Warner Classic Comedies Collection

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Jeff
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#1 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:23 pm

Specs are now up at Amazon. All are DD 2.0 mono with English, French, and Spanish subs. Good to see Schickel's "Men Who Made the Movies" docs starting to show up.

Bringing Up Baby
Disc 1:
Digitally Remastered Movie with Commentary by Director/Writer Peter Bogdanovich
Howard Hawks Movie Trailer Gallery

Disc 2:
Two Revealing Documentaries About the Star and Director: Feature-Length Cary Grant: A Class Apart and The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks
Two Vintage Vault Treasures: The Comedy Short Campus Cinderella and the Cartoon A Star Is Hatched

The Philadelphia Story
Disc 1:
Digitally Remastered Movie with Commentary by Film Historian Jeannine Basinger
George Cukor Movie Trailer Gallery

Disc 2:
Two Insightful Documentaries About the Star and Director: Katharine Hepburn: All About Me - A Self-Portrait and The Men Who Made the Movies: George Cukor
Robert Benchley Short That Inferior Feeling
Cartoon The Homeless Flea
Audio-Only Bonus: Two Radio Adaptations Featuring the Movie's Three Stars.

Libeled Lady
Audio-Only Bonus: Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
Theatrical Trailer

To Be Or Not To Be
Jack Benny Comedy Short The Rounder
Archival Newsreel

Stage Door
Musical Short Ups and Downs
Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Production with Ginger Rogers and Rosalind Russell

Dinner at Eight
Documentary Profile Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell, hosted by Sharon Stone
Comedy Short Come to Dinner
Theatrical Trailer

BWilson
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#2 Post by BWilson » Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:37 pm

I'm a little disapointed in the supplements.

Only two of them have commentaries?! I really wanted a commentary on To Be Or Not To Be. Bogdonavich, for all his knowledge, doesn't give very good commentary.

KJB2
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#3 Post by KJB2 » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:56 am

Well, on HIS films he does.

And, though it's a bit OT, I'd like to see an entire disc of Robert Benchley's short films. Very funny stuff, indeed.

Anonymous

#4 Post by Anonymous » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:22 pm

I posted this in the Region 1 thread before I saw that this new section existed ... my apologies for redundancy. Anyway, we saw Stage Door on DVD tonight and I was extremely impressed with the picture quality. My own VHS copy (taped off TNT way back when) was so poor that you could barely distinguish Gail Patrick from Ann Miller, and the print I saw in a revival theater last year was full of splices and jumps and was very dark. While the picture and sound are by no means perfect, I was surprised that an RKO movie looked so good on DVD. We tried to sit through one of the extras, a live-action short called "Ups and Downs," and got bored very quickly. But obviously the extras aren't important here, it's seeing this movie finally on DVD and in such good shape.

Question: If any of you have seen this movie before, did you remember the very brief shot towards the end of Kay's grave? Because that was new to me, and I've seen this movie a half-dozen times. I can't believe I missed it, and am wondering if it was something Warner managed to dig up.

Michael Strangeways
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#5 Post by Michael Strangeways » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:19 pm

I posted over to the other topic, too and asked a question about this graveyard insert.... Frankly, I'm flabbergasted because I've watched this movie a dozen or more times on VHS and NO SUCH SCENE/INSERT EXISTS!!!!!!!!! This is one of my favorite movies and I know it quite well, so I'm really surprised about this addition...( and for those of you about to ask; yeah, my tape is the 'officially' released RKO/Turner Home Video tape from a few years back, not something taped off tv...) I can't wait to get my hands on this, and the other films in the comedy set...(but I need a job first, dammit!)

Anonymous

#6 Post by Anonymous » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:50 pm

Michael, it occurs right before the little montage of Terry's successes (which also seems slightly longer than it did, but I'm not 100 percent sure ... I should run this DVD side-by-side with my old VHS copy and check). We see a little white grave on a hill with Kay's name on it, and someone running an old-fashioned push mower back and forth on the grass in front of the grave. I'm not sure if this is meant to indicate the passage of time, or what. It's a little odd and seems unnecessary.

Also, the opening credits looked different to me. I'm so tempted to run these side-by-side now. (I don't know when I'll have time to do that, though -- I'm in Austin and SXSW is next week. Hopefully soon.)

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Steven H
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#7 Post by Steven H » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:11 pm

To Be or Not To Be is easily one of the funniest films I've seen. I'll have to revisit Shop Around The Corner as it didn't impress me at all when I caught it on TCM some time ago (despite it's reputation and my fondness for ealier films of the director). After seeing To Be or Not To Be, I'm sure the lack of enjoyment lies more with me than Lubitsch, so I'm looking forward to a change of mind.

And it is funny they touted Robert Stack so much... hardly a draw, I'd say.

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zedz
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#8 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:01 pm

Is this thread moving to the Warners zone anytime soon?

Anal-retentively yours. . .

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david hare
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#9 Post by david hare » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:31 am

Jette I have just played the Warner disc back to back with a DVD burn from TV last week. The white Grave, and grass mowing montage/optical is also in that print. But I too have no memory of ever seeing it before!! How could we miss it? But how could it be cut previously without chopping into the music that rises up over Terry's last scene? I'm baffled!

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Michael Kerpan
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#10 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:32 am

quote="Steven H"]To Be or Not To Be is easily one of the funniest films I've seen. I'll have to revisit Shop Around The Corner as it didn't impress me at all when I caught it on TCM some time ago (despite it's reputation and my fondness for ealier films of the director). After seeing To Be or Not To Be, I'm sure the lack of enjoyment lies more with me than Lubitsch, so I'm looking forward to a change of mind..[/quote]

This film IS often very funny -- but doesn't really strike me as a comedy. Rather it is one of the most successful genre-blender I've ever seen. And Jack Benny is surprisingly good in a role that pulls him far outside the realm of his normal schtick.

The new DVD is a treat to have. As an extra, it has a very early film appearance by Benny in a comic short -- The Rounder (1930). Just peeked at this so far -- it's quite strange seeing Benny at such an early point in his career.

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#11 Post by Alonzo the Armless » Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:16 am

I just bought and watched TO BE OR NOT TO BE last night. One of my favorite comedies of all time too and I'm thrilled it finally made it to DVD. I wish it had some features about the background of the making of the movie. It was Lombard's last role and I believe she thought it was her finest. It stirred a lot of controversy in its release too. I would love to have gotten some more info behind all that.

I did discover this tidbit on my own. One of my favorite characters is Schultz. He has such a loyal, yet dumb and silent countenance. But he also looked familiar. His IMDB page revelaed that the same actor played Hercules in FREAKS!

The extra of THE ROUNDER was very strange, showing Benny in a role I'm not accustomed to. He was young, cocky, and loved to party. Too funny.

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#12 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:54 pm

Just watched "Libeled Lady" for the first time. Quite a hoot. I don't think Tracy measures up to his three stellar colleagues -- and the end is pretty arbitrary. But lots and lots of fun to be had. The print/negative used for the DVD is fairly damaged, but this is not painful to watch, all things considered.

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david hare
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#13 Post by david hare » Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:39 pm

After I recovered from the sheer pleasure of watching this beautiful transfer I am more than ever convinced the movie is really Cukor's first major work. He was above everything a masterly director of actors and every performance in this shines. I don't think anyone except Lubitsch could have handled the changes in tone so well, as when John Barrymore ends it all. Very interesting to compare the performance of arch-ham Barrymore in this to Hawks' equally expert use of him in TWENTIETH CENTURY. Cukor tames the ham, Hawks exploits it. (And both are great.)
Like a lot of talkie pioneers Cukor came from Broadway but no one can equal him in the treatment of seemingly "theatrical" material, like DINNER. His mise-en-scene in interiors is almost invisble yet you never have the sense of watching a filmed play. The actors are what matters and Cukor's camera and editing never show themselves off but simply, like Renoir, reveal and comment on the action as it unfolds.
Can't wait for a Warner release of SYLVIA SCARLET, meantime will make do with the French disc.

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#14 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:19 am

flixyflox wrote:After I recovered from the sheer pleasure of watching this beautiful transfer I am more than ever convinced the movie is really Cukor's first major work. He was above everything a masterly director of actors and every performance in this shines. I don't think anyone except Lubitsch could have handled the changes in tone so well, as when John Barrymore ends it all. Very interesting to compare the performance of arch-ham Barrymore in this to Hawks' equally expert use of him in TWENTIETH CENTURY. Cukor tames the ham, Hawks exploits it. (And both are great.)
Like a lot of talkie pioneers Cukor came from Broadway but no one can equal him in the treatment of seemingly "theatrical" material, like DINNER. His mise-en-scene in interiors is almost invisble yet you never have the sense of watching a filmed play. The actors are what matters and Cukor's camera and editing never show themselves off but simply, like Renoir, reveal and comment on the action as it unfolds.
Can't wait for a Warner release of SYLVIA SCARLET, meantime will make do with the French disc.
Classic or not -- I don't see how this is categorized as a comedy (just a few spots of comedy here and there). A dreadful script -- not even the best efforts of Harlow, Hilda Vaughn (Harlow's perfectly-matched, slovenly maid from Hell), Billie Burke and Marie Dressler can save this turkey -- though they do make it watchable from time to time. The bizarre 20-minute parody "Come To Dinner" (included as an extra on the DVD) was more entertaining. I'm glad that this was, in essence, a freebie -- because there were enough other films in the classic comedies set that I wanted to see (and own).

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#15 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:21 am

Libeled Lady (Jack Conway, 1936)

Thoroughly enjoyable fluff -- with three great performances -- Jean Harlow, William Powell and Myrna Loy. Spencer Tracy's character is a jerk -- and he doesn't appeal to me generally -- but he gets his job done. Walter Connolly is a joy --as always. Despite no special directorial or cinematographical flourishes, a very lovely (semi-precious) gem of a film (despite an ending that is almost breath-taking in itts abrupt arbitrariness). ;~}

An unexpected treat.

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Michael Kerpan
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#16 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:28 am

Despite a dramatically preposterous story line, there are so many wonderful performances by actresses young and old that it scarcely matters. Worthwhile, despite the story -- it's a good thing that so much of the film is devoted to incidental "girl talk".

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#17 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:29 am

"To Be Or Not To Be" doesn't seem to have gotten its own thread -- should it have -- or am I just blind?

Michael Strangeways
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#18 Post by Michael Strangeways » Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:40 pm

I have to agree that the plot is messy; the Ginger Rogers character pretty much disappears for the last third of the movie but the great ensemble work of the actresses makes up for it....and I find it odd this gets classified as a comedy, or even a screwball. While parts of it are quite funny, the last act is all tears and hugs...(yeah, i get a little weepy, too). For a really fun triple feature watch this, The Women, and So Proudly We Hail; you get almost every great Golden Age actress having fun chewing the scenery with every other great Golden Age actress....

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skuhn8
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#19 Post by skuhn8 » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:02 pm

what the hell? Can't find this on amazon.com anymore. just individually. OOP already?

jcelwin
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#20 Post by jcelwin » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:52 pm

Yeah, it hasn't been around there for about a week or so. Hopefully it still comes with the order I placed with them. I guess we'll see next week.

I don't think that it would be out of print yet though, would it?

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#21 Post by sherlockjr » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:27 pm

Just saw Libeled Lady for the first time. Except for the overblown silliness of the trout fishing scene, what a great time! Have never been a great Harlow fan (mostly because I can't see the attraction), but she really steals the show consistently . . . for she really can act! (Okay, so there's also the braless jiggling going on, too) And the chemistry between Loy and Powell is expectedly nice. Great fun.

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#22 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:11 pm

sherlockjr wrote:Just saw Libeled Lady for the first time. Except for the overblown silliness of the trout fishing scene, what a great time! Have never been a great Harlow fan (mostly because I can't see the attraction), but she really steals the show consistently . . . for she really can act! (Okay, so there's also the braless jiggling going on, too) And the chemistry between Loy and Powell is expectedly nice. Great fun.
I _liked_ the silliness of the trout fishing scene. ;~}

MEK

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#23 Post by sherlockjr » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:01 pm

I think the reason that the "trout scene" didn't resonate with me has more to do with timing than anything. I very recently saw Man's Favorite Sport, in which Rock Hudson does the same schtick -- although much more poorly!

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domino harvey
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#24 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:26 am

So I picked this up years ago in a DeepDiscount sale for ~$24, had seen Bringing Up Baby and To Be or Not To Be before but never bothered with the other four and in the process of doing some catching up with the ol' backlog, worked my way thru the rest of the set over the past week. The only real dog of the set for me was Dinner At Eight, which despite Harlow uttering "Holy cat!" had very little else to offer. Despite its reputation, I'd never seen the Philadelphia Story before and I wasn't missing much. Now Libeled Lady however, what a great momentum on this film, and the fight at the end with the dual nose-punches: superb! The biggest shock for me in the set however was Stage Door: I can't believe it had slipped me by all these years, so witty and slick, quite cynical and yet surprisingly touching during the final third of the film. So quotable too, my God: "What about the sign?" "Oh, we'll leave it there." Plus Lucille Ball was quite fetching in 1937! This is one of those worthless posts someone makes when they've just seen a movie, so I apologize.

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#25 Post by devlinnn » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:22 am

domino harvey wrote:Despite its reputation, I'd never seen the Philadelphia Story before and I wasn't missing much.
Live a little, drink a little more, f*** up your life and those around you, then come back to it. Kate will be waiting, arms stretched, ready to catch you.

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