You would think that when you are considered a grandmaster filmmaker, your work wouldn’t get screwed with by other people, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Two years after a brouhaha over the proper aspect ratio for Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic Psycho for its blu-ray release comes word that another one of his films has also undergone some changes at the hand of technicians transferring the film from celluloid to digital.
This time the film in question is Frenzy, Hitchcock’s 1972 thriller and the changes may seem trivial but are nonetheless vexing. Nick Wrigley over at Enthusiasm.org (via Salon) has discovered that on the UK blu-ray release of the film there have been some changes made to the opening titles and credits as illustrated in the image below.
And it is not just on the UK blu-ray either. Wriggley confirmed to Salon that he had heard from someone in the US who had seen the film on an HD channel and it too had the same spelling errors.
The answer seems obvious. Whoever did the high-def transfer must have been working from elements that did not include the original titles. Rather than take the time to either find and restore the original titles they took a quicker and easier way out.
Now granted this does not equate any fundamental change to the film’s story, but it does represent a change to the film as Hitchcock had intended it. Plus, the misspelling of the crew’s names is insulting to them and their families. And unless Universal goes back and corrects these errors, this is the HD transfer we will be stuck with for a good while, perpetuating the error and compounding the insult to the craftspeople involved.
So what’s it going to be Universal?