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WHV Press Release: Joan Crawford Collection Volume 2


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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted October 15 2007 - 01:16 AM

Ultimate Film Star Returns with DVD Debut of
Five Classics Spanning Three Decades

JOAN CRAWFORD COLLECTION VOLUME 2
February 12 from Warner Home Video

A Woman’s Face ~ Flamingo Road ~
~ Sadie McKee ~ Strange Cargo ~ Torch Song



Burbank, Calif. October 15, 2007 – Following the success of its best-selling Joan Crawford Collection in 2005, Warner Home Video is proud to honor the ever-popular screen legend with the debut of the Joan Crawford Collection Vol. 2 February 12. This tantalizing new set of Crawford classics features some of the Oscar®-winning actress’ finest films – A Woman’s Face, Flamingo Road, Sadie McKee, Strange Cargo and Torch Song. Drawn from her years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros., each film has been restored and remastered for its DVD debut, with bonus material including new featurettes, radio shows, vintage short subjects, trailers, and much more. Packaged as a collectible gift set, the five-disc Joan Crawford Collection Vol. 2 will sell for $49.92 SRP.

About the Star
Ms.Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1908 in San Antonio, Texas. Lucille’s parents, divorced before she was born, were extremely poor; and Lucille subsequently was able to use her talent to escape a life of poverty by dancing in contests and entertaining in nightclubs.

Shortly after moving to Hollywood in 1925, she landed her first film part, in Pretty Ladies but it was her role in Our Dancing Daughters in 1928 that made her a star. She became Joan Crawford after a fan magazine ran a contest to name her. By the 1930's, Ms. Crawford became one of the biggest stars at M-G-M, starring in such films as The Women and Grand Hotel. But it wasn’t until she signed with Warner Bros. in the 1940’s that she earned her one and only Oscar for her starring role in Mildred Pierce. Following her win, Crawford starred in the critically lauded Humoresque and Possessed, the latter of which earned her a second Oscar nomination. She worked steadily throughout the ‘50s, receiving a third nomination for her role in Sudden Fear. In the early ‘60s, she made a career comeback in her last great role in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? which co-starred her longtime arch-rival, Bette Davis.

“We’re fortunate to have most of Joan Crawford’s films within the enormous Warner Bros. Entertainment library. The films in this new collection represent some of her most requested appearances, and we’re happy to be offering them, with beautifully new masters, to her ever-loyal fans,” said Warner Home Video’s George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Catalog Marketing.


About the Films

Sadie McKee (1934)
Sadie McKee was made during the period when Crawford was queen of the box-office, and every film she made was sure to be a hit. Many of them followed a similar formula, where Crawford rises from poverty to wealth, with conflict between two suitors vying for her affections. What sets this film apart from most of her other work of the era, is the direction of the legendary Clarence Brown, whose fine talents brought out the best in Metro’s stars, most notably Garbo and Crawford. Co-starring with Franchot Tone (whom she would marry the following year), Gene Raymond, and Edward Arnold, the film is also well-known for being the Crawford film her Blanche Hudson character watches on television years later in the unforgettable Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962). In addition, Sadie McKee is famous for introducing the classic Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown song “All I Do is Dream of You.”

DVD Special Features: (waiting confirmation from Michael Crawford)
· Vintage comedy short Goofy Movies #4
· Classic cartoon Toyland Broadcast
· Theatrical trailer

Strange Cargo (1940)
Joan Crawford first shared the screen in 1931 with an up-and-coming young actor whose charm and machismo would soon make him a superstar. The film was called Laughing Sinners and the leading man was none other than Clark Gable. Their on-screen chemistry was undeniable, and Metro ended up teaming them in a total of eight films over the next 9 years (including Dancing Lady, also available on DVD from WHV). Strange Cargo was their 8th and final collaboration, a rugged adventure story that eschewed the usual M-G-M elegance that had been present in so many of their other films together. Under the superb direction of Frank Borzage (Seventh Heaven, The Mortal Storm), this film is the rare action-packed adventure that carries an underlying spiritual theme which further enhances the Crawford/Gable chemistry. The film co-stars a bevy of famous Hollywood character actors, including Paul Lukas and the legendary Peter Lorre.

DVD Special Features:
· New featurette: Gable & Crawford
· Vintage short More About Nostradamus
· Classic cartoon The Lonesome Stranger
· Theatrical Trailer

A Woman’s Face (1941)
It was director George Cukor who helped Crawford break free of her usual screen persona in 1939’s The Women, and in this dark thriller the masterful director brought out one of the leading lady’s best performances. Based on the play “Il Etat Une Fois” (It was one time”) by Francis de Croisset, A Woman’s Face casts Crawford as a horribly disfigured woman whose inner pain motivates her to live a life of evil. A kind doctor gives her a chance to remove her outer ugliness, and shows her a path to love and happiness, but can she adjust to this after years of such darkness? This conflict allowed Crawford to show her broad range as a talented actress, a task she felt essential at that point in her career. Despite excellent reviews for the film, and especially for Crawford, Cukor, and the leading man Melvyn Douglas, the film did not succeed initially at the box-office. It was only after re-release in later years that it finally earned its place as a true classic within the incomparable pantheon of M-G-M’s finest dramas.

DVD Special Features:
· Vintage Romance of Celluloid Short You Can’t Fool a Camera
· Classic cartoon Little Cesario
· Two audio-only radio adaptations with Bette Davis and Ida Lupino
· Theatrical trailer

Flamingo Road (1949)
Joan Crawford’s move from M-G-M to Warner Bros. in the mid-‘40s, revitalized her screen career under the direction of Michael Curtiz in the smash hit that earned her the Best Actress Oscar, Mildred Pierce (1945). Crawford’s Warner years continued to strengthen her stature as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and Flamingo Road provided a reunion between Crawford and Curtiz for the first time since Mildred Pierce. Crawford plays Lane Bellamy, a dancer touring with a low-rent carnival, who finds more than she bargained for when she ends up on Flamingo Road. The impressive list of supporting players includes Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott and David Brian. The film was later the basis for a 1980s television series.

DVD Special Features:
· New featurette: Crawford at Warners
· Classic cartoon Curtain Razor
· Audio-only radio adaptation with the film’s stars
· Theatrical trailer

Torch Song (1953)
Joan Crawford made her highly-publicized return to M-G-M after a decade away to star in Torch Song, her first feature film entirely in Technicolor. This sudsy melodrama, directed by Charles Walters (High Society) has become a cult classic. Crawford portrays Broadway musical star Jenny Stewart, who seems to have everything in life - except someone to love. While most people ‘cow-tow’ to her diva-like behavior, only Ty Graham (played by Elizabeth Taylor’s then-husband Michael Wilding), a pianist blinded during WWII, will stand up to her. Graham’s secret passion for Jenny eventually awakens her vulnerability. But will they get together for a happy ending?

This is the film that inspired Carol Burnett’s famous parody Torchy Song, and an audience favorite that has been unavailable on home video for nearly 15 years. By popular demand, audiences can now watch Crawford’s famous dances, and her musical emoting (with vocals dubbed by singer India Adams). Actress Marjorie Rambeau gives a memorable star turn as Crawford’s beer-chugging Mom, a role that earned the venerable character actress an Oscar nomination.

DVD Special Features:
· New featurette: Tough Baby: Joan Crawford and Torch Song
· Audio bonus: Joan Crawford recording session
· Public service announcement trailer: At Home with Joan Crawford
· Vintage MGM cartoon: TV of Tomorrow
· Vintage MGM short
· Theatrical trailer

JOAN CRAWFORD COLLECTION VOLUME 2
Street Date: February 12, 2008
Catalog #:1000015048
Collection: $49.92 SRP
All films B&W and Mono, in 1.37 aspect ratio, except TORCH SONG, which is Color and 1.77 aspect ratio as originally shown in theaters.
All Titles Not Rated

Other Joan Crawford titles available on DVD from Warner Home Video include: Joan Crawford Collection Vol. 1, The Damned Don’t Cry, Dancing Lady, Grand Hotel, Humoresque, Mildred Pierce, Possessed, Trog, The Women and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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