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Friday, October 19, 2012

15 Hitchcock Films Coming to Blu-ray

The master of mystery and suspense is getting the deluxe treatment on Blu-ray with the new limited edition Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection. The set, which will be released later this month, features 15 of his greatest works, including Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest, The Birds, and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

The famed filmmaker is also the subject of two separate feature films this year:

Hitchcock explores the director and his relationship with his wife Alama Reville (Helen Mirren) during the filming of Psycho. Anthony Hopkins is Hitchcock, along with Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles.

The Girl examines the relationship between Hitchcock (Toby Jones) and Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) during the filming of The Birds.

Hitchcock died in 1980 at the age of 81. While he’s universally considered one of the great directors — if not the greatest — in movie history, he never won an Oscar or even a Director’s Guild of America award. He was presented with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1968 for this body of work, for which he famously accepted with a brief “Thank you,” and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the DGA that same year. In 1979 Hitchcock was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, to which he wondered if this was a sure sign of his impending death. It turned out his fears were correct.

Four Hitchcock films were nominated for Best Picture, but only one — 1941’s Rebecca — won the Oscar.

Grace Kelly starred in three Hitchcock films — Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955) — as did Ingrid Bergman — Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), and Under Capricorn (1949). English actress Clare Greet, however, appeared in seven films Hitchcock directed: Number 13 (1922), The Ring (1927), The Manxman (1929), Murder! (1930), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936), and Jamaica Inn (1939).

Doris Day first performed her signature song “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” for the 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. The song won an Oscar for Best Original Song. The 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much also starred Jimmy Stewart. Hitchcock originally made the film in 1934 starring Peter Lorre, Leslie Banks, and Edna Best.

Hitchcock made the first of what would become his trademark film cameos in 1927’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. The director stepped in front of the camera when he realized he needed an extra for a scene.

For the 1944 film Lifeboat, Hitchcock’s cameo was decidedly more difficult, since the movie takes place with the same actors in a small boat at sea. The director appeared in a fake advertisement for weight loss, in the before and after pictures, in a newspaper read by one of the survivors.

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