DVD Review: Hitchcock trilogy

As of a week ago, only three Hitchcock films were available on Blu-ray(“The Lady Vanishes,” “North by Northwest” and “Psycho”). But now that number has doubled, thanks to MGM's Blu-ray releases of “Rebecca,” Spellbound” and “Notorious.”

“Rebecca” is one of the least Hitchcock-y works in his extensive filmography, largely because it was his first Hollywood production, and it had one of Hollywood's great hands-on producers, David O. Selznick. Ironically, it's the only Hitchcock film to get a Best Picture Oscar. Some viewers find “Spellbound” — an amnesia mystery with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman — horribly dated because of its heavy Freudianism, but it has one of the most jolting payoff scenes ever. In “Notorious,” Cary Grant is a government agent who recruits Ingrid Bergman to flirt with a Nazi, falls in love with her, and then resents her for taking the job. Great stuff on every level.

All three of these black-and-white films have clean, restored transfers, as well as commentaries and other extras. MGM originally released the DVDs only as part of a boxed set, whose packaging actually damaged many discs. These new ones are thankfully in standard cases.

Rebecca, Spellbound and Notorious (MGM Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, $24.99 each; DVD, $14.98 each)

-- Andy Klein

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