News on Touch of Evil and Hitchcock titles

On October 7th, Universal Studios will release new special editions of four classic films. If you are fans of Orson Welles or Alfred Hitchock this news will be of some interest.

Beginning with Touch of Evil: 50th Anniversary Edition, the 2-disc DVD will have not one, not two, but three different versions of Welles’ noir starring Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh. Included is the restored version (1 Hour 51 Minutes), the theatrical version (1 Hour 36 Minutes) and a preview version (1 Hour 49 Minutes) of the film. Each version comes with 1.85 anamorphic widescreen, along with English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks. In addition to the features that follow, a replication of Welles’ Legendary 58-Page Memo to the Studio.

The first disc consists of the restored version, two featurettes (Brining Evil to Life, Evil Lost & Found), two commentaries (the first featuring Heston, Leigh and restoration producter Rick Schmidlin; the second a solo commentary by Schmidlin) and the theatrical trailer.

The second disc is a flipper with the theatrical version on side A (with a commentary by writer/filmmaker F.X. Feeny), and the preview version on side B (with a commentary by Welles historians Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore).

Universal is also rereleasing Rear Window, Psycho and Vertigo as part of its Universal Legacy Series line of classic titles.

All three titles will be presented in anamorphic widescreen with a SRP of $26.98. Psycho will include a commentary with Stephen Rebello (author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho), newsreel footage: The Release of Psycho, The Shower Scene, The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass, The Psycho Archives, posters and Psycho ads, lobby cards, behind-the-scenes photographs, production notes, the theatrical trailer and re-release trailers, The Making of Psycho documentary, In the Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy, Hitchcock/Truffaut interview excerpts and Alfred Hitchcock Presents: “Lamb to the Slaughter”.

Rear Window will include audio commentary with John Fawell (author of Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film), production photographs, production notes, the theatrical trailer, the re-release trailer narrated by James Stewart, Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary, A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes, Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master, Hitchcock/Truffaut interview excerpts, Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock and Alfred Hitchcock Presents: “Mr. Blanchard’s Secret”.

Vertigo has an audio commentary with associate producer Herbert Coleman, restoration team members Robert A. Harris (of TheDigitalBits.com), James C. Katz and other participants, a second commentary with director William Friedkin, the foreign censorship ending, The Vertigo Archives, production notes, the original theatrical trailer, the restoration theatrical trailer, Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock’s Masterpiece, Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators, Hitchcock/Truffaut interview excerpts and Alfred Hitchcock Presents: “The Case of Mr. Pelham”.

The news of these Hitchcock titles comes in the wake of MGM Home Entertainment announcing the Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection. That collection includes Rebecca, The Lodger, The Paradine Case, Spellbound, Notorious, Young and Innocent, Sabotage, and Lifeboat. The collection will retail for $119.98 and will arrive a week later on October 14th.

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