Unboxing the Silents: Hitchcock, British International Pictures Film Collection from Kino Lorber

North American Hitchcock fans can rejoice! After years of enduring junky public domain editions, four of his silents and one talkie have received quality release and I will be giving you a whirlwind tour.

As always, thanks to Kino Lorber for the review copy.

Oh and before we get started, understand that these are Hitchcock films but they are not “Hitchcock” films in the sense of The Lodger and Blackmail. The Ring, The Farmer’s Wife, Champagne, The Manxman and The Skin Game show that Hitch was not locked into suspense at this point in his career but it’s better to go into this set understanding that there will be a decided shortage of corpses, thieves and spies.

The Lodger is available on DVD and Bluray from the Criterion Collection and Blackmail is available on DVD and Bluray from Kino.

This collection is available as a two-Bluray or three-DVD set.

As usual, I will be showing off the picture quality and discussing the scores but this is not a review of individual films in the collection.

The Films

As usual, other than cropping the pillarboxes, I have not altered these Bluray screen caps in any way.

The Ring (1927)

The ring of the title refers to the boxing ring.

This film has a fine piano score by Meg Morley.

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)

Hitch goes bucolic.

The film has a synth score by Jon Mirsalis.

Champagne (1928)

Hitch wanders into Cecil B. DeMille and Ernst Lubitsch’s domain.

This film features a score by Ben Model.

The Manxman (1929)

It’s a Hall Caine story, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

This film features a score by Andrew Earle Simpson.

The Skin Game (1931)

A talkie but we’ll allow it.

So, as you can see, the image quality is pretty high.

This collection is a very welcome upgrade from those cheapo editions we have had to put up with over the years. It’s interesting to see Hitchcock play around with assorted genres and this collection is also an excellent showcase for four talented accompanists doing top notch work.

This is a definite must-buy for the Hitchcock fan who has everything.


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      1. moviepas

        My reply in this frame did not come thru on the page so I will try again.
        In the 1960s-70s the silents were available on 16mm and 8mm gauges thru various sellers like Glenn Photo Supply. I had these. My favorite is The Lodger which I have the latest, of course. This now leaves on Silent Hitch which is lost. I first became aware of Danish boxer and vocalist thru an LP Decca Released in the 1960s of his vocals in their reissue Ace of Clubs series. A pleasant voice.

      2. Fritzi Kramer

        I think there was just a delay because I am behind on approving comments today. No worries if your reply doesn’t publish right away, I moderate each and every comment to keep spam at bay because no automated process does the job very well.

  1. moviepas

    These silents had been available on 16mm and 8mm gauges for Home Viewing mostly from USA and I sold ,same. This leaves only one silent Hitch made that is now lost. I do enjoy The Lodger and owned a copy a long time now. I first became aware of the Danish Carl Brisson, boxer and vocalist, when Decca Records UK issued an LP in their Ace of Club series of reissues in the 1960s-70s. Pleasant voice.

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