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Warner Bros. Ultimate Gangster Collections, Contemporary and Classic Detailed

Posted March 11, 2013 10:38 AM by Webmaster

Warner 90th AnniversaryWarner Bros. has released updated information on its upcoming Blu-ray sets of The Ultimate Gangster Collections, Contemporary and Classic. The 2 sets contain 8 of Warner's more notable entries to the genre, plus one Paramount classic: the first set compiling modern (and already available) gangster hits, while the second set contains 4 gangster classics making their Blu-ray debut. The packages include, The Untouchables, Mean Streets, GoodFellas, Heat, The Departed , Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest and White Heat . Both collections street on May 21st.

The gangster genre is a huge cornerstone in the legacy of Warner Bros., and the restoration and preservation of these films is carried out with much pride and care. Major Hollywood studios in the '30s and '40s were each known for their distinctive styles. Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre of gangster films, which contained socially conscious themes and a simple visual look.

Contemporary
  • The Untouchables - Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone. Because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team, including a tough-as-nails street cop and a rookie sharpshooter.


  • Mean Streets - The future is set for Tony and Michael, owning a neighborhood bar and making deals in the mean streets of New York city's Little Italy. For Charlie, the future is less clearly defined. A small-time hood, he works for his uncle making collections and reclaiming bad debts. He's probably too nice to succeed. In love with a woman his uncle disapproves of (because of her epilepsy) and a friend of her cousin, Johnny Boy, a near psychotic whose trouble-making threatens them all, he can't reconcile opposing values. A failed attempt to escape (to Brooklyn) moves them all a step closer to a bitter, almost preordained future.


  • Goodfellas - Henry Hill is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?


  • Heat - Neil McCauley is a thief -- an expert thief. His philosophy in life - become attached to nothing in life that you can't walk away from in 30 seconds if you spot the "Heat" around the corner. His crew of criminals is a high-tech outfit pulling off professional jobs that impress even the likes of Detective Vincent Hanna. But Hanna, a man driven through life only by his work, becomes obsessed, at the expense of his private life, with bringing McCauley down. As McCauley's crew prepare for the score of a lifetime, and Hanna's team tries to bring him in, the two find that they are challenged by the greatest minds on the opposite side of the law that either one has ever encountered.


  • The Departed - Two just-graduated officers from Massachusetts State Police Academy follow opposite sides of the law: Billy Costigan is assigned to work undercover with the Irish mobster Frank Costello to get evidences to arrest him. His true identity is only known by his superiors Dignam and Oliver Queenan. The protégée of Costello, Colin Sullivan, is promoted in the Massachusetts State Police and is the informer of Costello. Each police officer gives his best effort trying to disclose the identity of the other "rat".



Classic New to Blu-ray, also Sold Separately
  • Little Caesar (1931) - The ambitious criminal Rico moves from the country to the big city in the east and joins Sam Vettori's gang with his friend Joe Massara. Sooner he becomes the leader of the gangsters and known as Little Caesar, and gets closer to the great mobster Pete Montana. In a robbery of a night-club, he kills the Crime Commissioner Alvin McClure and his pal Joe witnesses the murder. When Rico orders Joe to leave his mistress Olga Strassoff, she takes a serious decision.

    • Commentary by film historian Robert Sklar
    • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931
    • Featurette Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public


  • The Public Enemy (1931) - Tom Powers and Matt Doyle are best friends and fellow gangsters, their lives frowned upon by Tom's straight laced brother, Mike, and Matt's straight laced sister, Molly. From their teen-aged years into young adulthood, Tom and Matt have an increasingly lucrative life, bootlegging during the Prohibition era. But Tom in particular becomes more and more brazen in what he is willing to do, and becomes more obstinate and violent against those who either disagree with him or cross him. When one of their colleagues dies in a freak accident, a rival bootlegging faction senses weakness among Tom and Matt's gang, which is led by Paddy Ryan. A gang war ensues, resulting in Paddy suggesting that Tom and Matt lay low. But because of Tom's basic nature, he decides instead to take matters into his own hands.

    • Commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell
    • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1930
    • Featurette Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero


  • The Petrified Forest (1936) - Gabby lives and works at her dads small diner out in the desert. She can't stand it and wants to go and live with her mother in France. Along comes Alan, a broke man with no will to live, who is traveling to see the pacific, and maybe to drown in it. Meanwhile Duke Mantee a notorious killer and his gang is heading towards the diner where Mantee plan on meeting up with his girl.

    • Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
    • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936
    • Featurette The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert


  • White Heat (1949) - Cody Jarrett is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his 'Ma,' Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody's top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an 'accident' happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who thereby befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody's ultimate betrayal and downfall, during a big heist at a chemical plant.

    • Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper
    • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949
    • White Heat: Top of the World









Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (34 comments)



Top reviewer
Pirate King
  Mar 11, 2013
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Classic Gangsters.... I am very excited about this. Thanks Warner !
insomniac013
  Mar 11, 2013
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Angels With Dirty Faces?

Sky_Captain85
  Mar 11, 2013
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High Sierra?

yellowcakeuf6
  Mar 11, 2013
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Is Warner happy with the old transfers of GoodFellas and The Untouchables despite the complaints and will it be yet another repackaging?

Top reviewer
Gardenofstone10
  Mar 11, 2013
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I didn't know about Little Caesar until The Sopranos, so it's good to see it getting some treatment as I've come to love it.

someonesinthewolf
  Mar 11, 2013
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Shame the classic collection isn't the same as its DVD counterpart, which also contained Angels With Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties, 2 of the best gangster films.

Philly Q
  Mar 11, 2013
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I'll be in for the Classic collection, but I also hope to see The Roaring Twenties (and numerous other titles) at some point!

tru blu
  Mar 11, 2013
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Thank You Warner for these classics. Will add these to my collection.

miTfan3
  Mar 11, 2013
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The classics box has to be day 1. Bravo Warner.

dannalexcon
  Mar 11, 2013
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I'll pass on the double/triple dipping for the titles in the the contemporary set, will be buying the classic box though. I am holding out for the restored Goodfellas "ultimate edition" which were talked about in an article with a Warner executive a few months back(I think it was here)and will be released later this year.

Brad1963
  Mar 11, 2013
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Really? The Untouchables? Nothing like celebrating the WB 90th aniv by adding a Paramount title.

Top contributor
TJS_Blu
  Mar 11, 2013
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Looks like recycled extras on the Classic set. Probably Std Def.

Blu Balls
  Mar 11, 2013
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Damn! How many times is WB going to repackage Googdfellas? Why don't they just remaster it already?

Top contributor
mport5150
  Mar 11, 2013
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Classic set for me!

Top reviewer
Pirate King
  Mar 11, 2013
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I agree with the comments about Goodfellas. It does need a remaster. I know someone from Warner Bros is reading this..... so????
TheDaddy
  Mar 11, 2013
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Once Upon A Time in America [Long Version]

ShellOilJunior
  Mar 11, 2013
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I'm in for Classics. Couldn't they have used some better cover art?
Simple Lines
  Mar 11, 2013
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While all of the films in the classic set are good, I really hope they don't botch The Petrified Forest.

Top reviewer
Blu-Velvet
  Mar 11, 2013
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Great to see more of the classics finally coming out on Blu-ray, and hope many more will follow soon. Definite must-buys! I'd especially love to see the very first all-talking feature-length gangster film, THE LIGHTS OF NEW YORK get a good Blu-ray release, even if it's a bonus feature on some other title (since it's only about 59 minutes long). It may not be a LITTLE CAESAR or PUBLIC ENEMY, but it's much better than most of the history books claim.

However, though it's nice to see Warner Bros. including the same extras as the DVDs had, I really wish all of the "Warner Night at the Movies" shorts would also be upgraded to HD, as with very few exceptions (mainly an occasional cartoon) they've all been the old SD transfers ported over to Blu. For the WB anniversary it would also be nice to see a new HD documentary, even if it's a generic series like Universal did for its centennial releases.

Top contributor
mreeves83
  Mar 11, 2013
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"The 2 sets contain 8 of Warner's more notable entries to the genre..."

Looks like 9 films to me.

baheidstu
  Mar 11, 2013
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@mreeves83

9 films but one of them (The Untouchables) is a Paramount title, the other 8 are Warner titles.

dirtylemons
  Mar 11, 2013
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I'm definitely in for all the films in the Classics collection, but I'm particularly excited for 'Little Caesar', which I've been waiting on for a while.

Atreyu
  Mar 11, 2013
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Love Little Caesar and Public Enemy...the grapefruit scene is classic.

Top contributor
mreeves83
  Mar 11, 2013
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@baheidstu

Oops. I knew I should've learned how to read in school. Sorry to whoever posted the article for my trying to call out a mistake.

Top contributor
repete66211
  Mar 11, 2013
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I already own the 3 good contemporary titles but it's great to see classic gangster movies on Blu-ray. They picked the right ones if you ask me.
Terrifyer
  Mar 11, 2013
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Yet another repackaing (the fourth??) of a cinematic masterpiece without a decent transfer. Showing such disrespect to Goodfellas while continuing to peddle an awful transfer is one of 1000 reasons why WB is one of the worst distributors in the HD game.
nitin
  Mar 11, 2013
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Now bring on the noir sets Warner!

BluPix
  Mar 12, 2013
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I'm quite interested in the second, Classic set, especially the potential to upgrade my DVD of White Heat, one of my all time favorites; and to finally watch The Public Enemy for the first time.

I already have all five of the modern films separately in my collection.

These sets should be a very welcome, indeed, for all those who enjoy this genre, either older or newer.
jayembee
  Mar 12, 2013
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Definitely want the Classic set.

Top contributor
BluPat
  Mar 12, 2013
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Why are Warner Bros still releasing the newer films again? Why not just release the classics in volumes? But, I'm glad they are coming and since WB are releasing the classics in Volume 2, I'll just get them as singles. I already have the newer films.

mojo_navigator
  Mar 12, 2013
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I already have the Cagney, Edward G Robinson stuff on DVD . Is there really going to be any improvement with the blu rays? Are these new remasters or are we just expected to shell out again for the same thing (cuz I'm not planning to)

We really need more technical information. Just cos something is on blu ray doesn't necessarily mean its going to be an upgrade

yellowcakeuf6
  Mar 12, 2013
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"Why are Warner Bros still releasing the newer films again?"

Ye$. Why could thi$ be? I would really like an an$wer.

Jimmy W
  Mar 12, 2013
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Classics & 2 BIG thumbs up!!!

123kid
  Mar 21, 2013
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Why isn't there just a Cagney boxset?


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