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Hitchcock: Best of 1 [Import]

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Vince Vaughn
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Gus Van Sant
  • Writers: Alma Reville, Angus MacPhail, Charles Bennett, Cornell Woolrich, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: Arabic, English, French
  • Number of tapes: 8
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: March 6 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000056PXW
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1943's SHADOW OF A DOUBT is an allegorical study of Americana seen through the naivete of a typical family in a quiet and slumberous community. When evil comes to town in the embodiment of the beloved Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) it is the perceptive niece Young Charlie (Teresa Wright) that slowly uncovers his true identity as the Merry Widow murderer. Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn spend their evenings concocting ways to commit the perfect murder unknowingly under the watchful eyes of the genuine article. Evil takes many shapes and hides behind many facades in broad daylight. Would the wholesome average American community recognize such evil and be willing to deal with it? Dimitri Tiomkin, composed a brilliant score utilizing American idioms laced with the darkness of the tainted soul. This remains one of Hitchcock's best films since it works, as a thriller yet remains a true reflection of a good-natured but generally complacent lifestyle. 1948's ROPE is a thoroughly enthralling and disturbing look at a thrill killing perpetrated by two prep-school chums (John Dall and Farley Granger) possibly suggested subconsciously by their unwitting professor (James Stewart). This film has often been characterized notably only as Hitchcock's great experiment. He shot it in ten-minute takes contrary to his stylistic use of effective story telling through editing. This was a technique that he also employed to a lesser degree by Hitchcock in 1949's UNDER CAPRICORN. However, ROPE is first and foremost a riveting tale bordering on the perverse. 1954's REAR WINDOW is a brilliant study on voyeurism and insatiable curiosity. Wheelchair bound James Stewart spies on his neighbors in the courtyard from the window of his Greenwich Village apartment.Read more ›
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Since childhood I have been a devoted Hitchcock fan. I've seen most of his films and feel that volume 1 of "Best of Hitchcock" doesn't actually represent the very best of the director's work.
This volume contains three of Hitch's very best--"Rear Window", "Shadow of a Doubt", and "Psycho". Two other films offered are excellent efforts; those are "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "Family Plot". But "Topaz" and "Rope" are inferior films (albeit with some interesting content). They would be better replaced by the superb "Strangers on a Train", "Notorious", "The Thirty-Nine Steps", or "North by Northwest".
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x97c98ce4) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97ca3594) out of 5 stars Not Necessarily the Best of Hitchcock Dec 6 2002
By Christine - Published on Amazon.com
Since childhood I have been a devoted Hitchcock fan. I've seen most of his films and feel that volume 1 of "Best of Hitchcock" doesn't actually represent the very best of the director's work.
This volume contains three of Hitch's very best--"Rear Window", "Shadow of a Doubt", and "Psycho". Two other films offered are excellent efforts; those are "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "Family Plot". But "Topaz" and "Rope" are inferior films (albeit with some interesting content). They would be better replaced by the superb "Strangers on a Train", "Notorious", "The Thirty-Nine Steps", or "North by Northwest".
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978a469c) out of 5 stars A Fine Sampling of Hitchcock April 3 2002
By gobirds2 - Published on Amazon.com
1943's SHADOW OF A DOUBT is an allegorical study of Americana seen through the naivete of a typical family in a quiet and slumberous community. When evil comes to town in the embodiment of the beloved Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) it is the perceptive niece Young Charlie (Teresa Wright) that slowly uncovers his true identity as the Merry Widow murderer. Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn spend their evenings concocting ways to commit the perfect murder unknowingly under the watchful eyes of the genuine article. Evil takes many shapes and hides behind many facades in broad daylight. Would the wholesome average American community recognize such evil and be willing to deal with it? Dimitri Tiomkin, composed a brilliant score utilizing American idioms laced with the darkness of the tainted soul. This remains one of Hitchcock's best films since it works, as a thriller yet remains a true reflection of a good-natured but generally complacent lifestyle. 1948's ROPE is a thoroughly enthralling and disturbing look at a thrill killing perpetrated by two prep-school chums (John Dall and Farley Granger) possibly suggested subconsciously by their unwitting professor (James Stewart). This film has often been characterized notably only as Hitchcock's great experiment. He shot it in ten-minute takes contrary to his stylistic use of effective story telling through editing. This was a technique that he also employed to a lesser degree by Hitchcock in 1949's UNDER CAPRICORN. However, ROPE is first and foremost a riveting tale bordering on the perverse. 1954's REAR WINDOW is a brilliant study on voyeurism and insatiable curiosity. Wheelchair bound James Stewart spies on his neighbors in the courtyard from the window of his Greenwich Village apartment. Convinced that he has uncovered a murder, Stewart maintains his vigil with his society girlfriend (Grace Kelly) by his side. Hitchcock asks the viewer about the ethics of interpreting what goes on behind the closed doors of our neighbors, as his courtyard is an allegorical cross section of American society and mores during the 50s. 1956'S THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is Hitchcock's effective remake of his own 1934 version. An American couple (James Stewart and Doris Day) visiting Morocco have their young son kidnapped as part of an international murder plot which they can not help but be drawn into. Doris Day's performance is brilliant as the mother whose son has been taken from her. Her initial reaction to the news is almost unbearable to watch. This film is very suspenseful and disturbing, as the odds against the family regaining their boy seem insurmountable as the film progresses. This is reinforced by Bernard Herrmann's almost minimal score, which adds an undercurrent of discomfort to the psyche of the viewer. There are some very memorable scenes such as when James Stewart is followed by echoing footsteps in the empty London streets on his way to finding Ambrose Chappell. The suspenseful Albert Hall assassination scenes are brilliantly filmed and edited. The face of Reggie Nalder as Rien the Assassin is unforgettable. Brenda de Banzie turns in a complex performance as Mrs. Drayton. Bernard Miles as Mr. Drayton also gives an effective performance through the various identities he goes through. And that is one of the strengths of this film: people and places are not exactly as they seem. Characters constantly evolve. Some grow in strength while others are mere shadows of virtue. 1960'S PSYCHO is probably Hitchcock's best known film. Its images and sounds are indelibly etched into the psyche of our culture. Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the Bates Motel, Bernard Herrmann's score, Saul Bass' main title designs, the shower scene and many other elements are cinematic icons. One element of this film that has not been given due recognition is Martin Balsam's performance as Milton Arbogast the private investigator. Balsam embodied the personification of professionalism and determination yet he was cut off in mid stream. I think there is a statement being made about the very nature of justice and fate and that life is not always fair. 1969's TOPAZ was Hitchock's second return in that decade to his earlier spy thriller films. Shot directly after 1966's TORN CURTAIN Hitchcock TOPAZ is a more matter-of-fact tale than a genuine thriller where real lives were at stake. Essentially an American intelligence head (John Forsythe) uses his friend in the French Intelligence (Frederick Stafford) to spy for the United States in Cuba and at the same time they try to ferret out a high French official passing on secrets to the Soviets. Roscoe Lee Browne as Philippe Dubois has the best scenes in the film as he has to get close to the Cubans visiting New York to photograph some secret papers from a high official (John Vernon as Rico Parra). These scenes were what Hitchcock called pure cinema. TOPAZ contains an interesting score by Parisian Maurice Jarre. 1976's FAMILY PLOT was Hitchcock's final film. In an interview with François Truffaut, Hitchcock stated that in today's films you no longer had to close the picture with a kiss. The audience no longer needed it or expected it. The romanticism of the motion picture was dead. If not for the performances of Barbara Harris as a phony psychic and Bruce Dern as her taxi driving-detective-boyfriend this film would have indeed lacked any hint of romanticism. In a complex plot that involves the location of a missing heir the lives of Harris and Dern become intertwined with the villains of the piece (William Devane and Karen Black). Ultimately the film seems more akin to ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS than to Hitchcock's previous films. However, there's nothing wrong with that.



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