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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window" )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
USA 1954

Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest movie, Rear Window, is as fresh as it was when it came out, in part, paradoxically, because of how profoundly it belongs to its own period. It’s set in Greenwich Village during a sweltering summer of open windows, and it reeks of 1954.

Peter Bogdanovich notes in Who the Devil Made It that Hitchcock “didn’t use a score” in the movie, “only source music and local sounds,” which isn’t exactly true. In fact, we get quite traditional theme music from Franz Waxman behind the opening credits, and, more important, the film subtly integrates hit tunes of the mid-50s into the ambient sound track, most noticeably “Mona Lisa” and “That’s Amore,” which was introduced the previous year by Dean Martin in another Paramount picture, The Caddy. The only serious flaw in Rear Window is the hokey use of a song to resolve a couple of subplots—which audiences in 1954 didn’t find convincing either.

When this romantic comedy-thriller was made, TV hadn’t yet posed a serious threat to radio, much less to movies, and there’s nary a TV set or TV screen in sight. The movie’s overall narrative form of scanning past windows in a courtyard seems to anticipate channel surfing, but it reflects the way one turns a radio knob, tuning in and out of frequencies while the station indicator moves horizontally or vertically along the dial. The same pattern is apparent in the beautifully calibrated camera movements as well as the brilliantly mixed and nuanced sound recording.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 1st, 1954

Reviews                     More Reviews                        DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Universal - Region 1 (2-disc Legacy Series) - NTSC vs. Universal (Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Universal (Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Mark Balson and  Maarten de Haas for the original Universal Pictures Screen Caps!

1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

  

  

 

Individual Blu-ray available in June of 2014:

Distribution

Universal Pictures (Legacy)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Pictures (Masterpiece)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Pictures
Region 2,4 - PAL
Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:54:08 1:54:08 1:54:05 1:49:30 (4% PAL speedup) 1:52:32.746
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5,77 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5,79 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5,22 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,516,681,410 bytes

Feature: 31,272,345,600 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Universal 2-disc Legacy

 

Bitrate:

Universal Pictures - Masterpiece Collection

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1771 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1771 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:               Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, Spanish and none English, Spanish and none English, Spanish and none English HoH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Norwegian and Swedish, none English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
 audio commentary by John Fawell, author of Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film
Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master (25:09)
  Hitchcock /Truffaut interview excerpts (16:14)
 Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock (23:30)
 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mr. Blanchard's Secret (26:15)
 original theatrical trailer

Carried over from the 2001 Collector's Edition:
 Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary (55 minutes)
 A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes (13 minutes on the Collector's Edition)
 1983 re-release trailer for Rear Window, narrated by James Stewart
 production photographs
 production notes

DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
Bookstyle case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Rear Window Ethics: Remembering and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic" documentary (55 min)
• Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes
• Production Photographs
• Re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart
• Production notes
• Cast and Filmmakers bios
• Comes in the Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Boxset reviewed HERE

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005
See review HERE

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Rear Window Ethics: Remembering and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic" documentary (55 min)
• Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes
• Production Photographs
• Re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart
• Production notes
• Cast and Filmmakers bios
• DVD-ROM features

DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Rear Window Ethics: Remember and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic (55 min)
• Screenwriter John Michael Hayes on Rear Window(13 min)
• Art Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer
• Trailer Compilation for 5 Hitchcock films (narrated by James Stewart)

 

DVD Release Date: April 21st, 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,516,681,410 bytes

Feature: 31,272,345,600 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Edition Details:

 Audio commentary by John Fawell, author of Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film
• Rear Window Ethics: Remembering and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic" documentary (55:10)
• Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes (13:10)

Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master (25:12)

 Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock (23:31)

  Hitchcock /Truffaut interview excerpts (16:15)
• Production Photographs
• Re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart
 Masters of Cinema (33:39)
• Production Photographs

 Theatrical Trailer
• Re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart

My Scenes
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 29th, 2012

Custom Bookstyle case

Chapters 17

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - October 12': I, again, reserve the right for more insightful comments until after I have lived with the entire Blu-ray set for a while. I thought I saw some smearing early-on (scrubbed grain) but never found further evidence and the image quality seemed to improve as the film rolled along. You can judge by the screen captures - things tighten and colors have a wider range but there is a flatness that I'm less comfortable with. Audio is impressive - Franz Waxman's score sounds wonderful with the jazzy elements really coming to the forefront. There is a shade of notable depth. Optional subtitles are present on the region FREE disc. It looks like all the supplements from the 2-disc legacy edition are still here plus a 'Masters of Cinema' video piece with The Master being interviewed for about 1/2 an hour. This cursory glance gives this a thumbs-up but we'll see what happens when we put things under the microscope. 

***

ADDITION: Legacy 2-disc - September 08': Universal has done a great job here. Is the image improved? - you betcha. With more room for the film (shoving the majority of the supplements onto a second dual-layered disc) it both seems to show more grain and detail. It looks fabulous and the higher bitrate is a testament to that improvement. I can't be sure but black levels may have been marginally boosted to bring up the sharpness - if so - it worked. Audio sounds to be the exact same as previous SD-DVD.

It appears that all the extras are sent over from the Masterpiece Collection and CE (Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary -55 minutes - and A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes - 13 minutes), PLUS new: a wonderful, professional commentary by John Fawell, author of Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film. He has a gentle manner and talks on a varied number of aspects of the film, Hitch's techniques and the production. This is very much worth listening to. The additional featurette extras (disc 2) are likewise excellent. Many give input, from Scorsese to other prominent directors, in the 25 minute piece Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master. It is a lot of justifiable praise for the Mr. Hitchcock and most seem genuinely enthusiastic about discussing his style and and creative output. The Hitchcock /Truffaut interview excerpts from 1962 run 16 minutes and are shot to the backdrop of scenes and stills from the film Rear Window. Hitch kind of gives commentary with translations from French (Truffaut and a female translator). This is very appealing and I wished it could have been the entire interview - and most won't want the French dialogue. Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock is almost 25 minutes and focuses on the manipulation of audio - orchestral bridges and how it melded with the plots. We are also given an Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode entitled 'Mr. Blanchard's Secret'. It's funny that after watching all the experts talk of him this 26 minute this TV episode was the most delightful ending. Magnificent package. This comes in a nicely appointed bookstyle case (see image below).  

I am so happy that it just wasn't another faux 're-issue' as some had expected. The commentary and improved image make this a must have - the definitive edition, until, of course, it comes to 1080P - which we can hope will be soon.

 

***


 

ADDITION: Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Boxset edition - after some painstaking deliberation Beaver concludes that the new Masterpiece edition is the best - it has a color scheme similar to the PAL edition with better skin tones (less red- especially Grace) and it is as sharp (or slightly sharper) than its region 1 counterpart. I think the best overall comparison image is the third large one (L.B. sweating). The old NTSC release actually looks contrast boosted next to the new edition (see the Master's face in large capture # 5).  I feel subtitles look much better on the new release. Essentially the new DVD maintains the best of both other releases plus has all the extras. We still feel that the Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Boxset reviewed HERE is still the greatest deal in DVD history to date.

NOTE: Not ALL of the extras are carried over. The original R1 disc has the complete text of the screenplay as a ROM feature. If you have that disc, it's pretty easy to save that folder on your computer, if you want to get rid of the old one. (Thanks unclehulot)

***

After scrutinizing quite closely I am leaning to the Region 1, although this is a tight race. Colors on the Region 1 are brighter and it is every so slightly sharper. Both edition show some film grain. I prefer the Region 2 subtitles and the Region 2 may have the better contrast. Both have some extras to offer, but again the Region 1 seems to be ahead by a neck. I don't suppose owners of either DVD edition will be too disappointed, but we feel the Region 1 is the definitive to own.

- Gary W. Tooze

 

Legacy package

 

Masterpiece Collection Package images - (CLICK to enlarge)

Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray Package

 


DVD Menus

 

Universal - Region 1 (2-disc Legacy Series) - NTSC

 

Disc 2

 

Universal (Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Boxset) - Region 1- NTSC




(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples (NOT EXACT FRAME)

 

1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (2-disc Legacy series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Universal (The Masterpiece Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 
 Box Covers

  

  

 

Individual Blu-ray available in June of 2014:


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray



 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...