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Alfred Hitchcock 1929-1931 - 2 DVD Boxset

Blackmail (1929)        The Skin Game (1931)          Murder (1930)

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

Studio Canal (France) have put together three stacked boxsets of "The Masters" early films. A silent set with The Manxman (1929), The Farmer's Wife (1928), Champagne (1928), and The Ring (1927) listed HERE and this 'talkie' set with Blackmail (1929), The Skin Game (1931), Murder (1930) and another with Rich and Strange, Number 17 and Foreign Correspondent HERE. The transfers are stupendous - certainly outdoing the many DVD production companies who thrive on Public Domain material in NTSC. Extras are all in French with no English subtitles, but thankfully the Feature presentation subtitles (again French only and mandatory with most DVD players) are player generated and can be easily removed, with any PC with a DVD burner as all films take up less than 4.75 Gig thereby fitting on a single layered blank DVD (see tutorial HERE).

(aka "La muchacha de Londres" or "Erpressung")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
UK 1929

 

This was the first sound film to be produced in Britain, making it also Hitchcock's first sound film. Originally completed as a silent film, as the times shifted and audio became the new craze, production had to start all over again including talking parts and new scenes included. Hitch bore up with one towering stumbling block - his protagonist heroine, Anny Ondra, had a most pronounced Czech accent forcing one of the initial innovations of the 'voice-over' (simultaneously recorded off-camera by actress Joan Barry).

Hitchcock's Blackmail is a dark tale of forced sexual advances, murder and deception where the fiancÚ of a Scotland Yard detective is blackmailed when she kills an playboy/artist in self defense. Steeped in first-rate suspense Hitch's British Museum chase-sequence is unforgettable... and the film a must-see for those seeking the primordial soup of thriller-cinema from The Master himself.  out of   
 

Gary W. Tooze

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: June 30th, 1929 - UK

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DVD Review: Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

Contains: Blackmail (1929),  The Skin Game (1931) and Murder! (1930)

Contains: Rich and Strange, Number 17 and Foreign Correspondent

Contains: The Manxman (1929), The Farmer's Wife (1928), Champagne (1928), and The Ring (1927)

Runtime 1:21:57
Video 1.11:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.26 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
 
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles French (non-removable but player generated)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Studio Canal

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.11:1

Edition Details:

• An introduction (in French - no subtitles) by Noel Simsolo
• Screen Test with Anny Ondra (:50)
• Picture Gallery (11 stills)

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2005

Thick dual-holding cardboard book-style case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

This is very similar to the Kinowelt edition reviewed HERE and quite possibly the same transfer. It maintains the pillar-boxed aspect ratio, but we don't get the silent version of the film as an extra and the French subtitles are player generated and mandatory on most DVD playback units, but easily removable on all computers with DVD burners (see HERE).  It is fairly consistently sharp and the contrast and grayscale are marvelous - some damage and flickers but I love the occasional visible film grain. Audio is weak but as good as we may ever hear it. This is one fascinating part of cinema history that transports you back to the film projections of 1930. We strongly recommend, but the DVD loses a half point for the mandatory French subtitles. out of     

 Gary W. Tooze





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( Studio Canal (sound)- Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Kinowelt (sound)- Region 2 - PAL -BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


( Studio Canal (sound)- Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Kinowelt (sound)- Region 2 - PAL -2nd vs. Laserlight - Region 0 - NTSC 3rd vs. Kinowelt (silent) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

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Distribution Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL
 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
UK 1931

 

Made for British International Pictures, The Skin Game (1931) was adapted by Hitchcock himself, with a scenario by Alma Reville, from the successful stage play by John Galsworthy. A melodrama of rural class conflict, the film has been dismissed by some as too theatrical, and the work of a Hitchcock disengaged from his subject matter. Certainly, by this stage in his career, Hitchcock was becoming frustrated at the number of stage adaptations he had to take on.

The Skin Game has been criticized for an over-reliance on dialogue and performance and a lack of Hitchcock's usual visual flair. Others however have praised the film for its powerful and convincing portrayal of industrial encroachment on the rural gentry, noting also the confident mix of long-take dialogue scenes and montage.

According to biographer Donald Spoto, Hitchcock was thoroughly bored by the project, but entertained himself with one particular shot. In the climactic scene, Chloe, played by Phyllis Konstam (who had previously starred in Murder! (1930)), attempts to drown herself in a garden pond. Hitchcock, with characteristic cruelty, made the actress shoot the scene - and be thrown into the water by his stage hands - a full ten times. In the end, the shot didn't even make it into the completed film.

Hitchcock cast two actors from the preceding stage and screen versions: Edmund Gwenn as the industrialist Hornblower, and Helen Haye as Mrs Hillcrist. Hitchcock made further use of Gwenn in Waltzes from Vienna (1934), and in two Hollywood films, Foreign Correspondent (1940) and The Trouble with Harry (1956), while Haye appears in The 39 Steps (1935).

Excerpt from BFI Online located HERE  

 

Theatrical Release: February 26th, 1931

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DVD Review: Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:18:57
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.26 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
 
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles French (non-removable but player generated)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Studio Canal

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:

• An introduction (in French - no subtitles) by Noel Solo

• Picture Gallery (11 stills)

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2005

Thick dual-holding cardboard book-style case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:
Another great transfer - there were a few very inferior quality DVD releases of this film in NTSC, being that the film was Public Domain but this is the best I have seen the film look digitally. Audio is not at modern standards but surprisingly good. Again, the French subtitles are player generated and mandatory on most DVD playback units, but easily removable on all computers with DVD burners (see HERE).  There is a Photo Gallery of 11 high quality images as an extra along with the French language introduction.  We strongly recommend, but the DVD loses a half point for the mandatory French subtitles. out of     

 Gary W. Tooze





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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
UK 1930

 

Hitchcock uses sound imaginatively in one of his earliest talkies, making the most of Marshall's mellifluous voice. Marshall plays an actor-playwright on a jury who undertakes an investigation on his own when he believes the girl on trial to be innocent of murder. At one point we hear Marshall's thoughts as he looks in the mirror while Wagner's Liebestod plays in the background. However, the denouement of the intriguing plot is pretty distasteful by today's standards. Percy, a transvestite trapeze artist, is obviously gay, but he murders before it is revealed that he is a half-caste.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

 

Theatrical Release: July 31st, 1930

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                        DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:37:56
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
 
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles French (non-removable but player generated)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Studio Canal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:

• An introduction (in French - no subtitles) by Noel Solo

• Alternate ending (9:40)
• Featurette on Hitchcock's early films (52:02)
• Picture Gallery (11 stills)

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2005

Thick dual-holding cardboard book-style case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:
Another solid transfer - fairly consistent with moments of great clarity - again, the French subtitles are player generated and mandatory on most DVD playback units, but easily removable on all computers with DVD burners (see HERE). Audio has a few weak moments but is otherwise excellent - with quite clear and consistently audible dialogue. It occasionally seems slightly out of sync. There is a Photo Gallery of 11 high quality images as an extra along with the French language introduction.  We strongly recommend, but the DVD loses a half point for the mandatory French subtitles. out of     

 Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus


 

 


 

Screen Captures

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution Studio Canal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

Contains: Blackmail (1929),  The Skin Game (1931) and Murder! (1930)

Contains: Rich and Strange, Number 17 and Foreign Correspondent

Contains: The Manxman (1929), The Farmer's Wife (1928), Champagne (1928), and The Ring (1927)





 

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