USHE Press Release: Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein


    Featuring Four Films Never Before Available on DVD

    Arrives November 21, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment

    Universal City, California, September 20, 2006 - For the first time ever, seven of the best films created by one of Hollywood's first auteur directors are available together in Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection, coming to DVD on November 21, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Preston Sturges' unique, witty and timeless comedies combine razor-sharp dialogue with laugh-out-loud slapstick to create fast-paced romps that remain as fresh and funny as the day they were first released. Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection captures the comic genius of a pioneering filmmaker with three of Sturges' best known, most loved madcap comedies, along with four films never before available on DVD. The films boast a pantheon of Hollywood legends including Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea and Eddie Bracken as well as an ensemble of Hollywood's best supporting players to create an unforgettable gallery of American rogues and heroes - often in the same character.

    Sturges' meteoric Hollywood career was fueled by an infinite talent for wordplay, an exuberantly irreverent sense of humor and remarkable insight into the human condition. Romantic without being sentimental, satirical but sympathetic, unpredictable and always entertaining, Sturges' films sparkle with droll one-liners and clever double entendres characteristic of the Academy Award( winner's unique filmmaking style. Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection includes his directorial debut The Great McGinty, with which Sturges made Hollywood history by becoming the first writer to direct his own script and winning the first Academy Award given for Best Original Screenplay.

    Also included are cinematic gems Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve, (all of which are on the American Film Institute's list of Top 100 Comedies Of All Time), Christmas in July, The Great Moment and Hail the Conquering Hero. Perfectly timed for holiday gift giving, Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection will sustain the laughter through every season of the year. The special, seven-disc collector's set is priced at $59.98 SRP. Preorder close is October 17, 2006.

    The Great McGinty *
    A hilarious political satire, The Great McGinty offers an unforgettable Brian Donleavy as Dan McGinty, a Depression era hobo who sells his vote to a crooked politician - 37 times in the same election. Impressed by McGinty's resourcefulness, the politico engineers his rise from poverty to power, where he unexpectedly discovers a conscience.

    Christmas in July *
    Christmas in July cemented Sturges' reputation as the master of screwball comedy with an exuberant romance about a naïve clerk who is tricked into thinking he's won a $25,000 prize. Dick Powell stars as the go-getting guy who takes his sweetheart on an extravagant Christmas shopping trip a few months early, only to see his spending spree turn slapstick when he learns it is all a practical joke.

    The Lady Eve
    Hollywood icons Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda team up for one of the frothiest, funniest romances to come out of the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a script bristling with rapid-fire dialogue and Sturges' razor-edged wit, female card shark Eve (Stanwyck) attempts to take a shy millionaire (Fonda) for an expensive ride during a transatlantic crossing. A full house of famous character actors rounds out the crew of this naughty nautical love story, as Eve realizes that her mark may just be the man of her dreams.

    Sullivan's Travels
    Universally acknowledged as Sturges' masterpiece, Sullivan's Travels is both a satire of the movie industry and an odyssey through America from the bottom up. Joel McCrea stars as Sullivan, the successful director of frivolous Hollywood comedies who disguises himself as a bum to get a first hand look at the struggles of everyday citizens, and Veronica Lake as the small-time actress who falls in love with him. A poignant and funny cross-country journey teaches Sullivan that, in hard times, making people laugh may be the most meaningful thing one can do.

    The Palm Beach Story
    One of Sturges' diamond-bright, zany comedies, The Palm Beach Story takes an unhappy young wife (Claudette Colbert) on a train trip to Florida for quickie divorce from her failed inventor husband (Joel McCrea). When she falls in with a group of rambunctious millionaires, an adorably eccentric mogul (Rudy Vallee) takes a shine to her and won't take no for an answer. Her husband, who follows her to Palm Beach to win her back, catches the eye of the mogul's man-crazy sister (Mary Astor) and the laughs come fast and furious with hilariously pointed one-liners and brilliant comic performances.

    The Great Moment *
    Sturges takes an unusual serious turn with the story of Dr. William Morton (Joel McCrea), who pioneered the use of ether in 1846. He laces the tale of this unsung medical hero with characteristic humor and insight, as Morton forgoes personal gain to share the first known anesthesia with the rest of the medical community.

    Hail the Conquering Hero *
    Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) is anxious to serve his country when World War II begins, but his chronic hay fever leads to his humiliating early discharge. Rather than return in disgrace, Woodrow enlists the aid of his military pals to impress his family and girlfriend (Ella Raines). He returns home to find his grossly exaggerated exploits have made him a hometown hero in a cockeyed comic tale of patriotism and pride.

    * Never before available on DVD.

    Street Date: November 21, 2006
    Pre-Order Close: October 17, 2006
    Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
    Price: $59.98 SRP
    Selection Number: 31126
    Running Time: Disc 1: 1 Hour, 22 Minutes; Disc 2: 1 Hour, 8 Minutes; Disc 3: 1 Hour, 35 Minutes; Disc 4: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes; Disc 5: 1 Hour, 28 Minutes; Disc 6: 1 Hour, 21 Minutes; Disc 7: 1 Hour, 41 Minutes
    Layers: DVD-5 (Single Sided)
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Rating: NR
    Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Mar 14, 2001
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    Great news. There'll be some double-dipping here, but to get the unreleased Sturges, it'll be worth it. [​IMG]
  3. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

    Aug 2, 2001
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    I'll definitely be picking this up, as I've only seen the three titles that I already own. I know there are extras on the two Criterions, so I'll be forced to keep two copies which I don't like, but I can't remember if there were extras on "The Palm Beach Story". If there was, they had better be carried over.

    Now, bring on the Billy Wilder set that was recently announced in R2.
  4. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

    Sep 19, 2002
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    Looks to be a great set.

    BTW, has anyone seen THE FRENCH THEY ARE A FUNNY RACE, Sturges last film? Does it even exist? I've never seen it even on TV. I don't think it has been released in any format. It is his only film I haven't seen.
  5. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

    Jun 10, 2006
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    I believe The Palm Beach Story had no extras, which makes me glad I haven't gotten it yet.
  6. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

    Jul 3, 1998
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    I got my set in the mail yesterday and yes, it is packaged in another one of those digipak monstrosities complete with overlapping discs. This one feels cheap and is nowhere as classy as the Hitchcock boxset. As if buying a set that includes 3 titles I already own wasn't bad enough I got the set with one disc badly scratched. It came loose during transit and rattled inside. Now I have to return the whole damn thing and get a replacement set. Why couldn't Universal have made these titles available individually (I probably would have bought only the 2 or 3 titles I was interested in).

    The good news is that the picture and sound quality look acceptable at least from a cursory scan.

  7. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

    Nov 11, 2003
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    I got this set over the weekend. Saturday I watched CHRISTMAS IN JULY and last night THE GREAT McGINTY. McGINTY's transfer was top notch. I did check out the remaining titles to see what features (if any) they had; All the titles except HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO has trailers. PALM BEACH STORY even has a trailer even though (I think) the standard edition Universal released last year did not. I'm glad I did keep the Criterion's LADY EVE and SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS. The transfers for both of those titles seemed to be better with Criterion, but I am only going on the quick glances I had of the Universal versions. All in all it is a great collection of films which I am extremely happy to have in my DVD Collection.

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