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Hitchcock: The Early Years (1955) artwork

Hitchcock: The Early Years (1955)

Saturday 17th February 2007

The Hitchcock : The Early Years DVD boxset, released by Optimum Home Entertainment on 26th February 2007, brings together some of Hitchcock's early gems for the first time. The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer's Wife and The Manxman have been fully re-mastered and feature Brand New and Exclusive Soundtracks.
Raymond Bailey, Arthur Gould-Porter, Patricia Hitchcock, John Williams, Harry Tyler, Alfred Hitchcock
Norman Lloyd, Herschel Daugherty, Paul Henreid, Robert Stevens
Alfred Hitchcock, Norman Lloyd, Joan Harrison
Optimum Home Entertainment
Unknown
26/02/2007

The Hitchcock : The Early Years nine DVD boxset, released by Optimum Home Entertainment on 26th February 2007, brings together some of Hitchcock's early gems for the first time. The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer's Wife and; The Manxman have been fully re-mastered and feature Brand New and Exclusive Soundtracks. Other key extras include an alternative ending to Murder!, scenes from the original, silent version of Blackmail, and a documentary on Hitchcock's early work, featuring Claude Chabrol and Bernard Eisenschitz.

Born in London in 1899 and Jesuit educated, Alfred Hitchcock's first job was with an electrical company where art school training enabled him to draw technical advertisements. He subsequently designed title cards for silent films when he joined the fledgling industry in the early twenties.

Hitchcock rapidly acquired a thorough grounding in all aspects of early film making, including writing, design and direction. From the age of sixteen he had taken a serious interest in cinema and found himself most influenced, both technically and visually by the early masters of silent film; Griffiths, Murnau and Fritz Lang.

Alfred Hitchcock directed his first feature film, The Pleasure Garden in Germany in 1925 and received immediate critical acclaim. By the age of twenty-seven with several successes behind him he was regarded as one of the mot promising young film directors in all Europe, with a reputation for being a patient, polished, highly intelligent director who showed more subtlety and imagination in his work than most of his contemporaries.

The Ring (1927)

"One Round Jack" (Carl Brisson) is a circus sideshow boxer whose streak of one-round knockouts ends when he faces a strapping Australian boxer. The boxer (Ian Hunter) is actually the heavyweight boxing champion and offers the defeated Brisson a sparring position. However, Hunter's interest doesn't lie with Brisson but his finance/wife (Lillian Hall|Davis) which forces the two boxers to meet again in the ring to win the woman's heart.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

Champagne (1928)

Rebellious daughter of a millionaire (Betty Balfour) decides to marry the penniless Jean Bradin against her father's will. She runs off to France and begins living a life of luxury on the profits from her father's business. Her father puts an end to her lavish lifestyle telling her the business has gone bust and she must now work for a living. When he finds out about her "job," he decides to end his facade but she'll only forgive him if he accepts her new husband.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

The Farmer's Wife (1928)

Jameson Thomas plays Farmer Sweetland, a middle-aged landowner, who after being widowed for five years decides that the time has come for him to choose a wife from among the unattached women of his neighbourhood. Thinking himself to be a fine catch he sets about the task of conferring his favour on someone whom he considers to be deserving of the high honour. With the aid of his housekeeper (Lillian Hall-Davies), the faithful Araminta, he compiles a list of eligible females and then sets off on his journey to make his choice.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

The Manxman (1928)

Pete and Philip have been friends from boyhood in the village in the Isle of Man where they live. The former is a fisherman, the latter studies law. Both men admire Kate, daughter of the village innkeeper, but Pete is repulsed by her father owing to poverty. He goes abroad and is reported drowned. Kate had promised to wait for him, but thinking he is dead she falls in love with Philip and has an affair with him. Shortly afterwards Pete returns suspecting nothing, and he and Kate are married. But the child she shortly afterwards bears is Philip's, and she is unable to maintain the deception anymore.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

Blackmail (1929)

Anny Ondra is Alice, the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. She secretly arranges a rendevous with an artist and goes off to his studio where he attempts to rape her. She defends herself but kills him accidently with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, John Longden, a Scotland Yard detective is assigned to the case. However, he is also Alice's boyfriend, which makes him an ideal target for blackmail.

|Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery
  • Takes with Anny Ondra (Hitchcock's first 'Blonde')
  • Scenes from the original silent version of Blackmail

Murder! (1930)

Diana Baring, an actress in a touring company, is discovered near the scene of the crime when a woman is found murdered. She is charged with murder, placed on trial and convicted on circumstantial evidence. One of the jury, however, Sir John Menier, believes in her innocence and undertakes to prove it.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Alternative ending
  • 52-minute documentary: Hitchcock's Early Works with Claude Chabrol and Bernard Eisenschitz
  • Picture gallery

The Skin Game (1931)

Two neighbouring families, with different views on the future of their community, are pitted against each other. The affluent Hillcrests wish to stop the land speculating Hornblowers from removing poor farmers from their land and building factories in their place. When The Hillcrests discover a secret about the "dark past" of the Hornblower's daughter, they use this information as a way to blackmail the greedy land developer.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

Rich And Strange (1932)

Fred and Emily Hill, a happy young married couple, inherit money and decide to take a world cruise. On board the ship their new-found fortune goes to their heads and they tend to go their separate ways. Fred loses most of his money to a fake princess, while Emily also gets involved, but|luckily escapes the commitments of her escapade. Their ship-board romances drive them apart and it takes a ship-wreck brings them back together again.

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery

Number Seventeen (1942)

A beautiful girl, member of a gang of thieves, falls in love with a detective, who is on the track of her confederates. She saves him from death at the hands of the gang but thereafter they must flee from her vengeful former associates and life live on the run. Screenplay by Alfred|Hitchcock, from the play by Jefferson Farjeon

Extras

  • Introduction by Director and Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Picture gallery
  • Re-mastered with new soundtracks for The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer's Wife and The Manxman
  • Alternative ending to Murder!
  • Introductions to all films by Director / Film Historian Noel Simsolo
  • Blackmail: Takes with Anny Ondra (Hitchcock's first 'Blonde')
  • 52-minute documentary: Hitchcock's Early Works with Claude Chabrol and Bernard Eisenschitz
  • Scenes from the original silent version of Blackmail
  • Picture galleries for all films

Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.

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