WHV Press Release: Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    An American President’s All-American Classic Films

    RONALD REAGAN
    THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION

    KINGS ROW
    KNUTE ROCKNE ALL-AMERICAN
    THE HASTY HEART
    STORM WARNING
    THE WINNING TEAM

    Debut on DVD August 15 from Warner Home Video

    Co-Stars Ann Sheridan, Doris Day, Pat O’Brien, Ginger Rogers, Robert Cummings, Claude Rains, Betty Field, and Richard Todd
    Give Collection Additional Appeal

    BURBANK, Calif., May 15, 2006 – On August 15, Warner Home Video will introduce Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection, featuring five outstanding film performances from the prolific actor and longtime Warner Bros. contract player, who served two terms as Governor of California and then became one of the most popular American presidents of the 20th century. Included in the all new-to-DVD collection are Kings Row, a Best Picture Award nominee and probably Mr. Reagan’s best performance; Knute Rockne All- American, the actor’s best remembered role (“Win one for the Gipper!”); the wartime drama The Hasty Heart, the topical Storm Warning and lastly, The Winning Team, with Reagan playing Hall-of-Fame baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander.

    The collection will sell for $49.92 SRP. All titles are exclusive to the collection except Kings Row and Knute Rockne All- American which will be available individually for $19.97 SRP each.

    Reagan was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Ill. and was raised in Dixon. During high school, he played football and appeared in his first play, Philip Barry’s You and I.
    He attended Eureka College, a small school near Peoria where he majored in Economics, continued to play football and act in school productions. Following graduation, in an effort to merge his interest in sports and acting, he decided to try his hand at radio and landed a job at WOC in Davenport, Iowa, broadcasting University of Iowa football. Subsequently, he went to work for WHO, the NBC affiliate in Des Moines where he continued to broadcast games, and conduct interviews but became best known for his local play-by-play recreations from telegraph reports of Chicago Cubs games. On a trip to California for Cubs spring training, Reagan met a former WHO friend, who had appeared in a few movies. She set up a meeting with an agent who arranged a screen test with Warner Bros., resulting in a seven-year contract for $200 per week.

    Reagan made his screen debut in Love is on the Air but first came to prominence when he was cast in a major role opposite Bette Davis in Dark Victory, a performance which helped him win his most famous role, as the ill-fated Notre Dame football hero George Gipp in Knute Rockne All-American.

    Mr. Reagan made 50 films in all. Highlights include Brother Rat (with first wife Jane Wyman), Going Places, This Is the Army, The Voice of the Turtle, Hong Kong, Hellcats of the Navy (with second wife and First Lady, Nancy), and the infamous Bedtime for Bonzo (fodder for many jokes throughout his political career) in which he played opposite a chimpanzee.

    Mr. Reagan served a five-year term as president of the Screen Actors Guild, a position he again assumed in 1959. In 1954 he began an eight-year stint as the host of the television series General Electric Theater. His final film was Don Siegel’s 1964 remake of The Killers, co-starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickenson.

    1964 was also the year Reagan entered politics, actively campaigning for Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. In 1966, Reagan was elected Governor of California and during his eight-year tenure surfaced as one of the Republican party's most powerful voices. In 1976, he mounted an unsuccessful run against Gerald Ford in the Republican Presidential primary; in 1980, he defeated Jimmy Carter to become the nation's 40th President.

    Kings Row (1942)
    It’s a quaint turn-of-the-century small town with shady streets, swimming holes and the clip-clop of horse and buggy. But that peaceful exterior conceals human lives twisted by cruelty, murder and madness. Kings Row is one of Warner Bros.’ most distinguished productions, highlighted by an outstanding cast, haunting James Wong Howe cinematography and a somber, emotion-laden Erich Wolfgang Korngold score. Oomph Girl Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Betty Field, Claude Rains and Charles Coburn give indelible performances – and Ronald Reagan’s portrayal of Drake, a cheerful ne’er-do-well shattered by tragedy, has been hailed as a career high. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Kings Row is a powerful American saga of dreams, despair and triumph.

    DVD special features include:
    •Oscar® -nominated short United States Marine Band
    •Classic cartoon Fox Pop
    •Theatrical trailer
    •Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

    Knute Rockne All-American (1940)
    “I’ve decided to take up coaching as my life work,” Knute Rockne says. Coach he does, revolutionizing football with his strategies, winning close to 90 percent of his games, and helping establish the University of Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” as a gridiron powerhouse. But victories alone do not mean success to Rockne. He wants to shape his players into responsible and honorable men.

    This famed sports biopic combines a passion for the game (and footage of actual Notre Dame contests) with two superb performances: Pat O’Brien in the title role and Ronald Reagan as George Gipp, the gifted but doomed halfback whose deathbed plea to “win one for the Gipper” remains one of cinema’s most memorable quotes. And for the rest of his life, Reagan would often be called the Gipper.


    DVD special features include:
    •Oscar-winning Technicolor historical short Teddy, the Rough Rider
    •Classic cartoon Porky’s Baseball Broadcast
    •Audio-Only bonus: 1940 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast with Pat O’Brien and Ronald Reagan
    •Theatrical trailer
    •Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

    The Hasty Heart (1949)
    Monsoons drench them. The sun scorches them. Still, the Allies fight doggedly through Burma in 1945. For easygoing Yank (Ronald Reagan) and hard-headed Lachie (Richard Todd), the road to victory ends at a jungle hospital. With the help of a devoted nurse (Patricia Neal), they face a new battle called recovery.

    The Hasty Heart playwright John Patrick drew from his own wartime service in a British ambulance unit. Vincent Sherman (The Hard Way, Mr. Skeffington) directs this sensitive adaptation sparked by the performance that ranks with Kings Row as among Reagan’s best. The future President wasn’t the only one to draw accolades. Todd won a 1949 Best Actor Oscar nomination and a Most Promising Newcomer Golden Globe Award as the valorous, wounded Scotsman who doesn’t know that his new fight is his last.

    DVD special features include:
    •Commentary by Director Vincent Sherman and John Meroney
    •Vintage Joe McDoakes comedy short So You Want to Be in Pictures
    •Classic cartoon The Hasty Hare
    •Theatrical trailer
    •Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

    Storm Warning (1951)
    A mob in hooded white robes. A man running for his life. Gunfire. In the South to visit her sister Lucy, Marsha Mitchell witnesses a Ku Klux Klan murder. Once safely with Lucy, Marsha relays the terror she has seen…then recognizes her sister’s brutish new husband as one of the killers. She could lie, protect her sister and leave town. Or she could be the one person brave enough to bring the Klan to justice.

    Ginger Rogers and Doris Day as the sisters, Steve Cochran as the husband and Ronald Reagan as a crusading D.A. give some of their finest performances in this explosive indictment of a hate that poisoned America from within. Part thriller, part exposé, part stirring human drama, Storm Warning is “feverish…engrossing” (Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide) – and moviemaking at its most powerful.

    DVD special features include:
    •Theatrical Trailer
    •Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)



    The Winning Team (1952)
    He was Hollywood’s ideal of the boy next door. She was America’s Sweetheart. Ronald Reagan and Doris Day headline this film about our national pastime. In The Winning Team Reagan is Grover Cleveland Alexander, the Hall of Fame pitcher whose baseball victories paralleled triumphs in his personal life. Suffering from double vision and fainting spells, Alexander sees his career bottom out. But, helped by his wife (Day), he makes a successful return that reaches its peak in the 1926 Yankees/Cardinals World Series. Real-life major leaguers Bob Lemon, Peanuts Lowrey, Hank Sauer, Gene Mauch and more appear in this story of the legendary pitcher.
    DVD special features include:
    •Theatrical trailer
    •Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)


    Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection
    Street date: August 15, 2006
    Order due date: July 11, 2006
    $49.92 SRP (Collection)
    All films are B&W and Not Rated
    All films are standard version presented in a format preserving
    the aspect ratio of their original theatrical exhibitions.
    Sound is Dolby Digital: English: Mono


    Knute Rockne All-American
    $19.97 SRP
    Run Time: 97 minutes
    Kings Row
    $19.97 SRP
    Run Time: 127 minutesThe Hasty Heart
    Run Time: 102 minutes
    Storm Warning
    Run Time: 93 minutesThe Winning Team
    Run Time: 98 minutes


    Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.
     
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    This will be mine for Storm Warning alone. I was lucky enough to see a beautiful print of that screened at UCLA several years ago as part of a Doris Day Festival, and it was really an excellent little film. Must have been very frank in it's day, as it still packs a bit of a wallop in how it deals with the KKK and bigotry.
     
  3. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm not a fan of Reagan's acting career.

    But from a non-biased opinion... are these films really good?


    I'm really on the edge with this one. I was going to pass at first, but it's Warner Bros. afterall, and the extra shorts and filmreels alone are enticing!


    What's the verdict guys?
     
  4. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    The only one in the set that I've seen is Kings Row, which on its own is enough to get me to buy the whole thing. I thought it more than lived up to its reputation as a great classic. Reagan is terrific in it, and the chemistry between him and Ann Sheridan is outstanding.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

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    The weakest of the films, IMO, is The Winning Team, but I like the film a lot because I'm a baseball fan, though, it takes some liberties with Grover Cleveland Alexander's personal problems. As for the other films, they're very good.





    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    KNUTE ROCKNE-great, KINGS ROW-great, THE HASTY HEART-very, very good, although the star that shines is Englishman Richard Todd, who got an Oscar nom, THE WINNING TEAM-delightful entertainment, typical of the period, and with a very likeable Reagan, but the real unsung gem here is

    STORM WARNING!!!!!!!

    Amazingly daring film from WB that dealt with issues no other studio would go near. Reagan, Doris Day, and Steve Cochran are very good, but the amazing performance here is from none other than Ginger Rogers. Those familiar wth Ginger, Doris and Reagan from other films will be shocked and impressed by the level of excellence in this fine film.
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Wow, I would have expected the Doris Day picture to be one of the lesser "fluff" efforts..


    I think you guys have convinced me. I usually seem to share similar tastes in classic movies with a lot of you, so I'm sure I'm bound to enjoy most of these.. I'll take a chance on the box.
     
  8. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    I am not a fan of Reagan's acting. However these are mostly good films and I will be picking up the set.
     
  9. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    Ditto... but I'll vouch for Hasty Heart being a wonderful film. And Rockne is one of the iconic American sports films. King's Row is a classic, as well - vital to any collection of classic American cinema.

    The Winning Team is a lesser title - I probably wouldn't get it if these were all available separately. I have never seen Storm Warning.
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thanks guys, you've definitely sold me!

    Glad to know that others share similar views on Reagan yet are still willing to vouch for the majority of these films.
     
  11. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Post Edited By Administrator, Please Do Not Repost

    That said, I have never been a big fan of his acting, except for a handful of films. And darned if those films are not included in this set!

    I agree that The Winning Team is kinda weak, with lots of shots of Reagan on the mound with a back-projected stadium. But Grover Cleveland Alexander is a sort of forgotten sports hero now, and movies like that at least remind people that he once played, and had a great end to his career.

    As others have said, Knute Rockne and King's Row are solid golden-age Hollywood classics. As someone else mentioned, Richard Todd is quite good in The Hasty Heart. Storm Warning is a lesser-known sleeper that is also worthwhile.

    In Reagan's later years as an actor (about the time he did the remake of The Killers), I always thought he should play Gen. Douglas MacArthur in a biopic. He would have resembled MacArthur in the uniform and sunglasses, he was just a good-enough actor to bring a sense of gravitas to himself, much the way MacArthur did. Reagan could have really nailed MacArthur IMO.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Geez guys, if you want to make some kind of political comment then please, do so on some other forum! Talk about the actor and not the career that came after it.





    Crawdaddy
     
  13. JohnMor

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    I couldn't agree more about The Winning Team being a weak picture, and as much as I love Doris, her performance in that always kinda bugged me. But I'm really looking forward to this set now: I've never seen The Hasty Heart but a friend has recently been raving about it. And of course King's Row is a classic. And I really think Storm Warning is going to surprise and please a lot of people who have never heard of or seen it before. More $$ going from John to the WB coffers. Sigh.
     
  14. Steve...O

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    Of the films in this set, only KNUTE ROCKNE has never done much for me. Not a knock against the film, but I'm not a big football fan and I dont' root for the Irish anyway[​IMG]

    This may be a Reagan set, but you're also getting some great performances from a whole host of Hollywood greats that make these films very worthwhile. In addition to those mentioned previously, Claude Rains and Charles Coburn shine in Kings Row and Patricia Neal is well, Patricia Neal, in Hasty Heart.

    This is not meant to be a criticism of Warners, but I wish they would have included a comedy in this collection to lighten the mood a bit. Either Voice of the Turtle and Brother Rat would have fit quite nicely. There are some rather interesting outtakes from Turtle that still exist that feature amusing (and mildly risque) dialog between Reagan and one of the female leads that would have made an good extra.

    Steve
     

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