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    $59.94 $55.88 list($79.92)
    1. Controversial Classics Collection
    $97.49 $94.99 list($129.99)
    2. Star Trek The Original Series
    $83.99 list($119.99)
    3. The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (The
    $112.46 $86.91 list($149.95)
    4. The Complete Prisoner Megaset
    $59.96 $39.99 list($79.95)
    5. Victory at Sea
    $49.99 $34.99
    6. The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection
    $29.24 $28.85 list($38.99)
    7. Hogan's Heroes - The Complete
    $48.24 list($68.92)
    8. The Complete James Dean Collection
    $11.24 $9.28 list($14.98)
    9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
    $26.24 $19.93 list($34.98)
    10. La Dolce Vita (2-Disc Collector's
    $56.21 $40.79 list($74.95)
    11. John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist/
    $97.49 $80.00 list($129.99)
    12. Star Trek The Original Series
    $170.96 $113.12 list($189.95)
    13. Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Megaset
    $18.89 list($26.99)
    14. East of Eden (Two-Disc Special
    $19.49 list($29.99)
    15. Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum
    $18.74 $9.34 list($24.99)
    16. To Catch a Thief
    $14.98 $9.96 list($19.97)
    17. The Americanization of Emily
    $22.49 $14.00 list($29.99)
    18. A Hard Day's Night
    $11.24 $9.30 list($14.98)
    19. The Grapes of Wrath
    $179.96 $138.76 list($199.95)
    20. The Art of Buster Keaton

    1. Controversial Classics Collection (Advise and Consent / The Americanization of Emily / Bad Day at Black Rock / Blackboard Jungle / A Face in the Crowd / Fury / I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang)
    list price: $79.92
    our price: $59.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNKQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 400
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Otto Preminger expanded his vision in the 1960s with a whole series of ambitious, expansive dramas with huge casts and big themes. Advise and Consent (1962), an examination of deal making, party politics, and congressional diplomacy in Washington's legislative halls (based on the novel by Allen Drury), is one of his best. Preminger broke the blacklist with his previous film, Exodus, and it rings through in this drama about a controversial nominee for secretary of state (a confident, stately Henry Fonda) accused of being a Communist. The nomination process becomes the center ring of the political circus, with fidgety accuser Burgess Meredith in the spotlight; devious, silver-tongued Charles Laughton cracking the whip as a southern senator with a grudge against Fonda; and party whip Walter Pidgeon lining up votes behind the scenes. Arm twisting and diplomatic hardball turns to perjury and blackmail, and a melodramatic twist gives this lesson in party politics a salacious soap opera dimension.

    With The Americanization of Emily (1964), screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Marty) sinks his satirical fangs into a story of an American naval officer (James Garner) selected to be the first victim at the invasion of Normandy. Julie Andrews plays a prim, British war widow who falls for him. Cynical in tone, the story becomes an interesting collision of manipulative interests and renewed life, the same formula that worked so well in Chayefsky's scripts for Network and Hospital.

    One of the first Hollywood films to deal openly with white racism toward Japanese Americans during World War II, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) (directed by action maestro John Sturges, The Great Escape) stars Spencer Tracy as a one-armed stranger named MacReedy, who arrives in the tiny town of Black Rock on a hot day in 1945. Seeking a hotel room and the whereabouts of an ethnic Japanese farmer named Komoko, MacReedy runs smack into a wall of hostility that escalates into serious threats. In time it becomes apparent that Komoko has been murdered by a local, racist chieftain, Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), who also plans on dispensing with MacReedy. Tracy's hero is forced to fight his way past Smith's goons (among them Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin) and sundry allies (Anne Francis) to keep alive, setting the stage for memorable suspense crisply orchestrated by Sturges. Casting is the film's principal strength, however: Tracy, the indispensable icon of integrity, and Ryan, the indispensable noir image of spiritual blight, are as creatively unlikely a pairing as Sturges's shotgun marriage of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven.

    Novelist Evan Hunter burst America's postwar bubble when he described an inner-city school terrorized by switchblade-wielding juvenile delinquents. Director-screenwriter Richard Brooks's 1955 adaptation of Blackboard Jungle still packs a tremendous wallop (even if it was shot mostly on the back lot). A forerunner of Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, this black-and-white classic--set to Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock"--is part exposé, part melodrama, part public-service announcement. Glenn Ford, at his slow-to-rile best, plays Richard Dadier, an incoming English teacher at North Manual High School. An idealist who knows how to handle himself in a dark alley, Dadier stands his ground and earns the begrudging respect of school thugs led by Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier. Anne Francis plays Ford's especially vulnerable wife; Richard Kiley is the timid math teacher with the priceless jazz-record collection; Louis Calhern and John Hoyt are among the more cynical North Manual High veterans. See if you can ID Jamie Farr and director Paul Mazursky as gang members. The film was nominated for four Oscars.

    More timely now, perhaps, than when it was first released in 1957, Elia Kazan's overheated political melodrama Face in the Crowd explores the dangerous manipulative power of pop culture. It exposes the underside of Capra-corn populism, as exemplified in the optimistic fable of grassroots punditry Meet John Doe. In Kazan's account, scripted by Budd Schulberg, the common-man pontificator (Andy Griffith) is no Gary Cooper-style aw-shucks paragon. Promoted to national fame as a folksy TV idol by radio producer Patricia Neal, Griffith's Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes turns out to be a megalomaniacal rat bastard. The film turns apocalyptic as Rhodes exploits his power to sway the masses, helping to elect a reactionary presidential candidate. The parodies of television commercials and opinion polling were cutting edge in their day (Face in the Crowd was the Network of the Eisenhower era), and there are some startling, near-documentary sequences shot on location in Arkansas. An extraordinary supporting cast (led by Walter Matthau and Lee Remick) helps keep the energy level high, even when the satire turns shrill and unpersuasive in the final reel.

    Fury is tough stuff from director Fritz Lang (M), making his first American film with this 1936 story of an innocent man (Spencer Tracy) who escapes a lynch mob and then orchestrates his apparent murder at their hands. Tracy is superb, and the film is uncompromising, until studio interference takes some of the wind out of Lang's sails right at the end. But as the portrait of a character who comes to reflect the destiny he is trying to avoid, this is still essential Lang and a pre-noir classic.

    I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) is one of the toughest and most uncompromising movies to evercome out of Hollywood. Paul Muni stars as a regular Joe, just back from World War I, who is unjustly convicted of a crime and sentenced to 10 years of bruisingly unfair treatment on a chain gang. Even a successful escape can't shake the spectre of the chains, nor the amazingly fatalistic twists the screenplay has in store. This picture could only have been made at Warner Bros., where social-justice movies flourished in the 1930s and criticism of judicial systems and prisons was sanctioned. Muni's weird acting style (he was recently off Scarface) somehow fits the film's furious tone, and director Mervyn LeRoy--as in his earlier Little Caesar--was dexterous enough to build the action to an unforgettable ending. It's a film that filters the American Dream through Depression realities and noirish pessimism (with a streak of pre-Code sexual frankness--note the one-night "friend" Muni makes the night of his escape). This one holds up, folks; it's a stunner. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Adequate boxed set
    Samuel Goldwyn once said, "If you want to send a message, try Western Union."This collection of message movies from the early '30s to the mid '60s shows just how right the old mogul was.

    In most cases, the messages have aged badly.Hiller's "The Americanization of Emily" is a pathetic attempt to portray World War II as a sham, while the conciliatory pacifism of Otto Preminger's "Advise and Consent" seems naive now that the Cold War has ended.(Preminger's treatment of Gay themes is silly and superficial, especially when compared to superior British efforts of that time such as "Victim.")Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd" is deeply condescending -- the people of Piggott, Arkansas, have never quite forgiven the director for turning their perfectly pleasant small town into a gallery of sweating grotesques -- and its satire of mass media was hackneyed even in the 1950s.Richard Brooks's "Blackboard Jungle" is a squaresville expose of juvenile delinquency disguised under hip rock-and-roll music.

    I've always felt that John Sturgis's "Bad Day at Black Rock" is a much-overrated film, though I confess I enjoy Andre Previn's dramatic score; the film's message against racism, however, is surprisingly feeble, especially given that the film's only nonwhite character is a mute, grinning railroad porter.And who today seriously favors lynch law, the target of Fritz Lang's "Fury"?(Again, this is a movie about a racial issue -- lynching -- in which nonwhite characters are never granted a voice.)Oddly, the oldest film in this set is the only one that still packs a punch: Mervyn LeRoy's "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" helped put an end to this brutal form of incarceration.Now that the chain gang is making a comeback, perhaps this film should, too.

    But even when the messages don't work, the films themselves usually do -- with the exception of "Emily," this collection's one real dud.Each DVD features a transfer that ranges from merely adequate ("Black Rock," "Fury") to superb ("Advise and Consent"), with an original theatrical trailer and, in all but one case, an audio commentary.(The commentaries come from film scholars or directors, and as such are far more interesting than an average gabfest.)Perhaps to break the monotony, "A Face in the Crowd" foregoes audio commentary in favor of a brief documentary, comprised mostly of interviews with the aging cast.A few of the DVDs also offer period theatrical shorts.

    This is hardly Criterion quality, but for the money it's not a bad value.

    Warner Brothers home video department just keeps topping their previous exceptional achievments.

    Here we have SEVEN magnificent, acclaimed feature films from the 1930s to the 1960s that still have the power to reach the "gut" of the viewer and be profound and provocative. Of course, each film is available individually, but the value of buying this boxed set brings the price to around $8 per film. Unreal.

    Any serious cinema afficiando owes it to him or herself to buy this.

    Pre-release reviews have praised the exceptional transfers (typical of WB), and I cannot imagine anyone not being blown away by this boxed set of incomparable films.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Selection of Socially Sensitive Cinema
    Warner Home Video has done it again.Their "Film Noir Classics"
    collection was an excellent quintet of seminal noir movies, and
    this collection is an equally well-considered compilation of
    socially conscious movies, movies that challenged the American
    conscience, and helped effect politial and social change.

    This collection is also a good introduction to the work of
    a number of prominent directors, including Otto Preminger,
    Elia Kazan, and Fritz Lang.

    I must quibble with a previous reviewer who stated that
    BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK was a black-and-white movie.It
    is, in fact, in color.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Bad Day At Black Rock" on DVD?!?!? Finally!!!
    I've been waiting for years! My first chance watching this was renting the Criterion Laserdisc 500 years ago or so when the dinosaurs still walked the Earth (we needed the larger Laserdiscs to fend ourselves from the dinosaurs). This is a black and white, widescreen (they better not crop this thing) noir/mystery with great wit and an edge. Spencer Tracy rocks the house in BDaBR as the one-armed man. Gotta love it. Great twists, lovely female co-star. If you can't afford to go to film school, buy this pack of films and take notes (I'm only familiar with "Blackboard Jungle" - but the rest are supposed to be classics as well, especially Chain Gang, and Fury is German filmmaker Fritz Langs first American film, also with Spencer Tracy) - buy Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in The West" too since that movie is a class in filmmaking in itself. Oh yeah, if you're gonna skip film school you should probably buy some books from these guys too. And get some popcorn, ice cream and beverages too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks George!
    Vice President of Warner Home Video's classics catalogue, George Feltenstein, recently promised us this fantastic collection of films and here they are way sooner than expected! While individually they have very little to do with one another, aside from their controversial response upon initial release of course, they are all a very worthwhile addition to the collections of serious film lovers. ... Read more

    2. Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete First Season
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $97.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002I831S
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 163
    Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    In 1965, Star Trek set out to boldly go where no series had gone before, beginning a three-year mission that led to a franchise that would last decades.Here at last is the first season of the original series all in one box, 29 episodes in their original broadcast order.That means starting with "The Man Trap," and soon followed by "Where No Man Has Gone Before," the second pilot filmed and the first one starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk.The many highlight episodes include "Balance of Terror" and "Errand of Mercy" (introducing, respectively, the Romulans and the Klingons), the two-part "The Menagerie" (which recycled footage from the original pilot, "The Cage," which featured Christopher Pike as the captain of the Enterprise and is not included in this set), "Space Seed" (introducing Ricardo Montalban's Khan character), and "The City of the Edge of Forever" (written by sci-fi giant Harlan Ellison and considered by many the best-ever episode of the series).

    The first-season DVD set is supplemented by 80 minutes of featurettes incorporating 2003-04 interviews with Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, other cast members, and producers, and some 1988 footage of Gene Roddenberry.The longest (24 minutes) featurette, "The Birth of a Timeless Legacy," examines the two pilot episodes and the development of the crew.Slightly shorter are "To Boldly Go... Season One," which highlights key episodes, and "Sci-Fi Visionaries," which discusses the series' great science fiction writers (most famously in "The City of the Edge of Forever").Shatner shows off his love of horses in "Life Beyond Trek," and, more interestingly, Nimoy debunks various rumors in "Reflections of Spock."As they've done for many of the feature-film special editions, Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda provide a pop-up text commentary on four of the episodes filled with history, trivia, and dry wit.It's the first commentary of any kind for a Star Trek TV show, but an audio commentary is still overdue.The technical specs are mostly the same as other Trek TV series--Dolby 5.1, English subtitles--but with the welcome addition of the episode trailers.The plastic case is an attempt to replicate some of the fun packaging of the series' European DVD releases, but it's a bit clunky, and the paper sleeve around the disc case seems awkward and crude.Still, the set is a vast improvement both in terms of shelf space and bonus features compared to the old two-episode discs, which were released before full-season boxed sets became the model for television DVDs. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    I must say, that time travel was not required for me to anticipate this release of the original STAR TREK on DVD boxed set format... In the past I collected all 79 episodes individually on VHS format and enjoyed them all.. I love the show, its movies and "THE NEXT GENERATION" . I knew however that someday the ORIGINAL show would come to DVD as a boxed set.

    MY PATIENCE HAS PAID OFF... I did not make the mistake of buying the 2per episode disks for several reasons.. 1. I knew that thsi show would join the others as season sets. 2. The packaging of the 2per disks was, to say the least HORRID.. 3.Cost economy... yes, I am not a cheap skate but i prefer more for less.. and last.. 4. SPACE- the limited frontier.. on my shelves for many disks when my TNG collections only takes up about 12" or so..

    WELL, as for the show itself.. the FIRST and SECOND seasons are very well written storys, bad effects aside.. THE THIRD season was not quite up to snuff, but i still LOVE MY TREK...

    GO OUT AND BUY BUY BUY... This set will sure to please..
    AND NOT TO FORGET THE BEST PART---Special Features...
    I fully enjoy learning all about movies, and TV shows i grew up to love..


    5-0 out of 5 stars The true final frontier
    Even with five spinoffs,ten movies and nearly 38 years of history,The original Star Trek is the one that started it all and continue to inspire millions of fans.
    The plot was simple, in the future a starship goes out on a five year mission to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and civilizations.Led by the heroic Captain James T. Kirk (willian Shatner) along with his Vulcan first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).The other crew members include Dr.Leonard McCoy (the late DeForest Kelley),Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott(James Doohan), Helmsman Hikaru Sulu (George Takai),Communications officer Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Yoaman Janice Rand (Grace Lee whitney who would only last half the first season).
    Despite the cheap looking special effects and set pieces,ST was a mixture of action,humor,drama and morality tales.A far cry from other science fiction shows airing at the time such as Lost In Space.Classic first season episodes includes The Naked Time,The Enemy Within, The Menagerie ,The Conscience of the King, Balance of Terror(the Romulan's debut), Space Seed(KHAN!!!), Arena,This Side of Paradise,The Devil in the Dark, and the greatest Trek episode of all time, The City on the Edge of Forever.
    The new season DVD set includes extras not included in the first wave sets which consisted of two episodes on forty discs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally!
    I've been waiting for this for MANY years! I know fans who bought the earlier DVD's (2 episodes on one DVD) are upset but in fairness those came out before this whole trend of 'Series Box Sets' started. And yes I'm sure that there will be future compilations (Special Ultra Limited Edition, etc) but I've always just wanted one thing: to have the entire series at my disposal to pop in a favorite episode whenever I wanted and HERE IT IS. I'm so psyched!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this series!
    Star Trek is my favorite T.V. series of all time. I'm so glad that they're finally releasing it in box sets. I avoided buying the previous releases because at $20 for each 2 episode disc, I would have felt more guilt than joy everytime I bought one. I feel bad for the people that purchased those. That was really a greedy money grubbing move that Paramount made. SOB's, It always really pissed me off. This box set is also too expensive, but they know we'll buy them. It's like health care. You have to have it, so they take advantage of you and charge as much as they possibly can, making sure that they can make themselves richer and richer at the expense of us, the common man.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Yeah yeah, I "know" I should have waited...
    but knowing Paramount, they could of sat on the release the boxed sets for who knows how long. It could have been atleast until 2006 (40th Anniversary) until they decided to release them as boxed sets since they could have easily continued to gouge buyers into buying the 2 episode per disc set -- why shouldn't they? they control the market?...and they probably will still do it. After everyone has bought the boxed sets they will release them all again remastered in High Definition. Maybe, with the infamous blooper reel as a bonus (unless they oh, so generously decide to release it in the upcoming season 2 and 3 boxed sets -- but I doubt it. Frankly, life's too short and I didn't want to wait for the boxed sets. I've enjoyed them since their release 5 years ago.

    In any case, I won't be re-buying the new sets. The "bonuses" seem a little thin and desparate....probably will be some interviews of some of the supporting staff that were loosely involved (many of the important guys have passed on any way)in the original series making some minor comment on obscure incidents playing on the nostalgiac thirst of the hard-core fan.

    In fact I can see Paramount re-re-releasing the series again (the 40th anniversary set?) with FULL LENGTH commentaries for every episode (e.g. Sally Kellerman, Willim Koenig, Dianne Muldar, William Ware Theiss etc.) by some of the actors actors and guests stars -- ONLY after everyone has bought the boxed sets.

    However had Paramount been more fair about how they released the DVD's,and the way they treat loyal fans, I probably would have, for the sake of "completeness" continued to support their products (TNG, DS9, Voyager, and likely Enterprise etc.) but I'm not -- mainly because they don't deserve my business and they won't. In fact I generally BOYCOTT Paramount DVDs.

    As Scotty once said: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame me"...and I'm not about to be fooled again.

    See you later paramount suckers! ... Read more

    3. The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (The Definitive Edition)
    list price: $119.99
    our price: $83.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00068NVMK
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2422
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    The complete first season of Rod Serling's classic, groundbreaking series exploring the fantastic and the frightening. ... Read more

    4. The Complete Prisoner Megaset
    list price: $149.95
    our price: $112.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005NKCQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1986
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    If a top-level spy decided he didn't want to be a spy anymore, could he just walk into HQ and hand in his resignation? With all that classified knowledge in his head, would he be allowed to become a civilian again, free to go about his life? The answer, according to the stylish, brilliantly conceived 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, is a resounding no. In fact, instead of receiving a gold watch for his years of faithful service, our hero (played by Patrick McGoohan) is followed home to his London flat and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a picturesque village where everyone is known by a number. Where is it? Why was he brought here? And, most important, how does he leave?

    As we learn in Episode 1, Number 6 can't leave. The Village's "citizens" might dress colorfully and stroll around its manicured gardens while a band plays bouncy Strauss marches, but the place is actually a prison. Surveillance is near total, and if all else fails, there's always the large, mysterious white ball that subdues potential escapees by temporarily smothering them. Who runs the Village? An ever-changing Number 2, who wants to know why Number 6 resigned. If he'd only cooperate, he's told, life can be made very pleasant. "I've resigned," he fumes. "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own." So sets the stage for the ultimate battle of wills: Number 6's struggle to retain his privacy, sanity, and individuality against the array of psychological and physical methods the Village uses to break him.

    So does he ever escape? And does he ever find out who Number 1 is? "Questions are a burden to others," the Village saying goes. "Answers, a prison for oneself." Within this complete 17-episode set (which contains the entire series), all is revealed. Or is it? --Steve Landau ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I AM NOT A NUMBER, I AM A BOX SET OF DVDs
    Well not exactly Patrick McGoohan's opening from The Prisoner, but it did catch your attention :-). Seriously here they are, all 17 episodes plus the Prisoner Video Companion originally offered on MCI Home Video now on DVD compliments of our good friends at A&E. What's nicer is the episodes are arranged in what the fans believe to be the chronological order of the episodes in terms of Number 6's time in the Village rather than order of original airdate (although some of them are in airdate order). As a hint at this look carefully at "The General" and "A, B and C". Both star Colin Gordon as Number 2, but in the opening for "A, B and C" he says "I am number 2" rather than "The new number 2". Also this set contains something released on video previously but only in England, a special edition of the 5th episode of the series, "The Chimes of Big Ben". Definitely the best of McGoohan's 3 British Secret Agent types series, but also the quintessential scifi series as well. By the way, a special debt of gratitude to A&E Homevideo. When this series first came out on VHS on MPI Homevideo in 1990, they made a muff in the episode "Checkmate". In the "Where am I" segment of the opening sequence it started with McGoohan doing it with the fore mentioned Colin Gordon even though Peter Wyngarde played Number 2 in this episode. By the third line "That would be telling" the tape was ok. I can't speak for the new A&E VHS copy, but on these DVDs the muff has NOT recurred. Which means either A&E acquired a better copy of the episode to restore on DVD or someone told them about the flub from 11 years ago. So kudos to A&E Video for to repairing this decade old "blooper". This 10 pack is much better buy than the 5 sets of 2 DVDs individually. Get it now, return to the Village and escape at your own pace.

    4-0 out of 5 stars For die-hard fans only, but for us, it's a treasure
    Honestly, if you're not a true fan of the series, I can't imagine why you would want to shell out this kind of money to own the whole set. But as a former member of The Prisoner Appreciation Society, I think it's a great collector's item, and is good for introducing the series to friends who have never seen it before or who only saw it in passing. The series is as addictive and thought-provoking as ever, though having the whole collection to watch back-to-back lets you find lots of continuity errors that you were likely to miss the first time around... and the three or four really BAD episodes stand out all the more when you're watching them all in sequence and are focused on them.

    As for the DVDs themselves, the audio quality of the episodes is what you might expect from a 1967 TV series (the difference between the audio of the shows and the modern-day interview is pronounced), the menu screens are attractive and in a style which fits the series well. The bonus features are a little scant. The "alternate version" of Chimes is so barely different it isn't that interesting, the Trivia Quiz was lifted right off the Appreciation Society's website, the trailers would make you NOT want to watch the episodes, but the couple of extra interviews are pretty cool.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for Prisoner fans
    I myself did not think the transfer was all that bad. In fact I think it looks good on my 61" Sony and Sony DVD.
    I started watching the Prisoner when it first released in the US as summer replacement. I have been hooked ever since.
    Yes it is about a spy or "Secret Agent" who resigns in obvious disgust and is kidnapped, taken to a very mysterious, secret and very secure place known as "The Village". It is also about his attempts at escape and other intrigues. Leading edge spy stuff for its time.
    To appreciate The Prisoner you must go beneath the surface at what The Prisoner really means. The series is full of symbolism and social commentary while The Vilage is referred to as "The model for a new world order" by one of the constantly changing #2's.
    The series blew everyones mind in the late 60's when it aired. I knew many people who could not get it and never watched more than one or two episodes. The die-hard fans hung in there and got our own minds blown in "Fall Out" the final episode.
    After years and careful noticeof the world and politics and social upheavals The Prisoner now makes sense immediately to people who are just now seeing it for the first time - like my 22 year old daughter. she had it figured out (correctly) by the 3rd DVD.
    Anyway, this is an important series and TV's first true masterpiece. It is a work or art, it is a social commentary and it is very prophetic and more relevant than ever.
    I love this set. I enjoyed the bonus tracks. To those who think the bonus tracks are lacking, remember this is a TV show produced in 1967. This is a veritable gold mine of bonus material.
    After seeing all 17 episodes again in order, sharing them with my daughter had brought me to even new revelations about the series and the genius behind them.
    My daughter thinks the special effects and action sequences are not realistic - BUT be reminded again, this is a TV series from 1967.
    Could The Prisoner be remade and updated? Perhaps, but I would have a fear of losing the message. This series was created in an era of relative innocence when most people trusted the government. This is one of the things thsat made the series so remarkable.
    Here we are 37 years after production and we are STILL discussing it;s significance. While I might agree with my daughter that modern production values and updated special effects woulc be a good spice to the series I would fear destroying the essence and the uniqueness.
    Mc Goohan had a degree of freedom when producing the series. Any newer production would most likely be polluted by attempts to make it more mass-market acceptable.
    The Prisoner is a sensitive work and a work of genius. Buy the DVD set and enjoy.

    3-0 out of 5 stars all-time great series, box set lacking...
    i want to say first off that i'm a huge prisoner fan. i loved the series from beginning to end for all that it is. this review will be only of the dvd box set.
    ok, the audio and video quality are fantastic. but here's my gripe: 10 discs for a 17 episode series? talk about being greedy! they could have easily had 4 episodes to a disc. even if it were 3 episodes per disc leaving the final disc chock full of extras that would nearly cut this set's size in half. speaking of which the extras in this set are nothing special. theres not even an interview with patrick mcgoohan!
    i'm lucky i got mine at a bargain or else i never would have bothered.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Archetype Prevails
    There are no greater television shows than "The Prisoner". Not ever. Perhaps shows such as "MASH" or "Twin Peaks" rise high enough to catch a glimpse of Patrick McGoohan's Big Idea racing off into the distance but they will never catch up. "The Prisoner" is one of the few works of art in the twentieth century that actually deserve to be called revolutionary. But, Patrick McGoohan, the show's creator and star, has no time whatsoever to rebel against things that lesser figures and would-be rebels wish to rebel against -stoking up the fires of their tiny egos. McGoohan means business and his series, "The Prisoner" rushes up to all of the Big Questions and grabs them by the neck. "The Prisoner" is a declared war against tyranny in all of its forms: sexual attraction, the lure of comfort, the facade of democratic politics, science, fundamentalist anti-science, conservatism, cheap liberal progressivism, group-think in any form at all including "individualism" (which is just another form of group-think),the ultimate prison which is one's self, and more. Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan himself, is absolutely relentless on his assault upon the Village which would keep him there against his will. And he desires to leave no matter what wholesome blandishments are offered to him. In that way, Number Six is a greater human being than most of us. He is more than a common human individual living out his life. He is an archetype. He can never quite escape but the octopoidal snares of the Village can never quite hold him. In that way, his story resembles the myth of Sisyphus. And yet Number Six is more than Sisyphus. I will not give the end of the series away but I will say that at the end Number Six comes to a true understanding of himself. The only good true understanding of one's self is if that understanding destroys the cycles. The strangest idea at the base of "The Prisoner" is the idea that morality itself, at its most secret heart, is the ultimate form of rebellion. Number Six has a devotion to pure justice, profound freedom, actual compassion ( as opposed to its sentimental counterfeits), and rigorous truth telling that is so extreme - more extreme even than the great Jewish prophets in the Bible - that he actually is an archetype, and not merely a single human being. Number One is the secret Archon that rules the Village. The Village is, of course, demon possessed, though the demons mostly reveal themselves as Angels of Light. Under Number One is paraded a grand series of Number Two's. They come and they go. Each one of them is yet one more attempt to seduce or brutalize Number Six into giving up his freedom. One of the strangest things about this series is that Patrick McGoohan's idea of freedom rejects both the dionysian and the apollonian as categories of human thought and endeavour. McGoohan believes there is a third way that carves its own path, disdainful of the sharp and controlled, fascist geometries of the apollonian and compassionately rejectfull of the oblivion and disintegration offered by the dionysian. No better show exists. I don't think the fifth grade schoolboy bullies who dominate Hollywood or the television studios could allow such a great work to be made or shown on television today. But that is both their fault and their impotence. The Number Two's come and go but the Archetype prevails. ... Read more

    5. Victory at Sea
    list price: $79.95
    our price: $59.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000AQS3X
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 729
    Average Customer Review: 3.16 out of 5 stars
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    A 26-episode World War II documentary, Victory at Sea is one of the most important series in the history of television. Made in 1952, the show was a huge success, winning many major awards and even spawning albums featuring the orchestral score by Richard Rodgers, best known for his musicals with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. Produced with the full cooperation of the U.S. Navy, each 26-minute program consists of black-and-white wartime film set to a narration by Leonard Graves. The two years leading up to America's entry into the war are dismissed in episode one, while the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor gets a show of its own, the raid depicted in a brilliantly edited montage that almost certainly contains "docu-drama" footage. Each episode contains at least one powerful stand-alone sequence in the tradition of Serge Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin), these action-suspense set-pieces giving the programs an urgent, surprisingly modern feel. Indeed, the emphasis is at least as much on entertainment as information, the factual content delivered in poetic narration, the score transforming the war into a more than usually serious Hollywood adventure. The documentaries are nothing if not wide-ranging, covering parts of the land war despite the title, and including everything from the Atlantic convoys and U-boat "Wolfpacks" to war in Alaska, the South Atlantic, and the Far East, the Pacific War, and the Fall of Japan. There is an attempt to include other nations--certainly the D-Day episode acknowledges the British far more than Saving Private Ryan--but inevitably the focus is on America's war.The very dated narration gives a fascinating insight into how America saw WWII in the early 1950s, while the dynamic cutting and often genuinely remarkable wartime footage make Victory at Sea still gripping today. Twenty years later, Granada's The World at War would become the definitive television WWII history, but this release offers a unique opportunity to see a series of great importance from the very early days of television. --Gary S. Dalkin ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    2-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for content but ZERO stars for TERRIBLE AUDIO MIX
    I loved the content. Other reviewers here have verbalized my feelings concerning the quality of the video. However, the sound mix is so poor that if you set the volume to an appropriate sound level for the very nice music you are completely unable to hear the voice of the narrator. Even if you have your finger on the volume control constantly you are unable to dynamically raise and lower the audio volume to try and hear the narrator without blasting your ear drums with the elevated music sound level. I would advise anyone buying this DVD set to consider it acceptable ONLY if you listen to it with a 5 channel speaker set up with a dedicated center channel (for speech, etc.) where you are able to individually raise and lower that channel of sound. Even then you may be astonished just how much boost the center channel is going to need compared with the other sound channels. Frankly, this DVD release needs to be redone as far as the audio is concerned! Other than that, the video is great....

    4-0 out of 5 stars Victory at Sea DVD Is Awesome
    I recently purchased this DVD and was very skeptical after reading all the comments about the sound track. However, I didn't find any issues with either the sound track or the narrative for all four volumes. I have a Panasonice DVD Player with the Dolby Digital,DTS Digital Surround and MPEG, and the music score by Richard Rogers is one of the reasons for buying this DVD. It is a " Must Have" for military history buffs. If you have a PC with a DVD/CD ROM Combination, you can use it to view this DVD and adjust the sound track to blend in with the narrative.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sound issues and the original
    I have the original soundtrack on LP, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Rogers himeself. It's my father's and needless to say, it does not get much play time for preservation sake. I also own both CDs "Victory at Sea" and "MORE Victory at Sea," (BMG Music 1992) both conducted by Robert Russel Bennett and contain slightly arraigned versions of the very familar complete soundtrack by the RCA Symphony Orchestra and is remixed in extremely good Dolby Surround. The original soundtrack is fairly clear and does sound a little tinny and was recorded in mono. (Unless it was a dual issue in both stereo and mono. I only have the mono.) While a properly mixed original soundtrack would sound great, IMHO, the Dolby version would sound even better. What I'm getting at is, it's not the soundtrack's fault this apparently sounds so bad. I really wanted to buy this, but I think I'll hold off and wait and see.

    1-0 out of 5 stars One star too many!
    What an unmitigated hustle this dvd collection turned out to be. Equal portions of venom and spite are hereby awarded to History Channel and NBC for this travesty. My 5.1 dts sound system did nothing to alleviate the worse than poor sound quality/balance issues. This legendary series and it's participants certainly deserve better than this quick and dirty rendition gives. Maybe the capital "H" seen in the lower right hand corner of the teevee screen actually stands for "hustle". I would gladly purchase a remastered and remixed set but for now am left with this doorstop.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good atmospheric and stirring stuff!
    I came across the soundtrack many years after first hearing snippets from it on the original T.V series of the same name.
    I was enthralled by the sheer vibrancy and 'now-ness' of this great piece of modern classical music. You can easily picture the great ships of both the American and Japanese fleets as they engage in the greatest sea battle of all time. The spinning, swooping aircraft as they play thier all important roles of hunter/killer.
    The evocation of individual men and women enjoying a rare respite from battle in some of the quieter passages, shore leave. All part of this amazingingly descriptive music. It will continue to be an important piece by sheer virtuosity of the skillful interplay of individual instruments producing an altogether sucessful blend of sombre, stirring and gentle, very easy to listen-to-again and again music. I cannot praise it enough! ... Read more

    6. The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection - His Favorite Moments from The Tonight Show (Vols. 1-3) (1962-1992)
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $49.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000068WS7
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 462
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Culled from 30 years of material, this collection of moments from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson contains some of most inspired bits of lunacy ever recorded. Whether cajoling with Hollywood's biggest stars or normal folk with special talents, Carson was a master of finding the right joke, with timing second to none. Along with bits of his opening monologues, skits, and early standup appearances from the likes of David Letterman and Eddie Murphy, there are many highlights with perhaps the perfect Carson guest--exotic animals that stole the show. This collection was released shortly after Carson's reign ended in 1992. Although most of the tapes from his first decade are lost, there are plenty of highlights from the '70s through the '90s. Also included is Carson's touching and historic "Final Show," which finds the host simply talking to his audience and showing highlights--or just the faces--from his years on the set. Although many followed--and a few have even succeeded--Carson's Midwest charm made him the king of TV in a period when America was defined by television.

    The DVD edition adds some superlative extras, including "Danger Johnny" segments from his first decade, short bits on the history of the show and the host, and more behind-the-scenes glances, including an intriguing way to watch the final show via unedited feeds from isolated studio cameras. Also included is the 1982 NBC special "Johnny Goes Home," which follows Carson on a tour of his rural Nebraska homeland, and a slightly edited version of the penultimate show, in which his last two guests, Robin Williams and Bette Midler, are on fire. These extras make the DVD, produced a decade after Carson left, a must-have piece of entertainment and pop history. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Man Behind the Desk
    In today's era of David Letterman and Jay Leno, younger generations should remember that Johnny Carson (along with his "Tonight Show" predecessors Jack Paar and Steve Allen) defined the talk-show format which made late-night television an enduring and immensely profitable enterprise. From 1962 to 1992, Carson reigned supreme as a comedian and broadcaster. Unlike Letterman and Leno, Johnny did his homework when it came to nightly conversation. No matter who sat on the couch, he remained an astute and observant host. "The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection" is an expanded three-DVD set of "Tonight Show" highlights selected by Johnny himself, with the welcome addition of his final two programs. The set also includes the 1982 NBC special "Johnny Goes Home" -- a nostalgic, affectionate look at Carson's return to his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. Loaded with extras (and some recently discovered film clips from the early 1960s), the DVD collection provides first-rate material at a reasonable price. If this set leaves you wanting more, the six-DVD "Timeless Moments" series is highly recommended -- allowing viewers to see previously unavailable Carson monologues, interviews and sketches in their entirety.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still the King!
    As one of the millions that sorely miss the wit and wisdom of Johnny Carson, I was especially pleased to receive this "best of" DVD collection. The three DVD's feature the best moments from the show - divided by decade - from the 60's through the 90's, and also include the complete second-to-last show (with Bette Midler and Robin Williams) and the final show, along with a documentary on Johnny I had never seen before. The remastering quality is great. There is a fun little short film called "Danger Johnny", and one of the most interesting things about the DVD's are the ISO CAMS, that allow you to pick the camera angles to view some of the programs. You can even view scenes from Johnny's perspective. The menu options are terrific, and the packaging very deluxe. If you are a fan of classic television, this is a great addition to your library - and I plan to send them as gifts to family members I know miss Johnny too.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
    I was disappointed with this set. It doesn't give you a sense of what made you love Johnny, really. There is minimal development of the material. A couple of gags would be OK, but gag after gag left me feeling empty. Maybe Johnny is not the right person to toast with snippets; his charm came from watching an entire show, or was built up over months, years. Likewise his skill as an interviewer is lost in the short clips. Had I known, I would have taken on a pass on this purchase. Furthermore,the production is rushed and uncreative.

    4-0 out of 5 stars There will never be another...
    Watching this set of dvds left me with a sense of melancholy and loss. Like spent youth and good times/people gone by. This will not... it cannot... ever happen again. Carson was a master of the Late Nite format in a very special time in our history. It was a time when true stars walked the Earth. Real S*T*A*R*S like Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, etc. would show up on the Tonight Show to trade quips with Johnny and we knew that we were in the presence of greatness... not foul-mouthed little Irish gits like Colin Farrell whose every second utterance is a four-letter swear-word, or the assorted giggling bimbos and boring, scuzzball, here-today-gone-tomorrow boy bands who frequent the Leno show. This rather pricey 3-disc extravaganza will take you back home and leave you wanting more. BEWARE though! The set is advertized as over 7 hours long and that is not the case. Here is the breakdown: BEST OF THE '60s & '70s (48 mins), BEST OF THE '70s & '80s (46 mins), BEST OF THE '80s & '90S (52 mins), JOHNNY GOES HOME (47 mins), SECOND LAST SHOW (32 mins), FINAL SHOW (35 mins). I work it out to just about 4 and a half hours on 3 discs. Mind you, the packaging, picture quality and menus are superb. Definately worth a purchase, but my advice would be to shop around for the best price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Will Never Be Equaled
    A wonderful look back at 30 years of late night class. It just goes to show what an awesome talent Johnny was and how far late night TV has declined. The picture and sound quality is excellent, and the extras are good, too. Johnny's 1982 special where he visits Norfolk is fun to see again as well. My only gripe is that the music montage from the last show is missing, but this probably has to do with getting all the clearances from the artists, which can be difficult. Highly recommended for all us baby-boomers who grew up with the one and only King of late night. Johnny......WE MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more

    7. Hogan's Heroes - The Complete First Season
    list price: $38.99
    our price: $29.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007KIFK0
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 225
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Two years after 1963's The Great Escape thrilled movie audiences with a tale of Allied soldiers working cooperatively to flee a World War II-era prisoner-of-war camp, CBS found a hit situation comedy in the loosely similar Hogan's Heroes. Initially dismissed by critics as being in poor taste, the half-hour show starred Bob Crane (previously known for a supporting role on The Donna Reed Show) as Colonel Robert Hogan, leader of a resourceful band of French, British and American guests of the German Luftwaffe. Rather than sit out the war with his fellow captives, Hogan essentially used the POW camp, Stalag 13, as a base for sabotaging Nazi operations whenever possible, helping important prisoners escape, supporting the Resistance, gathering intelligence for the Allies, and generally screwing up enemy battlefield plans. The work was always dangerous, but Hogan's crew had a number of advantages: a network of underground tunnels beneath the camp (some leading to a nearby town), a flair for disguises, the complementary talents of Hogan's key staff, and the reliable idiocy of camp Commandant Klink (Werner Klemperer) and willful ignorance of lead officer Sergeant Schultz (John Banner).

    Season one of Hogan's Heroes found all of these elements securely in place and the series balancing farce with suspense. Typical storylines include "Hold the Tiger," in which the boys smuggle a new German Tiger Tank into the camp, disassemble it to construct a blueprint, and then reassemble it under Klink's nose. "The Prisoner's Prisoner" finds Hogan kidnapping a Nazi general, sneaking him into Stalag 13, and tricking him—a la Mission: Impossible--to reveal troop plans. In "The Prince from the Phone Company," one of Hogan's most-trusted confederates, radio operator Kinchloe (Ivan Dixon), disguises himself as an African prince trying to secure money from the Third Reich. Half the fun of these shows is watching Hogan thinking quickly on his feet whenever things start to go wrong, or when one of Klink's more intelligent superiors becomes suspicious that not everything at Stalag 13 is as under control as it seems. Besides Dixon, the other players making up Hogan's elite squad include Richard Dawson as the slightly disreputable Newkirk (with a talent for thievery), Larry Hovis as chemistry whiz Carter, and Robert Clary as the charming LeBeau. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great series ... DVD quality is poor
    Hogan's Heroes is one of those series which you just can't stop watching.There is always a great laugh.

    Unfortunately the DVD quality leaves a lot to be desired.DISCs 1 and 2 are mis-labeled.DISC 2 suffers from technical problems in the remastering.One of the worst tracks on DISC 2 was Happiness is a Warm Sergeant.The episode tended to jump back in a loop during certain parts, the sound would go in and out, and some other annoying glitchs.

    It is a shame that the quality control for this release is so poor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for all ages
    Hogan's Heros (along with Green Acres) was my favorite show when I was a kid, and now I watch this DVD set with my own children. I have three boys, 11, 8, and 7, and they love it.A Nazi prison camp may seem like a "mature" theme for small children, but they love Schultz, the friendly guard dogs, the tunnels, and all of the craziness of Stalag 13 (tanks getting stolen, planes taking off, etc).
    A great series for bringing families together.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Set - One Error RE: Disc Labels
    The set was as advertised except that disc one and disc two had their on-cd labels swapped i.e. disc one was actually disc two and vice versa.

    Excellent old show that brings back fun memories for me :)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Return to childhood..
    The Hogan's Heroes DVD collection has been a wonderful bit of entertainment and nostalgia for me.I find that I can repeatedly play these old classic episodes and still be fascinated and laugh out loud at the plots and stories.

    There are other reviews that go into far more detail than I care to as far as individual episode titles and various trivia.

    I will simply say that this DVD set will provide hours of entertainment for anyone who grew up watching these old shows in syndication.

    I gave the set 4 of 5 stars for one and only one reason.Though the set clains to be "full length season one episodes" the reality is that there are missing scenes.Most are minute and do not affect the flow of the shows but to someone who as a kid watched them over and over in repeats, they are noticable..

    HOWEVER this will not keep me from adding the second season to my collection the moment it comes out...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Short and simple review
    I don't want to go on with this review, so I will capsulize my comments with one word:"Excellent" ... Read more

    8. The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition)
    list price: $68.92
    our price: $48.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNK6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    The Complete James Dean Collection includes two-disc special editions of the three major films Dean made during his meteoric career: East of Eden (1955, never before available on DVD), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and Giant (1956).In addition to new transfers, the films collect new and vintage documentaries, commentary tracks, publicity materials, and even the infamous "Drive Safely" commercial spot Dean filmed shortly before his death in an auto accident.

    East of Eden is an acknowledged classic, and the starring debut of James Dean lifts it to legendary status. John Steinbeck's novel gave director Elia Kazan a perfect Cain-and-Abel showcase for Dean's iconic screen persona, casting the brooding star as Cal, the younger of two brothers vying for the love of their Bible-thumping father (Raymond Massey) in Monterey, California, at the dawn of World War I. Massey is a lettuce farmer, striving for market domination with an ill-fated refrigeration scheme. Having discovered that his presumed-dead mother (Oscar winner Jo Van Fleet) is a brothel owner in nearby Salinas, Cal convinces her to finance an investment that will restore his father's lost fortune, but neither money nor the tenderness of his brother's fiancée (Julie Harris) can assuage Cal's anguished need for paternal acceptance that comes nearly too late. Kazan's oblique camera angles and Dean's tortured emoting may seem extreme by latter-day standards, but their theatrics make East of Eden a timeless tale of family secrets and hard-won affection.

    When people think of James Dean, they probably think first of the troubled teen from Rebel Without a Cause: nervous, volatile, soulful, a kid lost in a world that does not understand him. Made between his only other starring roles, in East of Eden and Giant, Rebel sums up the jangly, alienated image of Dean, but also happens to be one of the key films of the 1950s. Director Nicholas Ray takes a strikingly sympathetic look at the teenagers standing outside the white-picket-fence '50s dream of America: juvenile delinquent (that's what they called them then) Jim Stark (Dean), fast girl Judy (Natalie Wood), lost boy Plato (Sal Mineo), slick hot-rodder Buzz (Corey Allen). At the time, it was unusual for a movie to endorse the point of view of teenagers, but Ray and screenwriter Stewart Stern captured the youthful angst that was erupting at the same time in rock & roll. Dean is heartbreaking, following the method acting style of Marlon Brando but staking out a nakedly emotional honesty of his own. Going too fast, in every way, he was killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955, a month before Rebel opened. He was no longer an actor, but an icon, and Rebel is a lasting monument.

    Giant got its name because everything in the picture is big, from the generous running time (more than 200 minutes) to the sprawling ranch location (a horizon-to-horizon plain with a lonely, modest mansion dropped in the middle) to the high-powered stars. Stocky Rock Hudson stars as the confident, stubborn young ranch baron Bick Benedict, who woos and wins the hand of Southern belle Elizabeth Taylor, a seemingly demure young beauty who proves to be Hudson's match after she settles into the family homestead. For many the film is chiefly remembered for James Dean's final performance, as poor former ranch hand Jett Rink, who strikes oil and transforms himself into a flamboyant millionaire playboy. Director George Stevens won his second Oscar for this ambitious, grandly realized (if sometimes slow moving) epic of the changing socioeconomic (and physical) landscape of modern Texas, based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel. The talented supporting cast includes Mercedes McCambridge as Bick's frustrated sister, put out by the new "woman of the house"; Chill Wills as the Benedicts' garrulous rancher neighbor; Carroll Baker and Dennis Hopper as the Benedicts' rebellious children; and Earl Holliman and Sal Mineo as dedicated ranch hands. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Icon Who Never Gets Old
    On Sept. 30, 2005, we mark the 50th anniversary of the death of James Dean.While baby-boomers may find that incredible, what's even more incredible is that throughout those 50 years, Dean's status as the icon of disaffected youth and rebellious adolescence has not only held up, but burnishes itself anew every time it is displayed before our eyes.
    In a film career which spanned only 16 months and included only three films, James Dean defined the disorientation of disaffected youth, as one strives to carve out one's identity, separate from one's parents, and discover what values truly define and shape that identity and self.The remarkable thing about his movie roles is that they did this not only for his generation, but speak for each succeeding generation down to the present day.In no small part due to his tragic death at the age of 24, he never ages, and therefore remains the icon of all that is cool to all generations, whether you identify with Elvis, the Beatles, Sting or Kurt Cobain.Onscreen, James Dean remains the Real Thing in a way few other movie stars have ever been.
    Bringing what Marlon Brando called "a subtle energy and a sense of intangible injury" to each of his roles, Dean created a cinematic presence which was so compelling, it had few, if any equals.He became at once the gravitational center and the propulsive force of every scene he was in.It did not matter if he was acting with Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson or Elizabeth Taylor.For each and every moment he was onscreen, you could not take your eyes off him and what he was doing.
    In the process, Dean managed to encapsulate and project all the conflicts and contradictions of youth in a manner and to a degree which remains unparalleled.Dean's characters were full of hurt and hubris, anger and uncertainty, confidence and vulnerability... all at once.Other young actors are merely young, and maybe heartfelt.Dean's characters are young with an experience which defies their years, thereby expressing an intensity of feeling and inner conflict that no one else could match.
    This collection of all three of Dean's starring vehicles providessomething of serious value to everyone who cares about movies and American culture.The DVD transfers are first rate, and it's hard to believe, for instance, that "East of Eden" has been unavailable to viewers in any format for the past 10 years.Take advantage, movie fans!Even 50 years later, James Dean remains as compelling, as fascinating and as powerful as he ever was, and... HE NEVER GETS OLD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's About Time!!!
    James Dean will have been dead for 50 years on September 30th, 2005, and seeing that death has only enhanced his iconic image, even if Dean only starred in three studio pictures, I don't think it too much to ask that these films finally get the recognition they deserve. In fact, fans have had to wait so long for a "Dean Collection" that these discs better be flawless as the films themselves almost are. "East of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause", and "Giant" will be included in this set and the first two mentioned really are screen burners in every aspect.

    James Dean made his starring debut in "East of Eden", based on the best-selling John Steinbeck novel which retells the Adam and Eve story, and he was a star from then on. Dean plays Cal Trask, the "Cain" character, to glorious, brooding perfection. In fact, when Steinbeck himself met Dean, he told director Elia Kazan "He is Cal".

    "Rebel Without A Cause", probably Dean's best-known film, is a landmark of method acting. Dean as Jim Stark, a pseudonym of James and Trask (as in Cal Trask from Eden), is not the quintessential teenager that everyone paints him. He is so much deeper and older than he appears. "Rebel Without a Cause", directed by Nicholas Ray, is truly a magnum opus of a film. A must see!

    "Giant" is a very lush and grand film. Perhaps a bit overdone, but entertaining none the less. Edna Ferber, who wrote the novel, also said Dean was a wonderful choice to play Jett Rink, a common salt of the earth man, who rises to great heights, only to be ruined by his own demons. Dean is the most fascinating thing about "Giant" and easily steals every scene he is in. "The Complete James Dean Collection" is long overdue in any format, let alone DVD. Now, a new generation will be able to experience the myth that is James Dean. ... Read more

    9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Special Edition)
    Director: George Roy Hill
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003RQNJ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 693
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "You Just Keep Thinking, Butch...!"
    This film truly deserves the description of being a "Classic." Paul Newman and Robert Redford (in the company of Director George Roy Hill and a particularly appealing Katharine Ross), take the history of the bloodthirsty "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," and turn it into an affectionate cinematic portrayal of male bonding and cultural change.

    Taking place at the end of the 19th century, Butch and Sundance are, as veteran actor Jeff Corey, playing a sympathetic sheriff and accidental existentialist, snarls, "two-bit outlaws on the dodge!" They spend much of the movie dodging a posse hired to hunt them down and kill them in the wake of a series of amusing train robberies. The location shooting of their escape is breathtakingly beautiful.

    Ultimately, they have to flee the closing frontier, and end up in Bolivia, which is portrayed as a kind of low-rent version of the Old West. Their trip to South America is an intermezzo, done in sepia tint, focusing on their stay in New York, which, with its (relatively) modern conveniences, underscores how anachronistic their lifestyle has become.

    Their inability to rob banks in Bolivia without using Spanish-language crib sheets is both hilarious and touching, a kind of paradigm of cultural and technological dislocation.

    In keeping with its 1969 release date, the film has a strong antiestablishment cant to it: Authority is faceless, unyielding, and, mostly, inept. It is telling that Butch and Sundance kill no one until they "go straight" as payroll guards. Their criminal lifestyle is romanticized as a kind of "On The Road" on horseback. That this doesn't offend the audience is a measure of how fine this movie is. The warmth and humor overcome both the moral relativity of the characters and their sad ending.

    Newman and Redford are wonderful together as the affable outlaws. Newman's Butch is a charming, flaky visionary who is trying desperately to cling to the past. When confronted with the new alarms and teller's cages at a favorite bank, he dismisses the guard's explanation of, "People kept robbing us" with a wistful, "It's a small price to pay for beauty."

    As Butch says: "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles!" In a sense: the Western Outlaw was succeeded by "Public Enemy Number One" when cars succeeded horses, and train and bank robberies became Federal crimes. "Your times is over!," Jeff Corey insists, and he's right.

    Redford plays Sundance as the stylish straight man, never quite falling prey to Butch's dreams, but never able to dismiss them utterly: "You just keep thinking, Butch, that's what you're best at!" The onscreen chemistry between Newman and Redford is so palpable that although they only made two films together ("The Sting" in 1973 is a modernized version of "Butch & Sundance"), they can easily be considered one of the finest comedy duos ever, anywhere. The dialogue between them is banter between two very good, very old, very comfortable, friends. Maybe there was a script involved, too.

    "Butch and Sundance" may be short on facts, but it speaks a kind of truth for which facts are not needed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Newman & Redford's First Film Together
    Paul Newman and Robert Redford are two of the biggest movie stars of all time. They are also the best of friends and that friendship shines through on their first film together, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. The film is set in the old west, but it has a definite 60's feel to it. Butch and Sundance are anti-heroes who defy the "establishment" by robbing trains. Finally the train company gets fed up and sends an elite team of bounty hunters to track them down. This inspires the film's classic catchphrase, "who are those guys" as Butch & Sundance can't shake their pursuers. The film has a light comical side to it as Mr. Newman is at his charming best as Butch and Mr. Redford elicits laughs as the uptight Sundance. Katherine Ross provides a pretty diversion as Sundance's beautiful schoolteacher girlfriend, Etta Place. Mr. Newman & Mr. Redford are instantly likable in the lead roles and you can feel their real affinity for one another come through in the film. The movie was a major box office hit and won and William Goldman won an Oscar for his crisp and witty script and But Bacarach and Hal David won an Oscar for the film's theme song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" which B.J. Thomas took to number one in late 1969.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance
    I remember seeing this movie at the cinema as a kid (many years ago)and being knocked out by how COOL Redford and Sundance were. You know the scene in Blues Brothers, the doorway of the transient mens refuge and the rocket launcher, and they just get up, brush themsleves off, music resumes and go on as if nothing happened. That cool. And so when they get to the stage of being concerned "who ARE those guys" we have substance for the actions they take afterwards. Now watching this movie on DVD with my kids, they didn't get enraptured as I did at their age. As you might guess, not enough action for their generation - and yet, when there is action, it plays with as much emotion as the best of hollywood today. A tremendous cast delivering a tremendous performance, this will always be one of my favorite movies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sticks pretty well to historical fact
    For one when Butch and sundance are being chased up the mountain by the posse Butch mentions Joe LaFors (sp?). I checked a while ago. LaFors really existed as a lawman at the time. But Etta Place (Kathryn Ross)though she really existed was actually not a school teacher. More likely she was a prostitute.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Butch & the Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the best movies (if not the best!!!) I have ever seen. The action, the interplay and the chemistry between the 2 leading stars (Newman, Redford) is like "poetry in motion". The action is non-stop, as well as the comedy, especially of Newman. Even though there is quite a bit of violence throughout the movie, I would recommend that everyone buy the video!!! ... Read more

    10. La Dolce Vita (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Director: Federico Fellini
    list price: $34.98
    our price: $26.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JKGO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 658
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Existential Masterpiece
    Although "8 1/2" is often touted as Fellini's greatest work, this other, equal masterpiece from roughly the same period grows more and more profound over time. An amazingly photographed and energetic survey of ennui and despair, "La Dolce Vita" is Fellini's rumination on the intellectual and moral death of an aspiring artist, who is equally a Fellini surrogate and a stand-in for the director's perception of modern man.

    Though it began life as a sequel to "Il Bidone," "La Dolce Vita" ended up an autobiographical precursor to "8 1/2" by fictionalizing Fellini's earlier life as a journalist and newspaper caricaturist rather than his career as one of the great filmmakers of the 50s and 60s. As the celebrity journalist in crisis, Marcello is fantastic -- as graceful and intelligent and sexy a performance as the screen has ever seen -- and his romp with the unbelievably pneumatic Anita Ekberg in the Trevi fountain is one of the great iconic moments of world cinema. There's a haunted, despairing quality to Mastroianni's acting here that is so subtle and cumulative that by the end of the film his predicament of quiet despair overwhelms the viewer.

    Bottom line: no thinking person's film collection should be without this movie, which is as beautiful and moving as any piece of art ever created, in any medium. Fellini and his fantastic cast are all at their peak as artists, and few films have ever approached their achievement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get this onto DVD!
    My favorite Fellini film, combining the brilliant kaleidescopic parading of faces that characterize his later films with the humanistic neorealism of his earlier work. Told in a series of all-night parties that each end with the recognition of dawn, the movie tells the story of a tabloid writer who has risen to the top of his profession only to be dragged down because he can't find any sustaining meaning in the glitz and glamour.

    But the story line, although more important here than in later Fellini films, is really just a device to put actors on the screen, and nobody does this better. The cast is real reason to see this; Mastroianni in the role of his life, Anouk Aimee as a bored rich woman, and Anita Ekberg spilling out of her dress as an American actress are merely the most famous - every single performance, even by the most trivial of parts, is astounding and some of the best ever captured on film. My personal favorite is the clown trumpet player with the balloons at the Cha-Cha Club - in the middle of his performance he flashes one quick look at Mastroianni that speaks volumes.

    Unfortunately, the only version I have ever seen is in a standard screen ratio that is obviously badly panned - in a film this full of images there is almost more panning than actual camera movement going on, and still too much is happening off-screen. This movie needs badly to be letterboxed and given a new subtitle translation - but in the meantime, even if you have to settle for the poor VHS version, just enjoy what we have, from the awesome set pieces like the chasing of the Madonna and the final party, to the amazing Nino Rota score and the haunting organ melody of "Patricia".

    5-0 out of 5 stars 5 star FILM--0 stars for a DVD that isn't released!!
    WHERE IS THE DVD of 'La Dolce Vita'?? This is far superior art and entertainment to that wonderful-but-ridiculous '8 1/2' I mean, we all love Fellini, but why is his most coherent and artistically mature film lying around in some distributor's vault while trash like 'Shanghai Surprise' and box-sets of Whoopi Goldberg movies get all these million-copy releases?? Fellini is more than '8 1/2'; FEEL FREE TO RELEASE THIS DVD ANYTIME!! Ugh, do I have to get a region-free DVD player to watch foreign films? Heck, there are some American classic films that do not have release here, but are being printed in UK and European codes. What is wrong with American distributors?? We want our Fellini, and we want it now!! Gimme the sweet life gimme the sweet life GIMME THE SWEET LIFE!!!!

    P.S. To all sympathizers, Bergman's 'Persona' is FINALLY getting American release in February. Cross your fingers they don't back out at the last minute in favor of a straight-to-DVD sequel to 'Finding Nemo': 'Filet of Nemo: Almond Crusted with a Side of Rice Pilaf,' starring the voices of Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Aniston, and Dom Deluise.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fellini 's Vita
    I am very fortunate to meet Guiletta Masini, the lovely wife of Federico Fellini. I several times wrote letters to Fellini himself and he answered back me. That had been going for a while till he died. If you doubt me, I can provide you copies.
    I am only one Deaf authority on Fellini and his movies. I have a good collection of video, vhs or dvd. Many books about him and his movies.La Dolce Vita and 8 and half are my top favorites. I saw them in 35mm, 16mm, tv, vhs and dvd versions but the 35mm verisons are always the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks, F.R. Gomez

    3-0 out of 5 stars So ... ?
    I does lack a plot. I almost fell asleep during the first half. It picked up during the 2nd half when the main character ran into his father. That was interesting for me, for personal reasons. But, having just watched it, all I can say is that it left me with an emtpy, hollow feeling. If that was the point, then the movie is quite successful. Mind you, I'm not the usual "simplistic" movie watcher. But that was my feeling... ... Read more

    11. John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist/ The Sons of Katie Elder/ True Grit/ El Dorado/ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
    list price: $74.95
    our price: $56.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006674Y
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1275
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Legendary producer-director Howard Hawks teams with two equally legendary stars, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, in this classic Western drama. Mitchum plays to perfection an alcoholic but gutsy sheriff who relentlessly battles the dark side of the wild West, ruthless cattle barons and crooked "businessmen." The Duke gives an equally adept performance as the sheriff's old friend who knows his way around a gunfight. Filled with brawling action and humor, El Dorado delivers the goods. James Caan and Ed Asner co-star.Ranking with Stagecoach as one of the greatest of its genre, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is the modern-day Western to beat all Westerns. John Ford, whose very name is synonymous with "Westerns," directed the ideal cast. Jimmy Stewart plays the bungling but charming big-city lawyer determined to rid the fair village of Shinbone of its number one nuisance and Bad Man: Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). And as if all that weren't enough, the biggest star that ever aimed a six-shooter plays the Man of the title: John Wayne. Super-sincere Stewart and rugged rancher Wayne also share the same love interest (Vera Miles). One gets the gunman but the other gets the gal.Afflicted with a terminal illness, John Bernard Brooks (John Wayne), the last of the legendary gunfighters, quietly returns to Carson City for medical attention from his old friend Dr. Hostetler (James Stewart). Aware that his days are numbered, the troubled man seeks solace and peace in a boarding house run by a widow (Lauren Bacall) and her son (Ron Howard). However, it is not Brook's fate to die in peace, as he becomes embroiled in one last valiant battle.Katie Elder bore four sons. The day she is buried they all return home to Clearwater, Texas, to pay their last respects. John Wayne is the eldest and toughest son, the gunslinger. Tom (Dean Martin) is good with a deck of cards and good with a gun when he has to be. Matt (Earl Holliman) is the quiet one - nobody ever called him yellow...twice. Bud (Michael Anderson, Jr.) is the youngest. Any hope for respectability lies with him. Directed by Henry Hathaway (True Grit), an acknowledged master of the Western, the story has a dual theme: not only is this a he-man's story, but it is also a drama of the maternal influence of Katie Elder, movingly portrayed from beginning to conclusion.In 1970, John Wayne won an Academy Award. for his larger-than-life performance as the drunken, uncouth and totally fearless one-eyed U.S. Marshall, Rooster Cogburn. The cantankerous Rooster is hired by a headstrong young girl (Kim Darby) to find the man who murdered her father and fled with the family savings. When Cogburn's employer insists on accompanying the old gunfighter, sparks fly. And the situation goes from troubled to disastrous when an inexperienced but enthusiastic Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) joins the party. Laughter and tears punctuate the wild action in this extraordinary Western which features performances by Robert Duvall and Strother Martin. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with THIS package!
    Individually, these five movies range from three stars to five stars, but as a package, I give it FIVE STARS. Watch them in chronological order and you see the Duke evolve from 50's Hollywood "tough guy" to legendary leading man in his final film. The man truly had more depth as an actor than the medium of the 50's allowed him to show. In 1976 he was finally given a vehicle to give us everything he had, even though he truly was dying of cancer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection of John Wayne's Westerns
    This splendid collection of John Wayne's Westerns is a must-have for any fan or would-be fan of John Wayne (if you don't have these films already, that is). It contains some of the Duke's best movies, at an affordable price and in an attractive packaging. All of these movies are great:

    THE SHOOTIST was the Duke's last film, and is truly a door-closing sort of movie. It is a fitting end to a very long and very great career. Wayne plays an old, dying gunfighter who is ready to hang up his guns but just cannot be left alone to die in peace.

    THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER: Wayne stars as John Elder, the eldest son of a woman named Katie who has just died. John and his three younger brothers (one of them played by Dean Martin) return to their hometown to mourn their mother and to set things right with the people who wronged her.

    TRUE GRIT: Old, fat, and ornery. That describes Rooster Cogburn (played by Wayne) as well as anything. Duke one an Oscar for his performance in this film. Truly, this is a unique character for Wayne, and a good film.

    EL DORADO: This is one of my favorite of Duke's movies. He plays a gunfighter-turned-deputy, and fights to aid his alchoholic friend (the sheriff) of a gang of outlaws infesting the town. Features James Caan in a great performance as 'Mississippi.'

    THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALLANCE: Wayne stars opposite James Stewart in this John Ford classic. Wayne's character (Tom Doniphan) is a rancher/gunman whose noble spirit saves the life of a young lawyer (Stewart) come to bring 'order' to the small territorial town of Shinbone.

    These are five great films by the Duke, three of them (Liberty Vallance, the Shootist, El Dorado) among the Duke's best (in my opinion), and all of them very enjoyable. This box set makes a great addition to any home DVD library.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fair, Good, Great and near-Great
    I received this set as a Christmas gift. I am pleased to now own a DVD version of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" which is my favorite Western and "True Grit" which previously held that personal title. I was also happy to own "The Shootist" which ranks as a near-great Wayne movie. I will enjoy "The Sons of Katie Elder" a time or two again but I am disappointed that "El Dorado" couldn't have been replaced by the better movie it copied; "Rio Bravo". This is, of course, the problem with movie "sets". I'm not sure whether the person or persons who put these collections together include lesser movies in order to market them better or whether they really think that they're in the same class as the others. What would have been hard to top would have been "Red River" replacing "The Sons of Katie Elder" along with the aforementioned switch to "Rio Bravo". Oh well, at least it didn't include "Rio Lobo".

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE DUKE IS THE GREATEST EVER!
    There never has been and never will be again a movie star like John Wayne. Miles above everyone else. These are five of his greatest films, including his Oscar-winning role as "Rooster Cogburn" in "True Grit", and his last film "The Shootist", for which he should have won an Oscar and which Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly calls "The best western I've ever seen." Highly recommended. ... Read more

    12. Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Second Season
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $97.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002JJBZE
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 317
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    The most famous episode in franchise history, "The Trouble with Tribbles," is one of the highlights of the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series.A deserved classic, the humorous story centers on an ever-expanding mass of furry creatures that memorably rain themselves down on top of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and into the middle of a Federation-Klingon showdown. It inspired one of the most memorable episodes in the spin-off series Deep Space Nine, "Trial and Tribble-ations."Also in the second season, the Vulcan culture of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is fleshed out in "Amok Time" (in which Spock is faced with the possibility of killing his captain and friend) and "Journey to Babel" (introducing Spock's father, played by Mark Sarek, in what would turn out to be a long-recurring role).A new character, navigator Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), was introduced; his Monkees haircut was intended to appeal to the younger audience, but he was also a Russian, which at the height of the cold war reflected Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a more enlightened future.Other social-commentary opportunities presented themselves in "The Omega Glory," "The Doomsday Machine," and "Assignment: Earth," the last also one of those periodic opportunities to scrimp on the budget by time-traveling to an earlier version of Earth.Another example was "A Private Little War," a comic episode set in the Roaring Twenties and memorable for, among other things, Kirk's teaching a made-up card game called Fizzbin.In other significant episodes, "I, Mudd" saw the return of the bounder from season 1, "The Changeling" was the original inspiration for the first Trek feature film a decade later, "Wolf in the Fold" (penned by the author of Psycho) provides an example of the series' great writing, and "Mirror, Mirror" introduced the concept of the parallel universe inhabited by vicious, amoral counterparts of the regular crew, another theme later borrowed (more than once, and to good emotional effect) by DS9.

    Special features are a bit lighter than on the season 1 set, but they do feature such contributors as Shatner, Nimoy, George Takei (Sulu), Koenig, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and editor-writer D.C. Fontana. Of chief interest are "To Boldly Go," a 20-minute season recap; " Kirk, Spock & Bones: The Great Trio," discussing the interplay among Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley); "Star Trek's Divine Diva," shining the spotlight on the development of Nichols's character (she was originally considered to play Spock); and "Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana," discussing her various roles in the series (she used her initials to avoid the anti-female bias in science fiction at the time).--David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Second Complete Season in an 8-DVD Set! Fantastic!
    When Paramount Home Video first started to release the original series of "Star Trek" in 1999, I was aghast at the fact that only one DVD with two episodes per DVD were being released one DVD at a time at a very high cost. The cost to own all 40 volumes (DVD's) was staggering. Of course, this doesn't even address the amount of shelf space required for all 40 DVD's.

    Now, with this repackaged version, all 26 episodes of the second season are being released together on 8 disks. This is the packaged version of the original "Star Trek" that I fully intend to purchase because even at full list price, the cost of owning the second complete season is less than half the cost of owning its earlier cousins on an equivalent 13 DVD's. Also, the packaging itself has been designed similarly to the packaging used for other "Star Trek" series released in complete seasons, meaning that it will only require a small amount of shelf space. It is also possible that extra documentary and commentary material not released originally will be included in this complete second season box set.

    The original series of "Star Trek", that ran for three complete seasons between 1966 and 1969, started a franchise that has included six television series and ten big screen motion pictures. The main original characters of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Lt. Commander/Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard H. 'Bones' McCoy (DeForest Kelley, 1920-1999), Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (James Doohan), Lt. Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Keonig from 1967-1969), Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney from 1966-1967) and Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) have become an inseparable part of Americana. Though series creator Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) was not able to keep the original series alive for five seasons as originally envisioned (it was cancelled after its third season), he, along with the countless series fans, was able to resurrect it in the form of six motion pictures beginning in 1979 and the first series spin-off, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1987, which ran for seven years and had spin-offs of its own. There was also a 22-episode animated version based upon the original series that ran from 1972 to 1974.

    The most memorable episodes of the second season include "Amok Time" (Spock's Vulcan mating ritual), "The Changeling" (the inspiration for the 1979 film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"), "Mirror, Mirror", "The Apple", "The Doomsday Machine" (with guest star William Windom as Commodore Matthew Decker, the father of the character Capt. Willard Decker (Stephen Collins) in the 1979 film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"), "I, Mudd" (with returning guest character Harcourt Fenton 'Harry' Mudd, as played by Roger C. Carmel, 1932-1986), "Journey to Babel" (which introduces Spock's parents: Ambassador Sarek as played by Mark Leonard (1924-1996) and his human wife Amanda as played by Jane Wyatt), "Friday's Child", "The Deadly Years", "Obsession", "Wolf in the Fold", the fan-favorite "The Trouble with Tribbles", "A Piece of the Action", "The Immunity Syndrome", "A Private Little War", "Return to Tomrrow" (with guest character Dr. Ann Mulhall as played by Diana Muldaur, who also played the unpopular character Dr. Katherine Pulaski in the second season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), "By Any Other Name", "The Ultimate Computer" and "Assignment: Earth". The were no truly awful episodes during the second season, but there were a few that had rather weak plots, including the ancient-Greek-inspired "Who Mourns for Adonais?" the gothic "Catspaw", the Nazi-inspired "Patters of Force" and the twentieth-century version of the Roman Empire in the episode "Break and Circuses". The episode "The Omega Glory" was rather good until the final scenes that are somewhat corny.

    Overall, I rate the 8-DVD set of "Star Trek: Original Series Season 2" with an anticipatory 5 out of 5 stars. Clearly, this is how Paramount should have released the original series to begin with. Thank you Gene Roddenberry for taking all of us "where no man has gone before".

    5-0 out of 5 stars The pinnicle of TOS
    After barely getting renewed for a second season, ST came back the next year in full force.The biggest hero was not Captain Kirk himself,but Gene Coon.The executive producer who contributed some of the best episodes, as well as set the tone for the show which inspired future Trek's as well.
    One of the prime factors for the second season's brilliance was the charater's themselves as the actors found the tone of their characters.And the famous trio of Kirk-Spock -McCoy were finally established at the focal point of the show.The remaining supporting characters performed admirably as well, even with the introduction of Paval Chekov (Walter Keonig). Many classic episodes came from season two(Mirror,Mirror, Amok Time, Doomsday Machine, Deadly Years,Trouble With Tribbles, A Piece Of The Action, Journey to Babel).
    As brilliant as season two was, it was not enough to get high numbers in the Nielsons.Thanks to a letter campaign by fans led by Bjo Trimble,ST was renewed for a third season.But with Coon's departure from the show after the second season,the third season suffered and even the fans couldn't save it. ... Read more

    13. Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Megaset
    list price: $189.95
    our price: $170.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A14WG
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 7770
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Classic Viewing. A Must for Patrick McGoohan Fans
    This megaset is well worth the price. Each episode in original broadcast order, crystal clear uncut in glorious black and white, except for the final two episodes of course. Relive the excitement along with excellent characterizations over 47 episodes. Includes the original U.S. opening Secret Agent Man them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FIRST SEASON NOW AVAILABLE!!
    First off--I wanted to let everyone know that the first season of "DANGER MAN" (all 39 half-hour episodes filmed in 1961) is now available on DVD at Type in "danger man" then hit 'search by title'(this item is NOT available on Amazon; that is why i mentioned it!). This 13 disc megaset contains all 47 HOUR-LONG episodes filmed in 1965-66. This is a fantastic show with the great actor Patrick McGoohan and great stories too! I am so glad to see all of these classic TV shows coming out on DVD. As far as i'm concerned, today's television is mostly crap. They don't have the actors, the stories, or the decency that the old shows had. The talent just isn't there in these new shows. When trying this show also try "THE AVENGERS" and "THE SAINT". You'll love every minute!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good ... for TV
    It's important to place any review in context. In the history of TV this was quite a good show, and compared to present-day TV, it is a masterpiece.

    It works because it offers a sort of purity, a sincerity. It isn't top-heavy with the preening narcissism that dominates modern acting. McGoohan was a good, though not great, actor with limited range, but he infused the Drake with character, self-effacement, and decency. All one has to do is compare McGoohan to another star of the same vintage, Roger Moore, to appreciate the former's acting substance. After watching dozens of episodes, though, McGoohan's methods are somewhat wearing.

    Compared to a good book, the plots are thoroughly characteristic of TV; they are superficial and unrealistic.

    An expensive and extensive set like this is for devotees, and they already know they will like it, naturally. Casual viewers will more likely watch a few episodes and leave the box on the shelf gathering dust. But if you have the spare cash, you could do a lot worse than Secret Agent when you crank up the idiot box.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prince of Spies
    What was golden about "Secret Agent" in 1965 remains golden: it tackles the familiar spy-story themes---duty, honor, country; loyalty, brotherhood, betrayal---with a theatrical style, with romanticism, wit, and grace, often with deep human feeling. In 1965, when the moral norms in television and movies were starting to go to hell in a handbasket and the spy genre was characterized by the comic-book vulgarity of the James Bond films and the moral pessimism of John Le Carre, the strong moral tone and absence of promiscuity in "Secret Agent" were remarkable. That turned out to be a deliberate device, at the personal insistence of the star. Certain of the writers and directors seemed to recognize the possibilities and seize on them, deftly exploiting their star's unique characteristics to create some fascinating, unforgettable television.

    With this reissue of the complete '65-'66 series on DVD---and now that things in the culture have gotten a lot darker---my own thanks go to Patrick McGoohan for that particular moment in his career: for the glowing, graceful Cold Warrior he made of John Drake; for his insistence on a principled approach to the character; for the enduring mystery of personality he brought to a small-screen hero.

    Can't go to the theater? Watch McGoohan, with his strange quality of aggressive shyness, in a repertory of amusing impersonations: the tipsy playboy, the wheeler-dealer businessman, the shy schoolteacher, the crisp colonial officer, the langorous beachcomber, the insolent artist, the veddy English butler, the flirtatious German encyclopedia salesman, the supercilious physician ("It's Bailey-Carpenter---ehm---there's a hyphen"). The darkness of "The Prisoner" and 35 years of villain roles haven't dimmed the glow of this princely performance, or the image of the decent, thoughtful man behind it, who seemed to care so genuinely about his influence on the television audience.

    Faulkner said, "The artist's duty is to lift up men's hearts and help them endure." The people who worked on this series did their duty.

    So spend your money. This is great stuff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Question about other shows
    Is this the complete set without the first season, then? If the first season ended in '61, and the rest of this megaset starts from '65, are there episodes from '61-65? My email is if anyone would pls let me know, Thanks!

    Leanne ... Read more

    14. East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Elia Kazan
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $18.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007US7F8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 79
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    East of Eden is an acknowledged classic, and the starring debut of James Dean lifts it to legendary status. John Steinbeck's novel gave director Elia Kazan a perfect Cain-and-Abel showcase for Dean's iconic screen persona, casting the brooding star as Cal, the younger of two brothers vying for the love of their Bible-thumping father (Raymond Massey) in Monterey, California, at the dawn of World War I. Massey is a lettuce farmer, striving for market domination with an ill-fated refrigeration scheme. Having discovered that his presumed-dead mother (Oscar® winner Jo Van Fleet) is a brothel owner in nearby Salinas, Cal convinces her to finance an investment that will restore his father's lost fortune, but neither money nor the tenderness of his brother's fiancée (Julie Harris) can assuage Cal's anguished need for paternal acceptance that comes nearly too late. Kazan's oblique camera angles and Dean's tortured emoting may seem extreme by latter-day standards, but their theatrics make East of Eden a timeless tale of family secrets and hard-won affection. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A true classic!
    I can't wait until May 31, 2005..I have this film on VHS tape and have practically worn it out..This is one of my alltime favorite films!I think after I saw this film for the first time I immediately became a big fan of James Dean's and had to read and find out everything about this young actor who died tragically at the young age of 23.I hope the special edition DVD will contain interviews with the principals involved with this film..that would be very interesting!

    This film is still very powerful today and the scenes that stand out the most for me are the scenes with the lovely Julie Harris..Julie was the perfect choice to play Abra and her innocence and tenderness toward Dean's character in the film really drove the film for me..The chemistry between the two actors was amazing and I keep thinking if Dean had lived this could have been a great screen pairing!

    This film showcased the talents of a wonderful actor and influenced generations of actors to come..Dean was amazingly gifted and was fortunate to catch the eye of Elia Kazan who knew talent when he saw it..What a wonderful film!It is a joy to see this film finally being released on DVD!

    3-0 out of 5 stars James Dean's debut
    This is a good film (arguably Dean's best), and is very worthy of having in your dvd collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece finally arrives on DVD! This is James Dean!
    EAST OF EDEN is truly, and undoubtedly one of the greatest films ever made. Timeless. Brilliant...and unavailable to buy for over a decade due to legal squabbles...

    At last, all has been settled, and in time to commemorate the sad, tragic premature death of James Dean.....

    To those unfamiliar with the film, it is as vital and relevant (and painful) as the day it was made...

    To those who know the genius here, I can only share in the celebration that the best home video company (WB) has cut through the legal red tape to get this film out (finally) on DVD, and I'm sure it will be as exceptional a presentation as any of their other exceptional releases.

    This is filmmaking at its height, acting at its greatest, and writing at its most subtly exceptional. Do not pass over the miracle of John Steinbeck's amazing story & this perfect film!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Long Overdue DVD Classic
    Taken from us so soon James Dean with only 3 great films is an icon of America Cinnema. Unfortunatelly, on this great clasic, directed by the great but controversial Elia Kazan. Still awaits it's "Full Restoration Great DVD Release."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting by James Dean and Jo Van Fleet.
    East of Eden is a great, sprawling American novel by nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck.The film East of Eden, directed by Elia Kazan, dramatizes only a small part of the magnificent book.However, what the film does, it does exceptionally well, thanks to the riveting performances of James Dean and academy award winner Jo Van Fleet.

    Much has been written about Dean as an actor and what is certainly true is that when he is on screen, you can't take your eyes off him.As young Cal Trask, Dean vies for the attention and love of his father, Adam, Raymond Massesy, with his twin brother Aaron, Richard Davalos.Cal is a loser, no matter what he does, and Dean portrays sensitively the conflict Cal feels as he grows to manhood unloved and uncared for.

    The rivalry between Cal and Aaron for their father's love as well as the affections of Abra, Aaron's girlfriend played by Julie Harris, generates much of the action and dramatic tension of the film. All Cal's gifts are rejected by his father, in contrast to Aaron, whose presents are appreciated and valued.

    Like Cain in the Bible, Cal has a dark side which he thinks comes from his mother Kate, who abandoned him at birth and whom he has discovered runs a brothel in Salinas, California, a short train ride from the Trask ranch.Cal introduces himself to Kate, played to perfection by Jo Van Fleet, first to try to learn about himself, who he is and why he experiences his inner rage and frustration.Later he will borrow money from her to invest in order to help his bankrupt father.Cal's investment in bean futures, just prior to America's entry in World War I,pays off, but his father rejects his money in a confrontation which moves us toward the dramatic conclusion of the film.

    The scenes with Dean and Van Fleet are the highlight of the film and a treasure of American movie making.Both actors are electric with Dean drawing from his inner uncertainty and fire and Van Fleet, the consumate professional, using all her skills and intelligence.They approach one another gingerly, each testing the response of the other, not trusting themselves and their own emotions, and finally becoming frustrated with their inablility to connect with one another.These scenes are wonderful to watch.We should not expect a happy ending and we don't get it.

    East of Eden, released in 1955, justly takes its place in a small list of fine American films, not just because of the great performances of James Dean and Jo Van Fleet, but also because it dramatizes timeless themes in a most convincing fashion.Those viewers who love the film and like to read will almost certainly enjoy the novel on which the film is based. ... Read more

    15. Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
    Director: Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
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    Asin: B0007Z9R7A
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 164
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Disney's adaptation of the beloved fairy tale became a classic in itsown right, thanks to some memorable tunes (including "A Dream Is a WishYour Heart Makes," "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," and the title song) and some endearingly cute comic relief. We all know the story--the wicked stepmother and stepsisters simply won't have it, this uppity Cinderella thinking she's going to a ball designed to find the handsome prince an appropriate sweetheart, but perseverance, animal buddies, and a well-timed entrance by a fairy godmother make sure things turn out all right. There are a few striking sequences of pureanimation--for example, Cinderella is reflected in bubbles drifting through the air--and the design is rich and evocative throughout. It's a simple story padded here agreeably with comic business, particularly Cinderella's rodent pals (dressed up conspicuously like the dwarf sidekicks of another famous Disney heroine) and their misadventures with a wretched cat named Lucifer. There's also much harrumphing and exposition spouting by the King and the Grand Duke. It's a much simpler and more graceful work than the more frenetically paced animated films of today, which makes it simultaneously quaint and highly gratifying. --David Kronke ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND CAN'T WAIT FOR OCT 4, 2005!!!
    Despite from what other reviews say, I am putting my 2 cents in here about this movie.
    I loved this movie when I was young and I still love it and now since I have a 2 yr old child it makes it that much better for she LOVES the movie (have it on VHS)and it makes it more fun for a Mom and Daughter movie night together!!! For I wish it was Oct 4 so I can get it for her!It is a fairy tale movie not an educational movie (as someone's review complained that it's not educational or giving the right message but I think they claim Shrek does)for it's kind of like what every little girl wants which is to find her Prince to live happily ever after.
    This is one of the best Classic Animations that Disney has done along with Snow White.

    Also you expect for alittle girl wanting to have an ugly girl like one of the step sisters to marry the prince??? For girls love pretty Princesses not ugly ones.They are Fairy tales for children to watch.That's all and little girls are not watching it to find messgaes.For what is a 2yr old like my daughter who loves this movie gonna pick up from it besides seeing a pretty Princess living happily ever after??

    2-0 out of 5 stars Go watch Shrek Instead
    I remember watching this as a child in the 70's and feeling a bit as an adult I don't think the message is very healthy! Cinderella gives children the harmful impression that "it pays to be pretty."I don't think there are any positive messages in this film for young girls.I would recommend that you go out and rent Shrek instead.

    I've just seen the images, and waouh! I an sooo looking forward October 4 I hope the original film has been restored I want to see the real Cinderella (the one Disney had drawn himself not the one who looks like a Japanese cartoon) and please the real songs.... quick quick quick I want it soooooooo much!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE FAIRY TALE NOW ON DVD!
    This animated feature saved the Disney studio from almost cetain bankruptcy; there hadn't been a big hit since Snow White, and the studio was foundering, badly. Cinderella came along and put on the glass slipper and showed it to the world and the rest, as they say, is history. The songs from Cinderella have stayed with me all my life, and are a fixture I carry with me from many years ago when I saw this magical movie for the first time, my favorite being "So This is Love..." Cinderella contained a scene that Walt himself stated was his personal favorite of all from the wonderful features he created, and that is when Cinderella gets her dress from her Fairy Godmother. The dress, if you notice, is a color that literally defies description and really does seem to come from the magic wand of the FG; the entire scene is fantastic, the mice turned into beautiful, horses to pull the exquisite coach, created from a lowly pumpkin, that dances on it's vine over to the FG so she can transform it into the thing of splendor, the Fairy Coach. The stars and twinkles from the dress and the transformations are spectacular, and it is hard to imagine the meticulous detail the animators used to draw these fairy dust particles that add such enchantment to the scene. Cinderella's old horse becomes a buck-toothed coachman and is clearly delighted to be included in the excitement of the night. An actress/dancer named Ilene Woods was rotoscoped (a technique where the actors are filmed and then drawn over) for her part as Cinderella and it is her movements that became Cinderella's. The Wicked Stepmother is a great Disney Villain, voiced by Eleanor Audley, who later voiced Maleficent for Sleeping Beauty; her voice is fantastic, the perfect blend of sophistication and malevolence. When first seen in her vast bedroom, stroking the wretched cat Lucifer, she seems to be a real witch with her familiar, and her face remains in shadow for a time...The mice are wonderful little characters, the cutest, IMHO, is Gus-Gus, a tubby little guy Cinderella finds in a trap and rescues and gives him, as all her little mice friends have, tiny clothes including shoes. Lucifer the cat is dreadful, such a bad kitty you dislike him all the way, and Bruno, Cinderella's old hound dog saves the day and sends Lucifer to his just reward. Jacques, the lead mouse, is the real hero, and saves the day at a critical point toward the end. There is a wonderful scene of the King lamenting his son's lack of a suitable wife to the Grand Duke, another great and very amusing character, and yearns for grandchildren while looking at portraits of the Prince from childhood up until the present day, and as the Prince gets older, the portraits get bigger and bigger and the last one is so enormous it has to hang in a castle of truly magnificent and royal proportions.
    This is the all-time classic fairy tale, originally written by Charles Perrault, who also wrote Sleeping Beauty, another of my favorite Disney classics in ever sense of the word. I have this on VHS, and have watched it too many times to count; and now I cannot even imagine how beautiful and rich the colors will be on DVD; I cannot wait to get my copy and look forward to many viewings of this wonder that saved the Disney stuido from disaster, for the unending benefit of all of us children, from infants to 100+ year olds. Enjoy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Damn ESPN commercials!
    I haven't seen this movie since I was like 5 or 6 years old. But I've been sick of it lately because of those ESPN commercials during March Madness where Cinderella drops the slipper and the guy chases after her when she drops it. Otherwise it's an ok movie. Nuff said! ... Read more

    16. To Catch a Thief
    Director: Alfred Hitchcock
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $18.74
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    Asin: B00005JJX8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 983
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (82)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fireworks!
    What was the greatest kiss ever committed to the silver screen? For me it comes from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, To Catch a Thief. Grace Kelly tempts Cary Grant, a reformed jewel thief by the name of John Robie, with her diamond necklace, to a backdrop of fireworks over the French Riviera. Finally, having had just about enough of her tomfoolery, he says, "You know as well as I do, this necklace is imitation." To which, the stunning Kelly responds, "Well I'm not..."

    That is movie magic and so is this wonderful, light-hearted and thrilling romp across the south of France as everyone goes in search of the identity of a new jewel thief reeking havoc throughout hotels on the French Riviera.

    Lush cinematography, beautiful costumes, breathtaking vistas, and delightful performances by Kelly, Grant, and Jessie Royce Landis make this an extremely enjoyable film outing.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cat on a Hot French Roof
    Suspense takes a back seat to romance as former cat burglar Grant turns detective to track down the culprit behind a recent string of jewel robberies, becoming involved with beautiful heiress Kelly during the course of his investigation. Proof that lesser Hitchcock is still far above average, with Grant at his most suave and debonair; Kelly at her most ravishing; an engaging comedic turn by Jessie Royce Landis as Kelly's down-to-earth mother; and some sparkling (and suggestive) dialogue by John Michael Hayes. Add in some truly beautiful costumes by Edith Head and breathtaking, Oscar-winning color cinematography by Robert Burks ... and what's not to like? Even though the mystery is a bit slight, you won't be bored!

    The DVD offers a wonderful video transfer with crisp, clear sound and a brightly color-balanced, anamorphic widescreen picture. There are three unique mini-documentaries about the making of the movie, featuring Hitchcock's daughter and granddaughter; a documentary about costumer Edith Head (which is being included on many Paramount 2002 DVD releases which feature Head's work); the Original Theatrical Trailer; and a truly grand assortment of vintage production stills and posters from around the world. All in all a quite nice package that's definitely worth a look.

    4-0 out of 5 stars With Class and Grace
    To Catch A Thief marks a departure for director Alfred Hitchcock. Here, he sheds the moniker as The Master Of Suspense, going more for romance and comedy--rather than any of his well known plot twists or thrills. The film may not be the best of his career, but thanks to a strong leading man and a radiant leading lady the movie still works.

    John Robie, (Cary Grant) is a reformed cat burglar, out to prove himself innocent of a recent crime spree. As he tries to capture the thief who's terrifying the French Riviera, he attracts the attention of the lovely Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), a wealthy and spoiled American traveling the Riviera with her widowed mother (Jessie Royce Landis). However, things do not begin on a romantic note. Robie is more interested in clearing his name than in pursuing the beautiful American, but the two will not go their separate ways so easily. When Mrs. Stevens has her jewels stolen, the snubbed Frances puts the police on Robie's trail. Now the dashing Robie will have to win the confidence and assistance of Frances if he is to ever set things right.

    Grant and Kelly light up the screen together, with an entrancing chemistry that sparkles, especially in the impromptu ad-libbed dialogue of the picnic scene. A series of elaborate set pieces combined with the spectacularc Riviera scenery make the film an enduring piece of American cinema. Hitchcock lets his leads pick up for any of the film's lack of excitement, that traditionally peppers the director's films. I have always had a "crush" on the late Grace Kelly, and this film just helps to solidify those feelings.

    The DVD contains three well produced making of featurettes. "Writing and Casting," "The Making of To Catch a Thief," and "Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief", will give you a well rounded look at the film. But things would have worked out even better if these were edited together as one larger whole. Long time Hitchcock collaborator, costumer Edith Head, is highlighted in a fourth featurette, that also tops off the disc's bonus material.

    To Catch A Thief is recommended for any Hitchcock fan..

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock romantic mystery
    Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are funny and witty and they keep you involved in the story. Not what I expected from Alfred Hitchcock, but it was a great movie none the less.

    3-0 out of 5 stars So-so Hitchcock jewel caper
    As a connoisseur of Hitchcock's work, To Catch a Thief was merely adequate. Lacking any real suspense, the movie was held together by the excellent cinematography offered by the picturesque French Rivera locale.

    Cary Grant was at his suave and debonair best as John Robie, a retired cat burgular who is suspected when a rash of jewel thefts plagues the swanky Riviera. Realizing, he must apprehend the actual thief, whose m.o. parallels his own, he plots a scheme.

    Grace Kelly, whose acting ability does not rival her beauty, plays a perfectly typecasted role for her. As a spoiled, bored, rich socialite Frances Stevens, she and her wealthy but earthy mother, played exceptionally well by Jessie Royce Landis are vacationing. The elder Mrs. Stevens has a valuable collection of jewelery that Grant theorizes would make excellent bait.

    Hitchcocks creates a predictable plot, with the usual love affair. There is however, little in the way of mystery or tension or even chemistry between Kelly and Grant to make this flick anything more than mediocre. Edith Head provides a high point with her fantastic wardrobes created for the costume ball scene. ... Read more

    17. The Americanization of Emily
    Director: Arthur Hiller
    list price: $19.97
    our price: $14.98
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    Asin: B0007TKNGU
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 573
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Marty) sinks his satirical fangs into this story of an American naval officer (James Garner) selected to be the first victim at the invasion of Normandy. Julie Andrews plays a prim, British war widow who falls for him. Cynical in tone, the story becomes an interesting collision of manipulative interests and renewed life, the same formula that worked so well in Chayefsky's scripts for Network and Hospital. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nobility In Cowardice
    Charlie Madison (James Garner) is pretty much content in his role as "dog robber" in World War II, providing this superiors with liquor and pliant women and keeping out of harm's way.Unfortunately, his commanding officer get's the bright idea of having a Navy man provide the first casualty at Normandy and Charlie is elected to photograph this moment.What's a committed coward to do?I can accept the film's central premise that one should be true to your nature even if you are a swine.What is a little hard to take is that the D-Day invasion was a pivotal event of World War II and critical in breaking the backs of Nazi tyranny and I find it a little hard to accept that cowardice at such a crucial time is noble.That said, Paddy Chayefsky's clever script advances this notion well under the competent direction of Arthur Hiller.Garner has the charm to make Charlie likable and, yes, noble.Julie Andrews, playing against type, is sensuous as Emily, the British war bride who falls for Charlie despite herself.The chemistry between Garner and Andrews is dynamic and was repeated years later in Blake Edwards' "Victor, Victoria".James Coburn as Charlie's "buddy" and Melvyn Douglas as the Admiral also contribute fine performances.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DVD of Classic Satire Looks Good
    The Americanization of Emily is one of the best movies of the Sixties and certainly one of the very best of Julie Andrews' career.However, it was relatively overlooked at the time--sandwiched, as it was, between Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, two films that swamped everything in their massive popularity and influence.It's a pity that this film is not better known, even though it's reputation has continued to grow over the years.With its release on DVD, now is the time to discover (or rediscover) this gem.

    The plot has been discussed in other reviews here, so I won't add anything to them except to say that the only fault I see in this film is its partial lack of attention to period detail.It is most obvious in wardrobe and hairstyles.This movie was filmed in 1963 (released in 1964) and the clothes and hairstyles, especially of the actresses, are right out of that time period.It's as if the actors walked in right off the street and onto the soundstage without changing a thing.Did the director forget they were making a World War II movie?This complaint aside, The Americanization of Emily is a highly enjoyable film which deserves to be more widely seen.

    The DVD looks and sounds fine for the most part.There are only occasional glimpses of debris, but these are not distracting.Kudos once again to Warner Brothers for the care they put into most of their classic releases.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More dark humor than anti-war
    I saw this movie in the theatre when it came out, and I love it. My favorite line is in the beginning when they meet and Garner is directing the delivery of luxury food and liquor to his admiral's quarters, and admiral's driver Andrews (seeing all the luxury items) chews out Garner by accusing Americans of "enjoying" the war. Garner replies, "Let me tell YOU something: Americans would not be here if it weren't for 2,000 years of European barbarism!" It brought the theatre down in cheers and applause.

    This story is more dark humor than anti-war, and Paddy Chayefsky is the master of dark humor. In the `70s, he co-wrote with Joan Rivers "Girl Most Likely To...", a dark humor about an ugly-duckling-turned-Cinderella co-ed played by Stockard Channing, that I've been waiting for to come out on DVD.

    If you haven't seen "Americanization of Emily", you must. Sure beats the new stuff out there these days.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, I can see and hear this movie, that I have loved
    I have loved this movie since I first saw it in the theater in the sixties.I saw it twice then.I was rapidly losing what hearing I had left at the time. I loved what I saw, could put together, and the little that I did hear.Garner's facial expressions told the story to me.
    My husband finally got a VHS copy for me about 10 years ago.Unfortunately it was not captioned.I shared it with my grown children.I never thought the movie would come out captioned in DVD.And I could not understand that as Garner himself had said it was his favorite movie that he made.......I "heard" that on a captioned Larry King interview.

    Now I will finally be able to know every one of the words, my own copy, with captions.

    If you have not seen it, I just highly recommend that movie so highly, it is my favorite of all time.The anti war message is obvious, but it is so funny, in a biting sort of way.There is one scene with Julia Andrews and her mother, along with Garner.I love the dialogue there.

    And as I said, the facial expressions are wonderful.That is a tribute to the actors.Who would think a movie with D Day as the center happening to which much leads could be funny, serious, yes, and it is serious, but it is also funny.That takes the sting out of the serious parts.For some reason the black and white seems to work in a way that I cannot imagine color doing.I just cannot recommend this movie highly enough.

    I have waited almost 40 years to hear all the words, own the movie myself.I am sure it is worth it.I wish it had not been so long.

    ginger jones

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST movies I'v ever seen
    I love this movies. When I first got it for a gift I thought it would be terrible. I love Julie Andrews and James Garner but when I saw it was in black and white I thought it would be dull. I was very wrong it is one of my favorite movies along with Victor-Victoria, also staring James and Julie. I wish the dvd has some special features but atleast its finally coming out on dvd. I have watch the video so many times I think it's begining to break. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!! ... Read more

    18. A Hard Day's Night
    Director: Richard Lester
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
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    Asin: B0000542D2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 702
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    In 1964, the Beatles had just recently exploded onto the American scene with their debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The group's first feature, the Academy Award-nominated "A Hard Day's Night," offered fans their first peek into a day in the life of the Beatles and served to establish the Fab Four on the silver screen, as well as to inspire the music video format.Songs: I'll Cry Instead, A Hard Day's Night, I Should've Known Better, Can't Buy Me Love, If I Fell, And I Love Her, I'm Happy Just to Dance with You, Ringo's Theme (This Boy), Tell Me Why, Don't Bother Me, I Wanna Be Your Man, All My Lovin', She Loves You. ... Read more

    Reviews (264)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Film with FABulous Extras
    This is one of the great films from the 1960s and should be seen by everyone at least once during their lifetime.

    The film has held up very well and the editing still looks innovative nearly 40 years later. One thing that is very noticeable with this set is that the music has been digitally remastered and the sonic quality of the songs is markedly different from the dialogue in the rest of the movie.

    The extra disc provides a lot of insight into the making of the film and the whole Beatles scene. Everyone from Richard Lester to the tailor and hairdresser on the film talk about their memories. Klaus Voorman gives an interesting interview where he shows drawings that he made during the early years of Beatlemania. There is also a documentary on the first disc that repeats clips from some of the interviews on disc 2 but most of the insights are unique to this special.

    Despite the fact that there is a lot of bonus content, even more would have been appreciated. While there is an interview with the man who designed the film's movie poster, an actual gallery of posters and lobby cards would have been appreciated. It would have also been appropriate to include theatrical trailers for the film. This set does include DVD-ROM content but I did not have access to it so perhaps these things are located there.

    Other things that could've been added to disc 2 include deleted scenes shown in "You Can't Do That! The Making of 'A Hard Day's Night'" and the "I'll Cry Instead" intro that was added to the film when it was re-released in the 1980s. Richard Lester's "Running Jumping Standing Still" film should have also been included since it's mentioned so much on the DVD.

    For fans of 1960s cinema or the Beatles, this set is a keeper. Here's hoping "Help!" gets similar treatment someday.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fab -- A very clean old movie
    "A Hard Day's Night" makes most critics' best-ever lists. It's widely considered an electrifying mix of great music and hip comedy, both a time capsule of the swinging '60s and a timeless entertainment. Roger Ebert calls it "one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies."

    Respect hasn't led to respectful treatment. Legal wrangling followed "A Hard Day's Night" throughout its home video life, resulting in oddities like the "tribute to John Lennon" musical prologue tacked on for VHS. The first DVD version, from MPI in 1997, disappeared after a few months of distribution.

    Here, finally, is an up-to-date rendition worthy of the film.

    "A Hard Day's Night" looks and sounds about as good as could be expected. The carefully lit black-and-white images should please most viewers -- even though they're on the flat side, with persistent minor speckling. The stereophonic songs swing as they must, smoking the tracks on Capitol's (shamefully outdated) soundtrack CD. (The MPI video had significantly worse sound but deeper contrasts.) Try this: Put on the Capitol version of "Tell Me Why" and then play the movie version. Perhaps Capitol can tell us why they continue to sell 15 year old Beatles CDs.

    The film, shot in 35mm, is presented in widescreen, letterboxed with a ratio of about 1.66:1, enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The spiffed-up audio comes via Dolby Digital, with the musical numbers in stereo.

    The first disc contains the movie as well as "Things They Said Today," a new promo film that gives the big picture. The second disc is all interviews, arranged by category (cast, crew, etc.).

    Martin Lewis, a Beatles historian and pal to most of the filmmakers, conducted 30 video interviews for the package. They include key players -- Martin, director Richard Lester, United Artists exec David Picker, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor ("Star Wars") and Beatles publicist Tony Barrow -- as well as those who were just lucky to find themselves working on a film project "at the center of the universe."

    The reminiscences get infusions of energy from upbeat clips, some amplifying the talkers' points and others making Beatle-esque visual jokes. The production was extensively filmed and photographed, with hours of that material first seen in this collection. The interviews are tightly edited, surprisingly focused and often a great deal of fun. It becomes clear that contributing to the film profoundly changed the lives of most of these people.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Seriously Lacks Originality
    An overrated band starring in an overrated documentary. I was under the impression that the goal of a film such as this was to convey a sense of time and place, and realism, but apparently the cliched "flop tops" couldn't be bothered for that. In 90 minutes, these third-rate musicians skip a television rehearsal almost ruining the entire program, neglect responding to fan mail, harass their manager, harass young women, harass old women, harass the police, encourage school drop-out, endanger the elderly, and let's not forget play horrible generic pop music (which is obviously lip-synched, completely destroying any realism the director might have been going for). I'm surprised they weren't arrested, seeing as how all of their deeds were caught on film. If anyone had a Hard Day's Night from this film, it was me from the nightmares I had after seeing it. God bless Aaron Carter - now there's a candidate for a documentary!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Original
    This could have been a "B" movie exploitation film of a short lived pop group. Instead, it turned out to be the precursor to MTV and music videos, shows what made the Beatles so much fun and manages to play a few of their great tunes at the same time. The plot is minimal, consisting of the Beatles entourage getting the Beatles to a live television show on which the Beatles are to perform. Nearly from the beginning to the end, the Beatles are chased by pimple faced young teens, the police, their handlers, and everyone else. And throughout the film, Paul's grandfather, played by William Brambell (a very clean old man), keeps stirring up problems.

    The nominal plot allows the Beatles natural likeability to shine. This film established the personas of the individual Beatles (as portrayed to the media) -- Paul -- straightforward and good natured, John -- incessantly sarcastic, George -- subtle with a dry sense of humor, and Ringo -- quiet, shy and introspective. The movie is irreverent, inventive, funny, droll, deadpan, filled with non-stop movement, and some great, if dated, rock-n-roll! A wonderful film showing the exuberance of youth, the innocence of an earlier time, and Beatlemania in all its glory!

    The DVD's extras include interviews with about everyone still living who participated in the film except the surviving Beatles. While it is nice to have all of the insiders reminiscing about the film, it would have been nice to hear from some of the Fab Four.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Movie is great but extra features aren't that spectacular
    A Hard Day's Night is a GREAT movie and the DVD does help with the quality of the film. However when i bought this i thought possibly some of the extra features would contain interviews with the Beatles and so on. THERE WERE NONE..But since the movie is great and so is the quality i would still recommend buying it. ... Read more

    19. The Grapes of Wrath
    Director: John Ford
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
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    Asin: B0000DJZ8R
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 960
    Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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    Ranking No. 21 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films, this 1940 classic is a bit dated in its noble sentimentality, but it remains a luminous example of Hollywood classicism from the peerless director of mythic Americana, John Ford. Adapted by Nunnally Johnson from John Steinbeck's classic novel, the film tells a simple story about Oklahoma farmers leaving the depression-era dustbowl for the promised land of California, but it's the story's emotional resonance and theme of human perseverance that makes the movie so richly and timelessly rewarding. It's all about the humble Joad family's cross-country trek to escape the economic devastation of their ruined farmland, beginning when Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from a four-year prison term to discover that his family home is empty. He's reunited with his family just as they're setting out for the westbound journey, and thus begins an odyssey of saddening losses and strengthening hopes. As Ma Joad, Oscar-winner Jane Darwell is the embodiment of one of America's greatest social tragedies and the "Okie" spirit of pressing forward against all odds (as she says, "because we're the people"). A documentary-styled production for which Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland demanded painstaking authenticity, The Grapes of Wrath is much more than a classy, old-fashioned history lesson. With dialogue and scenes that rank among the most moving and memorable ever filmed, it's a classic among classics--simply put, one of the finest films ever made. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ford and Fonda do justice to Steinbeck
    Take John Steinbeck's Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Novel. Turn it into a movie and let John Ford direct it, and get Henry Fonda to star. In 1940 you could hardly find a more certain recipe for a cinema classic.

    As good as the film is, it really should be a companion-piece to Steinbeck's original masterpiece, and if you haven't read it I recommend setting aside enough time to read one of the greatest pieces of American literature ever written.

    That being said, the medium of the cinema allows for a visual impact that can't be matched with the written word.

    The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family during the great depression. That period of economic hardship hit the farmers in Oklahoma a little harder than the rest of the world, at the time of the dust bowl the "Okies" were at the end of their ropes, financially speaking.

    Thousands of Okies packed up the house after being foreclosed and moved out to California - many winding up around Bakersfield, at the California end of old US Route 66. (Merle Haggard's family did so and the "Okie from Muscogee" wrote about it in songs like "California Cottonfields".)

    Anyway, this is the historical context of the movie. The theme of the movie, and of Steinbeck's book, is the ability of the human spirit to remain intact in these worst of times. The Joads suffer terrible humiliations, one after another, most of them because of their desperate financial status. But as the story proceeds we see that they are fundamentally decent, hard-working people, and every time life knocks them down they get back up, brush the dirt off themselves, and keep moving forward. As a national characteristic, this was an important trait because this was the generation that produced the hard-working, high-minded individuals who did important things like win World War II, followed by America's greatest financial flourishing and the Baby Boom. Tom Brokaw called them "America's Greatest Generation".

    The cast is picture-perfect, with Henry Fonda as the spirited Tom Joad and John Carradine as the former preacher with a new social consciousness. Jane Darwell won a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Award as Ma Joad, and the remainder of the cast is in every way equal to the story and the film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American Classic
    This is a great movie based on a great novel, and I am surprised by how honestly the film captures the raw humanity of the book. Steinbeck weaved social commentary into the story, and the movie makes many points about the human condition and spirit without being heavy-handed. The story of the Joads and their fight for survival rings very true, thanks to the realistic performances and the atmosphere created by director John Ford. Henry Fonda gives one of the best performances I have ever seen him give, and his "I'll be there" speech is one of the great movie moments. Jane Darwell is also very impressive, and her direct, down-to-earth style of acting makes the quiet strength and the suffering of Ma Joad seem very real. The Grapes of Wrath is an American classic, both as a novel and as a film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "I'll be all aroun' in the dark."
    "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loos'd the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, His truth is marching on." - Battle Hymn of the Republic.

    In 1936, John Steinbeck wrote a series of articles about the migrant workers driven to California from the Midwestern states after losing their homes in the throes of the depression: inclement weather, failed crops, land mortgaged to the hilt and finally taken over by banks and large corporations when credit lines ran dry. Lured by promises of work aplenty, the Midwesterners packed their belongings and trekked westward to the Golden State, only to find themselves facing hunger, inhumane conditions, contempt and exploitation instead. "Dignity is all gone, and spirit has turned to sullen anger before it dies," Steinbeck described the result in one of his 1936 articles, collectively published as "The Harvest Gypsies;" and in another piece ("Starvation Under the Orange Trees," 1938) he asked: "Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done?"

    By the time he wrote the latter article, Steinbeck had already published one novel addressing the agricultural laborers' struggle against corporate power ("In Dubious Battle," 1936). Shortly thereafter he began to work on "The Grapes of Wrath," which was published roughly a year later. Although the book would win the Pulitzer Prize (1940) and become a cornerstone foundation of Steinbeck's Literature Nobel Prize (1962), it was sharply criticized upon its release - nowhere more so than in the Midwest - and still counts among the 35 books most frequently banned from American school curricula: A raw, brutally direct, yet incredibly poetic masterpiece of fiction, it continues to touch nerves deeply rooted in modern society's fabric; including and particularly in California, where yesterday's Okies are today's undocumented Mexicans - Chicano labor leader Cesar Chavez especially pointed out how well he could empathize with the Joad family, because he and his fellow workers were now living the same life they once had.

    Having fought hard with his publisher to maintain the novel's uncompromising approach throughout, Steinbeck was weary to give the film rights to 20th Century Fox, headed by powerful mogul and, more importantly, known conservative Daryl F. Zanuck. Yet, Zanuck and director John Ford largely stayed true to the novel: There is that sense of desperation in farmer Muley's (John Qualen's) expression as he tells Tom and ex-preacher Casy (Henry Fonda and John Carradine) how the "cats" came and bulldozed down everybody's homes, on behalf of a corporate entity too intangible to truly hold accountable. There is Grandpa Joad (Charley Grapewin), literally clinging to his earth and dying of a stroke (or, more likely, a broken heart) when he is made to leave against his will. There is everybody's brief joy upon first seeing Bakersfield's rich plantations - everybody's except Ma Joad's (Jane Darwell's), that is, who alone knows that Grandma (Zeffie Tilbury) died in her arms before they even started to cross the Californian desert the previous night. There is the privately-run labor camps' utter desolation, complete with violent guards, exploitative wages, lack of food and unsanitary conditions; contrasted with the relative security and more humane conditions of the camps run by the State. And there is Tom's crucial development from a man acting alone to one seeing the benefit of joining efforts in a group, following Casy's example, and his parting promise to Ma that she'll find him everywhere she looks - wherever there is injustice, struggle, and people's joint success. In an overall outstanding cast, which also includes Dorris Bowdon (Rose of Sharon), Eddie Quillan (Rose's boyfriend Connie), Frank Darien (Uncle John) and a brief appearance by Ward Bond as a friendly policeman, Henry Fonda truly shines as Tom; despite his smashing good looks fully metamorphosized into Steinbeck's quick-tempered, lanky, reluctant hero.

    Yet, in all its starkness the movie has a more optimistic slant than the novel; due to a structural change which has the Joads moving from bad to acceptable living conditions (instead of vice versa), the toning down of Steinbeck's political references - most importantly, the elimination of a monologue using a land owner's description of "reds" as anybody "that wants thirty cents and hour when we're payin' twenty-five" to show that under the prevalent conditions that definition applies to virtually *every* migrant laborer - and a greater emphasis on Ma Joad's pragmatic, forward-looking way of dealing with their fate; culminating in her closing "we's the people" speech (whose direction, interestingly, Ford, who would have preferred to end the movie with the image of Tom walking up a hill alone in the distance, left to Zanuck himself). Jane Darwell won a much-deserved Academy-Award for her portrayal as Ma; besides John Ford's Best Director award the movie's only winner on Oscar night - none of its other five nominations scored, unfortunately including those in the Best Picture and Best Leading Actor categories, which went to Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and James Stewart ("The Philadelphia Story") instead. Still, despite its critical success - also expressed in a "Best Picture" National Board of Review award - and its marginally optimistic outlook, the movie engendered almost as much controversy as did Steinbeck's book. After the witch hunt setting in not even a decade later, today it stands as one of the last, greatest examples of a movie pulling no punches in the portrayal of society's ailments; a type of film regrettably rare in recent years.

    "Ev'rybody might be just one big soul - well it looks that-a way to me. ... Wherever men are fightin' for their rights, that's where I'm gonna be, ma. That's where I'm gonna be." - Woody Guthrie, "The Ballad of Tom Joad."

    "The highway is alive tonight, but nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes. I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light, with the ghost of old Tom Joad." - Bruce Springsteen, "The Ghost of Tom Joad."

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Grapes--and Apples and Oranges--of Wrath
    It's striking how many reviewers here base their comments on a simplisitic comparison between the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" and the Steinbeck novel on which it was based. For many such a comparison seems to function simply as an excuse to proclaim the inherent superiority of the Steinbeck original--and, by extension, the superiority of their own literary taste values-- when all it really does is highlight the patent silliness of trying to pit different artforms into some sort of evaluative competition. Literature and cinema are two vastly different modes of representation each with their own strengths and limitations, so the framing question shouldn't be which version of "The Grapes of Wrath" is "better"--as if there were a universal yardstick with which to measure such things--but rather how do they perform in terms of their respective mediums? On that count, I think we are extraordinarily fortunate with both the Steinbeck and Ford versions of "The Grapes of Wrath" to have two masterworks that operate consummately at the peak of their respective artforms. What each does well, it does brilliantly. As a verbal medium that unfolds slowly, literature is good at offering rich, layered descriptions of person and place and mapping complicated narrative links and Steinbeck makes the most of this in his novel. Cinema, by contrast, is an expressive medium that works best through registers of visual and aural metaphor, allegory and performance...and it's on this ground that I think the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" more than merits its classic status. It is a magnificently "cinematic" film that uses the expressive capacities of the medium to produce a richly layered experience that is truly moving and that lingers long afterward, sometimes for years or even a whole lifetime. I first saw "The Grapes of Wrath" on TV one rainy afternoon in my childhood and it left indelible impressions that have impelled me to go back to the film time and again: The haunted eyes of Jane Darwell's Ma Joad as she sits in the truck cabin, lit from beneath, driving into an uncertain future, the winds of history howling oustside; the terrifying collision montage as the monstrous "cats" move in to destroy the Okies' homes; the soulless gas station attendants, standing together in uniforms like corporatized automata, muttering that the Joads are too miserable to be human. It's a film dense with iconic richness and an enduring testament both to the artistry of the many workers that created it, and to the democratic spirit of popular cinema at its very best.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good a restoration as possible
    This DVD restoration is probably as good as possible given that the original camera negative was lost. This is the one to get.

    By the way, there is NO widescreen version of "The Grapes of Wrath." This DVD release exhibits the full frame aspect ratio of the original (1.33 to 1 ratio). Essentially, films made between 1917 and 1952 were filmed with a full frame aspect ratio. Standard televisions were proportioned 4:3 to copy the standard cinema ratio. Widescreen (Cinemascope, etc) was a gimmick introduced by Hollywood in the 1950s to compete with television. So if a film was made between 1917 and 1952 don't go looking for a widescreen version of it because there isn't any! ... Read more

    20. The Art of Buster Keaton
    list price: $199.95
    our price: $179.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005QW5A
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 5942
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Buster Keaton was arguably the cinema's first modernist, an old-fashioned romantic with a 20th-century mind behind a deadpan visage. His filmsbrim with some of the most breathtaking stunts and ingenious gags ever put onfilm, all perfectly engineered to look effortless. And, as Kino's magnificent11-disc boxed set The Art of Buster Keaton conclusively shows, they areamong the funniest ever made. Keaton warped gags until they left the plane ofreality in such shorts as The Playhouse (1921) and The FrozenNorth (1922), and takes a logic-defying leap into the very nature of cinemaitself in his hilarious Sherlock Jr. (1924). He takes on the mechanicalworld with Rube Golberg ingenuity in The Navigator (1924) and perfectshis match between man and massive machine in Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928),which features the funniest hurricane scene ever put to film, and TheGeneral (1927), one of the greatest comedies of all time.

    In addition to the previously released 11 features and 19 shorts from the peakof Keaton's career, this set boasts the exclusive Keaton Plus, acollection of rarities and tributes. The greatest find is the long-lost endingto Hard Luck (1921), now restored to complete the film's final inspiredgag. Other highlights include newly discovered scenes from Daydreams(1922) and The Love Nest (1923), entertaining excerpts from Keaton's 1951TV show Life with Buster Keaton (he's still got it!), and his raredramatic turn in the 1954 television play The Awakening. --SeanAxmaker ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Keaton DVD Collection- Almost Perfect
    The 11-disc set of Buster Keaton's work is, of course, a must-have for Mr. Keaton's fans in particular and silent film fans in general (sorry..). Having all these wonderful films on DVD is truly a dream come true.
    That being said, I must point out one or two things with which I was disappointed. The set is said to be "digitally mastered from archival prints". Then why are there so many sections of film that are in such poor condition? While digital technology cannot replace lost film, even on my home computer I can touch-up photographs; surely a film restoration company should have better and more extensive resources at its disposal. Another sore spot is the scoring. I have been spoiled by a brilliant musician who plays at the Silent Movie Theatre here in Los Angeles, Dean Mora. He is the perfect accompanist for silent films. Some of the scoring for the DVD set is, forgive me, atrocious. The worst offense is the use of the James Bond theme for one part of SHERLOCK, JR. Of only slightly less heinous nature is the use of thematic elements from other (read "future") time periods. I may sound like an old fogey (I'm 43), but I think that a piano is fine, a violin and maybe one or two other chamber pieces sufficient. I am not averse to full orchestration, but music choice and coordination with the film is paramount. Musical cues should reflect on-screen action. One last point; sound effects are not needed.
    Even with the flaws, I say: buy this set. It's wonderful to have Mr. Keaton in your home.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a treasure...
    I don't disagree with the minor complaints of some of the other reviews of this Kino set of Buster Keaton's 1920s films. The music isn't always at the highest level. But generally its quite good, especially considering that most DVD reissues of silents are backed with a soundtrack performed on a synthesizer. I prefer a slightly out-of-tune but bona fide violin to a digital imitation of an orchestra. Also, these transfers have been around for a few years. Perhaps some of them could be improved upon. I noticed that the more recent Image DVD issue of "The General" has a better image. Perhaps someday we'll get a new Keaton set with transfers to match the quality of Image Entertainment's the General. But overall the image quality of the current Kino set is very good to excellent.

    Those caveats aside, I would put this collection (along with Image's box of the Chaplin Mutuals and Essanays) in the 'essential' category for silent movie fans. Considering that a lot of movie classics are yet to see DVD issue, we are fortunate that Kino has put together such a comprehensive collection of Keaton's pre-MGM movies. Bogart fans will have to wait for the African Queen, but Keaton fans can enjoy these films right now. And unlike the Chaplin boxed set mentioned above, there's hardly a dud in the Keaton collection. Pretty much everything here will bring enjoyment over repeated viewings. With Image Entertainment's wonderful Arbuckle/Keaton issue now readily available, all we need is The Cameraman and Spite Marriage! I'd love to see these films make it to DVD...

    5-0 out of 5 stars indespensable set of hollywoods first modernist
    the old chaplin vs keaton thing seems all the more pointless upon viewing the bulk of keatons work.
    comparing them is a bit like the old apples and oranges thing.
    chaplin was certainly the better actor.
    he was more emotional and stirred your feeling far more than keaton.
    but chaplin was not really an innovator like keaton was and in keatons best work his revolutionary aesthetics stand out.
    works like 'playhouse' (in my opinion his greaest accomplishment)
    and sherlock jr.
    try comparing these to chaplins easy street and it simply cant be done.
    this set was long overdue and it is a treasure to have, and i think to appreciate keaton you simply cant watch one of his films, you have to watch a group of them.
    of course keaton paid the price for being just 'too artistic' and was duly punished in time by the system (for a while chaplin knew how to deal the sytem better than keaton did,).
    invest in it and see the evolution of an important artist.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Mister, we could use a man like Buster Keaton again..."
    I had only seen a handful of Buster Keaton's films before deciding to take the plunge and buy the mammoth "Art Of Buster Keaton" DVD box set. I'm glad I threw the dice and ordered this. Here is silent filmmaking at its finest, with great attention to detail given to both short and feature films. The films are good and, although some of them are showing their age, I expect these are the best prints possible. You can't ask for anything more.

    This is a huge collection of films (11 features and 19 shorts), so reviewing individual items is not going to be beneficiary. These discs have also been released individually, and I've already written many words on each of them. But in general terms, I did find that I preferred his short films to his longer works. The feature films don't quite have the frantic pace to them that made the shorter films so memorable and enjoyable. Of course, comparisons to his short movies a little unfair, as those shorts are rightly praised as some of the funniest sequences ever filmed. But there are some incredible moments in his features as well as some strong movies.

    But those shorts. Wow. Here are some of the most memorable movie scenes I have ever viewed. Once seen, who can forget the literally hundreds of angry police officers chasing Keaton in COPS, or the prisoner bungee jumping from the end of a noose in CONVICT 13, or the DIY house being demolished by a train in ONE WEEK? These films are fast-paced, surreal, bizarre and hilarious. I loved them to pieces.

    Prop comedy is something that is now horrifyingly associated with such painfully annoying clowns as Carrot Top (Lord help us). But in the slapstick era, this was something that was not only funny, it could be downright diabolical. I can only imagine how long it must have taken to construct the trap doors and false walls and other goodies that cropped up again and again. Clever, inventive and strangely sophisticated, these physical implements, when combined with Keaton's formidable athletic abilities, produced some amazing and breathtaking scenes.

    One of the things I would wonder to myself was not simply "How on Earth did Keaton do that stunt?", but "How on Earth did Keaton survive that stunt?" His accomplishments are made all the more impressive given that he was performing all of these aerobatics himself with little in the way of trick photography (decades later, Jackie Chan would work in much the same way to similar acclaim).

    The major bonus in this set is the final DVD, KEATON PLUS, which contains all sorts of rarities and extras. While the films here show Keaton in the 1920s, these extras focus on Keaton later in his career. It's somewhat sad to see the great man reduced to doing cheesy commercials, but he's always at least watchable. A few short excerpts from his 1950s TV series are included, and while it's fun to see that he could still take a pratfall thirty years on, I suspect that the thrust behind his return was the opportunity to make out with the incredibly tall and gorgeous model who appeared in virtually every clip. Lucky old Buster; though after being teamed up with Jimmy Durante, that's the least that karma owed him.

    I noticed that some reviewers have had negative things to say about the musical selections used as the soundtrack to these silent pictures. My experience was quite different, as overall I enjoyed the music and was only occasionally annoyed by it. On the other hand, you may wish to take what I say with a grain of salt, as I thought the James Bond musical riff in SHERLOCK, JR. was absolutely wonderful.

    This was a great purchase, and during the perusal of this set, I felt I was not only seeing some great filmmaking, but a real splice of cinema history. It's really a shame that Keaton's career went down the tubes after the 1920s, as I felt his features were gradually improving as he gained more experience. His shorts (from the early part of the decade) were uniformly excellent, but I got the impression that he was gaining more useful experience in feature-length movies and developing as filmmaker. It may be a bit depressing to know what happened after signing to MGM, but at least here we can enjoy the good times while they lasted. And they certainly were good times and great films.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, but a few oversights...
    This is a very good collection of the "essentials" of Keaton. One problem I have is that the bonus disk includes the complete "Hard Luck" (it adds back in the heretofore misplaced final gag), but the unrestored "Hard Luck" is on another disk. While interesting to see how Kino overcame the problem of the unfound film (it describes the gag and shows a still), I would rather have had the restored "Hard Luck" on one disk and had some bonus disk space freed up for the entire "This is Your Life" program (which sounds interesting in Keaton bios).

    The Thames TV/HBO Video three-parter "A Hard Act to Follow" has a better variety of rarities, including samplings of Keaton's final works (including Samuel Beckett's "Film", an industrial safety film, "The Railrodder", and some decent interviews and behind the scenes).

    On the picky side, one of my brand new DVDs had a scuff on it. I contacted Kino and they offered a replacement in return for the damaged disc, which I appreciate. Many of the discs also had fingerprints on them, which they will contact their manufacturer about. A small matter, perhaps, but the relatively high cost of this set and the reputation of Kino as a premier film reissue company means to me that such sloppiness should not be an issue. ... Read more

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