The British Film Institute (BFI) is undertaking a mammoth project to restore the late Alfred Hitchcock’s silent movies to their former glory. In a painstaking process, they are cleaning up and restoring his first films, creating a perfect-as-possible digital version to thrill audiences again.
The BFI reckons viewers will be stunned by their clarity. Hitchcock is renowned as one of the greatest ever movie directors, thanks to masterpieces like Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963). Long before his Hollywood career though, the Londoner made his name in British silent cinema, with cleverly-crafted black-and-white tales of suspense and mystery, honing the trademarks cherished in later classics.
“We are bringing in all the best and most original copies of the movies from around the world, cleaning them up, eliminating every possible glitch to produce a version as close to the original as possible,” said BFI archive spokesman Brian Robinson.
"This is the Rolls-Royce of film restoration. It will look like it was filmed yesterday. These will be the definitive versions that will be seen in cinemas across the world and on new DVDs. We're bringing Hitchcock into the digital age." The institute is restoring the films at its archive base in London.