Compactly packaged and reasonably priced, this 15-disc box collects 14 remasters dating from the early 1940s up through Hitchcock’s final feature, the underrated black comedy Family Plot. Universal may be pushing it by terming some of the lesser works “masterpieces,” but who’s complaining? By this point Hitch was nearly incapable of making an uninteresting film—even a relative misfire like 1942’s Saboteur (the earliest inclusion) is filled with fascinating odds and ends, and the minor Cold War thriller Torn Curtain boasts one of the most disturbing scenes of violence in the entire Hitchcock oeuvre. Also included: Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Topaz, and Frenzy. Each is loaded with extras. The bonus disc includes a 30-minute-plus interview and excerpts from the 1979 AFI lifetime award ceremony. Between this set and the Warners box released earlier this year (which includes most of the Hollywood work not found here), it’s been a great year for Hitchcock fans. And it gets better: Film Forum’s 36-film retro starts in December.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 11, 2005