A Few Words About A few words about... The Bela Lugosi Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My favorite films as I was heading toward my teens were the Universal horror classics, which ran almost continuously on New York television, usually under the aegis of John Zacherley.

    One of the things that Universal does quite well is to mine there own vaults in search of a Franchise. In this case, as they have with the six horror "Legacy" collections which have preceeded this set, they come up with pure gold.

    I've personally been waiting for these films since some originally appeared on laser disc, and their arrival on DVD adds more wealth of Universal horror to those already available.

    The quality of this set, like that of Warner's Astaire / Rogers Collection improves as the years move one. The earliest in the Collection, the 1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue, looks par for the era, but it also looks the best that I've ever seen. There are no intrinsic problems.

    As the years go by, and the age of the elements and their improvement over those years continue, so does the overall look of the five films.

    The first three are essential to the genre at Universal, with the final 1936 Invisible Ray and the 1940 Black Friday being of lesser import.

    But as for Rue Morgue, as well as The Black Cat and The Raven, this is prime Universal Horror territory, with film elements, transfers and packaging requsite to the release on a single DVD 18. This is a concept that synchronizes perfectly with the abilities of the DVD format.

    It also makes the collection of five films a bargain at a street price of under four dollars per film.

    It seems obvious that Universal has gone back to the finest surviving elements for this release and the resultant quality is on display.

    Highly recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    RAH,
    Thank you for your thoughts because there has been some reservations expressed here about this upcoming release.





    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Danny Burk

    Danny Burk Second Unit

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    Thanks for the comments, RAH. I'm glad to hear that the films look as good as they do.

    Now, if only Universal would step up their release schedule for the vast Paramount library that they control! It's frustrating that these wonderful films are being ignored other than teasers such as the Gary Cooper collection and a few others that were previously released such as Marx Bros.

    The von Sternberg/Dietrich series; Claudette Colbert and Carole Lombard comedies; Mae West, more WC Fields, DeMille, Lubitsch...the list goes on and on, yet we get so little.

    If Universal is reading...*please* consider doing a proper set of the von Sternberg/Dietrich titles. The only one released to date, THE SCARLET EMPRESS, is licensed by Criterion, and the preprint supplied by Universal is terribly inferior to the glowing restoration by UCLA. The latter holds beautiful prints of the series; imagine what a glorious boxed set could be had if things were done right and mastered from the UCLA prints.
     
  4. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I've been very happy with all of these Universal sets but this here will be my most wanted from them. The silly controversy of the title aside, this is certainly great news to hear.
     
  5. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I'm glad such a nice job was done on this collection. THE BLACK CAT is definitely one of the great horror films, and the rest are pretty good, too.
     
  6. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Sounds great! I'm glad Universal tried for better elements this time around, and one may only hope they'll go back and try to fix DRACULA and BRiDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (among others); the earlier efforts weren't that great.

    Also hope Universal accelerates the speed of their "horror" collections from the 30s and 40s in the future! [​IMG]
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    sounds great
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Great to hear the quality is that good on these! I'm just praying that I don't get hit with the Universal Double sided disc curse, that has hit me with every DVD-18 that they have put out that I've bought.
     
  9. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Good news indeed. [​IMG]
     

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