Al Jolson stars in this film of a play purportedly based on his own life. He plays Jakie Rabinowitz, a singer trying to make a career on Broadway instead of following the wishes of his Rabbi father to replace him as the Synagogue Cantor. Jakie breaks with his father, becomes Jack Robin and gets on Broadway, only to be called to his father's death-bed on opening night. The film co-stars Warner Oland, May McAvoy, and Eugenie Besserer. Among the hit songs featured are Jolson's trademarks, 'Toot-Toot-Tootsie', 'Goodbye', 'Dirty Hands', 'Dirty Face', 'My Mammy', and a then-new song composed by Irving Berlin, 'Blue Skies'.
The Maltese Falcon
John Huston made his directorial debut with this classic film noir adaptation of Dashiel Hammett's novel, starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. Sam Spade (Bogart) is a cynical private eye caught up in the hunt for a jewel-encrusted falcon while searching for the murderer of his partner, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan). His fellow treasure hunters include a sinister 'little and large' act (Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet), a psychotic tearaway (Elisha Cook Jr), and the duplicitous femme fatale, Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Astor).
Classic war-time drama which has been mis-quoted for decades. During World War II former lovers Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilse (Ingrid Bergman) are reunited by chance in Casablanca, where he runs a nightclub and she, with her husband (Paul Henreid), is working for the French Resistance. Recriminations, rekindled desires and patriotic duty battle for primacy as Ilse's husband tries to outwit the local Nazis and escape from Morocco, whilst Rick and Ilse re-kindle their love and decide to run away together...
North By Northwest
A masterful mix of comedy and suspense from Alfred Hitchcock. Advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is lunching in a restaurant with his mother when he mistakenly answers a page for one George Kaplan. He soon finds himself on the run across the country, being pursued by enemies of the government who are convinced that he is a secret agent. He finds a friend in Eve Kendall (Eve Marie Saint), who helps conceal him during a perilous train journey, but soon discovers that she is not all she seems.
Ben Hur (Charlton Heston) is a Jewish prince who falls out with his close Roman friend (Stephen Boyd) when he refuses to promote Roman rule over his people - his mother and sister are imprisoned and he is enslaved. Hur plans and achieves revenge, but finds true peace when he joins the new following of Jesus Christ. This lavish biblical epic won a record-breaking eleven Oscars and is best known for its exciting chariot race sequence.
Following Lawrence of Arabia (1962), director David Lean continued his epic phase with this adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel. During World War One, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) studies to become a doctor in Moscow. He marries his childhood sweetheart Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), but is attracted to dressmaker's daughter Lara (Julie Christie), herself engaged to young revolutionary Pasha (Tom Courtenay). Lara is also conducting an affair with government official Komarovsky (Rod Steiger). Yuri and Lara's paths cross again in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, and the two begin a passionate affair.
Gone with the Wind
Epic romantic drama based on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning novel set during the American Civil War. Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) often uses men to get what she wants, but is unable to get the one man she truly desires, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). She soon meets her match in the roguish Captain Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and in the war itself which destroys the genteel way of life she has always known. With determination she rebuilds her life from the shattered remains the Union Army leaves behind. Despite its sometimes troubled production (director George Cukor was replaced by Victor Fleming, with Sam Wood brought in when Fleming's health failed), the film won ten Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Elia Kazan's screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' successful Broadway play. Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) travels to New Orleans to visit her pregnant sister, Stella (Kim Hunter). Stella's husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando), resents Blanche's presence, and is unhappy when she begins seeing his friend, Mitch (Karl Malden). The tension between Blanche and Stanley builds, reaching its climax when Stella is taken into hospital and the pair are left alone together. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
John Huston directs this classic action adventure drama starring Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt and Walter Huston. Stuck in Tampico, Mexico, Fred C. Dobbs (Bogart) is reduced to panhandling when he befriends another American, Curtin (Holt). Together they find employment with contractor McCormick (Barton MacLane), who attempts to get away without paying them. After beating their wages out of him, the pair learn from old timer Howard (Huston) that there is good money to be made from gold prospecting. They set out together to make their fortunes, but it is not long before greed rears its ugly head. John Huston won Oscars for his direction and screenplay, whilst his father, Walter, picked up a statuette for his supporting role.
MGM classic focusing on the intertwining lives of the inhabitants of a Berlin hotel. A lonely ballerina (Greta Garbo) contemplates suicide; a ruthless industrialist (Wallace Beery) makes a last ditch attempt to save his company; a fallen aristocrat (John Barrymore) resorts to thievery; an ambitious young woman (Joan Crawford) is about to trade her virtue for success; and a terminally-ill clerk (Lionel Barrymore) has a final fling. All five residents are unaware that their lives are about to change dramatically. The film won an Oscar for Best Picture.
They look great. What a curious thing to read a press release mentioning Cukor as a co-director of "Gone With the Wind." He was fired after a very slow-moving 2 weeks and there's scarcely anything he shot that made it to the film. Sam Wood (the 3rd director) has a lot more.
I've bought about 75% of these already, but having the original poster art is very appealing. Likely going to buy all of these.
blueskeeper11: yes, WB catalog releases have historically been Region ABC. I see no reason that these would be any different. Likely just the "feature" disc of each US release, unless they decide to include any bonus content disc(s).
I'm glad I held off buying The Maltese Falcon, always figuring the studio would do some special packaging for that iconic film. I'll definitely import the steelbook, likely along with a few others, including Grand Hotel.
But these do look really good. I'm looking forward to seeing what the back and inside of each of these steelies look like. Good move, Warner.
Grand Hotel I will probably get. Maybe Doctor Zhivago. I love the Gone with the Wind one, but I have the Scarlett Edition blu and don't see a point in double dipping. If these weren't so cheap, I wouldn't consider those two, but Grand Hotel looks like it'll only be about $5 more than the US release. Sweet deal
Do you dare wait until they are released before ordering? The %20 code is not for pre-orders (unfortunately!).
I pre-ordered these from Amazon UK to lock in the (rather low) Price. The recent Premium Edition SBs has taken some ups and downs in Price and I wanted to make sure these new SBs wouldn't go up in price and then not back down before release.
I REALLY like that thay use the original artwork for these SBs!!