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I'm interested in this topic too. I've been interested in Hitchcock for a while, but somehow I had never known that he withheld some of his films from distribution. I might understand his decision if he was withholding some of his lesser works, but why prevent screenings of his masterpieces Rear Window and Vertigo? This is a bigger mystery than found in the plots of any of his films!

 

Just intuitively, the idea that he was not allowing some of his best films to be seen in order to build up a mystique about these films seems far-fetched to me.

 

I'd appreciate if any of you film scholars could summarize some of the theories concerning why Hitchcock made this decision. Thanks!

 

 

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I'm interested in this topic too. I've been interested in Hitchcock for a while, but somehow I had never known that he withheld some of his films from distribution. I might understand his decision if he was withholding some of his lesser works, but why prevent screenings of his masterpieces Rear Window and Vertigo? This is a bigger mystery than found in the plots of any of his films!

 

Just intuitively, the idea that he was not allowing some of his best films to be seen in order to build up a mystique about these films seems far-fetched to me.

 

I'd appreciate if any of you film scholars could summarize some of the theories concerning why Hitchcock made this decision. Thanks!

 

I tried to find info on this and couldn't find anything.    So my first questions would be:

 

1) Did Hitchcock own the rights to the films he produced and directed (or, for example, were rights shared with a studio or a studio owned them).   One would have to own the legal rights to a film in order to withhold it (as well as NOT lease them for distribution beyond a certain cut-off date).

 

Note:  The Birds is listed as Production Company - Alfred Hitchcock Production Company,   but films like Torn Curtin and Topaz list Universal Pictures as the Production Company.      Hitchcock did become a major shareholder in MCA, which was owned by Universal for the rights to Psycho and the Hitchcock T.V. series,  but it is hard to tell if that would allow Hitch to withhold the rights to films he made with\for Universal.    

 

2) For films where Hitch did own the rights;   what films did he withhold and for how long?  

 

Thanks in advance to anyone that has something tangible related to the above.

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Here's an article which tells more:

 

https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/The_Times_(15/Nov/1983)_-_Return_of_the_missing_Hitchcocks

 

The article is unclear about when the ban started, but it doesn't seem to be as early as 1961. The films in question were Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Trouble With Harry, Rear Window and Vertigo. And yes, Hitchcock owned the rights to these five films. It's speculated that he withheld them to increase their value.

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Here's an article which tells more:

 

https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/The_Times_(15/Nov/1983)_-_Return_of_the_missing_Hitchcocks

 

The article is unclear about when the ban started, but it doesn't seem to be as early as 1961. The films in question were Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Trouble With Harry, Rear Window and Vertigo. And yes, Hitchcock owned the rights to these five films. It's speculated that he withheld them to increase their value.

 

Thanks for finding this.    The OP confused me with the listing of the years because I assume those were the years of the films release and NOT the years certain films were withheld.   Yea, it does appear the motive was to increase their value.  

 

As a jazz guitarist I can relate;   there was a Japanese collector that was buying up vintage guitars.  Well he purchased certain models that were very rare and would buy as many of those as he could.    Well he determined that if there were LESS of that model the aggregate value would be MORE;     e.g.  the sum of 3 rare guitars (all the same model) was worth more than the sum of 6 rare guitars.    So he planed to destroy some of his collection to increase it's aggregate value!     There was a lot of push back from the guitar community and as far as I can recall he never went ahead with this plans.   

 

At least Hitch didn't destroy any of this films to increase the value of the remaining ones.    :blink:

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I'm not even qualified to make an educated guess. My thoughts are that perhaps in his intelligence he chose to make them scarce. He would know that that would only make the hunger for the films grow.

 

The link below provides info on what Hitchcock did and why.   Bottom line was that he withheld them to increase their value. 

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