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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : Excellent Good Fair Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

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September 15, 1987|TERRY ATKINSON | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"The Hitchcock Collection." MPI. $79.95. Two of the three tapes in this package consist of Alfred Hitchcock's most magnificently entertaining classics from his "English period." And while "The 39 Steps" (1935) and "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) are more inexpensively available from other video companies (they're public-domain titles), MPI is offering the best prints, licensed from Janus Films. The third cassette here also comes from Janus' vaults--a 27-minute documentary on "Vintage Hitchcock." Part of a '70s educational series, "The Art of Film," it merely strings together clips from the best-known '20s-'30s Hitchcock works. Though agreeably narrated by Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the superficial overview will nevertheless irk many fans; it completely skips some films, misinforms (the Macguffin is defined as a red herring) and does little more than illustrate some of the director's chief motifs. Considered as a watchable bonus tape, though, it complements a worthwhile ensemble. Information: (800) 323-0442. 1/2

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