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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection (RECOMMENDED).



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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   TonyDale

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Posted August 04 2006 - 02:16 AM

Thanks, Herb! I had originally planned for the two Doris Day flicks as well as KING'S ROW, but after your review, it's the whole set for me!
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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   James D S

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Posted August 04 2006 - 02:27 AM

Great review. Looking forward to the set. I'm glad "the other" Ronald Reagan is getting some much-deserved attention, too!

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted August 04 2006 - 02:39 AM

Thanks for another excellent review, Herb. I'm really looking forward to this set.

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted August 04 2006 - 06:55 AM

Great review, Herb! Thanks. Counting the days till I can see Storm Warning again!

One question: with only 2 titles available separately, are these slim cases or regular size cases?

#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted August 04 2006 - 07:06 AM

Well, I've seen the separate Kings Row DVD at a video rental place here in the NYC area, and it's a regular-sized case. I'm only disappointed we didn't get some kind of featurette about the history of the film, the importance to Reagan's career, et cetera.
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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted August 04 2006 - 09:15 AM

Thanks guys... the set was a lot of fun.

One question: with only titles available separately, are these slim cases or regular size cases? Counting the days till I can see Storm Warning again!


John all of these cases are regular Keepcases (same with the Stewart Collection). SW - fantastic film - my favorite of the set.

Herb.
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#7 of 25 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted August 04 2006 - 09:28 AM

Thanks Herb! (And Charles.) I haven't seen The Hasty Heart yet, but I agree about Storm Warning. Saw it on the big screen at UCLA several years ago at a Doris Day Festival, and it played VERY well, and the print was pristine and beautiful. I am beyond thrilled to have it on DVD now.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted August 04 2006 - 01:55 PM

Thanks Herb for this review and the Stewart set review.

I'm really looking forward to this set. Kings Row knocks me out every time I watch it (and the supporting cast is a veritable who's who of character actors) and Hasty Heart is a very well made film. I haven't seen Storm Warning in years, but it was so powerful, its stuck with me all this time.

This set focuses on drama (sometimes quite heavy). Hopefully sales will warrant a follow-up release of some of Reagan's bona fide adventure/comedy classics: Brother Rat (paired with its sequel), Voice of the Turtle, Desperate Journey (could be part of a Flynn set), and This is the Army (criminally unavailable in a non PD version).

Steve
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#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Jacqui

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Posted August 04 2006 - 02:19 PM

Is it worth a blind buy? I own every other Signature Collection available.

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Johannes S

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Posted August 13 2006 - 03:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacqui
Is it worth a blind buy? I own every other Signature Collection available.

This collection definitely is worth a blind buy. Interesting "rare" pictures, incredible value and good transfers technically. Don't hesitate to order it. ;-)

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted August 15 2006 - 04:00 PM

I chose Storm Warning to start my viewing because it's the one I haven't seen in the longest time. What an incredible piece of filmmaking and an ending that still packs an emotional punch even if you know it is coming. Unfortunately, the back of the DVD case contains a still that spoils the ending.

The print does look spectacular. There were a handful of very brief shots that looked rougher than the rest of the film. Could these have been the shots that were restored? When Warners announced this in the chat they said SW would be uncut. I took that as meaning that most circulating prints in recent years were edited. Whatever the situation, it looks beautiful.

Only $31 and change at Costco! Next up...The Winning Team. Doris looks so pretty in SW that she deserves to be seen again. Posted Image

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#12 of 25 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted August 15 2006 - 04:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve...O
I chose Storm Warning to start my viewing because it's the one I haven't seen in the longest time. What an incredible piece of filmmaking and an ending that still packs an emotional punch even if you know it is coming. Unfortunately, the back of the DVD case contains a still that spoils the ending.

Steve

Yes, I was NOT happy to see that still on the case. What's the deal with studios doing that lately? Anyway, it's great to have it on dvd finally.

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted August 16 2006 - 02:26 AM

The audio commentary on THE HASTY HEART is one of the two best that I have ever heard (LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN is the other). John Meroney gives a terrific overview of Reagan's career....and something very poignant happens during the commentary.
Charles Hoyt

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   WadeM

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Posted August 16 2006 - 02:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMor
Yes, I was NOT happy to see that still on the case. What's the deal with studios doing that lately? Anyway, it's great to have it on dvd finally.
Thanks for the warning! I haven't seen that title yet, but now I know not to look at the back of the DVD cover!

And I'll put some black tape on the back cover when I'm done watching it! (In case anyone else wants to watch it)

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted August 19 2006 - 11:47 AM

Finally got this set in the mail today. Thanks for the spoiler-watch for Storm Warning, Steve-O, I made sure not to look at the back of the case before watching it. One of the IMDB trivia entries for that movie also spoils the same plot detail.

Very good movie, strong stuff. Steve Cochran is great, although it sticks out that he seems to be the only one doing a southern accent (which he does pretty well). Anyone else notice an odd detail about Reagan's character--in spite of being the district attorney, he seems to be living with his parents!

Just followed it up with the great Kings Row. The picture quality did look good, although I was a bit disappointed that there was a lot of jittering and frame instability in some stretches. Interesting thing about the trailer--it's really five short teasers all strung together. They must have rotated which one they showed, maybe by show or by location. Each one trumpets "A Great Character From a Great Book" and then shows a few lines from one of five different characters. Also, it's too bad we didn't get a Rudy Behlmer commentary for this one, to fill in the historical background for one of Warners' big prestige pictures of that era. Seems like he hasn't done one for any of these Warners discs in quite a while now. I hope we hear more from him on some future releases of this sort.

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted August 19 2006 - 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggai
Anyone else notice an odd detail about Reagan's character--in spite of being the district attorney, he seems to be living with his parents!

That was actually pretty common until just after WW2. Many people lived with their parents until marriage. It was only after the war, in the 50's, with the housing boom and the move to suburbs that a lot of single people took to moving out of the family home, usually into apartments or houses vacated by people who had moved to the burbs.

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   WadeM

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Posted August 19 2006 - 12:51 PM

.

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   Jacqui

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Posted August 19 2006 - 12:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMor
Yes, I was NOT happy to see that still on the case. What's the deal with studios doing that lately? Anyway, it's great to have it on dvd finally.

Kinda like MGM putting Paul Newman kissing Elizabeth Taylor in the trailor of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Baffling..

Anyhoo....will make this one a purchase.

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   WadeM

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Posted August 19 2006 - 12:53 PM

I finally watched Storm Warning for the first time -- WOW! What a great & powerful movie! It's a classic! I'm looking forward to the rest of the set. I'm glad I didn't look at the back of the cover first.

#20 of 25 OFFLINE   ted:r

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Posted August 19 2006 - 01:35 PM

I've seen 3 out of the 5 so far...

- Storm Warning: great! Reagan is just Ok, but Cochran is exceptional and the whole movie is tense and exciting. Caveat: they really skirted around the edge of the KKK...

- Knute Rockne: good biopic thought not exceptional. Reagan has 3-4 scenes in the entire movie and I don't think he lasts more than 15 minutes in it

- Kings Row: disappointing. Extended and diffuse soap opera. To my surprise, Reagan is the best thing about it, turning in the best performance I've yet seen from him. He's usually wooden and Ronald Reagan-esque, by which I mean you always know you are watching him rather than the character (cf. Clark Gable and Tom Cruise, in that regard). Here he is warm and funny and moving for the most part. He is Drake McHugh.
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