It's easy to forget that there's a whole world of the iconic Alfred Hitchcock beyond Rear Windows, killer Birds and psychos. Sure, he holds the title of Master of Suspense, but he was also a filmmaker and not all his movies were creepy, thrilling nail-biters. Nor did they all have sound, for that matter -- which is, perhaps, part of the reason he could create such stunning films. He also delved into tales of friendship, class, romance and comedy, which Lionsgate has now brought to DVD.

The Alfred Hitchcock Box Set is a collection of some of the director's earlier work, and it includes 5 films -- The Ring, The Manxman, Murder!, Rich and Strange -aka- East of Shanghai and The Skin Game. Since any film isn't complete without a special feature or two, the collection includes Pure Cinema: The Birth of Hitchcock Style, which features interviews with Hitchcock's family, as well as his friend and fellow director, Peter Bogdanovich. I guess one feature is better than none, although this would seem like the perfect opportunity to shower fans in more Hitchcock, since this isn't a box set that everyone will nab.

If you've never delved into the Hitchcock years before The Man Who Knew Too Much, here's a rundown:
  • The Ring (1927) -- This silent film is the love story about two boxers who are in love with the same woman.
  • The Manxman (1929) -- Another romantic triangle silent film, this one deals with a fisherman named Pete and his life-long friend, a lawyer named Philip. Pete goes off to earn money to marry Kate, and asks Philip to watch him -- he does a little more than watch.
  • Murder! (1930) -- With sound and one of Hitchcock's early tastes of murder, the movie is about a juror who believes that the actress found near the dead body of her friend is innocent, and aims to find the real murderer before she is put to death.
  • Rich and Strange (1931) -- A romantic comedy, this film is about an easily-corrupted couple who become rich after an inheritance, and head off on a cruise to delight in their new-found wealth.
  • The Skin Game(1931) -- The film is about two families in the middle of a land quarrel -- the rich Hillcrests and the social-climbing Hornblowers. The latter is building factories around the former's estate, and the Hillcrests try to fight back when they learn that Hornblower's daughter-in-law was a prostitute.
categories Features, Cinematical