WB's THE ELIZABETH TAYLOR & RICHARD BURTON FILM COLLECTION December 5th, 2006

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Andrew Budgell, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Finally! What I've been waiting for!!

    Andy of http://www.dameelizabethtaylor.com

    --

    From USAToday.com:

    DVD
    A Burton-Taylor set in time for Christmas

    One of filmdom's most famous couples is being honored with a DVD gift set due Dec. 5.

    The highlight of The Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton Film Collection ($50) is a lavish two-disc special edition of 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a taboo-toppling film about a bitter, boozed-up couple that won five Oscars. The disc, also available separately for $27, includes commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh and three new featurettes.

    Also included in the set: The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians, none of which have been available on DVD.

    "Compared to the tabloid duos of today, there was no more captivating couple than Liz and Dick, " says Warner Bros.' George Feltenstein. "They were the superstars of their day, with explosive chemistry."

    — Thomas K. Arnold
     
  2. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    FINALLY.
     
  3. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    Oooooo. THE SANDPIPER. A guilty favorite of mine.....
     
  4. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    THE COMEDIANS is a good film, I think kind of got a bum rap due to the Burton-Taylor pairing. She was ineffective, but Burton, along with a damn fine cast (Ustinov, Gish, Earl Jones, etc) stands out.
     
  5. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    Too early to tell, but it looks like only Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will be available separately.
     
  6. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    I've always loved The V.I.P.s- as close as we'll ever get to a color version of Grand Hotel- in fact, the film was supposed to be a remake, but writer Terence Rattigan thought of an incident from the Fifties involving his pal Vivien Leigh. She was going to run off with Peter Finch and they made it to the London airport, but they were delayed for hours due to bad weather. In the meantime, her husband Laurence Olivier got there and convinced Leigh to return to him. That story became the basis for the plot involving the Burtons and Louis Jourdan in the movie. But for me, the one to watch is Maggie Smith- this is her first major film role, and she steals the show right from the dynamic Taylor the way Joan Crawford did from Garbo in Grand Hotel. As the devoted secretary who tries to help her boss Rod Taylor avoid financial ruin, she is simply marvelous- a sign of great things ahead.

    I hope this film is available separately- beside the above actors, you get an Oscar-winning performance by Maragret Rutherford as a daffy duchess, Orson Welles as a self-important movie mogul (hmmmm), and international beauties Linda Christian and Elsa Martinelli. That reminds me- what about a release for 1967's Hotel with Mr. Taylor, Merle Oberon, Michael Rennie, Catherine Spaak, Karl Malden, Melvyn Douglas and Kevin McCarthy?
     
  7. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    Great!!!! I've been waiting for this set all year!!!
     
  8. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    Yay, more Minnelli, that's never a bad thing... Hopefully Some Came Running is around the corner too...
     
  9. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    so the pre-code, jean harlow, and spencer tracy sets must be coming in december since they're doing announcements for that month already.


    It'll be in the Sinatra set next year...
     
  10. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    Ahh... I was hoping it would be released this year, my widescreen VHS tape copy is nearly worn out. [​IMG]
     
  11. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Re Charles Ellis's comments on the genesis of THE VIPs: The Vivian Leigh-Peter Finch affair began on the set of ELEPHANT WALK. Leigh was replaced (because of a nervous breakdown, the affair or a combination of both) by Elizabeth Taylor, but she is visible in many of. the longshots. The dvd transfer of ELEPHANT WALK is gorgeous and features Ms. Taylor at the prime of her beauty.
    The producer, director, and writer of THE VIPs collaborated on a similar omnibus-style film several years afterwards called THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE with an even more specacular cast (Rex Harrison, Ingrid Bergman, alain Delon, Shirley MacLaine, Omar Shariff, George C. Scott, Wally Cox, Art Carney, Jeanne Moureau). I had a letterboxed LD of it, and I am mystified why recent TCM showings of it are cropped. Does anyone know why? It makes a terrific-followup to THE VIPS.
     
  12. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    Its one of my faves and they better put Step Lively and It Happened in Brooklyn. What other Sinatra films does WB own that haven't made it to DVD yet??
     
  13. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    Warner have a film directed by Sydney J Furie called The Naked Runner, I am hoping that makes the Sinatra boxed set, because during that period Furie was shooting films in Techniscope, often using very wide angle lenses. Michael Caine refered to it as the "look mum I'm directing!" approach to film direction. :-D
     
  14. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I contacted TCM about it the last time it was shown and was told that the film distributor who supplies TCM with prints did not have the letterbox edition available, and that's why the abominable pan and scan version was shown. THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE is scheduled to be shown near the end of this month, so let's see if my complaining did any good.

    Others interested might drop TCM a line just to insure that the proper version gets shown. I reminded them that a letterbox laserdisc was issued, so I knew there had to be a widescreen print somewhere.
     
  15. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    Is that the only one? The Kissing Bandit would be a nice addition just for that dance off between Ann Miller and Cyd Charisse for Ricardo Montalban.

    Frank Sinatra Signature Collection
    -Some Came Running
    -Step Lively
    -The Tender Trap
    -It Happened In Brooklyn
    -The Kissing Bandit
     
  16. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    Interesting. The version I taped from TCM several years ago was letterbox....
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    That IS interesting in light of what the TCM lady wrote me. The version of the film shown a few months ago letterboxed the opening credits and then expanded to full screen afterwards.

    If they HAVE shown a fully letterboxed version in the past, I will certainly bring that to their attention should the version they show in two weeks NOT be widescreen.
     
  18. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection in December

    After Bogie and Bacall but before Brad and Angelina or Tom and Katie … there was Liz and Dick, the ‘60s most famous on-and off-screen couple. Warner Home Video will honour these two legends with the Region 1 DVD debut of the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection on 5th December 2006. Featured will be the 5-time Oscar®-winning, taboo-toppling landmark film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in a new 2-Disc Special Edition, along with the DVD debuts of The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians.

    The five-disc giftset, available just in time for holiday gift-giving, will sell for $49.92 SRP. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2-Disc Special Edition can also be purchased as a single title at $26.99 SRP.

    Highlights of the collection’s special features include, for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2-Disc Special Edition new commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Sodenbergh, three featurettes about the movie and a 1966 interview with Mike Nichols.

    In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed beauty who literally grew up on soundstages, and Richard Burton, a Welsh-born, classically-trained stage actor, met on the set of Cleopatra, fell in love and eventually married in 1964. They enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and famous – expensive furs, luxurious yachts, incredible cars, lavish houses and spectacular jewelry -- and became very public symbols of jet-set glamour. They remained married for 10 years, before divorcing in 1974. Miserable apart, they remarried in 1975, but the marriage again broke up four months later.

    Taylor and Burton appeared together in nearly a dozen films and in 1983 also co-starred on Broadway in Noel Coward's Private Lives. Ms. Taylor was nominated five times for Best Actress Academy Awards -- for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly, Last Summer, Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She won for the latter two. Burton never received any Oscars although he was nominated seven times -- for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , My Cousin Rachel, The Robe, Becket, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Anne of the Thousand Days and Equus.

    Richard Burton died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1984, and friends say Taylor calls Burton “one of the two great loves of my life.” (The other was Hollywood producer Mike Todd, who died tragically in a plane crash just after their first anniversary.) After starring in nearly 60 feature films, Elizabeth Taylor has been a tireless humanitarian in her recent years. In spite of struggling with serious health problems, she has raised more than $100 million in the crusade against AIDS.

    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
    The most famous real-life couple of the ‘60s star in the roles of the most famous stage couple of the ‘60s. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are ideal as malevolent marrieds Martha and George in first-time film director Mike Nichols’ searing film of Edward Albee’s groundbreaking Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor won her second Academy Award (and New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and British Film Academy Best Actress Awards). Burton, also Oscar-nominated, matches her as her emotionally spent spouse. And George Segal and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Sandy Dennis score as the naïve young married couple invited over for drinks only to find themselves dead center in the older couple’s destructive path. The movie won a total five Academy Awards and remains after 40 years as shocking and electrifying as ever.

    DVD Special Features:
    Commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh
    Original commentary by cinematographer Haskell Wexler
    3 New Featurettes:
    Elizabeth Taylor: Intimate Portrait
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: A Daring Work of Raw Excellence
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Too Shocking for Its Time
    1966 Mike Nichols interview excerpt
    Sandy Dennis screen test
    Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie trailer gallery
    Languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean
    Subtitles: English and Français (feature film only)

    The Comedians (1967) New to DVD
    A poor nation can mean riches…for the corrupt. In an absorbing screenplay based on his novel, master of intrigue Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) sets passions both romantic and political against the backdrop of Haiti during the brutal rule of Papa Doc Duvalier. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor lead a who’s-who cast of stars who portray diplomats, imposters, adulterers, hangers-on, the indolent and even a pair of pacifist vegetarians – all caught up in the reign of terror. From the discovery of a dead body in the bottom of a pool to a harrowing showdown with Papa Doc’s ruthless secret police, The Comedians tells a story as disturbing and redeeming as mankind’s conflicted heart.

    DVD Special Features:
    Vintage featurette The Comedians in Africa
    Languages: English, French and Spanish
    Subtitles: English and Français (feature film only)

    The Sandpiper (1965) New to DVD
    Laura Reynolds (Elizabeth Taylor) is a free spirit, living in rustic Bohemian splendor in an oceanfront Big Sur home. Minister Edward Hewitt (Richard Burton), a school headmaster, lives a life as constrained as his clerical collar. Now his world is changing. Blessed with a devoted wife (Eva Marie Saint), he must come to terms with his love for another woman.

    Love was in the air. So was music in the form of 1965’s Oscar-winning Best Song The Shadow of Your Smile. And fans were at theatres, eager to witness on screen the charismatic chemistry that made Taylor and Burton the decade’s most scrutinized off-screen couple. Academy Award winner* Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, An American in Paris) directs this bittersweet tale that was one of its year’s top box-office hits.

    DVD Special Features:
    Two vintage featurettes:
    The Big Sur
    A Statue for the Sandpiper
    Languages: English, French and Spanish
    Subtitles: English & Français (feature film only)

    The V.I.P.s (1963) New to DVD
    For elite passengers awaiting London-to-U.S. flights, takeoff can’t occur soon enough. But then fog rolls in, grounding air traffic. Over the next fateful night, the jet-setters must face problems and not flee them.

    First-class stars book passage for romantic melodrama mixed with wry comic flourishes in The VIPs. Frances (Elizabeth Taylor) is running from her neglectful tycoon husband (Richard Burton) into the arms of suave Marc (Louis Jourdan). Filmmaker Max (Orson Welles) is dodging the taxman. Harried entrepreneur Les (Rod Taylor) is blind to the romantic devotion of his secretary (Maggie Smith). And a dotty duchess (Margaret Rutherford won an Oscar, Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for her delightful performance) is determined to save her ancestral manor. Now boarding: The V.I.P.s.

    DVD Special Features:
    Languages: English, French and Spanish
    Subtitles: English & Français (feature film only)

    All films are new anamorphic transfers enhanced for widescreen televisions.
     
  19. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    The only thing that I think could make this package better would be the inclusion of an Elizabeth Taylor interviews/commentary (on WOOLF?) and a new documentary on Dame Elizabeth and Richard's relationship similar to the GARBO or BETTE DAVIS: STARDUST. That could really be something special if Warner Bros. decided to make it.

    Nearly a decade ago there was a series called GREAT ROMANCES OF THE 20th CENTURY, and an episode was dedicated to the relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. It was rather short at 30 minutes, and featured old, washed out film clips, but featured rare footage that I had only previously seen stills of. I think Warners could really create an interesting documentary of their own for this set, featuring all of these restored films, alongside some old stills and that rare footage. But considering many of their films aren't owned by the WB, they may not want to publicize other studio's films. But they are wasting a good oppourtunity. I'm sure Kate Burton would give an interview. She did for Dame Elizabeth's Lifetime Intimate Portrait. Could you imagine, a full-fledged look back at the jewels, the furs, the yachts, and can't forget those films!!

    It would be a dream if Dame Elizabeth participated in this set. To be honest, I'm surprised she hasn't agreed to it. Although she isn't in the best of health, she appeared on A Place in the Sun's bonus material. Considering VIRGINIA WOOLF? is her favourite film, you'd think she'd be more than willing. They could have potentially got material for RAINTREE COUNTY and even NATIONAL VELVET, etc.

    Andy of http://www.DameElizabethTaylor.com
     
  20. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    That documentary is already on DVD in this set.
     

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