Hitchcock update (w/c 4th Dec)

Yikes — it’s 2 months since the last Hitchcock update, so here’s the latest news!

Finally! After years of craptastic “public domain” releases from the likes of Laserlight and Brentwood, fans in the USA should be getting some decent transfers of Hitchcock’s early films.  Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be releasing a 3 disc box set on 06/Feb/2007.

The upcoming UK Optimum Releasing box set (scheduled for the end of January) has been expanded and now includes 4 extra titles (“The Ring”, “Champagne”, “The Farmer’s Wife”, and “Murder!”).  The transfers have been licensed from the likes of Studio Canal and Granada, so should be top notch.  Be warned that Orbit Media might be releasing low quality PD transfers of the same films around about the same time in the UK!

The French release of Bon Voyage / Aventure Malgache proves that there are decent prints of both films available.  Sadly (for non French speakers), this release is French only with no subtitles.  Speaking of which, Alain Kerzoncuf has a new article over at “sense of cinema” — “Hitchcock’s Aventure Malgache (or the True Story of DZ 91)“.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Two has been out for a while now.  The good news is that Universal has seen sense and released the second series on standard DVD9 discs, rather than the more unreliable DVD18.  I’m still busy adding info to the page in the wiki for this release.  There’s no sign of a non-US release for this set yet.

To be honest, I think Universal in Europe have just given up and will never release any half decent Hitchcock DVDs — they seem happy just to repackage and rebundle the same old transfers.  Germany is the latest victim of Universal’s greed, with a collection of new DVDs that just contain the same old tired transfers… seriously folks, it’s nearly 2007 and the only place in the world where you can buy a widescreen (i.e. non pan&scan) transfer of “The Birds” is in the US & Canada!

I haven’t quite managed a new wallpaper every week, but here are the recent ones (click to download larger versions):

Finally, some sad news — two of the surviving “Topaz” actors have passed away during the last couple of weeks from cancer.  Firstly, Philippe Noiret (23/Nov) and then Claude Jade (01/Dec).

left: Philippe Noiret (1930-2006) and right: Hitchcock and Claude Jade (1948-2006)

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