Alfred Hitchcock: the Essentials Collection

Alfred Hitchcock: the Essentials Collection

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Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Cary Grant, James Stewart


This deluxe box set brings into a single collection the five most acclaimed and legendary features of the "master of suspense," Sir Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963).  See more details below


This deluxe box set brings into a single collection the five most acclaimed and legendary features of the "master of suspense," Sir Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963).

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece, not only encouraged thousands to shun showers in favor of baths, it completely changed the face of horror and suspense films to come. From naughty Janet Leigh's heist of $10,000 in the opening scenes to her risqué display of personal hygiene at the Bates Motel, Hitchcock's classic simultaneously pushed Hollywood's buttons and created some of the most memorable and horrific images in cinematic history. Inspired by the psychology and handiwork of real-life psychopath Edward Gein (also the inspiration behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the story introduces Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a reclusive motel manager and amateur taxidermist who has a strange relationship with his mother. Although certain scenes -- particularly Bates's psychiatric evaluation -- come off as stilted and dated today, both Perkins and Leigh deliver eternally creepy performances, and Bernard Hermann's soundtrack is arguably the most chilling ever recorded. The stabbing violins complement the film's atmosphere the way that a good Merlot complements a bloody filet mignon. Hitchcock's notorious attention to detail emerges in endless bird references, from the opening camera work reminiscent of a feathered friend's flight, to the Phoenix locale, to Bates's taxidermy and middle name, "Francis," the patron saint of birds. Hitchcock felt that Psycho was too gory to be shot in color, and he probably never imagined that anyone would try. Still, director Gus Van Sant remade the classic in 1998, in color, but otherwise matching Hitch shot-by-shot. Like Norman's birds, it didn't quite fly. Simon Goetz
Barnes & Noble - Bruce Kluger
Released in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo was the first of a four-movie run -- North By Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds followed -- that would embody the essence of the director's mastery of his craft and his inimitable knack for telling a scary story. Vertigo introduced Hollywood to an intangible but eminently destructive villain: obsession. James Stewart plays a retired police investigator hired by an old college pal to secretly follow his wife (Kim Novak), whom the friend says is behaving strangely. As Stewart trails Novak through the bayside parks of San Francisco, backed only by Bernard Herrmann's mesmerizing score, he becomes mysteriously, and romantically, fixated on her. A series of plot twists -- including an apparent suicide, an act of betrayal and the titular psychological disorder suffered by Stewart -- ultimately upends the action, and the film reaches a fevered crescendo. Based on the French novel D'entres les morts, Vertigo was originally met with a lukewarm reception by critics. In the years since, however, it has become one of Hitchcock's most analyzed -- and admired -- films.
Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Who can forget Cary Grant running through a cornfield, menaced from above by a low-flying crop duster? Or Grant and Eva Marie Saint clinging to the stone faces of Mount Rushmore in an attempt to elude a nefarious spy played with suave perfection by the great James Mason? Two of the most visually inventive action scenes ever filmed, they are among the many pleasures to found in North by Northwest one of Hitchcock's very best films. Grant is Roger Thornhill, a New York adman who sets off a chain of exquisitely convoluted and sinister events when he is mistaken for an undercover agent; Saint brings a soulfulness to her role as the elegant, mysterious blonde who wins his heart. Here the master of suspense blends his signature ingredients -- edge-of-the-seat thrills, comedy, and sophisticated romance -- into a sparkling cinematic cocktail that has been much imitated but never matched.
All Movie Guide
On the surface a comic thriller about a photographer and the crime he thinks took place across the courtyard, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) turns into an interrogation of voyeurism and movie-viewing. Keeping the camera in Jeff's apartment (except for a couple of shots near the climax), Hitchcock limits the audience's view to what Jeff can see and hear from his immobilized perch. He is free to take in the spectacle of the events in the apartments that he sees, but he is powerless to intervene. Why he looks, however, is the larger question; Hitchcock suggests not just that Jeff is channel-surfing among apartments for idle entertainment but also that the urge to peep is a more universal trait than we might care to acknowledge. What Jeff finds, moreover, becomes a fantasy projection of his own fears about his own relationship with Lisa. Jeff becomes a voyeur to escape, but his gaze is literally and violently turned back on him by the suspected wife-killer in his thriller narrative. Wryly entertaining as well as skillfully executed and thematically complex, the popular Rear Window earned Hitchcock an Oscar nomination for Best Director and inspired such later films as Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and Brian De Palma's Sisters (1973). It was remade in 1998 as a TV movie with Christopher Reeve in the James Stewart role. Lucia Bozzola

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Product Details

Release Date:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Original documentaries on Rear Window and Vertigo; Commentaries on Vertigo and North by Northwest; Production photographs ; Original theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Perkins Norman Bates
Cary Grant Roger O. Thornhill
James Stewart John "Scottie" Ferguson,L.B. Jeffries (Jeff)
Rod Taylor Mitch Brenner
Eva Marie Saint Eve Kendall
Grace Kelly Lisa Carol Fremont
Janet Leigh Marion Crane
Kim Novak Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton
Tippi Hedren Melanie Daniels
Barbara Bel Geddes Marjorie "Midge" Wood
James Mason Phillip Vandamm
Jessica Tandy Lydia Brenner
Vera Miles Lila Crane
Wendell Corey Thomas J. Doyle, detective
Jesse Royce Landis Clara Thornhill
John Gavin Sam Loomis
Suzanne Pleshette Annie Hayworth
Thelma Ritter Stella, the nurse
Tom Helmore Gavin Elster
Henry Jones Coroner
Leo G. Carroll The Professor
Martin Balsam Milton Arbogast, detective
Raymond Burr Lars Thorwald
Veronica Cartwright Cathy Brenner
Ethel Griffies Mrs. Bundy
Charles McGraw Sebastian Sholes
Ruth McDevitt Mrs. MacGruder
Joe Mantell Salesman

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director
Evan Hunter Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection / Rear Window
1. Main Titles [1:34]
2. The Plaster Cocoon [6:52]
3. Stella's Advice [7:08]
4. Lisa [5:47]
5. Meet the Neighbors [5:47]
6. Mismatched Lives [4:47]
7. All Through the Night [4:37]
8. The Watcher [6:26]
9. Something's Wrong [10:34]
10. Doyle Investigates [7:11]
11. Eye on Thorwald [11:32]
12. There's No Case [6:20]
13. Rear Window Ethics [6:20]
14. Message to a Murderer [8:04]
15. Lisa's Risk [4:14]
16. Killer in the Dark [7:29]
17. A Few Changes [5:39]
18. Restoration Credits [1:50]
Disc #2 -- Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection / Vertigo
1. Main Titles [3:22]
2. The Fallen Cop [1:36]
3. Johnny-O and Midge [6:19]
4. A Favor for a Friend [5:32]
5. Elster's Wife [5:19]
6. Among the Dead [3:28]
7. A Portrait of Carlotta [2:03]
8. The McKittrick Hotel [6:06]
9. Beautiful Carlotta, Sad Carlotta [4:26]
10. Carlotta's Blood [1:58]
11. To the Golden Gate [2:38]
12. Into the Bay [:59]
13. Scottie's Guest [9:11]
14. Two Wanderers [5:17]
15. The Sequoias [3:39]
16. The Fragments of the Mirror [3:26]
17. The Desparate Urge [3:03]
18. Madeleine's Dream [3:54]
19. It's All Real... [3:29]
20. The Tower [2:16]
21. Things Left Undone [2:01]
22. Nightmares [3:30]
23. Melancholia [1:37]
24. Ghosts [3:36]
25. The Woman at the Empire Hotel [2:35]
26. The Living and the Dead [6:27]
27. Because I Remind You of Her... [4:15]
28. The Gentleman Knows What He Wants [3:06]
29. There's Something in You... [3:46]
30. The Transformation [2:50]
31. The Necklace [5:24]
32. Back Into the Past [1:58]
33. My Second Chance [2:36]
34. There's No Bringing Her Back [3:52]
35. Restoration Credits [2:16]
1. A Masterpiece Almost Lost [2:20]
2. Development and Restoration [5:46]
3. Casting and Vistavision [2:22]
4. Shooting Begins September, 1957 [1:53]
5. The Stars; Location at San Juan Bautista [3:38]
6. Costumes by Edith Head [1:47]
7. Production Design [1:12]
8. The "Vertigo" Effect [1:01]
9. Music and Titles [1:32]
10. "Vertigo" Fully Restored [6:37]
11. End the Credits [1:05]
12. Original Theatrical Trailer [2:31]
13. Restoration Theatrical Trailer [1:24]
Disc #3 -- Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection /North by Northwest
1. Credits [2:13]
2. Exaggeration [2:22]
3. Kidnapped [2:34]
4. Wrong Package [4:05]
5. Forced Libation [3:08]
6. Drunk Driving [3:26]
7. In Custody [4:54]
8. What a Performance! [3:56]
9. Hotelbreaking [2:53]
10. Becoming Kaplan [2:45]
11. You Gentlemen [2:24]
12. The United Nations [1:57]
13. He's Got a Knife [1:43]
14. ...Mr. Thornhill [3:00]
15. Grand Central [2:42]
16. Strangers on a Train [2:12]
17. "It's a Nice Face" [5:00]
18. So Good to Him [3:29]
19. Beats Flying [2:44]
20. Message From Lady [2:38]
21. Too Many Redcaps [2:34]
22. Travel Instructions [3:17]
23. Prairie Stop Traffic [:08]
24. Catching a Bus [2:47]
25. Crop Duster Attack [2:34]
26. Crashing Halt [2:42]
27. Surprise Visitor [1:21]
28. A Favor [3:20]
29. A Girl Like You [4:08]
30. The Auction [2:11]
31. Your Very Next Role [2:42]
32. Bid of Survival [1:45]
33. Special Orders [4:03]
34. Not a Red Herring [2:01]
35. Mount Rushmore [4:38]
36. Meeting in Woods [5:14]
37. STOP! Stop [5:37]
38. Vandamm's House [3:36]
39. Leonard's Revelation [3:16]
40. Matchbook Warning [3:57]
41. Stay Where You Are [4:36]
42. Escape [1:50]
43. Across the Monument [1:39]
44. One Man Down [1:25]
45. Leonard's Footwork [2:38]
46. Sentimental Ending [1:07]
Disc #4 -- Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection / Psycho
1. Main Titles [2:18]
2. The Stolen Hours [4:39]
3. Forty Thousand Dollars [4:06]
4. The Stolen Money [2:53]
5. A Woman on the Run [3:53]
6. The High-Pressure Customer [8:38]
7. The Bates Motel [8:17]
8. Dinner With Norman [3:44]
9. Mother's Problem [8:02]
10. The Shower [2:53]
11. Cleaning up After Mother [8:32]
12. The Swamp [:36]
13. Let's Talk About Marion [1:33]
14. The Path to Marion Crane [3:44]
15. The Stammering Suspect [2:30]
16. Back to the Bates Motel [5:53]
17. Death and the Detective [4:06]
18. Looking for Arbogast [1:08]
19. The Dead of Night [2:36]
20. The Late Mrs. Bates [3:18]
21. Mr. and Mrs. Loomis [3:17]
22. Cabin One [5:12]
23. Looking for Mrs. Bates [3:02]
24. Mother [5:41]
25. The Other Half [1:05]
26. I Wouldn't Hurt a Fly... [5:20]
Disc #5 -- Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection / The Birds
1. Main Titles [1:46]
2. At the Pet Store [7:49]
3. The Love Birds [10:29]
4. Bodega Bay [9:28]
5. Meeting Mrs. Brenner [2:40]
6. The Chickens Won't Eat [8:43]
7. At Annie's House [6:48]
8. Cathy's Party [6:11]
9. Dinner [4:50]
10. Dan Fawcett's Farm [6:08]
11. The School [3:15]
12. At the Restaurant [7:32]
13. The Gas Station [8:37]
14. The Phone Booth [1:52]
15. Laying Blame [1:42]
16. Where's Cathy? [1:40]
17. Under Seige [4:12]
18. Upstairs [11:18]
19. Evicted [6:01]
20. The Only Way Out [5:02]

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Alfred Hitchcock: the Essentials Collection 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
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