What else can be mentioned about the legendary Alfred Hitchcock that hasn't already been so? There are so many reasons why he remains the Master of Suspense. His immense attention to detail; the way he set up scenes and their payoff; how he treated his actors; how he storyboarded every film he ever made; how he was able to craft tensions and suspense; and how he influenced a generation of filmmakers that are still asking themselves, "What would Hitchcock do?"
This week, Universal Home Entertainment brings four of his greatest thrillers/films to 4K UHD for the first time ever in a brand new collection. These four films: Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds have more than any other films in his iconic oeuvre, represent why he continues to be the greatest director in film history.
Rear Window (1954) - Jimmy Stewart stars in this thriller about a wheelchair-bound photographer trapped in his sweltering apartment, who witnesses a murder committed by one of his neighbors, and with the help of his beautiful socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly), sets out to prove it.
Vertigo (1958) - Jimmy Stewart stars in what is considered to be Hitchcock's masterpiece, as a retired detective suffering from acrophobia, who asked by on old friend to trail his beautiful, but mysterious wife (Kim Novak). The more he finds out about her, the more obsessed with he becomes.
Psycho (1960) - Hitchcock's most shocking film with Janet Leigh in her iconic role as Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $40,000 and goes on the run, and makes the fatal mistake of checking into the infamous Bates Motel, run by the peculiar Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
The Birds (1963) - Tippi Hendren stars in the classic apocalyptic shocker about a beautiful socialite who follows a potential boyfriend (Rod Taylor) to Bodega Bay, a small town where birds start attacking the everyone without any explanation.
The special features include vintage commentaries, documentaries, trailers, screen tests, photo galleries, storyboards, plus the uncut version of Psycho available to North American viewers for the first time ever, and much more. If you're a big lover of Hitchcock, then set is for you, especially if you don't own any other previous Hitch box sets. [Read Kent Conrad's review.]
Other notable releases:
The Naked City (Criterion): Jules Dassin's influential New York film noir about homicide detectives investigating the murder of an attractive blonde model. Suspicion falls on various sinster characters who all seem to have a connection with her death because of series of burglaries.
Brute Force (Criterion): Another Dassin classic, this time set in a very tough penitentiary, where prisoners (including Burt Lancaster) rebel against a sadistic chief guard (a brilliantly against type Hume Cronyn). [Read Mat Brewster's review of both Dassin titles]
The Grey Fox: The late great Richard Farnsworth plays Bill Miner, an Old West highwayman, released in 1901 after 33 years in prison. He goes to work with his sister's family, but can't seem to shake his past as he goes back to his criminal ways.
First Cow: The new film by acclaimed filmmaker Kelly Reinchardt about a loner and cook who finds himself connecting with a Chinese immigrant. They both start a business which relies on a wealthy landowner's prize-winning cow.
Vitalina Varela: A beautiful portrait by filmmaker Pedro Costa about a Cape Verdean woman traveling her way through Lisbon, following the death of her husband. On her journey, she discovers that he led a secret, illicit life.