Search - Classic Comedies Collection (Bringing Up Baby / The Philadelphia Story Two-Disc Special Edition / Dinner at Eight / Libeled Lady / Stage Door / To Be or Not to Be) on DVD

Classic Comedies Collection (Bringing Up Baby / The Philadelphia Story Two-Disc Special Edition / Dinner at Eight / Libeled Lady / Stage Door / To Be or Not to Be)
Classic Comedies Collection
Bringing Up Baby / The Philadelphia Story Two-Disc Special Edition / Dinner at Eight / Libeled Lady / Stage Door / To Be or Not to Be
Actors: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn
Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor, Gregory La Cava, Howard Hawks, Jack Conway
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War
NR     2005     10hr 13min

No Description Available. Genre: Feature Film-Comedy Rating: NR Release Date: 1-MAR-2005 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn
Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor, Gregory La Cava, Howard Hawks, Jack Conway
Creators: Anthony Veiller, Donald Ogden Stewart, Dudley Nichols
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Classics, Romantic Comedies, Classic Comedies, Cary Grant, Love & Romance, Classics, Military & War
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/01/2005
Original Release Date: 02/18/1938
Theatrical Release Date: 02/18/1938
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 10hr 13min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 6
SwapaDVD Credits: 6
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

Eric | Columbus, OH | 02/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is truly amazing!

A friend of mine is a major reviewer for an L.A. periodical and received an early copy of this 6-movie, 8 Disc, boxed set.

It is nothing short of a miracle....

At last BRINGING UP BABY on DVD. Looking gorgeous, for the first time ever. Well worth the wait. Grant and Hepburn's genius never shown more brightly. The bonus features are as exciting as the feature.

You get THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES: Howard Hawks, Richard Schickel's great docu from the '70s as updated a few years ago.

Even better is filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg's magnificent Cary Grant profile called CARY GRANT: A CLASS APART. It's so brilliantly done, that it shows how dumbed-down we've been by the endless barrage of rotten, paint-by-numbers A&E shows.

Last, but not least, is a feature commentary by the genius Peter Bogdanovich, who knew Hawks and Grant, and loves the movie, and has great things to say.

So that's just movie #1....

Onward to special movie # 2...a Two-Disc remastering (significantly better than the old DVD) of the Cukor masterpiece that re-teamed Grant and Hepburn and joined them with Jimmy Stewart, the classic PHILADELPHIA STORY. It's a treasure, with a wonderful commentary by Jeanine Basinger, another Schickel MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES about Cukor, and the unforgettable Hepburn cinematic self-portrait KATHARINE HEPBURN: ALL ABOUT ME.

But that's not all...

There's Kate and Ginger and EVe Arden and Ann Miller and Lucy and Adolph Menjou in Gregory La Cava's STAGE DOOR looking truly magnificent.

Moving on is master Ernst Lubitsch with Carole Lombard's final performance with the legendary Jack Benny in TO BE OR NOT TO BE, again looking better than one could hope for.

Then the MGM all star crew steps in. Both John and Lionel Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Billie Burke, Marie Dressler, and a cast of dozens of brilliant artists bringing Kaufman & Hart's wonderful play DINNER AT EIGHT to the screen.
It looks luscious. A Documenary about Harlow narrated by Sharon Stone adds to the fun.

Harlow appears again along with such luminaries as William Powell & Myrna Lot and the wonderful Spencer Tracy in LINELED LADY.
It's amazing! These 6 great movies, beautfully presented, for an
unreal price! It's a perfect gift for yourself, or your mom or dad, or anyone who loves great, timeless filmmaking. Without surprise WB keeps raising the bar for how classic filns should be presented on DVD!"
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Warner Brother's unleashes a galaxy of stars in its new Comedy Collection box set. Six films of impeccible pedigree - two in deluxe special editions, flesh out this collection; "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby". In addition there's much to admire from "Stage Door", "Dinner At Eight" and "Libeled Lady." Only Lubtisch's "To Be Or Not To Be" falls somewhat short of expectations - though it too is a welcomed sight on DVD.

Plots in totem:
"Dinner At Eight" (1933) is the tale of a society matron, Millicent Jordon (Billie Burke)who is so enraptured at the prospect of throwing the society party of the decade that she eschews all other concerns in favor of the frivolities associated with such a swank soiree. Her roster of guests include the boorish social climber, Dan Packard (Wallace Beery) and his much younger wife of hot body but low class, Kitty (Jean Harlow), aging grand dame of the theater, Carlotta Vance (Marie Dressler), family physician, Dr. Wayne Talbot (Edmund Lowe) and desperate has-been movie actor, Larry Renault (John Barrymore). Millicent's husband, the kind-hearted, good natured Oliver (Lionel Barrymore) has just discovered that he is fatally ill. However, acknowledging his wife's lack of feeling for anyone but herself, Oliver decides to forego divulging his diagnosis, presumably until after the party.

"Bringing Up Baby"(1938) is the adventageous screwball comedy about a madcap New England heiress, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) who, after accidentally running into stuffy zoologist, David Huxley (Cary Grant) is determined to land him as her husband. Not that David would notice. He's too concerned with acquiring a bone for his museum collection - go figure. But a gregarious little terrier named George (actually Asta from "The Thin Man" series) intervenes in David's plans, burying the irreplaceable fossilized bone somewhere on Sue's country estate. Meanwhile Baby, Susan's leopard, threatens the whole show by tearing up the scenery, as leopard's will do, after escaping from her cage. Naturally the whole mess winds up in front of a local magestrate, who lacks the ability to put two ideas together and come up with one coherant thought.

"The Philadelphia Story"(1940) concerns itself with the pending nuptuals of Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) to George Kittredge (John Howard). Tracy's previous marriage to C.K Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) ended badly, but shows signs of coming back from the dead when Dex turns up to pitch a little rice this time around. But the plot thickens in an unexpected way when Tracy decides to go after tabloid journalist Mike Connor (James Stewart) on a drunken binge and midnight swim - leaving both groom and ex feeling left out.

"Libeled Lady" (1936) is a sparkling romantic comedy of errors. When committment shy newspaper editor, Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) finds that his newspaper is being sued for alleging that a socialite, Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) is a home-wrecker he delays plans to marry his fiancee Gladys (Jean Harlow) yet again, by placing her in the midst of elegant playboy, Bill Chandler (William Powell). The idea is to have Gladys and Bill marry so that Connie will then be fooling around with a married man - hence Warren's paper will be off the hook for printing the initial story. But the plot goes hopelessly and predictably awry when Gladys starts to have genuine feelings for Bill and he for her. So what's a struggling foursome to do?

Ernst Lubitch's "To Be Or Not To Be"(1943) has to be the most genuinely bizarre political satire to emerge from Hollywood's golden age. It stars Jack Benny and Carol Lombard as Joseph and Maria Tura - a married couple and stage performers living in occupied Poland during WWII. Determined to alter the course of the war, the two helm a troupe of ham actors in a dead pan comic assault on the Nazis.

And last, but not least is "Stage Door" (1937), treading familiar backstage heartache and dismissal with unfamiliar panache and a killer cast. Wealthy socialite, Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) wants desperately to break into Broadway theater only she wants to do it on her own. So Terry decides to go slumming, secretly checking into a theatrical boarding house populated by sharp shooter, Judy Canfield (Lucille Ball), wise girl, Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers), and Eve (Eve Arden) and Annie (Ann Miller), a couple of stage struck kids...almost. What Terry discovers is that life upon the wicked stage might be the nearest thing to heaven, if only she could manage to get closer to the stage itself.

All of the discs in this box set have had some restoration work performed on them. The two outstanding transfers are "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Philadelphia Story." Both are 2-disc special editions mastered from very clean film elements and jam packed with lots of extra features. Contrast levels are superb. There's a hint of edge enhancement and some fine detail shimmering, but nothing that will distract. Fine details are fully realized throughout. Film grain is kept to a bare minimum. The good people at Warner Brothers deserve a pat on the back for their formidable efforts. As for the rest; they are a mixed bag at best. with inconsistently rendered black and white images, sometimes weak contrast levels and hints of edge enhancement and some fine detail shimmering. Extras on these latter disc are bare bones to say the least. Even so, this box set comes highly recommended. It contains films we are not likely to see again on DVD and presented in transfers, that while lacking among the very best that DVD is capable of, are nevertheless head and shoulders above what previous VHS incarnations have offered to the home video market. A big and sincere "yes" then for these.
Amazon Make Boo-Boo?
R. Epstein | USA | 02/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Amazon lists this collection as having seven discs but if one enlarges the picture of the cover, it shows that both "The Philadelphia Story" AND "Bringing Up Baby" are the two-disc editions. Two double-discs plus the other four movies should add up to eight discs. DVD Journal and DVD Planet list the collection at eight discs, so hopefully that is correct because it would be a shame to get this collection without the extra goodies for "Bringing Up Baby"!

All the movies in this collection are enjoyable no matter how many times you watch them. I've practically memorized every line in "Stage Door", and I'm dancing in the heavens over this compilation (yes, the Calla Lilies are in bloom again!), especially for "To Be or Not To Be" (a masterpiece in my book) and "Bringing Up Baby." I would have personally preferred that they had put in "Holiday," a Kate Hepburn-Cary Grant classic that is sadly underrated, over say, "Libeled Lady", but I don't want to be finicky. I'm very pleased. Extremely pleased! YESSSSSS!!"
Six for six on films, two for six with extras
Richard E. Hourula | Berkeley, CA. United States | 04/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Each movie in this set is equal to the title -- a comedy classic. There's not a single filler here. Three Katherine Hepburn films, two with Jean Harlow, two with Cary Grant, appearances by Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Adolphe Menjou, Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard and Lucille Ball. Directors include George Cukor, Howard Hawks, Ernest Lubistch, Jack Conway and Gregory LaCava.
"Dinner at Eight" features the famous and hilarious encounter between Harlow and Marie Dressler. Both stars are delights throughout the film. "Stage Door" is a true ensemble and a great one at that, set in a young female performer's boarding house. Both of these films offer social commentary from the Depression ear to go along with the laughs.
"Libeled Lady" is an underrated movie with a scheming reporter Tracy, his long suffering fiancé, Harlow and the great comedy film duo of Powell and Loy. "To Be Or Not Be" was a controversial comedic war time look at Nazis, with a troupe of actors impersonating Nazis in order to help the underground movement. "Bringing Up Baby" is considered by some the quintessential screwball comedy. It features Grant and Hepburn, a wonderful supporting cast and a leopard. Hepbun and Tracy return and are joined by Stewart (in a performance that garnered his only Oscar) in one of America's best films of any kind, "Philadelphia Story."
Sadly, only the latter two movies are given the DVD extras treatment they all deserve. Perhaps I was spoiled by the magnificent Warners Gangster Collection which offered a night at the movies and an original featurette for each film, but I believe that these priceless comedies deserved the same. That aside this is an essential addition to any film lover's DVD collection."