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Hitchcock 3 Disc Gift Set [Import]

2.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Henry Kendall
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville, Clemence Dane, Dale Collins, Eliot Stannard
  • Format: Black & White, Collector's Edition, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • Release Date: Feb. 6 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000KJU12S
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Product Description

Hitchcock 3 Disc Gift

Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Rumour has it, Hitchcock was forced by British International Pictures to direct this film against his will and one would be tempted to believe it after only a few minutes into the film. The movie is a boring, plodding feature about 2 rival land owners who like to talk talk talk!! Little to no action, little to no character motivation, little to no interest. Hitchcock appeared to be more interested in applying his talents elsewhere.
...As if the film isn't bad enough on it's own, this terrible, terrible video transfer by Laserlite makes the miserable experience even worse! Laserlight simply copied an already existing VHS transfer of the film, which is made apparent by several VHS tracking flaws in the film. This is totally unacceptable on a DVD! To make matters worse, the cropping is the worst I've ever seen in any movie transfer! In some scenes entire heads are cut off, leaving the viewer listening to disembodied voices talking and talking and talking for long periods of time. Wether or not the bad cropping was caused by Laserlite or the VHS transfer is irrelevant. It's bad and it shouldn't be printed this way on DVD. No matter how bad a film is, it shouldn't be treated in such a manner. The Dial M for Murder trailer and Tony Curtis' uninformed banter do not improve the entertainment experience one bit. Don't let this turn you off of these Laserlite Hitchcock DVDs, though. Most of them are good and a couple, even excellent. This is not one of those.
1 star to Hitchcock for not trying very hard in 1931, and 1 star star to Laserlite for not trying very hard in 1998
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Format: DVD
Hitchcock may be the master of suspense, but this movie doesn't show that mastery fully-developed. The movie starts out strong, and builds to a great climax, but then wraps up abruptly. The movie shows much of Hitchcock's skill at building suspense, but doesn't deliver an ending to match the rising tension. It's too bad, because the build-up is very strong. Pay attention to the epilogue scene for great use of irony.
About the title: A "skin game" means a swindle, trick, or scam.
The movie starts with Hornblower (Edmund Gwenn) buying property from the proud, proper English landowner Hillcrest (C.V. France), assuring him that the tenant farmers would be allowed to stay. Soon Hornblower evicts them to build factories, because he is a man of progress and industry. Hillcrest is outraged, and sets out to stop Hornblower's efforts to buy up land for more factories.
Hillcrest attempts to slow down Hornblower's land purchases by rigging an auction on some property that's up for sale. But Hornblower figures out the scheme, and outsmarts Hillcrest with his own tricks. Hillcrest escalates the feud by hiring a man to dig up dirt on Hornblower and his family.
For a longer version of this review, with spoilers (and a spoiler warning), see IMDB.
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Format: DVD
This is a review of the Laserlight DVD release of 'The Skin Game'. This is one of several early Hitchcock films that I'm sure would have been lost without trace had Hitchcock's name not appeared on the credits. In fact, Hitckcock probably wished it had disappeared without trace; there really is very little to commend this dull, boring movie. As for the DVD itself, the picture and sound quality are of an acceptable standard and Laserlight has also included a trailer for 'Dial M For Murder'. But there's no getting away from the fact that this is a cheapie DVD for Hitchcock completists only.
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By A Customer on March 10 2000
Format: DVD
This Laserlight version is decent quality, given that the movie is almost 70 years old. The movie itself, however, put me to sleep. Very little humor or suspense, and I expected one or the other from Hitchcock.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitch finds his "voice" Feb. 8 2007
By Wayne Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
First the good news--we get a solid transfers of early Hitchcock with some minor and major classics early in his career. Studio Canal has done a nice job with these and while the transfers aren't scratch free, they look quite good given the age of the source material and quite a bit better than some of the earlier releases of public domain sources. This boxed set (once you open it) looks like an old bound copy of a script. The outside has a photo of Hitch (which reminds me of a deathmask)from the Universal archive.

The first two films in the set "The Ring" and "The Manxman" were made the year after the success of "The Lodger" (which would been shelved when studio executives thought it a disaster. Luckily, Michael Balcon stepped in a man who championed Hitch early in his career and the film was a wild success). "Murder!" is an early talkie (sadly the German version isn't included. It would have been nice to see for comparison sake as it was shot with a different cast on the same sets). In the early days of film alternate versions were shot for other markets where they might be popular usually with a different director. Hitch spoke German since he worked early on in that country shooting films and absorbing much of the early German expressionist styles that he would reference throughout his career)so directed it himself. "The Skin Game" and "Rich and Strange" (the latter an early Hitchcock classic) are also included. A pity that "Blackmail" (Hitch's first talkie that was also shot to be shown as a silent film) isn't included as well.

The bad news is that we don't get any feature length commentary tracks by Hitchcock historians and film scholars (which is just as well if these things bore you). We do, however, get a new 15 minute featurette focusing on Hitchcock's early life, his collaboration with his wife Alma (who is often overlooked--we must remember that it was team Hitchcock collaborating which consisted of Hitch, his wife Alma and whomever their current favorite writer was)and the development of his early style. It features interviews with USC Hitchcock Professor Drew Casper, director Peter Bogdanovich, Hitch's daughter and screenwriter/film historian Steve Haberman. We have a generous amount of clips from the set illustrating their points. I do wish that "The Lodger" had been included in this set but that's a pretty minor point (although honestly it does belong here as an example of his developing sense of style). Also missing is Hitch's "Number 17" which would have been a natural to include in this set even though the plot is a bit confusing, it's a fun ride.

This is an excellent collection of early minor classics as Hitch developed his film style. It's clear that he was influenced by seeing other directors such as Fritz Lang and FW Murnau but he had already begun to develop his own distinctive voice as a film director. This is a good set to get and is a pretty inexpense handsome package for fans.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing scene from MURDER! Aug. 12 2007
By Tony Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this set a few weeks ago but was only able to view it over the weekend. The restoration of THE MANXMAN, THE RING and, especially THE SKIN GAME superb. However, I was astonished to find that the penultimate scene of MURDER! was missing since it is essential to the entire construction. It looks like the restorers did not have access to a good copy since it went into black frames occasionally and did not parallel the quality of certain VHS copies I've seen.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early semi-classics RESTORED from 35mm. Feb. 8 2007
By Paul J. Mular - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Throw out those Madacy & Laserlight DVD's! The U.K. Studio Canal 35mm Masters are here, professionally released with little artifacting by Lions Gate!

I would have given this DVD box set 5 stars except that 1) These are not Hitchcock classics, they are good examples of his early work but they are no Psycho, 2) While mastered from 35mm, they did not get the Criterion treatment of removing scratches & dirt specks. Still this is a great improvement over previous releases of these titles. I only wish "NUMBER 17" was in this set, that early classic deserves the Studio Canal treatment.

This set features a mix of silent films & early sound British films. There is also a nice 15 minute bonus on disc 3 that explains the difficulties of filming sound films in 1930 and how Hitchcock got around the problems.

Disc #1 : Two Silent Films

"THE RING" (1927) - Two boxers fall in love with a girl named Nellie. Very visual, early signs of Hitchcock's style.

"MANXMAN" (1929) - Hitchcock's last silent film! A Love story about two fishermen & a landlord's daughter.

Disc #2 : Two early sound films

"MURDER" (1930) - the 104 minute U.K. version, good suspence drama. A jurer re-thinks his verdict and investigates the crime himself.

"SKIN GAME" (1931) - Based on a John Galsworthy play, a little stagy. A traditional family battles a (then) modern family over land. Not as racey as the title would suggest.

Disc #3 : One more "talkie" and a bonus feature

"RICH AND STANGE" (1931) - Unexpected riches don't bring happiness for a married couple. A tale with a moral.

"THE HITCHCOCK WAY" (2007) - 15 minute documentary interviewing Alfred's daughter and surviving crew members as well as film historians. Of special interest is the explanation of how difficult it was to work in early sound films and how Hitchcock got around the problems in 1930.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER TO INVEST IN THE UK RELEASE May 30 2007
By Bartolomé Mesa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This surely is a great set, but you would be better off getting the UK release The Early Hitchcock Collection (available from Amazon.co.uk), with the same transfers and 4 more films missing here: Champagne (a very rare film in the canon), The Farmer's Wife, Blackmail and Number Seventeen. That set is an absolute must for anyone interested in the film career of Alfred Hitchcock, with some of his earlier British films (including 4 silent movies), lovingly restored and with some wonderful extras, most notably an hour long documentary on early Hitchcock. It's amazing how great these movies look on this new masters (infinitely better than all previous releases, that can now be easily dismissed). I just hope that Studio Canal and Optimun Classic get round to release soon the rest of the British films, particularly The Lodger, the first true Hitchcock work only available so far in unwatchable transfers. Some of these films may not be great works of art, up to the standard set by the master in his later opus, but in all of them can be found moments and ideas which speak loud of a real genius in working process. Don't miss it!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Hitchcock restored. Feb. 8 2007
By Jerry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I'm very glad Canal has invested in restorations for these early Hitchcock films. There probably isn't much money in these restorations as the films have been in public domain for decades and can be found in every DVD bargain bin. They look very good for their age but I question some of the "foley" work added to the soundtracks. In the sound films, it is obvious that tinkling glass sound effects and other little audio nuances have been mixed in to the old mono track.

The films will be primarily of interest to an avid Hitchcock fan, with their subjective camera tricks and embellishments, early examples of the Hitchcock style. "Murder" yields some interesting moments, such as the melodramatic musical cue of "Tristan and Isolde", later used as a basis for Bernard Herrmann's "Vertigo" score.

Looking forward to a second volume from Canal.