Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Volume 2

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The television series Alfred Hitchcock presents was a treasure trove for suspense fans, especially when Hitchcock himself would direct an episode at times. This disc offers a total of four episodes from that popular series, all of which were helmed by the master of suspense himself. Universal has not released these episodes alone as of yet, so the sole chance to nab them is within the various Hitchcock collections. Since that means a lot of cash is involved to acquire these episodes, here’s a look inside this volume, so you can decide if it is worth the cash and effort or not. I think the episodes are well worth the cost, but not everyone does, so read on and learn a little more about the included episodes.

1. Revenge- This was the first episode of the series and what a way to start off, I assure you. This is a terrific piece and fans of Hitchcock will be most pleased, very well made in all respects. When engineer returns home and discovers his wife has been victimized, he spins out of control and looks to take the law into his own hands. Although his wife (played by Vera Miles) remembers little and can’t even describe her attacker, he is furious and wants to do whatever it takes to bring justice down on the assailant. But there seems to be more to his case under the surface, but just what that is, I’ll let you discover for yourselves.

2. Breakdown- Mr. Callew (played by Joseph Cotten) likes to keep his emotions in check, instead focusing on his business affairs and little else. In truth, he even dislikes other men who show their feelings, as he considers that to be a sign of weakness. But his control over his emotions is pushed to the test, when a tragic accident changes his life forever. After he crashes into some roadside construction equipment, Callew is rendered paralyzed and forced to control his mind, or else he will go over the edge. Another solid effort here, very interesting premise and of course, Hitchcock supplies the atmosphere and visuals to match.

3. Wet Saturday- A young woman (played by Tita Purdom) has lost her temper and smashed an old lover in the head…with a croquet mallet. This results in more than a simple bump on the head too, as the young man falls to the floor, never to rise again. Her father (played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke) decides to cover up the crime, in an effort to keep his daughter out of trouble, but also to protect the name of his family from disgrace. But unless the family can stick it out together, they’re bound to fall apart and face the music. This is my personal choice as the best episode from this volume, very well made and a treat to view once again.

4. Mr. Blanchard’s Secret- In this Rear Window meets suburbia scenario, a mystery writer takes an interest in her new neighbors…or rather lack thereof. The writer spies all time and while she hasn’t seen much, she has noticed that Mrs. Blanchard hasn’t been around much. But there is a Mr. Blanchard to be sure and where his wife is, no one seems to know but him, although our writer is determined to find out the truth. A terrific episode to close out this volume, loaded with suspense, as well as twists and turns.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are shown in the proper full frame form, which preserves the aspect ratio in which they were shown on television. These shows were made between 1955 and 1956, so some wear is expected and here, the damage is minimal and the prints look very good. Of course, some specks and such are present, but these looked much cleaner than I had expected. The black & white images look terrific too, never out of balance in the least and always well detailed. These don’t look pristine by any means, but when you consider the age and nature of the materials, I think Universal has turned out fine treatments.

Audio: How does it sound?

The episodes all use mono mixes, which ensures a solid, if a little aged experience. I was never let down by the audio here, but you could tell these were television shows from a while back. There was some slight distortion at times, but not much and not enough to ruin or even lessen the experience in the end. There isn’t much to talk about in terms of range or such, but the elements seem well presented, which is enough in this case. The dialogue is always sharp and easy to understand, no real complaints to be made here. This disc also includes a Spanish language track, as well as English and French subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no bonus materials.

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