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I really think that Baby Face should have had a commentary but it is really interesting to watch the cut version first and then watch the original. There may have been tiny edits here and there, but, boy, they sure changed the feel of the story. The major changes were in the shoe repairer who was Baby Face's mentor (he told her to use men to get power in the original, but changed in the cut version to get ahead doing things nicely)(one noticeable change was that in the Christmas scene with the book he sent her, the cut version has her reading a note that says he is disappointed in her and she needs to gain her self-respect back, while the original has no note but does have a circled quote in the book about how she should use people). Another major change was in the ending. I won't give away the ending of either version but the cut version's is a terrible addition to the film.

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i know it wasn't directed at me, Jack, but i'll tell you about since i just love this box set:


the Hollywood Legends of Horror collection is similar to the format of the previous year's Val Lewton collection. for anybody who hasn't seen the packaging, it follows Warner's trend this year of using slim cases. movies are thematically paired (Lugosi & Karloff, Dr. X and the sequel, and then the uncategorizably bizarre). some of these are virtually unheard of and rarely screened, others are cult classics. every film has some sort of extra, even if just a trailer. apparently, no trailer survives for the Mask of Fu Manchu, and unfortunately the only film without a commentary happens to be my favorite, Devil Doll, but if you'd like i could talk for hours about that one movie.


in my opinion, the entire set is worth it just for the 3rd disc with Mad Love and Devil Doll, both of which are revisions of silent films. Mad Love follows the story of Orlac's Hands but from a different perspective, and Peter Lorre gives the most chilling performance in the entire collection, directed by Karl Freund, the master of atmospheric horror (but just like in the Mummy, scene that will stay with you in your nightmares is all too brief). Devil Doll is a personal favorite, a perfect example of Tod Browning's trend of thematically re-making his silent classics (as is Mark of the Vampire, a sort of re-make of London After Midnight). the premise is hilarious, following the basic plot points of the Unholy Three: criminal (Lionel Barrymore) disguises self as an elderly woman and operates a sham store as a front to later rob his/her customers. while never remotely close to believable (the "scientific" explanations of shrinking people are laughable by design), it's such a curious oddity that you'll want to watch it again and again. Mark of the Vampire (with another great performance by Lionel Barrymore) and Doctor X (love Fay Wray in those early Technicolor horror films) are also great inclusions in the set. the other two are fun to have, although honestly I don't expect to play them that often when I have the others to choose from (the Return of Dr. X is interesting as Humphrey Bogart's rare horror role, but that's the extent of it).


since none of these have been available on DVD before, this is a welcome addition to any classic horror collection, even if you have the VHS. the image quality is fantastic on most of them; Doctor X is understandably the most worn due to the early Technicolor; the Mask of Fu Manchu is the only one i recall with noticeable visual and audio deterioration, but for the 30's these are still all excellent prints. for less than $5 per movie, this is a premium release at a budget price.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just got my two replacement DVDs for the set and everything looks great. And about a week ago, I received the 5 free Superman posters (reproducing the first four Superman movie posters with Reeve and the new Superman Returns). Terrific looking, almost indistinguishable from the originals. What a great bargain this set is.

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Recently got the Rodgers & Hammerstein set from amazon.com, it was on sale for about $50 and it was a great bargain, it has 12 discs and in addition to the main 6 titles, it also includes both versions of Oklahoma!, the 1962 remake of State Fair and Fritz Lang's 1934 film Liliom, said to be based on the play that inspired Carousel.


So that's 8 different movies for about $50, or about $6 each! =D

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  • 1 month later...

Was over at Costco today and saw they had four new boxsets featuring the above stars, under the heading Columbia Screen Legends Collection. Each star gets three films. The good thing is that each set is selling at Costco for $19.99, which is far less than the $65 to $75 street price to get all three titles in each set.


What caught my eye was what was written on the back of the box sets, that each film is listed as "Mastered in High Definition." I don't know if that is the case, because the covers of the actual DVD state differently at times.


The extra features, what there is of them, are the same as in previous DVD editions.


Here is how the sets break down:


Rita Hayworth:

Gilda (listed as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video")

The Lady from Shanghai (listed as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video")

Pal Joey (no mention of any manstering or remastering)


Humphrey Bogart:

In A Lonely Place (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video" and "remastered in High Definition)

Dead Reckoning (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video" and "remastered in High Definition)

Sahara (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video")


James Stewart:

Anatomy of a Murder (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video") (also on the box it says widescreen, but the DVD says the correct aspect of 1:33 to 1 for this film).

Bell, Book, and Candle (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video")

The Man from Laramie (listed on the individidual DVD as "Digitally Mastered Audio & Video" and "Remastered in High Definition)


Glenn Ford:


I didn't purchase this set, but I remember two of the titles were 3:10 to Yuma and Jubal. The third was also a western but I don't recall the title.


It would take someone with a HD setup and the previous DVD releases of these titles to state whether or not there is a difference.


But for the price, it is still a bargain.

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I don't mean to sound too cynical here but I fear the reason we occasionally see some boxed sets at super low prices is just because the video companies want to make a fast buck now and know that many people will be buying these titles again once they've switched to a high-definition format (Blu-Ray or HD-DVD).


With a lot of the best-known titles that are likely to be among the first of the classics to be put on high-def format, I may as well wait until the HD version.


But if you like having them in regular DVD then more power to you. :)

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I'm excited about "The Odd Couple" set with Tony Randell and Jack Klugman

set one : first season 24 episodes. (release date 4/24/07)11 1/2 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; audio commentary; bloopers; TV spots.


I remember staying up late just to watch this VERY funny show.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Lets name all the box sets we have. I have:

-Tennessee Williams

-Greta Garbo

-Bette Davis Vol 1

-Joan Crawford Vol 1

-Busby Berkeley Vol 1

-Judy Garland Signature

-The Chaplin Collection Vol 1

-Film Noir 1

-Film Noir 2

-Film Noir 3

-Bogie Vol 2

-That's Entertainment Trilogy

-Robert Mitchum

-Motion Picture Masterpieces

-Literary Classics

-Errol Flynn Vol 1

-Astaire & Rogers Ultimate Collection

-Classic Musicals: Broadway to Hollywood

-Classic Musicals: Cole Porter

-Taylor and Burton

-Clark Gable Vol 1

-Marx Bros Collection

-Tough Guys

-Preston Sturges Collection

-Warner Bros Gangsters

-Controversial Classics Vol 1

-Controversial CLassics Vol 2

-Forbidden Hollywood Vol 1

-Cary Grant Signature

-Alfred Hitchcock Signature

-Classic Comedies Collection

-Cary Grant Box Set (Sony)

-Marilyn Monroe 80th Anniversary Collection

-Alice Faye Collection

-Shirley Temple Ultimate Collection

-Jayne Mansfield

-The Godfather Collection

-James Dean Complete Collection

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I haven't seen them online, either, not even on Costco's website. I wonder if it is something done special for Costco. When I boght them about a few weeks ago, I saw them in the Burbank store but not in the Los Feliz Costco. Then last weekend, I did see them at the second store, so they are likely in all the Costco stores. If I can remember, I will get the Costco item number for you next time I go there and then you can call your local store first to see if they have them.

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> That'll be years from now. You have to understand

> that VHS just became obsolete in 2005, so standard

> dvds aren't goin anywhere soon.


Actually, standard DVDs needn't go anywhere at all even after a high-definition format becomes standard. Unlike the switch from VHS to DVD, we'll still be able to use old DVDs with high-definition players, as they will be "backward compatible".


And, yes, it may take a few years still, but that's exactly how long I can probably go with just a rental. If the prospect of high-definition wasn't so near in the future, I might buy rather than rent a lot of these titles... :)

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I hope they make more of the sets using the slimcases for each DVD that they are now doing for TV box sets. It'll save so much bookcase room. I've got half a bookshelf taken up by Shirley Temple films alone, and there's more of her Fox films to come!

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