Little Ceasar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest & White Heat Individual Blu-rays
Posted March 14, 2013 01:12 PM by Webmaster
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the standalone, single-disc Blu-ray releases of Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), The Petrified Forest (1936) and White Heat (1949). All four catalog titles arrive individually and as part of The Ultimate Gangster Collection Classic set -- which includes a fifth disc: a bonus DVD with feature-length documentary "Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film" -- on May 21st.
The studio also detailed audio specs, subtitles and extras:
Synopsis: "R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that's who!" Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone. And Hollywood got the message: 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star, and moviegoers hailed the hard-hitting social consciousness dramas that became the Depression-era mainstay of Warner Bros. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello, a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy. And Robinson -- a genteel art collector who disdained guns (in the movie, his eyelids were taped to keep them from blinking when he fired a pistol) -- was forever associated with the screen's archetypal gangster.
The Blu-ray edition of Little Caesar features English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; and the following extras:
Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Spencer Tracy Short The Hard Guy, Cartoon Lady Play Your Mandolin and Theatrical Trailers
Feature Film Commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell
Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero featurette
Synopsis: The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney's powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers -- but only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. When shooting began, Cagney had a secondary role, but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney's screen dominance and gave him the star part. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with '20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era: taut, gritty, hard-hitting -- even at breakfast when grapefruit is served.
The Blu-ray edition of The Public Enemy features English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; and the following extras:
Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Comedy Short The Eyes Have It, Cartoon Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! and Theatrical Trailers
Feature Film Commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell
Synopsis: A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of others hostage. As trapped as his captives, Mantee admits: "It looks like I'll spend the rest of my life dead." The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest in the modern world, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard (Squier) and Humphrey Bogart (Mantee) magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis (Gabby) ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. Sherwood initially wanted Bogart for a smaller role. "I thought Sherwood was right," Bogart said. "Icouldn't picture myself playing a gangster. So what happened? I made a hit as the gangster." So right was he that Howard refused to make the film without him...and helped launch Bogey's brilliant movie career.
The Blu-ray edition of The Petrified Forest features English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; and the following extras:
Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel, Musical Short Rhythmitis, Cartoon The Coo Coo Nut Grove and Theatrical Trailers
Feature Film Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert featurette
Synopsis: As a psychotic thug devoted to his hard-boiled ma, James Cagney -- older, scarier and just as electrifying -- gives a performance to match his work in The Public Enemy as White Heat's cold-blooded Cody Jarrett. Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett's violent life in and out of jail is also a harrowing character study. Jarret is a psychological time bomb ruled by impulse. He murders a wounded accomplice and revels in the act. He neglects his sultry wife (Virginia Mayo) and adores his doting mother. It is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney's career.
The Blu-ray edition of White Heat features English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono (both Castilian & Latin); English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; and the following extras:
Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short So You Think You're Not Guilty, Cartoon Homeless Hare and Theatrical Trailers
Feature Film Commentary by film historian Dr. Drew Casper
Is that the actual cover art? It's nice to see Warner returning to original posters instead of the awful "modernised" artwork they've been using on things like Singin' in the Rain and Dial M for Murder.
Good news on the individual releases. White Heat, Public Enemy and Little Caesar are the big hitters. Angels with Dirty Faces might have Cagney and Bogart but it's strictly second banana, see? I'd rather see High Sierra or Key Largo than that after school special.
The box set back only lists the featurettes, but the individuals list the commentaries as well. will the box set have all the single releases will have, just not listed on the box back? And are the BD in the box set in a digibook style?
@DetroitSquirreL: The disc art will probably be different, but the content and extras will be the same, regardless of whether you purchase them individually or as part of the set.
I'm not entirely sure about the packaging. The Warner assets site lists a Viva Multi-Disc Slipcase, which suggests the outer box will contain a 5-disc BD case and a separate booklet. The specs there aren't always 100% accurate, though. I'll see if any of their PR reps can confirm.
@kamphausd1: The Universal Monsters were released as region-free singles in the UK. When I bought three of them they were about 10 GBP apiece. Bought them through Amazon and there is a link on the site's database, but you may have to switch from US to UK or to All countries to see them with the movie search function. Amazon UK is reliable. It was 3 GBP to ship one movie, and an additional pound for each additional movie. The quoted movie prices include VAT, so if you're outside the EU the actual price of each will be significantly less.
A US Amazon userid and password work at the UK site, too. Before ordering, though, you might want to look into how your credit card(s) handle foreign currency transactions -- some are less expensive than others. Amazon will also do the conversion for you and tell you what their exchange rate is, so you can easily get a firm price in US dollars from them.
I believe insomniac013 was referring to the fact that Warner's first gangster collection on DVD included both "Roaring Twenties" and "Angels with Dirty Faces". But I suppose discussions on "you think that's a gangster film? THIS is a gangster film" are inevitable regardless.
The origin of the bonus documentary was actually Warner's 4th volume of gangster classics on DVD, not the Goodfellas release.
Scarface : Shame of a Nation is owned by Universal, and they missed that chance of something spectaular during last years centinnenal celebration, i would love to see it released proper as well, Hawks film is just that damn good!!
While I'd rather get the boxset... I think I like the singles better -- just because they have the original artwork/posters. Those look fantastic!! The boxset art, while nice and classy, almost looks more like a western.