HITCHCOCK COLLECTION, THE: DVD (14)
This Alfred Hitchcock collection of 14 films ranges from the 1940s right through to the 1970s, showcasing the master shocker’s range, his intuitive use of images to suggest and terrify, as well as his sense of humour. For those unfortunates who have yet to discover his work, this is a great start; for those of us somewhat familiar with it, it’s a ready made temptation to indulge ourselves all over again. Any two 2 DVDs for $35
SABOTEUR (PG) 1942
A riveting masterpiece of suspense, speeding towards a spine-tingling climax.
Robert Cummings stars as a Los Angeles aircraft factory worker who witnesses his plant’s firebombing by a Nazi agent. During the deadly explosion, Cumming’s best friend is killed and Robert is falsely accused of sabotage. To clear his name, Cummings begins a relentless cross-country chase that takes him from Boulder Dam to New York’s Radio City Music Hall and finally, to a harrowing confrontation atop the Statue of Liberty.
Stars: Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane
Running Time: 104 mins
SHADOW OF A DOUBT (PG) 1943
One of Hitchcock’s best – and a personal favourite of his!
When Uncle Charlie comes to visit his relatives in the sleepy town of Santa Rosa, the foundation is laid for one of his most engaging and suspenseful excursions. Joseph Cotton stars as the charming Uncle Charlie, a beguiling killer who travels from Philadelphia to California just one step ahead of the law. But soon his unknowing niece begins to suspect her uncle of being the Merry Widow murderer, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins.
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten
Running Time: 103 mins
ROPE (PG) 1948
Nothing ever held you like Hitchcock’s ROPE!
Brandon and Phillip are two young men who decide to murder their classmate, David Kentley, for intellectual thrills. Together they strangle David with a rope and proceed to hold a small party for the victim’s family and friends. Brandon's sense of intellectual superiority swells to reckless levels throughout the evening, as he turns the conversation to committing the ‘perfect murder’. Meanwhile, their former teacher becomes increasingly suspicious. Before the night is over, the professor will discover how brutally his students have turned his academic theories into chilling reality.
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger,
Running Time: 77 mins
REAR WINDOW (PG) 1954
See It! If your nerves can stand it after Psycho!
When professional photographer J.B. "Jeff" Jeffries is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbours play out across the courtyard. When he suspects a salesman may have murdered his wife, Jeff enlists the help of his glamorous society model girlfriend Lisa Freemont to investigate the highly suspicious chain of events...
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly
Running Time: 109 mins
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (PG) 1955
A delightful comedy-mystery set in New England.
The trouble with Harry is that he is dead. His body is found in the woods of a small, quiet New England town and almost everyone in town thinks that they had something to do with his death. After several unearthings of the corpse, plenty of humour and love affairs between the major characters, the real cause of death is revealed and Harry troubles no-one again.
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine
Running Time: 95 mins
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (PG) 1956
A little knowledge can be a deadly thing!
Dr. Ben McKenna and his wife Jo are innocent Americans vacationing in Morocco with their son, Hank. After a French spy dies in Ben’s arms in the local marketplace, the couple discover that their son has been kidnapped and taken to England. Not knowing who they can trust, the McKennas are caught in a nightmare of international espionage, assassinations and terror. Soon, all their lives hang in the balance as they draw closer to the truth and a chilling climatic moment in London’s famous Royal Albert Hall.
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day
Running Time: 120 mins
VERTIGO (PG) 1958
So romantic, so twisted; a movie about obsession, love and overcoming fears.
San Francisco police detective Scottie Fergusson develops a fear of heights after a colleague falls to his death during a chase. Traumatised by the fatal incident, he retires, spending his days in peace and conversing with a female friend of his. That is, until an old college friend, Gavin Elster, hires Scottie to watch his wife Madeleine, whom he feels is doing things behind his back. But events take a turn for the bizarre when Scottie falls for her...or so he thinks.
Stars: James Stewart, Tom Helmore, Kim Novak
Running Time: 124 mins
PSYCHO (M15+) 1960
A new and altogether different screen excitement!
Marion Crane steals $40,000 from her boss and flees town. She comes across the Bates Motel, checks in and is brutally murdered by Mrs. Bates. Her sister and lover track her to this lonely motel and discover that Norman, the young son, is actually the killer - his mind taken over by the personality of his dead mother, a mother he killed years earlier.
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh
Running Time: 104 mins
THE BIRDS (PG) 1963
Suspense and shock beyond anything you could possibly imagine!!
As beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels rolls into Bodgega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner, she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds are flocking into town, preying on school-children and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can’t be explained and can’t be stopped.
Stars: ‘Tippi’ Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette
Running Time: 115 mins
MARNIE (M15+) 1964
Only Alfred Hitchcock could have created so suspenseful a sex mystery!
Marnie Edgar is an ice-cold habitual thief. She uses her looks to gain the confidence of her employers, robs them, and changes her identity. Marnie applies for a job at Mark Rutland's Philadelphia publishing company. Mark recognises her (he is a client of her previous employer), but instead of turning her in, he decides to watch her. Mark impulsively marries the troubled beauty and attempts to discover the reasons for her obsessive behaviour. When a terrible accident pushes his wife to the edge, Mark forces Marnie to confront her terrors and her past in a shattering inescapable conclusion.
Stars: ‘Tippi’ Hedren, Sean Connery
Running Time: 125 mins
TORN CURTAIN (PG) 1966
A classic tale of espionage set behind the iron curtain.
U.S. rocket scientist Michael Armstrong attends an international congress of physics in Copenhagen with his fiancée/ assistant, Sarah Shewman. While there, she mistakenly picks up a message meant for him and discovers that he is deflecting to East Germany. Or is he? As Armstrong goes undercover, to glean top-secret information, the couple are swept up in a heart-pounding chase by enemy agents in this action-packed Cold War thriller.
Stars: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews
Running Time: 123 mins
TOPAZ (M15+) 1969
Bringing a best-selling spy novel to the screen with riveting results, in this espionage thriller.
John Forsythe stars as an American CIA agent who hires a French Operative named Devereaux (Frederick Stafford) to go to Cuba and check out rumours of Russian missiles and a NATO spy called Topaz. In Havana, Devereaux’s investigation becomes dangerous, leaving behind a wake of shaken governments, murder, betrayal and suicide. His mission complete, Devereaux returns to France but as he moves in to expose the double agent, the danger and suspense builds to a heart-pounding conclusion in this lavish, globe-trotting thriller.
Stars: John Forsythe, Frederick Stafford
Running Time: 147 mins
FRENZY (M15+) 1972
From the master of shock, a shocking masterpiece
In modern-day London, a sex criminal known as the Necktie Murderer has the police on alert. The trail leads to an innocent man, who is forced to elude the law and prove his innocence by finding the real murderer.
Stars: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster
Running Time: 111 mins
FAMILY PLOT (PG) 1976
There is no body in the family plot.
A wealthy woman unwittingly hires a con man and a phoney psychic to find her missing heir. Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris star as a convincing couple who plot to bilk an old lady out of her fortune by pretending to find her long-lost nephew (William Devane). Meanwhile, Devane, a larcenous jeweller and his beautiful girlfriend (Karen Black) have kidnapped a rich Greek shipping magnate for ransom. Together they’re on a non-stop merry-go-round of mystery, murder and mayhem that combines suspense and comedy for unforgettable entertainment.
Stars: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Blanche Tyler
Running Time: 115 mins
Published January 23, 2003
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FEATURE by Keith Lofthouse
TO CATCH A THIEF
The Man Who Knew Too Much
DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock
RUNNING TIME: various
PRESENTATION: Titles: Saboteur; Shadow of a Doubt; Rope; Rear Window; The Trouble with Harry; The Man Who Knew too Much; Vertigo; Psycho; The Birds; Marnie; Torn Curtain; Topaz; Frenzy; Family Plot;
SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentaries, Picture Galleries and Trailers
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures Video
DVD RELEASE: January 22, 2003