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WHV Press Release: Warner Bros. and the Homefront Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Honor America’s Military Heroes with Ronald Reagan, Irving Berlin, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck

    Warner Bros. and the Homefront Collection

    Includes Two New to DVD Titles from WHV November 11

    Bonus Features Include Newsreels, Vintage Shorts, Feature Commentary and an All New Documentary

    Burbank, Calif. July 23, 2008 – Warner Home Video (WHV) gives three cheers for the red, white and blue, saluting the studio’s WWII legacy with a special new DVD collection entitled Warner Bros. and the Homefront. Arriving in stores November 11, Veterans Day, this highly anticipated three-disc set is built around the three all-star, song-filled extravaganzas made by the studio’s finest talents during the tumult of WWII.

    Headlining the collection is the first-ever WHV release of one of the biggest box-office hits of the era, Irving Berlin’s This is the Army, starring Ronald Reagan, George Murphy and Mr. Berlin himself, presented in its original roadshow format for the first time since its opening engagements. The collection also contains the long-awaited DVD debuts of two irresistible musical cavalcades featuring the biggest WB stars trying their hands at musical entertainment in Thank Your Lucky Stars and Hollywood Canteen.

    The Warner Bros. and the Homefront collection is laden with an impressive array of special features, including commentaries, vintage Warner short subjects and Looney Tunes classics from WWII. Most significantly, the collection also contains “Warner at War,” a brand-new documentary which explores the studio’s fierce patriotism and unswerving dedication to aiding our country’s armed services on the battlefront, while entertaining those left behind at home.

    Warner Bros. and the Homefront will be available as a collection only and will sell for $39.92 SRP. Order due date is October 7.


    About the Films

    Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army (1943)
    Irving Berlin showed his abiding love for his country with, among other cultural accomplishments, decades of Broadway hits, the unofficial national anthem God Bless America (Veterans Day will mark the 70th Anniversary since the song was first performed and introduced to America and the world on “The Kate Smith Hour” 1938 Armistice Day CBS Radio Show broadcast, and as recreated in the movie version) and this World War II spirit-lifter. Originally conceived as a Broadway musical, the original stage production featured 350 real-life GIs, giving their singing-and-dancing all to raise nearly $2 million (then an astronomical sum) for Army Emergency Relief. At every performance, the highlight of the show was the moment when its composer, Mr. Berlin himself, would take center stage and sing “Oh, How I Hate to get up in the Morning.” The show was such an enormous success that Warner Bros. assembled a film adaptation with lightning speed, in order to spread the show’s unique blend of patriotism and entertainment to audiences everywhere. This Academy AwardÒ-winning screen adaptation stars (future U.S. Senator) George Murphy and (future U.S. President) Ronald Reagan cast as a father and son producing team who put on one stupendous military musical revue before the son marches off to war. Most of the same GIs who earned standing ovations every night on Broadway appear in the film version, along with leading lady Joan Leslie and guest stars Joe Louis, Kate Smith and even Irving Berlin himself. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), This is the Army was an instant big-screen smash with audiences and critics, and became the top grossing film of 1943. All proceeds from the film were donated by Warner Bros. to Army Emergency Relief, and in 1950, Jack Warner donated the film itself to that organization. Removed from authorized distribution for more than a half century, Warner Home Video is proud to make the original roadshow version of the film available, under exclusive license from Army Emergency Relief and the God Bless America Fund.

    DVD Special Features:
    · Commentary by Joan Leslie, Dr. Drew Casper
    · Edge of Darkness trailer
    · Newsreel
    · 1943 WB short: The United States Army Band
    · 1943 WB cartoon: Confusions of a Nutsy Spy
    · All new WHV Documentary: Warner at War
    · Original theatrical trailer

    Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)
    The stars come out to play in the joyous World War II-era Thank Your Lucky Stars. A breezy, behind-the-Hollywood-scenes story about young talents hoping for a big break glitters with specialty numbers featuring Golden Era greats. Virtually every Warner star under contract to the studio braved the opportunity to sing and dance for the good of the nation’s morale, with the result making the film an instant classic. The one Warner star who declined to break character was perhaps the studio’s biggest, but Humphrey Bogart’s appearance in a scene being out-tough-guyed by S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall virtually steals the film. Legendary song and dance man Eddie Cantor takes a leading role in the film’s story, with Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie featured as the romantic leads. The film also provided Dinah Shore with her film debut, taking on several of the film’s great songs by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz. Warner stars best known for more serious roles let their guard down in memorable musical sequences including John Garfield, Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Hattie McDaniel, Olivia de Havilland and Miss Bette Davis, whose witty, wry, jitterbugging rendition of They’re Either Too Young or Too Old is “the cherry on the top” (Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical).

    DVD Special Features:
    · Watch on the Rhine trailer
    · Newsreel
    · 1943 WB shorts: Food and Magic, Three Cheers for the Girls, The United States Navy Band
    · 1943 WB cartoon: Falling Hare
    · Theatrical trailer

    Hollywood Canteen (1944)
    The legendary Hollywood Canteen was a massive and glamour-filled nightclub for GIs, located in the heart of tinseltown. Stars from every studio in town sacrificed any extra hours they could to help entertain soldiers who were temporarily in Los Angeles. The Canteen was where Joan Crawford might cook the eggs and John Garfield might scrub out the frying pan. The movie Hollywood Canteen is a snappy, starry salute to that World War II landmark, built around a storyline involving a corporal who wins a date with winsome Joan Leslie. Real-life Canteen co-founders Bette Davis and Garfield plus dozens more luminaries – including The Andrews Sisters, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Barbara Stanwyck and even Roy Rogers with his horse Trigger – dazzle the troops as well as modern fans in “a great big scrambled vaudeville show with enough talent to have made a dozen fine movies” (Howard Barnes, New York Herald Tribune).

    DVD Special Features:
    · The Conspirators trailer
    · 1944 WB shorts: Proudly We Serve, Report from the Front, I am an American
    · 1944 WB cartoon: Stage Door Cartoon
    · 1945 WB cartoon: Herr Meets Hare
    · 1946 WB cartoon: Hollywood Canine Canteen
    · Theatrical trailer

    Warner Bros. and the Homefront Collection
    Street Date: November 11, 2008
    Collection Price: $39.92 SRP

    All films are in B&W except for Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army; All Titles Not Rated
     
  2. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Sold. Thanks to Warners for releasing an official "TITA". Some great extras on this set also; I'm particularly interested in the new "Warner @ War" documentary.
     
  3. AndrewWickliffe

    AndrewWickliffe Well-Known Member

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    Umm... color me unimpressed.

    Warner could easily have turned out a six movie box set here with unreleased titles. They could have easily turned out three six movie box sets with this theme.

    I hope they're testing the waters for future releases.
     
  4. Richard M S

    Richard M S Well-Known Member

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    I am looking forward to seeing all 3 films and I am really looking forward to the extras. I thought I readon another thread one of the films would have an overture and an outtake song. I wonder why they are not mentioned here in this press release.
     
  5. BethHarrison

    BethHarrison Well-Known Member

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    I might pick these ones up as I am a massive WWII history buff. I was just going through the number of actors who actually fought in Europe and the Pacific during WWII and the list is quite staggering. (though technically some of these guys were not contracted as actors at the time)

    Lee Marvin
    Tyrone Power
    Henry Fonda
    Richard Burton
    Raymond Burr
    Charles Bronson
    Paul Newman
    Jack Lemmon
    Clark Gable
    Jimmy Stewart
    Tony Curtis
    Sidney Portier (lied about his age to enlist)
    Jack Warden
    Charlton Heston
    Rock Hudson
    Burt Lancaster
    Karl Malden
    Christopher Lee
    Robert Mitchum
    Victor Mature
    Charles Durning

    The list goes on....sorry for the ramble
     
  6. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Is this worth a blind buy? I've bought most of Warners musical collections, but these seem kinda Broadway style instead of my preferred "Let's put on a show gang!" format for the musicals. If that even makes sense [​IMG]
     
  7. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

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    These are the "Let's Put on a Show, Gang!" movies to end all "Let's Put on a Show, Gang!" movies. They reflect the best of WB contract players during the WWII period, often lampooning their movie images, as in the case of Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn. Roy Rogers introducing Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" and Bette Davis singing Frank Loesser's "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" are worth the price of admission alone. They do have linear plots and the Panama-Frank script of THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS is quite funny. The restoration of THIS IS THE ARMY is a major archival event. Check out the imdb for the cast members including Irving Berlin himself, Joe Louis, and Kate Smith with many stars from the original Broadway production (Henry Jones, Gene Nelson, Gary Merrill) making their film debuts. Check out Paramount's STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM to get an idea of what to expect!
     
  8. CineKarine

    CineKarine Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed, that sums it up perfectly!

    All 3 are wonderful movies, definitely worth a blind buy!!!
     
  9. CineKarine

    CineKarine Well-Known Member

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    DVDBeaver has the screen captures here

    Looks very good!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Rob W

    Rob W Well-Known Member

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    The restored 'This Is The Army' premiered on TCM on Tuesday night ( looking magnificent ) and started with an overture that ran a good 7 or 8 minutes. I'm assuming it will be on the disc as well.
     
  11. CineKarine

    CineKarine Well-Known Member

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    So happy to have these films on DVD [​IMG]

    In case some of you missed it, at the end of the Warner at War documentary, the following films are listed as "available from Warner Home Video" so I guess they are upcoming:

    Uncertain Glory (44)
    Edge of Darkness (43)
    Background to Danger (43)
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    That phrase also indicates that they are/were available on VHS tape, so they may, they may not be upcoming on another format. Nice thought though.
     

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