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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: The Classic Comedies Collection (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).



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#1 of 110 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted February 24 2005 - 03:06 PM


My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#2 of 110 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted February 24 2005 - 03:20 PM

Excellent review Herb! Very detailed and informative. Thank you. I can't say much more than Warners continues to amaze.



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#3 of 110 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted February 24 2005 - 03:35 PM

Thanks for another teriffic review, Herb. I'm salivating a little more now about some of those extras, the docs sound fabulous. I did see the Cary Grant one when it premiered on TCM, great stuff.

#4 of 110 OFFLINE   Jaime_Weinman

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Posted February 24 2005 - 04:08 PM

Thanks for the review. I wish To Be or Not To Be had rated a commentary or something, but this is an incredible release.


Actually this and the Cukor episode are revised versions of episodes that Schickel created in the '70s; it was a PBS miniseries featuring interviews with great Hollywood directors (Hawks, Hitchcock, Cukor, Raoul Walsh, Vincente Minnelli, King Vidor and William Wellman) and clips from their films. It was really the first time American TV had really paid in-depth tribute to the great directors of the Hollywood studio system era.

The versions included on the DVDs keep the same interview footage, but use improved-quality film clips (the original series used battered 16 mm clips provided by the studios) and new narration by Sydney Pollack.

The Band Wagon SE, due in a couple of weeks, includes a documentary on Vincente Minnelli; I suspect it might be his "Men Who Made the Movies" episode.

Edit: Count me in as a third anti-Bogdanovich voter. As I've said before, I can just barely accept him commenting on his own movies; he just drives me nuts talking about other people's.

#5 of 110 OFFLINE   ArthurMy

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Posted February 24 2005 - 04:48 PM

I am so glad somebody else feels as I do about Mr. Bogdanovich and his "contributions" to various DVDs. I can't listen to him or watch him - he literally makes my skin crawl. His voice is annoying, and his manner is completely off-putting. And the ascot - really, someone tell him. I'll have my set very soon - can't wait.

#6 of 110 OFFLINE   PeterMano

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Posted February 24 2005 - 05:02 PM

Damn, I'm going to need a second job just to keep up with all these warner releases. Thanks for the informative review, herb. The extras sound as good as the films themselves. I have to applaud Warner for treating these films with the healthy amount of respect they deserve. Fox has also done an admirable job with their studio classics series. When you think about it, it's very ballsy of Warners to be doing two disc special editions of vintage fare like Bringing up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. I feel almost compelled to buy these sets so that Warners will keep on putting these titles out. Columbia at one time, was putting out some great titles with nice special features like Lost Horizon and It Happened One Night. But, lately, it seems that Columbia is just putting out bare bones titles. I'm wondering if this is case of pure sloth on Columbia's part or the sales of Columbia Classics titles weren't strong enough to warrant continued special treatment. I've never seen Dinner at Eight, Libeled Lady, Stage Door or To Be or Not To Be and its been ages since I've seen Bringing Up Baby. My old copy of TPS will have to find a new home with one of my relatives. I have to laugh at the pounding poor Peter Bogdanovich is taking here, but, I find him personally annoying as well.

#7 of 110 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted February 24 2005 - 05:30 PM

Once again Herb Kane treats us to a wonderfully written and insightful review...as once again Warner Home Video astounds with yet another outstanding collection of films that have obviously been brought to market with a great deal of creativity and care.

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#8 of 110 OFFLINE   Dane Marvin

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Posted February 24 2005 - 05:59 PM

Excellent review, Herb. For economical reasons, I'll just be picking up the 2 SE's (never seen Bringing Up Baby before either). And I really look forward to watching the docs as much as the features themselves. Thanks for all the info!

#9 of 110 OFFLINE   AlexHL

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Posted February 24 2005 - 07:07 PM

Another wonderful review, Herb. Judging by the extra's alone (extensive docs on Grant, Hepburn, Cukor and Hawks) this is going to be one of the sets of the year!

#10 of 110 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 24 2005 - 08:36 PM

Great review Herb, I'll be watching my boxset today. My tolerance level must be higher than others because I enjoy listening to Bogdanovich's commentaries. Crawdaddy

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#11 of 110 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted February 25 2005 - 08:56 AM

I like his commentary tracks on his own movies, certainly the one for Paper Moon is very good. But his track on Citizen Kane wasn't too hot. Hopefully his Bringing Up Baby track is better than that one.

#12 of 110 OFFLINE   Frank Ha

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Posted February 25 2005 - 09:11 AM

Excellent review. You have me salivating for this set. I can't wait to get my set in the next week or so. I had TPS already, but I'm sure I can find a home for the older version. I'll probably give it to my daughter. She loved My Man Godfrey. I'm betting, she'll like The Philadelphia Story too.
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#13 of 110 OFFLINE   RyanZ

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Posted February 25 2005 - 09:20 AM

Actually, Ann Miller was really 14 when she made Stage Door, not 17 as you said, but you are correct that she secured her RKO contract with a fake birth certificate and some heavy makeup. Excellent review!

#14 of 110 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted February 25 2005 - 09:54 AM

another wonderful review. Completely forgot about this coming out so soon after Gangsters, which is what I am waiting to watch in the next couple of days. Will wait for this
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#15 of 110 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted February 25 2005 - 10:02 AM

thanks for the detailed reviews Herb! a little disappointed though, to hear that the film i wanted the most (Libeled Lady) is the one that seems to fare the least. i'm really surprised to hear its in such bad shape, as i don't remember any major(or minor) problems with the LD (which i still own but haven't watched in about 14 yrs). i'm going to pull it out tonight and see if the same print damage is present on that one. i was also surprised to see the dearth of extras for the film. i'm left wondering which release is going to see the inclusion of the Turner produced bio for Loy (was there ever one done for Powell?)- maybe thats being reserved for a TM boxed set- though going by comments in previous chats, Warner has always seemed curiously resistent to a set for that series. in any case, i fully expected LL to rate a little more enthusiasm from Warners classic division. kind of odd. still will be nice to check another one off the master list. with this release and A Letter To Three Wives from this past week, the only other LD's i need to replace now are Swing Time, Cleopatra (34), and Wuthering Heights.

#16 of 110 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 25 2005 - 10:11 AM

plan to get it as soon as I can find it for a good deal on line in Canada. Now we need a review of the classic Musical set : Broadway to Hollywood.

#17 of 110 OFFLINE   Deepak Shenoy

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Posted February 25 2005 - 10:17 AM

Yeah I was hoping to see that as well. I can't think of any other high profile Loy release that may get the SE treatment. I watched the documentary on TCM a few years back and it was great. -D

#18 of 110 OFFLINE   LorenzoL

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Posted February 25 2005 - 01:44 PM

Thank you for the review Herb. I can't wait to get my hands on Bringing up Baby. The rest will be first time viewing for me but I have yet to be dissapointed with WB boxset so I'm not too worried.

#19 of 110 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted February 25 2005 - 04:14 PM

Like you, I'm hoping for a Loy/Powell Signature Collection that could house the Loy documentary. Alternatively, it could show up as an extra on the upcoming Thin Man collection (assuming the other films are released as a set and not individually). Regarding a Powell bio: one is sorely needed. He is one of the most fascinating actors of his generation, and I really respect the way he walked away from Hollywood when he did and made virtually no public appearances for the last 3 decades of his life. Steve
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#20 of 110 OFFLINE   Jaime_Weinman

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Posted February 25 2005 - 06:17 PM

I just noticed that there's a little bit missing in one scene of Bringing Up Baby, where Hepburn poses as the gangster's moll. In my VHS tape, she says "Where my man goes, I go, and if I don't he knocks my block off." On the DVD, that line is cut off after "Where my man goes, I go." I know that various prints of this film have missing lines due to the different elements used, so if they used a print where that line was missing for some age-related reason, I can live with it -- but if this is another "Tom and Jerry" situation where WB accidentally used a print that was edited for PC reasons, I'll be very P.O.'d. I doubt if the line was cut by the DVD producers, considering that all the references to actual spousal abuse are intact in The Philadelphia Story; the line was obviously missing in the print they used -- the question is, why? I think somebody goofed and I'm not pleased.





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