautifully shot film and this exceptional 2160p/HEVC H.265 HDR10 transfer faithfully honors Robert Burks' Oscar-nominated cinematography while enhancing clarity and color...Gorgeously vivid colors constantly grab attention. Lisa's red lipstick and blonde hair, the red lobster shell, the emerald green dress worn by Miss Lonelyhearts, the varied hues of the roses in Thorwald's garden, and the pastel print of Lisa's casual frock pop with intensity yet never appear artificial. Close-ups are breathtaking, too. Beads of sweat, pores, and facial creases are crystal clear, but nothing beats our first glimpse of Kelly as she leans toward us in a subjective tight shot that fills the screen (take a gander at the image above). That single shot has always knocked our collective socks off, but never more so than here, and the extreme close-up kiss between Kelly and Stewart that follows has never seemed more erotic. Talk about feeling like a peeping tom!" 4.5/5


Vertigo

"Drop dead gorgeous. Those three words certainly call to mind Kim Novak, but more importantly they also describe the staggeringly beautiful 2160p/HEVC H.265 Vertigo transfer. Presented in HDR10 and featuring an eye-popping color palette and razor-sharp clarity, Hitchcock's masterwork fairly jumps off the screen. Never has Vertigo, which was shot in the high-fidelity VistaVision format that enhanced several 1950s films, looked so vivid, dimensional, and lush, and yet still so gloriously film-lIke. Why cinematographer Robert Burks didn't receive an Oscar nomination for his alternately sublime and arresting photography remains a baffling mystery, but this exceptional rendering faithfully honors every picture-perfect frame. From the dizzying designs of Saul Bass' title sequence and Hitchcock's disorienting 'trombone" shots to the psychedelic dream sequence, striking tinting, and panoramic vistas of San Francisco, this transfer continually dazzles the senses and keeps us transfixed for two-plus hours." 5/5


Psycho

"Universal has done a terrific job upgrading this classic thriller to 4K UHD. The 2160p/HEVC H.265 HDR10 presentation isn't perfect, largely because Psycho - from a visual standpoint - has always been far from perfect. Shot on a shoestring budget and purposely made to look a bit dingy and dirty, the film lacks the black-and-white gloss of more elegant productions...and that's a huge part of its effectiveness and appeal. This transfer faithfully honors Hitchcock's vision and John L. Russell's cinematography, maintaining the grain structure while heightening the clarity to often stunning levels. Occasional softness is present and fluctuating grain intensity lends a couple of scenes a slightly snowy look, but such deficiencies rarely detract from the overall brilliance of this presentation." 4.5/5


The Birds

"Minimal grain preserves the film-like feel without detracting from the picture's silky smooth appearance. The Birds, like many Hitchcock films, flaunts a somewhat soft look overall, but this transfer never compromises clarity. Beautifully saturated hues punctuate the image, with bold primaries and delicate pastels vying for attention. Hedren's vibrant red lipstick and nail polish grab attention, while the verdant green landscapes provide a sense of calm amid the horror. Veronica Cartwright's blue eyes sparkle, Hedren's blonde hair shines, and her silver Aston Martin looks especially sleek. Fading was a nagging issue The Birds was forced to grapple with over the years, and while a few shots still exude an anemic pallor, on the whole the movie brims with lushness and vibrancy." 4.5/5

Audio Review

Ranking:

Rear Window

"All the faint nuances from the individual flats - bits of conversation, laughter, piano playing - are just distinct enough, while atmospherics like rain, street noise, and the general murmur of the city come through cleanly. Sonic accents like flashbulb pops, shattering glass, the ringing of an alarm clock, and police sirens are crisp, and a wide dynamic scale handles all the highs and lows of Franz Waxman's jazz-infused music score without a hint of distortion. All the marvelous dialogue is clear and easy to comprehend, and no age-related hiss, pops, or crackle mar the essential, highly effective silences." 4.5/5


Vertigo

"Sonic accents like screams and subtleties like footsteps are crisp and distinct, all the dialogue is well prioritized and easy to comprehend, and no age-related hiss, pops, or crackle break the hypnotic spell. Though a greater degree of surround activity would give Vertigo a few more bells and whistles, the film is practically perfect just the way it is, and this superior rendering of the audio shows us why Hitchcock's masterwork received an Oscar nod for Best Sound." 5/5


Psycho

"At first, the new DTS:X track doesn't seem to offer Psycho anything new aurally. Bernard Herrmann's iconic, screechy, all-string score sounds rich and robust, but it doesn't assault the ear drums like I expected...and that's probably a good thing. Throughout the initial scenes in the hotel room, office, and Marion's home, the audio is intentionally muted to heighten the growing sense of unease. Then it starts to rain, and that's when this track kicks into high gear. The desert downpour cascades over us, with the sound of falling water emanating from every speaker. At one point, I honestly thought my ceiling was leaking. It's a great effect and the enhanced audio executes it flawlessly...Without question, Psycho has never sounded better, and this high-resolution track immerses us in all the creepiness like never before." 5/5

NOTE: Universal has announced an issue with the mono track (the studio erroneously included a downmixed version of the DTS:X track instead of the original mono track) and plans to issue replacement discs to rectify the problem. (There are no issues with the DTS:X track.) Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs will be replaced. To get your replacement discs, please contact Universal at https://www.uphe.com/en/contact-support or directly email the studio at [email protected].


The Birds

"After enjoying the DTS:X track on the Psycho disc, I began to imagine just how great The Birds would sound in the same multi-channel, high-resolution format. Unfortunately, the track we get here is the same DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track that graces the 2012 Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray disc. Though the existing mono track is probably one of the most nuanced, dimensional, bold, and immersive mono tracks I have ever heard, not upgrading The Birds to DTS:X to completely maximize all the clicking, clucking, flapping, squawking, pecking, swooping, fluttering, squealing, and chirping of all the various ornithological creatures is a missed opportunity. I don't usually condone manufacturing surround sound if there are no original elements to support it, but The Birds is that rare film that truly cries out for multi-channel audio." 4.5/5

Special Features

Ranking:

All the extras from the previous Blu-ray editions of each film have been ported over to each respective 4K UHD disc. There are hours upon hours of supplements, ranging from audio commentaries and in-depth documentaries and featurettes to audio excerpts from the legendary Hitchcock/Truffaut interviews, deleted scenes, alternate endings, a Tippi Hedren screen test, vintage newsreel footage, still galleries, and trailers.

Final Thoughts

Four legendary films make their 4K UHD debut in The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection, an essential set that demands a prominent spot on every film lover's shelf. Breathtaking HDR10 transfers bring Rear WindowVertigoPsycho, and The Birds to brilliant life and enhance the iconic artistry and impeccable craftsmanship that define the Master of Suspense. Though the lack of an upgraded DTS:X track for Rear Window and especially The Birds is disappointing, the eye-popping visuals salve the wound. Psycho gets a notable audio boost from its DTS:X track, and the inclusion of an "uncut" version (that only adds a few seconds of "new" footage) supplies some extra titillation, but it's Vertigo that's the crown jewel in this collection. A jaw-droppingly gorgeous transfer and terrific sound combine to create an unforgettable home video experience for Hitchcock's haunting masterwork. That disc alone is worth the price of this handsome box set, which for many cinephiles will be the 4K UHD release of the year. Must Own.