Family Plot appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. While not a visual showcase, the image replicated the source about as well as I think it could.
Sharpness varied and some instances of softness occurred. However, much of the movie showed appropriate delineation, so the inconsistencies created no real concerns.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt heavy but natural, and print flaws remained negligible.
The movie’s palette learned toward blues and earthy browns. Though these didn’t impress, the disc rendered them in an appropriate manner. HDR added emphasis and range to the tones.
Blacks could lean a little too dense, but they usually felt well-depicted, and shadows were reasonably smooth. HDR contributed oomph to whites and contrast. While you won’t use the 4K to show off your TV, it gave us a more than adequate rendition of the film.
As for the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Family Plot, it fared nicely after all these years. Music sounded the best, as the score was surprisingly robust and dynamic.
Effects lacked the same vivacity, but they appeared clear and accurate. Dialogue was also concise and natural, and no source noise marred the presentation. I felt pleased with this high-quality single-channel track.
How does the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both provided identical audio.
On the other hand, the 4K’s visuals offered a tremendous upgrade on the severely problematic Blu-ray. Even with its inconsistencies, the 4K nonetheless delivered a better defined, cleaner and more film-like presentation. This was a major step up in quality after the weak Blu-ray.
As we head to extras, we locate a documentary called Plotting Family Plot. This 48-minute, 22-second program involves remarks from director’s daughter Pat Hitchcock O’Connell, assistant director Howard Kazanjian, Universal Studios executive Hilton Green, set designer Henry Bumstead, composer John Williams and actors Bruce Dern, Karen Black, and William Devane.
We learn about the source novel and its adaptation, pre-production and working with Hitchcock, visual effects, cast and crew, locations and sets, storyboards and planning, the score, and shooting specific scenes. Most of the prior Hitchcock documentaries proved informative and engaging, and that trend continues here.
While Plotting doesn’t follow the most logical path through its subjects, it covers a lot of useful subjects and throws out plenty of fun stories. It becomes a consistently enjoyable program.
Storyboards appear for “The Chase Scene”. This area uses still frames to show the storyboards. I like the inclusion of the drawings, but I’d have preferred a split-screen running comparison to this still presentation.
We find two moderately interesting trailers. Hitchcock appears during both, but he doesn’t add enough to make them great.
Under Production Photographs we find 87 stills. These mix shots from the set, publicity images and ads to create a good collection.
A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of the movie. It includes the same extras as the 4K.
A great career came to an end with Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock’s final film. While he didn’t go out on top, he did end things with a pretty good effort, as Plot was arguably his best flick since 1963’s The Birds. The 4K UHD offers generally good picture and audio as well as the usual allotment of interesting supplements. I like the movie and this becomes a satisfying rendition.
Note that this 4K UHD version of Family Plot can be found on its own or as part of a 5-film set called “Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection”. This also includes Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, The Trouble With Harry and Marnie.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of FAMILY PLOT