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DVD Review HTF DVD REVIEW: The Gregory Peck Film Collection (1 Viewer)

Kevin EK

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THE GREGORY PECK FILM COLLECTION



Studio: Universal



TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Original Release: 1962
Length: 2 hours 10 mins
Genre: Drama

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Color/B&W: B&W

Audio:
English DTS 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 2.0


Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED

Starring: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, John Megna, Ruth White, Paul Fix, Brock Peters, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy, Collin Wilcox and Robert Duvall

Written by: Horton Foote
Based Upon Harper Lee’s Novel
Directed by: Robert Mulligan



CAPE FEAR

Original Release: 1962
Length: 1 hour 46 mins
Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Color/B&W: B&W

Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono


Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED (Some Violence, Suggested Violence)

Starring: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin, Martin Balsam, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas and Barrie Chase

Written by: James R. Webb
Based Upon the Novel “The Executioners” by John D. MacDonald
Produced by: Sy Bartlett for Melville-Talbot (Peck & Mitchum’s production companies)
Directed by: J. Lee Thompson



CAPTAIN NEWMAN, M.D.

Original Release: 1963
Length: 1 hour 31 mins
Genre: Military Hospital Comedy/Drama

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Color/B&W: Color

Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED

Starring: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, James Gregory, Bethel Leslie with Robert Duvall, Dick Sargent, Larry Storch and Bobby Darin

Written by: Richard L. Breen, and Phoebe & Henry Ephron
Based upon the Novel by Leo Rosten
Directed by: David Miller



THE WORLD IN HIS ARMS

Original Release: 1952
Length: 1 hour 45 mins
Genre: Seafaring Drama/Adventure

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Color/B&W: Color

Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono


Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED (Some Action & Violence)

Starring: Gregory Peck, Ann Blyth, Anthony Quinn, John McIntire, Andrea King, Hans Conried, Rhys Williams

Written by: Borden Chase with additional dialogue by Horace McCoy
Based on the Novel by Rex Beach
Directed by: Raoul Walsh



ARABESQUE

Original Release: 1966
Length: 1 hour 46 mins
Genre: Thriller/Action/Adventure

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Color/B&W: Color

Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono


Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED (Some Action and Violence)

Starring: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, Kieron Moore

Written by: Julian Mitchell, Stanley Price and Pierre marton
Based on the Novel “The Cipher” by Gordon Cotler
Directed by: Stanley Donen



MIRAGE

Original Release: 1965
Length: 1 hour 49 mins
Genre: Suspense Thriller

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Color/B&W: B&W

Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono


Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: NOT RATED (Some Action and Violence, 1 Major Triple Lindie)
Starring: Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Kevin McCarthy, Jack Weston, Leif Erickson, Walter Abel, George Kennedy and Walter Matthau

Written by: Peter Stone
Based on the Novel by Howard Fast
Directed by: Edward Dmytryk









Release Date: November 4, 2008


Rating: 3 ½ :star: :star: :star: ½

Starring: Gregory Peck and multiple casts

Written by: Various
Directed by: Various




The Gregory Peck Film Collection is a new compilation of films made for Universal with Gregory Peck in the lead role between 1952 and 1967. It’s a collection of 6 films, only 2 of which have been previously available on DVD, those being Cape Fear and To Kill a Mockingbird. The other four films show a range of styles and subjects, from the swashbuckling The World in His Arms to the tense mystery of Mirage to the colorful thriller Arabesque to the military dramedy Captain Newman, M.D.. All are presented nicely with anamorphic transfers where applicable and 2.0 Mono audio mixes. Gregory Peck fans will have a lot of fun with this package – it should make for a good stocking stuffer.

Of the two films already available, To Kill A Mockingbird looks identical in its 2-disc presentation to the 2005 Legacy Series release, down to the menus, and it includes all the special features of that release. Cape Fear has a slightly different presentation in its menu and includes almost all the special features of its 2001 release. (What’s missing is the former release’s onscreen “production notes” and whatever online links were available from that DVD.) The new-to-DVD films do not come with any special features, save a trailer for The World in His Arms. Clearly, the intent here is to allow Peck fans to get four more of his films for their collections without getting fancy about it.

VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 :star: :star: :star:

The Gregory Peck Film Collection is presented in a variety of aspect ratios, as I have noted with each film above. All receive anamorphic transfers save The World in His Arms which was filmed and released before the advent of widescreen mainstream films. The movies all look good, with Arabesque being particularly colorful – it’s also the one film here presented in a 2.35:1 transfer. The transfer on To Kill A Mockingbird looks identical to the Legacy Series release, and the transfer on Cape Fear looks pretty close to the earlier release. (That’s not a bad thing – it’s a good transfer.) The only possible issue I had here was some heavier grain visible in the darker sequences in Mirage. An early stairwell scene showed heavier grain than other scenes in the film – but this may simply be a feature of the camera negative.

AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 :star: :star: :star:

The Gregory Peck Film Collection is presented mostly in 2.0 Mono mixes, with the exception being To Kill A Mockingbird which retains its Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes from the Legacy Series release. The mixes all present the dialogue in a clear fashion, along with the appropriate music and effects. Captain Newman, M.D. has a more artificial feel to the dialogue during exterior scenes, but this is clearly due to the ADR methods of the time. (The same methods make it interesting to watch exterior scenes on classic “Star Trek” episodes...)

SPECIAL FEATURES: 2 ½/5 :star: :star: ½

The Gregory Peck Film Collection gets 2 stars for retaining the special features from the earlier releases of To Kill A Mockingbird and Cape Fear and additional ½ star collectively for the rest of the films, since the only feature to be found is a trailer for The World in His Arms. I'll keep my descriptions of the special features on the first two films as brief as possible, given that they've already been seen and discussed in prior editions. (If I see responses asking for a more detailed list, I'll be happy to post it. I'm just trying to focus on the newer material.)

On the two discs for To Kill A Mockingbird, we find the identical features from the Legacy Series release:

To wit, there is

-the audio commentary with Robert Mulligan and Alan Pakula
-Gregory Peck’s acceptance speech at the Academy Awards (winning Best Actor for this role)
-Gregory Peck’s remarks upon winning the AFI Life Achievement Award
-Cecilia Peck’s remarks from the Academy Tribute to Peck
-Scout Remembers - Mary Badham’s recollections of working with Peck
-A Conversation with Gregory Peck - A full length documentary about Peck’s speaking tour in the 1990’s. (I was present for his visit to UC Berkeley’s Drama Dept at that time, where he had to answer one of the wildest questions I’ve ever heard asked of a performer: “Why are you so suave?” It brought down the house.)
-Fearful Symmetry - A full length documentary about the making of the film
-Theatrical Trailer
-Production Notes


The disc for Cape Fear contains most of what could be found on the 2001 DVD release:

-The Making of Cape Fear - the identical featurette from the earlier release is presented here.
-Production Photographs - the same gallery of photos from the earlier release is presented.
-Theatrical Trailer - the same theatrical trailer is presented here.


Of the other films, only The World in His Arms contains a single special feature:

- Theatrical Trailer (1:48, Full Frame) – A full frame trailer is presented for the film, introduced by a pipe-smoking Gregory Peck. I’d venture a guess that the introduction is the reason this trailer is on the DVD.


Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish for the films, as well as for the special features. Standard chapter menus are included for quick reference.



IN THE END...

The Gregory Peck Film Collection revisits two previously released DVDs of Peck’s Universal films, and then adds four more for his fans. The newly released films don’t get any frills, but just having them will likely be enough to merit a purchase from the many people who have enjoyed his work.

Kevin Koster
November 23, 2008.
 

Robert Crawford

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My plate is so full, I haven't watch this boxset in its entirety. I'm going to try to catch up next month with my DVD/BRD viewing.







Crawdaddy
 

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