11/23/2014  
What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2Kung Fu Girl / Whiplash on DVD Dec 2Broad City: Season 1 on DVD Dec 2Roger Corman's Masque of Red Death on DVD Nov 25

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'SNL's' Michael Che talks Bill Cosby: 'I forgave Kramer...
What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25...
Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9...
Beyonce Debuts Music Video ... Suck It Iggy, J.Lo and K...
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Renews Heated Polit...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
COLD SWEAT...

RR Rich Rosell

LONDON TO BRIGHTON...
AFTER.LIFE...
MYSTERY TRAIN (BLU-RAY)...
NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH...
THE NATURAL (BLU-RAY)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (BLU-RAY)



Studio: The Criterion Collection
Year: 1934
Cast: Peter Lorre, Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield, Nova Pilbeam, Pierre Fresnay, Cicely Oates, Henry Oscar
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes)
Run Time: 01h:16m:05s
Genre(s): thriller

“Let that be a lesson to you: Never have any children.” - Jill Lawrence (Edna Best)

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (BLU-RAY)

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
   

One of Hitchcock's early thrillers and Peter Lorre's first English-language picture, this is sure to be another excellent effort by The Criterion Collection. I certainly can't wait to see what they've done with the video restoration.

Movie Grade: A

DVD Grade: A

Seen by many film enthusiasts as the movie that changed everything for Alfred Hitchcock, 1934’s The Man Who Knew Too Much finally makes its way to Blu-ray, thanks to this Criterion Collection release. This was the first of many great, profitable films that Hitchcock made during his stint at the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, a tenure that saw the production and release of such classics as 1935’s The 39 Steps, Sabotage from 1936, and The Lady Vanishes, the last of these films, released in 1938. The Man Who Knew Too Much also set a precedent for Hitchcock’s Hollywood films, which, despite being released decades later, exhibited many of the same amazing, innovative filmmaking techniques that were made legendary in Psycho and The Birds to name a few.

Hitchcock went on to remake his own film in 1956, and this Hollywood version of The Man Who Knew Too Much featured mega stars James Stewart and Doris Day, a decidedly different group of actors than those that made the original film so memorable. This, the 1934 film finds stalwart performers of the time like Leslie Banks (Henry V), Edna Best (Intermezzo), and the great Peter Lorre (M), appearing in his first English-language film. The story begins in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where, at a dinner party, Bob (Banks) and his wife Jill (Best) watch their friend, Louis, (Pierre Fresnay) murdered by an assassin’s gunshot. It turns out, Pierre was working for the British Foreign Office and when Bob, upon Pierre’s request, retrieves an important message, the assassin kidnaps his daughter, Betty (Nova Pilbeam). All Jill and Bob want is to rescue Betty, but once they realize just how deep they’re in this web of espionage and crime, they know that such a rescue will be a daunting task, to say the least.

There are some great early signs of the brilliant things Hitchcock had in store for us, beginning early on during the dinner party. Such a simple thing as an unraveling string takes on a great deal of significance as Hitchcock magically follows the string as it uncontrollably, yet gracefully wraps itself around numerous couple on the dance floor. Then, just as he has us under his spell, transfixed on this string, the first shocking twist occurs, and we’re left both shocked by the event and longing to watch more of this beautiful, spider-like activity of the dancing string.

Hitch even finds room for levity, as he includes a rather hilarious sequence involving Bob and family friend Clive (Hugh Wakefield), as they take in an all-female revival meeting. During this entrancing religious experience, Clive is practically hypnotized by Agnes (Cicely Oates), to hilarious effect. This occurs not long after Clive goes even further to aid Bob’s cause, and has some rather unnecessary, yet extremely painful dental work done to enhance the illusion and allow Bob to accost the dentist (Henry Oscar), pose as him, and get a direct “in” with the assassins. Such humor would become a staple of Hitchcock’s oeuvre, and only enhances the already great The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Criterion’s Blu-ray disc presents the film in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and this wonderful, new, 1080p transfer, was taken from a 35mm nitrate film-grain positive owned by the British Film Institute. It looks amazing, featuring consistently sharp, detailed images, and, best of all, an amazingly flawless rendering of grays, blacks, and whites, adding a vibrancy to things that you’d never expect from a film that’s nearly 80-years-old. The LPCM 1.0 audio track is a 24-bit remastering of an original mono 35mm optical track. There’s inherently nothing dynamic here, but the clarity is fantastic, and the dialogue is always easy to understand.

Before tackling the excellent supplements, we need to touch on a great audio commentary track by film historian Philip Kemp, which was recorded by the Criterion Collection in 2012, and delves into pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. The supplements section begins with a great surprise in the form of a 2012 interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), a huge fan of Hitchcock, and writer of the 1990 book Alfred Hitchcock. This 17-minute piece was conducted for The Criterion Collection, and finds del Toro focusing on Hitchcock’s “British Period,” and discussing the importance of The Man Who Knew Too Much for the future of this legendary filmmaker’s career. Next, is The Illustrated Hitchcock, a 50-minute TV show from 1972, during which Hitch, himself, is interviewed by Pia Lindstrom (TV reporter and Ingrid Bergman’s daughter) and film historian William K. Everson. Another incredible gem of an extra feature is up next, in the form of 23 minutes of audio-only interviews (conducted over the course of 50 hours) that took place in 1962 and involved legendary filmmaker Francois Truffaut grilling Hitchcock about the original version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Finishing up the supplements is a five-minute restoration demonstration that shows a direct comparison between the original print and what we see on this Blu-ray disc.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - January 6, 2013, 5:41 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: spies, assassination, slithery




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, comedy, music, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, celebrity, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, horror, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, miley cyrus, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline, movies, christopher nolan, big hero 6, interstellar, gone girl, st. vincent, andy dick, arrested, tmz, stolen necklace

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store