If Alfred Hitchcock’s legend blossomed with such hits as ”Rear Window,” ”To Catch a Thief,” and ”Psycho,” then that seed was planted in the films boxed in Wrong Men & Notorious Women: Five Hitchcock Thrillers. The British spy yarns ”The Lady Vanishes” and ”The 39 Steps” and the American-produced romantic thrillers ”Rebecca,” ”Spellbound,” and ”Notorious” straddled his move, both physical and philosophical, from Olde England to Hollywood. What makes the collection so worthwhile is recognizing its themes of false judgment and neurotic infatuation not only in the later benchmarks ”North by Northwest” and ”Vertigo” but also in non-Hitchcock flicks as far-reaching as, say, ”The Fugitive” and ”Basic Instinct.”
Vast supplements, from radio adaptations to newsreel footage (see Ingrid Bergman shine sans makeup on the ”Notorious” DVD), and even, on the two-disc ”Rebecca” behemoth, 64-year-old screen tests, make the package all the richer. Better still are the immaculately restored movies themselves, each a vivid work of art and a stirring piece of entertainment.