A few words about…™ The Anne Bancroft Collection – in Blu-ray

If one doesn't have any, or many of these films, then the set is a wonderful way to learn about Ms Bancroft's work. 4 Stars

My initial thought regarding Shout Factory’s new Anne Bancroft Collection was “why?”

Over the decades Ms Bancroft appeared in over fifty films.

This is a pleasant, but incomplete survey of her career, and there’s very little new.

Here’s the breakdown.

Eight films.

Don’t Bother to Knock – 1952

A Fox film, in which Ms Bancroft (only 21 at the time) receives third billing, but beneath extraordinary headliners – Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe.

It appears to be the same fine Fox transfer used by Twilight Time, and inclusive of the isolated score, but not the Widmark doc.

You can currently purchase the Twilight Time release for $33.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

The Miracle Worker – 1962

One of the great films, but the same Olive release, down to the Olive logos. I wasn’t a fan of the look or sound of this one. Needs to be redone.

Currently available for $19.

Image – 4.25

Audio – 2.5

Pass / Fail – Fail


The Pumpkin Easter – 1964

An older transfer, but fine. I’m presuming this is the same transfer as the Indicator release, which was region free. Main title sequence is 1.66, which opens to 1.78 for the body of the film. Nice black & white imagery, of Oswald Morris’ work. Directed by Jack Clayton. $30 on Amazon.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

The Graduate – 1967

This is the Criterion release, along with all extras. Currently, $23 on Amazon.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

Fatso – 1980

Fittingly, the Shout Factory release.

An older transfer, with a slightly electronic appearance.

$25

Image – 3.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

To Be or Not to Be – 1983

The remake of the wonderful Lubitch production.

From the Mel Brooks Collection of nine films, currently $30 for the set.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

Agnes of God – 1985

A Columbia film, starring Jane Fonda. Directed by Norman Jewison, and photographed by Sven Nykvist.

An older transfer, with a slightly electronic appearance. Fine if you don’t look closely.

Available in a UK release for $12.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

84 Charing Cross Road – 1985

An older transfer, which is very much okay. I’m not seeing it on Blu. There’s an out of print DVD.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

What’s the bottom line?

To me, it’s whether Agnes of God, Pumpkin Eater and 84 Charing Cross are worth the price of admission, which is $60.

At $20 each for the three films, you get the other five thrown in as a bonus. So even if you already have the majority of them, and I’d presume that any self-respecting cinephile does, it’s a bargain. The only problem, a bit akin to finding extra copies of Abbott & Costello films in multiple sets, or errant copies of the colorized Wonderful Life everywhere, it’s not a great thing for the Earth.

If one doesn’t have any, or many of these films, then the set is a wonderful way to learn about Ms Bancroft’s work. If you do, I’m not certain of why the set makes good sense in the first place.

I’m pleased to have the three films that have not been in my library, so overall…

Recommended.

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

12 Comments

  1. The Pumpkin Eater is my favorite from her and have the Indicator disc. Have the full screen dvd and 1.85 widescreen PAL dvd of 84 Charing Cross Road and both are ok but would like to see a separate Blu-ray release.

  2. Powell&Pressburger

    If people want more Anne Bancroft PLEASE PLEASE buy the Warner Archive Blu-Ray for The Prisoner of Second Avenue!

    Bancroft and Jack Lemmon are wonderful together!

    PowellPressBurger,
    Just curious, Does the WAC BD of Prisoner have the original Saul Bass WB logo at the start of the film?

  3. Minor typo. Pumpkin Eater not Pumpkin Easter.

    Having most of these already would prefer to see separate versions. I will have to think about buying the collection. Thanks for posting available releases.

    Robert Harris

    My initial thought regarding Shout Factory's new Anne Bancroft Collection was "why?"

    Over the decades Ms Bancroft appeared in over fifty films.

    This is a pleasant, but incomplete survey of her career, and there's very little new.

    Here's the breakdown.

    Eight films.

    Don't Bother to Knock – 1952

    A Fox film, in which Ms Bancroft (only 21 at the time) receives third billing, but beneath extraordinary headliners – Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe.

    It appears to be the same fine Fox transfer used by Twilight Time, and inclusive of the isolated score, but not the Widmark doc.

    You can currently purchase the Twilight Time release for $33.

    Image – 5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Recommended


    The Miracle Worker – 1962

    One of the great films, but the same Olive release, down to the Olive logos. I wasn't a fan of the look or sound of this one. Needs to be redone.

    Currently available for $19.

    Image – 4.25

    Audio – 2.5

    Pass / Fail – Fail


    The Pumpkin Easter – 1964

    An older transfer, but fine. I'm presuming this is the same transfer as the Indicator release, which was region free. Main title sequence is 1.66, which opens to 1.78 for the body of the film. Nice black & white imagery, of Oswald Morris' work. Directed by Jack Clayton. $30 on Amazon.

    Image – 4

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Recommended


    The Graduate – 1967

    This is the Criterion release, along with all extras. Currently, $23 on Amazon.

    Image – 5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Very Highly Recommended


    Fatso – 1980

    Fittingly, the Shout Factory release.

    An older transfer, with a slightly electronic appearance.

    $25

    Image – 3.5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass


    To Be or Not to Be – 1983

    The remake of the wonderful Lubitch production.

    From the Mel Brooks Collection of nine films, currently $30 for the set.

    Image – 5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Recommended


    Agnes of God – 1985

    A Columbia film, starring Jane Fonda. Directed by Norman Jewison, and photographed by Sven Nykvist.

    An older transfer, with a slightly electronic appearance. Fine if you don't look closely.

    Available in a UK release for $12.

    Image – 3.5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Recommended

    84 Charing Cross Road – 1985

    An older transfer, which is very much okay. I'm not seeing it on Blu. There's an out of print DVD.

    Image – 4

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Recommended

    What's the bottom line?

    To me, it's whether Agnes of God, Pumpkin Eater and 84 Charing Cross are worth the price of admission, which is $60.

    At $20 each for the three films, you get the other five thrown in as a bonus. So even if you already have the majority of them, and I'd presume that any self-respecting cinephile does, it's a bargain. The only problem, a bit akin to finding extra copies of Abbott & Costello films in multiple sets, or errant copies of the colorized Wonderful Life everywhere, it's not a great thing for the Earth.

    If one doesn't have any, or many of these films, then the set is a wonderful way to learn about Ms Bancroft's work. If you do, I'm not certain of why the set makes good sense in the first place.

    I'm pleased to have the three films that have not been in my library, so overall…

    Recommended.

    RAH

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