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10 Favorite Releases on DVD of Classic Films in 2006


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Here's a chance for you to list your favorite releases from 2006:

 

Mine are:

 

1. Superman Ultimate Collection (14 DVDs encompassing the 4 Reeve films, George Reeves Superman and the Mole Men, the new Superman Returns, the Donner cut of Superman II, all the Superman Fleischer cartoons, and more, plus an offer for five free Superman reproduction posters).

 

2. The James Bond Ultimate Editions vols. 1-4 (all 20 films remastered with better picture and incredible sound).

 

3. The Astaire and Rogers Ultimate Collectors Edition (the one featuring all of the films in one box, plus reproductions of campaign manuals, a bonus CD of songs from the films, photo cards, and an offer for four free A&R poster repros).

 

4. The Busby Berkeley Collection (the great musicals, plus a bonus DVD of the popular numbers from the films, plus a few from films that didn't get in this collection).

 

5. John Wayne/John Ford Film Collection (contains Special editions of The Searchers and Stagecoach, among other films, plus a repro of The Searchers comic book)

 

6. The Frank Capra Collection - Some of his best (It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and You Can';t Take It With You, and also includes American Madness and a documentary on Capra, as well as a very nice booklet)

 

7. Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection vol. 2 (the 3 versions of the Maltese Falcon is reason enough to be happy, but it also includes All Through the Night, Passafe to Marseille, Across the Pacific, and Action in the North Atlantic).

 

8. Forbidden Hollywood vol. 1 (special applause for restoring Baby Face and including Waterloo Bridge)

 

9. The Films of Preston Sturges (contains Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels and 5 others) (but a major disappointment is that there is no commentary or any special features).

 

10. Star Wars (okay, SW IV: A New Hope) restoring the original theatrical release to DVD

 

with a special nod to:

 

11. Looney Tunes Golden Collection vol. 4 (love these classic WB cartoons)

 

12. Adventures of Superman - The Second Season through the Sixth Season (the first season was released in 2005) - It's great to have the complete series on DVD now.

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1. Busby Berkeley - Taking the depression out of the Depression; this set featuring some of Mr. Berkeley's Warner Bros. treasures is a delight (if only they'd included the final Gold Diggers movie). With plenty of extras: cartoons, newsreels, radio programs, featurettes.

2. Greta Garbo - Luxury in a box; I treasure the idea that I have Garbo at my fingertips now. Includes a documentary on the Swedish Sphinx.

3. Citizen Kane - Robert Ebert's audio commentary is priceless; this alone would make the set worthwhile.

4. The Wizard of Oz - This three disk set is loaded with extras. Tornado outtakes? I'm sooo there!

5. La Belle et la Bete - Gorgeous transfer of Cocteau's enchanting film. Supplemental material includes a present-day trip to the locales.

6. The Red Shoes - I've always wanted to watch this Powell/Pressburger gem alongside Moira Shearer. The audio commentary allows me this privilege.

7. Brief Encounter - David Lean brings Rachmaninoff... er, I mean, Noel Coward to the screen. I've seen it many times and haven't grown weary of it yet.

8. Singin' in the Rain - Great extras, including musical scenes from earlier movies that used the songs featured in this film; and a document on the Freed unit that has lots of great outtakes and material I'd never seen before.

9. Amarcord - I've always loved watching Fellini's fanciful memories of growing up in Rimini; and this set has some great interviews with the stars in later years. It's swell to catch up with Gradisca (Magali No?l) again.

10. Le Notti di Bianche - This issue from the Criterion Collection tugs at my heart.

 

For DVD design, I have to mention Sunset Boulevard. The menues and seques to each link is beautifully done. Love the map of Hollywood, which links us to information on hot spots from the movie.

 

I have a pile of DVDs which I haven't watched yet. I'm betting some will be worthy of the top ten. For instance, I'm looking forward to Jacques Tati's Playtime, which has a second disk of extras.

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Hi, Jack,

 

Actually, I was referring to DVDs that were released in 2006, not before. A look back at this present year. That being the case, what alternate choices would you make since your #2 through 8 and 10 were released before 2006.? (Amazon is a great place to verify release date.)

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Here are my favorite releases for 2006:

 

ASTAIRE-ROGERS ULTIMATE COLLECTION

MOTION PICTURE MASTERPIECES

FILM NOIR VOL 3

KING AND I (SE)

BETTE DAVIS VOL 2

BETTY GRABLE COLLECTION

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (SE)

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (John Ford)

MALTESE FALCON (SE)

FLOWER DRUM SONG (SE)

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in no particular order, the best DVDs of 2006 for me were:

 

Ten Commandment's 50th Anniversary Edition - similar to Warner's great treatment of Ben Hur and the Wizard of Oz, this included the 1923 silent version along with the 1956 version. Paramount deserves additional praise for including extras on the silent version, something Warner didn't do on theirs--and all for a fraction of that price!

 

Double Indemnity - it's always a treat when a great film gets the treatment it deserves. although the remake on the 2nd disc may be somewhat disposable if you're not a fan of the 70's, it's still better to include it in its entirety for the context.

 

Beyond the Rocks - i've been anticipating this ever since i first heard the film was rediscovered. after seeing it in the theatre, i wasn't disappointed at all with the edition on DVD. this is everything a DVD release should be, especially with the Delicious Little Devil thrown in (you can see i'm a fan of including whole movies as bonus features)

 

Gojira/Godzilla - at last the original Japanese version is available in the US, and its a dream come true! it's a crime the shots that were cut and the scenes that are missing from the US version. this is truly a beautiful masterpiece that must be seen, and it includes the US version for comparison.

 

Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection - Doctor X / The Return of Doctor X / Mad Love / The Devil Doll / Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu - Warner is once again the leader in classic films on DVD. these rarely-seen films are a journey into the bizarre; the Todd Browning films like Mark of the Vampire and like Devil Doll, as well as Mad Love, defy all plausibility, yet remain thoroughly entertaining again and again. plus, this set has extras on every film!

 

Bette Davis Collection Vol. 2 - the whole set was worth it just for the 2-disc edition of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. the rest of the set is a jumbled mix of gangster, comedy, civil war, and women's pictures, so it may not please everybody, but it has some great cartoons and other bonuses, including a documentary.

 

This Island Earth - very disappointing to not have any extra features--not even so much as chapter selections!--but despite being substandard, it's great to see this film back on the market. i have to include it here since it's one of my most watched DVDs from the past year.

 

Night of the Iguana - i first saw this on TCM it's quickly become one of my favorite movies. the vintage documentary is almost as amazing as the film itself. John Huston, 'nuff said.

 

The Maltese Falcon - as if you didn't see that coming from the last sentence? not only is this Huston's best film, it's arguably the best film anybody in the cast and crew ever worked on. while they could never compare, it includes 2 previous versions of the film among its bonus features. mentioned by itself because it stands alone, but best to get it in the Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection Vol. 2

 

and last, but not least:

 

TCM Archives: Forbidden Hollywood Collection Vol. 1 - if you're a reader of these boards, then you already know that all the TCM Archives sets are essential to your collection. if you didn't know that, then shame on you and go get the Lon Chaney, Buster Keaton, and Greta Garbo sets immediately. hoping for Volume 2's of all of them in the near future!

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Two sets that I left off my lists and are a must for film buffs are THE FRANK CAPRA COLLECTION and PRESTON STURGES set. Both sets are beautifully package with multiple films by each director and the Capra set even comes with a deluxe book.

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1. Pandora's Box. I no longer have this to post in "what needs to be on DVD" threads.

 

2. Busby Berkely Collection. Fantastic. I can watch these over and over again.

 

3. Superman Serials. Great presentation on these amazing serials.

 

4. Hollywood Legends of Horror. I'm just glad to see at least one Lee Tracy movie on DVD.

 

5. Godzilla. Far, far better than the US version.

 

6. Forbidden Hollywood.

 

I can't think of what else I've bought this year. I'm sure there are others though.

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My Picks:

1. The John Ford Collection

2. The John Wayne - John Ford Collection

3. Miracle on 34th Street

4. Tough Guys - Warner Bros. Collection

5. Fodbidden Hollywood Collection

 

The films selected in the Ford ( only ) collection were not the best, but all in both Fprd sets needed a commentary for all of the films. An added treat to the newly releaded version of " Miracle " was Maureen O' hara's comments.

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> If I could afford it, I know one that would be on

> this list for sure would be the 50 DVD Janus

> Collection. Maybe in my dreams (lol, or if Costco

> gets it because nobody can afford to buy it as it is

> now).

 

I'm not sure if it's accurate, but I remember reading somewhere (EW?) that the DVDs included in the 50-DVD Janus set are totally without any extras. If this is the case, I'd much rather have the option to get them individually instead and have all the bells and whistles that come with them.

 

Also, I went ahead and ordered the book separately, it was only $65.

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1. Preston Sturges set

2. Frank Capra set

3. The Maltese Falcon (SE)

4. Stagecoach (SE)

5. Till the Clouds Roll By (finally rescued from public-domain hell)

6. Marlon Brando set

7. Double Indemnity (SE)

8. Seven Samurai (remastered)

9. Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition

10. Pandora's Box

 

Also a special mention for some movies that aren't classics but badly needed to be released/re-released on DVD: Blade Runner and Brazil in new anamorphic transfers, and Alfonso Cuaron's excellent Solo con tu Pareja from the Criterion Collection.

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