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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
U.K. 1938

In Alfred Hitchcock's most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets Dame May Whitty’s charming old spinster, who seemingly disappears into thin air. The young woman then turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure.

***

In this best-loved of Hitchcock’s British-made thrillers, a young woman on a train meets a charming old lady (Dame May Whitty), who promptly disappears. The other passengers deny ever having seen her, leading the young woman to suspect a conspiracy. When she begins investigating, she is drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure.

 

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Theatrical Release: November 1st, 1938 - United Kingdom

Comparison:

Platinum Disc Corporation - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Thanks to Pavel Borodin for the Carlton DVD Screen Captures

1) Platinum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP LEFT

2) Carlton - Region 0 - PAL TOP RIGHT

3) Criterion (original) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFT

4) Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - Region 1- NTSC - BOTTOM CENTER

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

  

Distribution

Platinum Disc Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 3

Region 0  - NTSC

 

 

Criterion Collection (RE-Mastered 2-disc) Spine # 3

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Distribution

Platinum Disc Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 3 Region 0  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3 (2-disc REMASTERED)

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3  Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:35:03 1:31:48 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:35:06 1:35:15 1:36:21.192

Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 5.86 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 9.11 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,886,682,705 bytes

Feature: 28,443,236,352 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Platinum and Carlton

Bitrate:

Criterion and Criterion Remastered

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Distribution

Platinum Disc Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 3

Region 0  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3 (2-disc REMASTERED)

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3  Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Audio English Mono (Dolby Digital 1.0) English Mono (Dolby Digital 1.0) English Mono (Dolby Digital 1.0) English Mono (Dolby Digital 1.0)

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English and none None English and none English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Platinum Disc Corp. 

Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1

Layers: Single

 

Edition Details:

None

 

DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
Super Jewel Case
Chapters: 8

 

Release Information:
Studio: Carlton Visual Entertainment (UK) 

Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1

Layers: Single

 

Edition Details:

None

 

DVD Release Date: August 11th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1

Layers: Single

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
• Restoration Demonstration

DVD Release Date: June 2, 1998 
Keep Case 
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1

Layers: Dual

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
.

Disc 2

Crook's Tour, a 1941 (1:20:54)
• Excerpts from François Truffaut's legendary 1962 audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock (10:05)
Mystery Train, a new video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff (33:29)
• Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
• Liner notes booklet with essays by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr

DVD Release Date: November 20th, 2007 
Transparent Keep Case 
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,886,682,705 bytes

Feature: 28,443,236,352 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Bruce Eder

Crook's Tour, a 1941 (1:20:59 in 1080P)
• Excerpts from François Truffaut's legendary 1962 audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock (10:06 in 1080i)
Mystery Train, video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff (33:32 in 1080i)
• Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
• Liner notes booklet with essays by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr

Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2007 
Transparent
Blu-ray Case 
Chapters: 26

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 11'): We should note that we have removed the German Concorde screen captures as we have found they were not obtained using the same methodology as the rest. That 2003 DVD set also appears to be out of print HERE.

 

Not much to say - Since 1998 the Criterion editions bitrates have gone from 5.8 -> 9.1 -> 34.97 Mbps. The image improves in all the expected areas - less noise, more grain and it exports a substantially more film-like presentation. It won't dramatically advance in sharpness - as a factor of the film's original production. But the improved contrast (lighter overall but more layered) certainly gives that impression at times. There are still light scratches and speckles that the higher resolution can bring up with slightly more prominence - but overall revisiting the film as a joy to see via Blu-ray. Where the pictureboxing of the two disc was limiting - the dual-layered 1080P transfer dismisses that with easily notable textured visuals.

 

Audio gets the linear PCM, lossless, treatment - remaining faithfully mono and there are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras are duplicated with the excellent Eder commentary, Crooks Tour (now in 1080P!), excerpts of the famous Truffaut/Hitch audio interview, the video essay, stills gallery and the liner notes booklet.

 

I guess it's a pretty easy choice for fans of 'The Master'. The Lady Vanishes is far more detailed than I remembered and hence many of the key plot points get forgotten over time - making a re-visitation - especially on Blu-ray - all the more enjoyable and satisfying. Certainly recommended!

 

***

ADDITION: Criterion - RE-Mastered - 2-disc - Region 1- NTSC - November 07': The new 2-disc Criterion transfer is pictureboxed (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). NOTE The Criterion captures below have been put in their own table to indicate the amount of the pictureboxing (note the black border circumventing the edge). Where this may benefit systems that produce overscan (ex. production made cathode ray tubes) - it detracts from systems that do not requite it (ex. HTPC).

The new Criterion is the only release of the five compared that is dual-layered (even the original Criterion was not!). It shows far less digital noise than the German Concorde edition. It is far smoother although some delicate contrast enhancement on the Concorde produces a very appealing image - appearing sharper than the rival Criterion 2-disc edition transfer. It is ironic that this selective black and brightness boosting is usually what Criterion does to often excel above alternate editions. The Concorde looks good but I wouldn't say it is towering above the new Criterion image viewing on my 42" system. The RE-Mastered Criterion has noticeably less speckles and marks. To my ear, audio on the Criterion sounded clearest of the 5 editions - again though with a comparisons to the Concorde we have already identified the sharp, sibilant 's'-sounds on the German PAL edition. The new Criterion is the only release, aside from the Carlton, that offers optional English subtitles.

Where the big bonus comes is in the supplements although the Eder commentary on the feature disc is the same as the one on the original Criterion from 1998. Although it's still strong and shows no sign of staleness upon re-visitation. The second disc has some new, very worthy extras. Crook's Tour (1:20:54) is a feature-length Charters and Caldicott adventure, available for the first time on home video, starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne reprising their roles from The Lady Vanishes. The image is also pictureboxed. There is a keen interview (excerpts) - François Truffaut's legendary 1962 audio conversation with Alfred Hitchcock (10:05). It plays (audio only) with images of international Lady Vanishes posters or short scenes from the film. Really quite a valuable addition. Next we have Mystery Train, a new video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff (33:29). Quite good although we appear to be rehashing some previously known information. Last on the list digitally is a stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art. The transparent keep case includes a liner notes booklet with new essays by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr. Comparing directly to the old Criterion - this is a monumental leap in quality for both the transfer and supplements.

NOTE: A while back we did a comparison with the original Criterion with bare-bones one from The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films boxset HERE. 

- Gary W. Tooze

 

 

DVD  Menus

 

(Platinum -  LEFT vs. Carlton - RIGHT )

 

 

Criterion (original) - LEFT vs. Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - RIGHT

 

 

 

Criterion (RE-Mastered) - Disc 2

 

 

Criterion Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Platinum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Carlton - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion (original) Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - Region 1- NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM



 

1) Platinum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Carlton - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion (original) Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - Region 1- NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Platinum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Carlton - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion (original) Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc RE-Mastered) - Region 1- NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Criterion / Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

  

Distribution

Platinum Disc Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 3

Region 0  - NTSC

 

 

Criterion Collection (RE-Mastered 2-disc) Spine # 3

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 3

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

 


 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...