Entertainment :: Movies

The Best Of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection - Romance

by Ed Tapper
Contributor
Tuesday Apr 9, 2013
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Just when you thought that Warner Brothers had issued cinematic warhorses like "Casablanca" and "Gone with the Wind" on every conceivable video format, and in countless DVD compilations, the studio manages to extract the last inch of mileage from these classic vehicles. Refusing to let Scarlett rest in peace, the latest concept is a mega-box, in which a slew of DVDs from the Warner archives are stacked into three, multi-disc, flip-spindle cases, and slid into a chronologically ordered box entitled "Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Romance" ---a blanket title indeed since 90% of all films have some sort of romantic angle. In light of the theme, some of the selections, like "Mrs. Miniver" and "Streetcar Named Desire," seem unlikely choices.

The 20 films cover a 70-year time period and vary drastically with respect to their quality. The box opens with two vintage Bette Davis winners, "Jezebel" and "Now Voyager." From the 50’s, there are more questionable inclusions such as "Rebel without a Cause," and the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." By the 60’s, the set is more on the romantic track with the sprawling love story, "Doctor Zhivago." A pleasant surprise is the 1973 "A Touch of Class," a cleverly written extramarital romp, presented in a nice, widescreen print. Yet this is followed by the excruciating 1976 Streisand "A Star is Born." The set nearly recovers with pleasant comedies such as "The Goodbye Girl" and "You’ve Got Mail," but culminates in two unfortunate Sandra Bullock entries, the ponderously dull "The Lake House," and the shrill comedy, "Two Weeks Notice."

A meager booklet is enclosed with only brief synopses of the films, all of which have been previously issued on DVD as individual titles. Taken directly from two-disc editions, films like "The Philadelphia Story are labeled "Disc-One," although the second, special features DVD is not included. Most of the DVDs have generous extras, and the picture quality is sharp throughout, with all the movies presented in the proper aspect ratio.

The 20 films cover a 70-year time period, and vary drastically with respect to their quality.

Since vintage film buffs already own the ubiquitous classics included in this set, and many younger viewers have little interest in the older movies, it is unclear as to what audience this new set is being targeted. The $99.00 ticket is hardly a bulk price for this voluminous stack of discs; so buyers may choose to purchase their favorites individually.

Best of Warner Brothers - 20 Film Collection: Romance DVD

$98.92

www.warnervideo.com

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