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THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN *** (The complete first season)
The first superhero created for comic books leaped from radio to television in the 50s. Produced by Robert J. Maxwell, who also produced the radio version), each of the episodes screens like a classic crime film, with George Reeves playing the Man of Steel. This deluxe 5-disc set includes some super extras. Features: A retrospective documentary: Adventures of Superman: From Inkwell to Backlot, featuring Jack Larson, Leonard Maltin and others; commentary on 4 key episodes by Superman chroniclers Gary H. Grossman and Chuck Harter.
THE BICYCLE THIEF **** Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece of Italian filmmaking and foundation stone of the neorealist film movement, it tells the harrowing tale of loss and depravation in post-war Rome. Awarded an honorary Oscar for Best Foreign Film (1949), it is the simple story about a man' who needs a job. It was shot on location in the streets of Rome using non-professional actors, giving chilling authenticity to the story of a man's desperate bid to provide for his family. De Sica comibined with long-time collaborator, writer Cesare Zavattini (Miracle in Milan, Umberto D), to produce a potent mix of real life detail, detective story and poetic melodrama as afather (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his devoted son (Enzo Staiola) roam the streets of the capital in search of the bicycle that will deliver them from poverty.
THE CHAPLIN COLLECTION & CHAPLIN CLASSICS ***** An absolute must for any collector. The Chaplin collection volume one features four of Chaplin's best films: Modern Times, The Great Dictator, The Gold Rush and Limelight. All four films have double discs with superb features: Modern Times features a documentary, deleted scenes, an educational film 'In The Machine' and a Cuban documentary on the reaction of peasants watching the film; Gold Rush features the original 1925 silent version, and an excellent documentary on Chaplin Today; The Great Dictator has a brilliant documentary on 'The Tramp and the Dictator, paralleling the lives of Chaplin and Hitler, and recently discovered colour footage shot by Chaplin's son; Limelight also features a great documentary with deleted scenes and the complete musical soundtrack. Don't even think about it, it's worth every cent. The Chaplin Classics features two of Chaplin's most endearing films, A Dog's Life and His New Job are found on one disc; another classic to look out for is Chaplin's masterful The Kid, the touching story of the tramp and an orphan. There's also Pay Day and A Jitney Elopement. Although there are no features on the 'classic edition', it does feature subtitles in different languages. There's also City Lights Named as one of the American Film Institute's Top-100 American Films, this superb masterpiece is found on a two disc set, with an all-new digital transfer of the film on one disc and some great special features on disc 2, including the documentary 'Chaplin Today: City Lights', and excerpts from the balletic boxing match 'The Champion' that was made 15 years before City Lights', and the first footage of Chaplin speaking on film.
CYRANO DE BERGERAC *** (Double Disc) Based on Edmond Rostand's play, this DVD includes two screen adaptations: the classic 1950 version, and the 1990 French adaptation. The story tells of an unusual man, who has an extraordinary large nose, who supplies the love words so that another, more handsome man, may woo the girl to whom he has lost his heart. It was also remade as Roxanne.Cyrano de Bergerac (1950):Written by Carl Foreman and directed by Michael Gordon, it stars Jose Ferrer in the title role (who received an Oscar for his performance. Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) : This sumptous 17 million dollar French adaptation was co-written and directed by Jean-Paul Rappaneau, with Gerard Depardieu offering a grand performance as the facially disgraced swordsman and poet.Features: Interview with Gerard Depardieu, cast profiles and reviews, legend of Cyrano essay, Roger Ebert review, CD Soundtrack
THE GREAT ESCAPE **** In 1943, the Germans opened Stalag Luft North,a maximum security prisoner-of-war camp designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. In doing so, however, the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history, brilliantly portrayed by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn, who worked on what became the largest prison break-out ever attempted. Features: Audio commentary with the cast and crew, theatrical trailer and interactive menu screen and chapter search.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME *** Anthony Hopkins can be seen as Quasimodo, the hunchback bell ringer, in this British made-for-TV adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic. It also features Lesley-Ann Down as the seductive gypsy, with Derek Jacobi as the evil Archdeacon and John Gielgud in a surpising cameo performance.
JAMES DEAN COLLECTION ***** Exquisitely packaged in a stunning tin box, this collector's edition is a must for any Dean fan. Each of Dean's films include an additional feature disc: The Giant extra disc includes the documentaries 'Memories of Giant' and 'Return to Giant', as well as some trailers and behind the scenes footage. The Rebel Without a Cause feature disc includes a new 50th-Anniversary documentary 'Defiant Innocents', as well as the vintage documentary 'James Dean Remembered', and some rare screen tests. The East of Eden feature disc includes a new documentary 'Art In Search Of Live' and additional scenes. If this is not enough, there's the superb documentary 'Forever Young', and 'James Dean: Sense Memories'. There's also audio commentaries on Giant, by Film Critic Stephen Farber, screenwriter Ivan Moffat and George Stevens Jr; the commentary on Rebel Without A Cause is by Douglas Rathgeb, author of The Making of Rebel Without A Cause; and the commentary on East of Eden is by Richard Schickel.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST - (Two disc edition) ***** It is one of the only independent films to scoop 5 Oscars at the 1975 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Actor (Jack Nicholson), Actress (Louise Fletcher), Director (Milos Forman) and adapted screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman). What makes this disc remarkable is the excellent behind-the scenes documentary. It is an insightful journey into the world of an immortal classic. There is also excellent feature length commentary by director Milos Forman and Producer Michael Douglas, and amazing additional scenes that were cut out and have never been seen before.
ON THE WATERFRONT ***** Marlon Brando won an Oscar for Best Actor at the ex-fighter who tries to come to terms with the death of a close friend and fight the dark forces on the waterfront. It was directed by Elia Kazan, who also directed Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Features: An interview with Elia Kazan; audio commentary by Richard Sickel and biographer Jeff Young; and a documentary 'Contender: Mastering the Method'
PRIVATES ON PARADE ***** This 1982 British film takes place in post-World War II Malaya, where British troops are stationed to halt the onslaught of Communist guerillas. Bible-thumping Major Giles Flick (John Cleese, in a wonderfully subtle supporting performance that reins in most of his inspired comic mania but yet remains humorously pitch-perfect) is in command of SADUSEA (Song And Dance Unit Southeast Asia), a troupe of song-and-dance entertainers who are meant to raise troop spirits. The silliness and high camp-value of the musical numbers -- of which there are many throughout the film -- are juxtaposed against the gravity of wartime reality. While at one moment the men are in drag in a chorus line, at another two of the film's characters are killed in a surprise ambush. The troupe is meant to entertain and raise the spirits of the British soldiers, but their traveling company is used as a way to secretly and illegally supply weapons to Malayan guerillas.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA - (Two disc special edition) **** For the first time since its screening at Cannes in 1984, can fans now view the full 221 minute version of Sergio Leone's epic story that portrays 50 years of riveting underworld history. Disc one features the first part of the film as well as audio commentary by Film Critic Richard Schickel; the second disc has part two of the film and additional bonuses: excerpt from the documentary 'Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone', profiling the making of the film.
THE WIZARD OF OZ ***** (two disc special edition) At last! The most beloved classic of all time is available on DVD. The first disc includes a new digital transfer from restored film elements and new commentary by historian John Fickle with cast, crew and family; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook and The Restoration of Oz. Disc Two includes documentaries and the film's creation and impact: 'We Haven't Really Met Properly', outtakes and deleted scenes; and some vintage vault featurettes.