Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Hitchcock: British International Pictures Collection / Blackmail / Murder!

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Kino Insider
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Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Hitchcock: British International Pictures Collection / Blackmail / Murder!

#1 Post by Kino Insider » Fri May 24, 2019 11:36 am

Coming August 13th - the Master of Suspense's 120th Birthday!

Blackmail (1929) with optional English subtitles
• BFI Restoration
• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
• Hitchcock/Truffaut: Icon interviews Icon (Archival Audio)
• The Silent Version of the Film - Score by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
• Introduction by Noël Simsolo (6:12)
• Anny Ondra’s screen test (0:57)

From Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary director of Notorious, Lifeboat, North by Northwest and Psycho comes this thriller about a woman fighting off a sleazy blackmailer. Blackmailwas Hitchcock’s first full-length sound film and was only his second foray into the suspense genre. A grocer's daughter, Alice White (Anny Ondra, The Manxman) kills a man in self-defense when he tries to sexually assault her. Her policeman boyfriend, Detective Frank Webber (John Longden, The Skin Game) covers up for her, but she has been spotted leaving the scene by a petty criminal who starts to blackmail her. Based on a play by Charles Bennett (Foreign Correspondent, The 39 Steps) and co-starring Sara Allgood (The Lodger).
Last edited by Kino Insider on Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kino Insider
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#2 Post by Kino Insider » Fri May 24, 2019 12:03 pm

Coming August 13th - the Master of Suspense's 120th Birthday!

Murder! (1930) with optional English subtitles
• BFI Restoration
• Audio Commentary by Film Critic Nick Pinkerton
• Hitchcock/Truffaut: Icon interviews Icon (Archival Audio)
• MARY: 1931 German version of 'Murder!' also directed by Hitchcock (Up-res)
• Introduction by Noël Simsolo
• Alternate Ending

From Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary director of Number Seventeen, Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window and The Birds. Hitchcock’s third sound film was a return to the crime genre, adapted by Hitchcock and Walter Mycroft (Champagne) from the play Enter Sir John, written by Clemence Dane (A Bill of Divorcement) and Helen Simpson (Sabotage). An actress, Diana Baring (Norah Baring, A Cottage on Dartmoor) is convicted of the murder of another actress in the same touring company. But the distinguished actor Sir John Menier (Herbert Marshall, The Letter), who served on the jury at her trial, becomes convinced of her innocence and decides to solve the case. Beautifully shot by Joel E. Cox (The Lady Vanishes). This special edition also includes Mary, the 1931 German version of the film also directed by Hitchcock and starring Alfred Abel as Sir John Menier and Olga Tschechowa as Mary Baring.
Last edited by Kino Insider on Fri May 31, 2019 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dustybooks
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#3 Post by dustybooks » Fri May 24, 2019 1:56 pm

Kino Insider wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:03 pm
the legendary director of Number Seventeen
Nice bit of synergy there...

But seriously, I am overjoyed at these specs. I've been hoping for this kind of treatment for these titles pretty much ever since I had a DVD player. I would really have been happy just with cleaned-up presentations with the alternate versions included, but these extras look great. Is it too much to hope for that films like Rich and Strange will be blessed with similar attention?

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Kino Insider
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#4 Post by Kino Insider » Fri May 24, 2019 4:20 pm

We had left off some of the extras on Murders. Just added them.

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kcota17
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#5 Post by kcota17 » Fri May 24, 2019 4:33 pm

For Blackmail, the BFI restoration is for the sound version only? What’s the quality on the silent version like?

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Kino Insider
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#6 Post by Kino Insider » Fri May 24, 2019 5:39 pm

kcota17 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:33 pm
For Blackmail, the BFI restoration is for the sound version only? What’s the quality on the silent version like?
Some at Kino thought it looked better, pretty sure the silent version's restoration was also done by the BFI.
Last edited by Kino Insider on Fri May 24, 2019 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#7 Post by hearthesilence » Fri May 24, 2019 5:48 pm

Kino Insider wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:39 pm
kcota17 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:33 pm
For Blackmail, the BFI restoration is for the sound version only? What’s the quality on the silent version like?
Some at Kino thought it looked better, pretty sure the silent version's restoration was also done by the BFI.
I believe it was. I saw it at Film Forum and it did indeed look great.

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HitchcockLang
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#8 Post by HitchcockLang » Sat May 25, 2019 3:07 pm

Indeed, wasn’t a restoration of the silent Blackmail part of the BFI’s whole Hitchcock 9 push a few years back?

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dustybooks
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#9 Post by dustybooks » Sat May 25, 2019 3:42 pm

If the Hitchcock silents Kino is releasing are also the BFI restorations, then that would leave The Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue as the only titles in the "Hitchcock 9" project not yet released on disc. Easy Virtue is apparently, even after the restoration, in the poorest condition of all of Hitchcock's surviving films.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#10 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat May 25, 2019 3:52 pm

Easy Virtue was released in Spain in 2015. I've no idea what its source was.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#11 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 25, 2019 5:41 pm

dustybooks wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:42 pm
and Easy Virtue as the only titles in the "Hitchcock 9" project not yet released on disc.
It's been released on bootlegs of course. Maybe a candidate for the Worst (or at least deceptive) Cover thread?

Image

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domino harvey
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 25, 2019 5:43 pm

Def my favorite of Hitchcock’s Kindle Erotica Novellas

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HitchcockLang
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#13 Post by HitchcockLang » Wed May 29, 2019 9:58 am

dustybooks wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:42 pm
If the Hitchcock silents Kino is releasing are also the BFI restorations, then that would leave The Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue as the only titles in the "Hitchcock 9" project not yet released on disc. Easy Virtue is apparently, even after the restoration, in the poorest condition of all of Hitchcock's surviving films.
It blows my mind how neglected The Pleasure Garden remains. It's his debut feature as director and actually not a terrible film. But to my knowledge, there has never been a region 1/A release of it ever, not even in the DVD era, and is one of the few British Hitchcock films that doesn't even show up on all those low-budget grey market box sets. Not sure if it's a lack of interest or lack of materials or if it's just somehow more protected than other early Hitch, but a release of it from Kino (or literally anyone) would be a godsend.

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dustybooks
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#14 Post by dustybooks » Wed May 29, 2019 11:08 am

HitchcockLang wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:58 am
dustybooks wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:42 pm
If the Hitchcock silents Kino is releasing are also the BFI restorations, then that would leave The Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue as the only titles in the "Hitchcock 9" project not yet released on disc. Easy Virtue is apparently, even after the restoration, in the poorest condition of all of Hitchcock's surviving films.
It blows my mind how neglected The Pleasure Garden remains. It's his debut feature as director and actually not a terrible film. But to my knowledge, there has never been a region 1/A release of it ever, not even in the DVD era, and is one of the few British Hitchcock films that doesn't even show up on all those low-budget grey market box sets. Not sure if it's a lack of interest or lack of materials or if it's just somehow more protected than other early Hitch, but a release of it from Kino (or literally anyone) would be a godsend.
ITV has the rights (as with The Lodger and Downhill). I heard last year there was a push to release the BFI restoration on physical media but it was hitting some sort of financial wall.

And I agree, it's a very good film and I actually think a handsomer production than The Lodger.

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Kino Insider
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#15 Post by Kino Insider » Thu May 30, 2019 2:51 pm

dustybooks wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 11:08 am
HitchcockLang wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:58 am
dustybooks wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:42 pm
If the Hitchcock silents Kino is releasing are also the BFI restorations, then that would leave The Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue as the only titles in the "Hitchcock 9" project not yet released on disc. Easy Virtue is apparently, even after the restoration, in the poorest condition of all of Hitchcock's surviving films.
It blows my mind how neglected The Pleasure Garden remains. It's his debut feature as director and actually not a terrible film. But to my knowledge, there has never been a region 1/A release of it ever, not even in the DVD era, and is one of the few British Hitchcock films that doesn't even show up on all those low-budget grey market box sets. Not sure if it's a lack of interest or lack of materials or if it's just somehow more protected than other early Hitch, but a release of it from Kino (or literally anyone) would be a godsend.
ITV has the rights (as with The Lodger and Downhill). I heard last year there was a push to release the BFI restoration on physical media but it was hitting some sort of financial wall.

And I agree, it's a very good film and I actually think a handsomer production than The Lodger.
The Lodger is with Disney.

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Kino Insider
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Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Blackmail, Murder!, and the Early Films of Alfred Hitchcock

#16 Post by Kino Insider » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:24 pm

The Hitchcock set will now only include [The Ring (1927)/The Farmer's Wife (1928)/Champagne (1928)/The Manxman (1929)/The Skin Game (1931)] and should be also released in November. Number Seventeen and Rich and Strange will be out in 2020.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#17 Post by dustybooks » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:22 pm

Kino Insider wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:24 pm
The Hitchcock set will now only include [The Ring (1927)/The Farmer's Wife (1928)/Champagne (1928)/The Manxman (1929)/The Skin Game (1931)] and should be also released in November. Number Seventeen and Rich and Strange will be out in 2020.
Out of sheer curiosity, any information on what specifically delayed Rich and Strange? I'll still be picking up the set but this is my favorite of this batch of Hitchcocks and I'm intrigued by the possibility of it getting a standalone release, which I don't believe was the original plan...

Very excited to have dates attached to Seven Days to Noon and Christmas in July, as well.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#18 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:13 pm

Beaver on Hitchcock's Blackmail

I find this quite funny. Kino have included the silent version at 1.33:1, and the sound version at 1.19:1, as you would expect. But then they've also included a third option, the same sound version master stretched out to 1.33:1...

I couldn't fathom why at first but I suspect it's because of the flack they caught for the silent films they released a while back, Spies, Woman in the Moon, Diary of a Lost Girl, which were squashed from their original 1.33:1 ratio to something like 1.28:1.

It's like they thought people would complain these were wrong at 1.19:1 and demand they be stretched out via replacement program. So they've preempted that and done it first try, necessitating a second Blu-ray! But of course, no one would have complained about the sound version being 1.19:1 as that's entirely right, or anyone who did certainly would have been swiftly corrected.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#19 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm

At least the second disc didn't impact the MSRP, so no biggie

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#20 Post by HitchcockLang » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:23 am

The HTF review of Kino’s Murder disc however lists the aspect ratio as 1.37:1. Being only his third sound film and released in 1930, shouldn’t it have a 1.19:1 ratio as well?

Either the HTF review is wrong, the disc is wrong, or I’m missing something.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#21 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:05 pm

The Kino disc is 1.33:1 (see the DVD Beaver caps for confirmation), which I believe is correct—the SMPTE decided on a 1.33:1 standard in late 1929 and I'm guessing the British studios had followed suit by the time Murder! began filming in March 1930. (The change to 1.37:1 came in 1932.) Juno and the Paycock (filmed November-December '29) was probably Hitchcock's last film in 1.19:1, though the circulating transfer only presents the opening titles this way and crops the rest of the film to something around 1.3:1, with visibly terrible consequences for the framing.

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Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Early Hitchcock

#22 Post by kompromiss » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:45 pm

Frankly, both talkie versions of Blackmail look wrong on those Beaver screenshots. Especially the screenshot with Anny Ondra holding knife (Talkiie 1.20:1) is clearly stretched.

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Kino Insider
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#23 Post by Kino Insider » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:06 pm

dustybooks wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:22 pm
Kino Insider wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:24 pm
The Hitchcock set will now only include [The Ring (1927)/The Farmer's Wife (1928)/Champagne (1928)/The Manxman (1929)/The Skin Game (1931)] and should be also released in November. Number Seventeen and Rich and Strange will be out in 2020.
Out of sheer curiosity, any information on what specifically delayed Rich and Strange? I'll still be picking up the set but this is my favorite of this batch of Hitchcocks and I'm intrigued by the possibility of it getting a standalone release, which I don't believe was the original plan...

Very excited to have dates attached to Seven Days to Noon and Christmas in July, as well.
BFI and StudioCanal are having problems finding the needed film elements for Rich and Strange and Number Seventeen.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#24 Post by Kino Insider » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:10 pm

jedgeco wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:17 pm
barnyard078 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:29 am
According to KLI on Bluray.com .... "We tried to do a new 4K master, but the studio would only green light a full restorations, which would cost high six figures to low seven."
Kino Insider wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:08 pm
tenia wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:32 am
Extremely surprised to read it would cost that much to do a 4K restoration of a 1997 movie. ...
****
We reached out to them and asked to allow us to scan the camera negative in 4K and have the DP oversee the new transfer and color grading. This would've cost us low five figures, we wouldn't be around for too long even if we spent $20,000 to $25,000 on our masters, not to mention anything even close to the numbers you're posting above.
So trying to piece this together, Kino would have liked to have done a new, 4K negative scan for "low five figures," but Disney (who I assume is still the rights-holder?) wasn't interested unless Kino would commit to funding a "full restoration"?
Correct.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#25 Post by dustybooks » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:07 am

Blackmail and Murder! are excellent releases. The visual presentation on Blackmail is stunning in its degree of detail, particularly the silent version. (I wasn't privy to the above controversy about possible vertical stretching until after I'd watched the commentary, during which time I didn't notice any issues, but don't take that to mean much.) It's one of my favorite films, so seeing it in such pristine quality after a lifetime of VHS-quality bootlegs is a real treat. Murder! doesn't look as good, and apparently can't look as good until or unless BFI undertakes a full restoration -- the same print damage that's on every transfer I've seen is still there, and the upgrade from Lionsgate's DVD is relatively minor, although I'm pretty sure the intrusive foley effects have been discarded. Murder! makes up for this with the commentary; Nick Pinkerton's style probably won't work for everyone, but he's extremely informative with a touch of deadpan and I found it much more enriching than Tim Lucas' for Blackmail, which is still OK but concentrates a lot on differences between silent and sound versions and, when it does delve more into production and interpretation, feels a bit more superficial. I have a recording of Criterion's old LD commentary with Charles Bennett and I think I'll finally cue it up soon just to compare.

These films have both long been in need of worthy editions over here, and Blackmail in particular feels like an absolutely essential, top-tier release. It's a pity Mary is just an up-res, but it's in such tattered condition we're probably lucky to get it looking even this good.

The rest of my thoughts are probably better suited for the general Hitchcock thread, so I will move them over there...

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