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Warner releasing LITERARY CLASSICS COLLECTION on 03-06-07


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted November 08 2006 - 12:29 PM

WB is announcing release of "Literary Classics Collection" on March 6: BILLY BUDD (1962), CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER (1951), PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937, 1952 Double Feature), MADAME BOVARY (1949), and THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1948). All terrific films. BILLY BUDD is a pleasant surprise, but I am particularly looking forward to BILLY BUDD--a pleasant surprise--and Sidney's THREE MUSKETEERS (a gorgeous Technicolor film with an all-star cast (it would be wonderful to have Angela Lansbury on a commentary; she wanted to play Milady but got stuck with Queen Anne). DVD Times has the covers.
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#2 of 33 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted November 08 2006 - 01:11 PM

Now that's an awesome collection. I just wish they had put Madame Bovary in the Motion Picture Masterpiece set and Treasure Island in this one.
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#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Andrew Budgell

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Posted November 08 2006 - 02:44 PM

MADAME BOVARY is really the only title I am interested in, so I'll probably pass on the box set and just pick up that title.

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#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted November 08 2006 - 03:52 PM

Prisoner of Zenda would be the only reason to buy this for me.

#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Jim Bur

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Posted November 08 2006 - 04:58 PM

Congratgulations to Warner Brothers. This is an excellent collection. There have been 3 outstanding films on the subject of naval warfare in the late 18th and early 19th century. Those films are Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Damn the Defiant (1962), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of Paradise (2003). Hornblower is one of the all time greatest adventure films and the equal of Master and Commander. The original version of the Prisoner of Zenda (1937) is another of the all time great adventure films, and also one of the best films of Ronald Colman, a neglected giant of the Hollywood films of the 20's, 30's, and 40's. Billy Budd (1962) is also an outstanding film based on the book by the author of Moby Dick. Billy Budd is set on a British warship in the same era as Hornblower, however in Budd the main focus is on the pressing of sailors from an American ship and the abuses and hardhsips suffered by the seaman. As such, Budd has more in common with films like Mutiny On the Bounty. Budd came out around the same time as the Brando version of Mutiny On the Bounty, and in my opinion is an even better film. Budd also features still another top notch performance by Robert Ryan as the heavy. It's great to have Hornblower and Budd in the same collection. The Three Musketeers is entertaining and a good film, though probably not on the same quality level as the other films discussed above. I haven't seen Madame Bovary, so I can't comment on its quality, though the strength of the other films in the collection would make it a great buy in any event. This collection is a terrific followup to Warners' earlier literary classics collection which was loaded with such masterpieces as A Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, David Copperfield, and Pride and Prejudice, Warners hit a home run with their earlier collection, and appear to have again hit a home run with this collection. c Jim Bur

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Corey

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Posted November 08 2006 - 07:26 PM

what an exciting set. i can't wait to get this off amazon. i know they will sale this set for $34.99 too.
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#7 of 33 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted November 08 2006 - 11:31 PM

Hmm....

I agree that Madame Bovary seems like an odd selection for this set.

Out of the ones I've seen I only want to own Zenda. Though I am very interested in seeing Budd & Hornblower for the first time.

I guess the question is will these be available individually and if not how cheap will this set run. If it's $35 or under I might just pull the trigger.
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#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:10 AM

Fantastic news on Billy Budd!

I can now scratch another film off my top 10 most wanted DVD list.

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   JohnPM

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:14 AM

Most anxious to see the 1937 "Prisoner Of Zenda", as this is one title badly in need of restoration. It's never looked that great on television.

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#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:23 AM

I don't understand your question about why Madame Bovary is an old title for this boxset when the book it's base off is considered a literary classic in every sense of the word? Buying the boxset would be a good value in my opinion.

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#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Jefty

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:51 AM

VERY pleased with Madame Bovary and Billy Budd... but, upon reconsideration, I have to say that these are definitely more "Adventurish" than I'd like (it's primarily the marketing angle that bothers me... the term "Literary classic" has definitely been stretched here... Melville and Flaubert yes, CS Forester? no... and Prisoner of Zenda... I mean, I like the 1937 film quite a bit, but no one reads that novel, do they?) I guess I'm just nitpicking here...I definitely will get this--but I hope that, for volume three, they pay a little bit more heed to literary pedigrees... what would I pick? let's see:definitely Three Comrades, along with: The Sea Wolf, Tortilla Flat, Warners' very underrated 1948 version of The Woman in White, and maybe a cleaned-up version of the abandoned-to-public domain RKO Of Human Bondage (more than anything, I suppose, I'd love to see Strange Cargo--it IS based on a novel, after all...but I only know that because of the IMDB, so perhaps an independent release would be more appropriate)

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted November 09 2006 - 01:25 AM


Yes. Yes, you I think you are. Posted Image

A great set and I welcome them, every single one.
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted November 09 2006 - 03:06 AM

Well I certainly have. And Amazon lists nine editions of the book currently in print, which is more than you can say for most 100+ year old novels.
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#14 of 33 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted November 09 2006 - 03:15 AM

I'm petitioning Warners for a "Stage to Screen" box set, and this is a good time to nag for it again. (No Time for Sergeants, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Sunrise at Campobello, A Majority of One, Critic's Choice, Mary, Mary, Never Too Late, Any Wednesday, and many more ....... just sitting on the shelves, gathering dust.)

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Corey

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Posted November 09 2006 - 03:22 AM

i wonder what happened to the 1922 version of zenda?
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#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted November 09 2006 - 03:31 AM

Madame Bovary IS an odd selection for this batch in the sense that the other novels are all male dominated action adventures whether on the high seas like Captian Horatio Hornblower and Billy Budd or swashbuckling court intrigues like Prisoner Of Zenda and Three Musketeers. Madame Bovary, on the other hand, is a serious examination of a frustrated wife whose schoolgirl romantic dreams bear no reality to the dull life she finds herself trapped in as a country doctor's wife. Her attempts to break out of the societal conventions of her time lead to tragedy. See what I mean? Nothing at all like the other films in the set and as a previous poster said, Treasure Island would fit in right here with other novels and Madame Bovary would have fit in with the more "serious" Charles Dickens and Jane Austen based films in the Masterpiece collection.

#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Jefty

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Posted November 09 2006 - 04:26 AM

I quite agree...but perhaps the logic is that, by including Bovary, they pull in a few people that might not have purchased the set... It certainly worked on me! If this set had featured 4 "boys own"-type adventure stories (say, for example, that the fifth film was King Solomon's Mines) + the Melville classic, I would probably have just purchased Billy Budd and left the others (except for Hornblower, which I just don't like very much...nor do I much like the fifties Zenda, not that that matters, since, for all intents and purposes, it's merely an extra feature) for future consideration...

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 09 2006 - 05:25 AM

Let's face it, these releases are mainly aimed at the TCM crowd and they're using "Literary Classics" as a marketing hook so that they can get both, men and women to buy these titles. If you want just 3-4 titles in this boxset, it might be cheaper to buy the boxset instead of individual titles, that way, you have films in the collection that can appeal to more than just men. Crawdaddy

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted November 09 2006 - 06:26 AM

I like this line-up even better than the Motion Picture Masterpieces set, so it's a no-brainer purchase for me. I thought Gregory Peck made a pretty good, if a bit too handsome, Hornblower, and where else are you going to see Peck in a sword fight with a 29 year old Christopher Lee - in Technicolor - shot by Guy Green? Posted Image
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#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Danny Burk

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:39 PM

My first thought as well. It was promised as part of a triple feature earlier in this year's WB chat, yet it's nowhere to be found on the box. Grrrr....and it was the main reason I wanted the set, although the '37 is terrific too. Don't really care about the 50s version at all.




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