Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 19 Sep 2018 15:18

I've been busy doing for Hitch what I did for Chaplin - and much more. As ever, I've been consulting various historians, archivists, restorers and rights holders to help produce a lot of previously unavailable info. This time I've detailed every one of his British films individually and a few later ones too. As I go through them I'll add stuff relevant to listings here at least weekly until I've got through all of them. So please leave this thread open for now!

As we established before, none of his films are in the public domain anywhere and every single unauthorised DVD is a boot. The only previously published writing on the subject is incomplete and partially incorrect, but I asked you to link it on some comparisons anyway, until something better came along. Well, here it is. It's the first of an in-depth series by historian and copyright expert Nick Cooper, in which he covers every single film.
It'd be great if it could be added to all the comparisons of Hitchcock's early British and 1940s American films, as it's the first half of his career that's most often bootlegged and thought to be PD. Perhaps the standard footnotes already appearing on many of them could be amended to:

Note that this film and other early Alfred Hitchcock titles have been released in many bootleg editions. Supposedly "public domain" releases by companies such as Avenue One, Brentwood, Diamond Entertainment, Digiview, Laserlight, Mill Creek, Passion Productions, St. Clair Vision, Sonart, Westlake, Whirlwind and others should be avoided. Information regarding the copyright status of his films can be found at Alfred Hitchcock: Dial © for Copyright. [You could also add] Hitchcock's films and their many releases are also covered in detail here: Alfred Hitchcock Collectors' Guide.

The second link also contains a much briefer overview of Hitchcock's copyrights.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 19 Sep 2018 22:43

Saw the work you've been doing. Great stuff!
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 20 Sep 2018 10:11

Thanks James. I reckon Hitch epitomises more than anyone what this site's about. Finding decent, licensed releases, especially of his British films, is almost impossible for the average buyer and a single in-depth guide is long overdue.

The Pleasure Garden (1925)

Just a couple of corrections for this one. One other DVD has been issued: it's French, from "Journaux.fr" and was sold as a DVD/magazine combo. It's a twofer with Hitch's Mary (1931) and full specs, including runtime, are listed here. I can add it as a full comparison but there's no mention of whether its French subs are optional; will it still pass muster? Unfortunately, the owner of that site has mothballed it and has steadfastly ignored all enquiries from me and many others for over three years.

The footnotes should be corrected from "No cuts", as both existing DVDs are very badly edited and altered in numerous other ways. There's no Movie-Censorship link, but I've detailed it all here:

It's in the "Two weeds, one flower" section - the title will make sense when you read it! The article will be kept updated to include all future releases, so feel free to add it to the comparison if you like.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 22 Sep 2018 03:02

Any idea is this German release from SJ Entertainment is legit?
https://www.amazon.de/Pleasure-Garden-A ... B005MIZUSW
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 22 Sep 2018 03:26

And updated "The Pleasure Garden" page.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 22 Sep 2018 10:11

Thank you! Funny you should ask about that one; scroll here.

Most of the DVDs in the Alfred Hitchcock: The British Years box set are available individually. Here's the ASIN for TPG: B001C5G5HE.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 23 Sep 2018 18:54

The Lodger (1926)

Both comparisons are in pretty good shape, though the DVD's footnotes could do with updating as per The Pleasure Garden. All the best DVDs are listed except for Criterion.

Network's DVD has an updated restoration compared to the other restored DVDs and there are numerous other releases, but it's all in my guide.

The Oz DVD audio says "duel mono", not "dual", but the misspelled word is tautological anyway, as "2.0" already covers it. It also incorrectly says there's a "Dolby Digital 2.0 Duel Mono" soundtrack for Downhill.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 24 Sep 2018 00:07

Updated "The Lodger" and also did "Downhill" while at it.

If you happen to have the Network "British Years" set, we are still missing the runtime for "Downhill"
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 24 Sep 2018 06:16

Network's Downhill runtime is 82:06. The completely silent DVDs' "Dolby Digital 0.0" audio made me smile: they're also "LPCM 0.0", "DTS-HD MA 0.0", etc! :wink:

Easy Virtue (1928)

This one's easy, as the only official releases so far are already listed. Aside from the updated footnotes there are some corrections: the BD runtime says 25fps, but the restored version actually runs at 21fps. However, it should be removed anyway as the BD has interpolated frames to maintain the correct speed. Both releases say "no cuts", but it's actually a severely edited copy (like the current Pleasure Garden), though the most complete one in existence.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 24 Sep 2018 07:26

Thank you. Yes, there are several examples of that. Most of the time they are technically 1.0 or 2.0 tracks, there is no audio, so easier to write "0.0"

Updated "Easy Virtue" as "Restored version"
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 25 Sep 2018 06:43

Also I did not add the Criterion “Lodger/Downhill” since it’s a 2 disc DVD set, and I couldn’t find any info on what extras are on what disc. So only left it in the notes with “Also available in..”
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 26 Sep 2018 08:27

Yeah, it's a pity. Going by this eBay listing, what extras go where isn't indicated anywhere on the package or even the discs themselves. It's going to take a peek inside the DVD booklet, or word from Criterion or someone who has it.

Going back to Easy Virtue, the BD's IMDb link currently points to Juno and the Paycock.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 26 Sep 2018 09:29

Fixed the link
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 07 Oct 2018 18:25

The Lodger
The Oz DVD appears to be an NTSC-PAL transfer, as it has exactly the same runtime as the US MGM DVD.

Downhill
There's another DVD to add: the French Waltzes from Vienna twofer is already in the database. Its details just need copying over, plus Waltzes: 86:42; Downhill: 82:03.

Easy Virtue
All three Hitch silent French BDs from Elephant Films (Downhill, Easy Virtue and The Lodger*) are region ALL and have forced subs.
The descriptions of their very similar main extras could do with amending:
- Jean-Pierre Dionnet intro (in French)
- Hitchcock 9 featurette with Jean-Pierre Dionnet (in French)
- Hitchcock: The Early Years featurette (1999, 24 min) retitled "Hitchcock: aux origines du suspense"

I've now published articles on Downhill and Easy Virtue, so it's ok to copy and paste over the new footnotes from The Lodger comparisons.

*Currently unlisted; can you track down its specs? It's the only Lodger BD missing...
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 08 Oct 2018 00:32

Added the French "Lodger" Blu-ray

Brent_Reid wrote:The Lodger
Downhill
There's another DVD to add: the French Waltzes from Vienna twofer is already in the database. Its details just need copying over, plus Waltzes: 86:42; Downhill: 82:03.

Do you have the French DVD? If so do you have the rest of the specs for "Downhll"? languages, extras, etc.
Also, the French "Waltzes from Vienna" is 87 minutes while the UK DVD is 77. This seems to be more than just PAL or NTSC differences. Do you know if the UK DVD is cut?
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 08 Oct 2018 02:55

Waltzes should have said 76:42 - I had a mathematical malfunction. The only other specs for that DVD, which I forgot to add, are that it has a DD 2.0 stereo piano score by Christophe Henrotte. I mentioned in my previous, now-deleted Hitch thread that Waltzes' French dub was done for a 10-min-edited TV broadcast, so has the missing portion filled by English audio with French subs. That's it: no extras.

Well done on finding the French Lodger BD! Its specs eluded me. Are you sure about its running time and framerate? If so, it's pretty screwed up, as the restoration is meant to run at 20fps (90min).

Elephant appear to have transferred their Downhill BD correctly, using a different technique, while their 67min Easy Virtue looks to be sped-up from the restoration's original 69min. It'd be good if someone who knows their stuff could scrutinise Elephant's BDs properly.
The Downhill BD's "Early Years"/"Origins of Suspense" featurette needs renaming.

The info for Criterion's Downhill BD being "19.2fps" is erroneous and looks to have been copied from DVDBeaver - the only other place it appears online. What on earth is 19.2fps? The contributor's statement is also contradictory, where he states that both BD's have both been "speed-corrected" to different speeds. The restoration is 20fps (105min). If the Criterion deviates from that, it's "speed-altered"; hardly the same thing.
If Criterion has slowed their transfer to 18fps it would just about explain the roughly 4min diference...

Easy Virtue's footnotes still need replacing. Also, the BD comparison says it's cut and is the restored version. Perhaps a qualifying comment could be added, to the effect that it only survives in poor incomplete condition? In fact, it's the only one of the Hitchcock 9 that couldn't be technically restored; instead, what exists has been preserved. But that's all in my article. ;)
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 08 Oct 2018 08:00

Brent_Reid wrote:Waltzes should have said 76:42 - I had a mathematical malfunction. The only other specs for that DVD, which I forgot to add, are that it has a DD 2.0 stereo piano score by Christophe Henrotte. I mentioned in my previous, now-deleted Hitch thread that Waltzes' French dub was done for a 10-min-edited TV broadcast, so has the missing portion filled by English audio with French subs. That's it: no extras.

So the specs for the French DVD of "Downhill":
Title: "Downhill"
Country: France
Region: 2
Releasing Studio: Universal
Case Type: Keep Case
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Anamorphic?: No
PAL or NTSC?: PAL
Soundtracks: Music Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (piano score by Christophe Henrotte)
Subtitles (are they optional?): ?????
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) (82:03)

With the subtitles, I assume French for English Intertitles, but are they optional?

Well done on finding the French Lodger BD! Its specs eluded me. Are you sure about its running time and framerate? If so, it's pretty screwed up, as the restoration is meant to run at 20fps (90min).

Yes, the runtime is from a BDinfo scan states 86:29 in 1080i 50hz. It seems they took the 24fps transfers found on the Criterion and Network and sped it up 4% for a 25fps version for some odd reason. To make it clearer I changed it to No cuts (86:29 - 50hz transfer with 4% speedup).
Also I changed all the Elephant Blu-rays from subtitles "forced" to "burned-in". There is no French subtitle track in the BDinfo for any of the Elephant Hitchcock discs, so the subtitles must be encoded in the video.

The info for Criterion's Downhill BD being "19.2fps" is erroneous and looks to have been copied from DVDBeaver - the only other place it appears online. What on earth is 19.2fps? The contributor's statement is also contradictory, where he states that both BD's have both been "speed-corrected" to different speeds. The restoration is 20fps (105min). If the Criterion deviates from that, it's "speed-altered"; hardly the same thing.
If Criterion has slowed their transfer to 18fps it would just about explain the roughly 4min diference...

WHoever the guy "Martin" is, he seems to have done basic math. When comparing the Spanish version (105 mins x 60 seconds x 20fps = 126,000] So the film in total has 126,000 frames. For the Criterion, [126,000 / 60 / 19.2 = approximately 110 minutes] Unless we do a side by side, I don't see how else we can confirm any difference. I doubt the Criterion has extra footage...

Easy Virtue's footnotes still need replacing. Also, the BD comparison says it's cut and is the restored version. Perhaps a qualifying comment could be added, to the effect that it only survives in poor incomplete condition? In fact, it's the only one of the Hitchcock 9 that couldn't be technically restored; instead, what exists has been preserved. But that's all in my article. ;)[/quote]
Still haven't gotten to those yet.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 08 Oct 2018 14:55

Yes, the French subs are optional for both films on the Waltes/Downhill disc. I was going to submit it as a full comparison but thought it unnecessary as it was already listed. In hindsight, it would've been simpler if I had!

Re the Elephant Films BDs: I'm amazed you've tracked down BDInfo scans. But if the subs are burned in, how is it possible for various sites to have clean screenshots from them? For instance:
Either way, there's no contractual obligation on Elephant to have imposed subs of any description, so the decision to do so is all theirs. Crazy.
As for The Lodger's transfer, that's shocking. As far as I can tell, Elephant's DVDs are all 4% sped-up PAL. If that's the case with their Lodger too, it could be faster still; perhaps even more so than any crappy bootleg I've come across! Albeit still with far superior AV, of course.

While we're on Elephant, the only other BDs they've had are for The Man Who... (ASIN B00GP3FLFU) and The 39 Steps (ASIN B009AZV9G0). I was going to try and add them as I published their relevant articles. If you've access to BDInfo scans for those two, I guess it makes sense to tackle them now. Incidentally, all are issued together in a 5-BD/5-DVD box set (ASIN B00M262KRQ).
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 08 Oct 2018 15:42

Probably because the subtitles are for the intertitles, and most of those screenshots are not of intertitles. There is one shot of an intertitle on the Easy Virtue review, but most likely they took a shot where the subtitles weren't present.

Easy Virtue review with BDinfo on the bottom
http://www.dvdclassik.com/test/blu-ray- ... lu-ray-dvd

No audio, no subtitles.
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Re: Alfred Hitchcock

Postby Brent_Reid » 08 Oct 2018 20:40

Re screenshots: d'oh - of course! Ignore brain fart. Funny though that a few reviews mention "imposed subtitles", including this one, but it looks to be a copy/paste error.
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