Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Controversial Classics Collection |
Advise and Consent / The Americanization of Emily / Bad Day at Black Rock / Blackboard Jungle / A Face in the Crowd / Fury / I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
Actors: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas
Directors: Arthur Hiller, Elia Kazan, Fritz Lang, John Sturges, Mervyn LeRoy
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama
The Controversial Classics Collection features the debut DVDs of seven groundbreaking motion pictures, released in America over three decades from the '30s to the '60s that had dramatic social impact, changed attitudes and... more »
Steven Hellerstedt | 07/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG (1932)
Controversy: The oldest movie in the controversial classics set, FUGITIVE also lays claim to the most unwieldy title. Chain gang prison labor is the controversial topic.
Strengths: Paul Muni is absolutely riveting, and his final scene is one of the more memorable in movies.
Weaknesses: The last chain gang prison system was outlawed in the 1940s. The oldest title is also the least relevant.
Bottom Line: Inspiration for other classic movies like Cool Hand Luke and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Although severely dated, FUGITIVE still delivers as top-drawer entertainment.
Controversy: German director Fritz Lang's first American film is an exposé of lynching, mob violence, and the corrosive effects of living for revenge.
Strengths: Spencer Tracy's transformation from good-natured innocent to bitter victim is breathtaking. Lang's depiction of the mob is still quite strong
Weaknesses: The first and last act tends to stall out the story. The studio imposed ending is unsatisfying.
Bottom Line: Although not quite as powerful as Lang's German film M, which it resembles, FURY still has a number of memorable moments, and Tracy's Jekyll and Hyde transformation works very well.
BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955)
Controversy: Xenophobia during World War II and a small southwestern town with a big, ugly secret.
Strengths: Spencer Tracy always adds value to a movie. Robert Ryan, as Tracy's chief nemesis, turns in a typically fine performance, too.
Weaknesses: Anne Francis isn't anything more than a token female and doesn't really seem to fit in the story. A little too much attention paid to the secret keeping, and not enough on what was done that must remain hidden.
Bottom Line: A good Decent Stranger Against the Mob movie that may have dealt a little more directly with the shameful incident everyone was trying to keep buried.
BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955)
Controversy: Rock `n roll infected juvenile delinquents are taking over the world.
Strengths: Director Richard Brooks really wades into it, and doesn't pull his punches on some issues one simply didn't talk about in the 1950s - racial tensions, rape, middle class apathy and cynicism. Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier and especially young Vic Morrow are very good.
Weaknesses: Because it shows few if any female students, no parents and otherwise little of the students' lives away from school this one's a little exploitative.
Bottom Line: Overall an excellent and honest look at urban troubled youth. Probably Glenn Ford's best film.
A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957)
Controversy: Director Elia Kazan and screenwriter Budd Schulberg's warning about the pernicious encroachment of mass media, especially television, in American life.
Strengths: They got it right, although they were about a decade ahead of the rest of us. Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, as worried onlookers, are very good.
Weaknesses: I may be a minority of one, but Andy Griffith in the lead role too often goes way over the top. Kazan may have wanted to portray him as an irresistible force of nature, but at times he's simply too loud, too out-sized, too outlandish.
Bottom Line: Still fun and entertaining, especially to see how much of it Kazan on got right. After the 2004 elections, it was somewhat chilling to see a politician go geese hunting with the Griffith character in a bid to develop his `common man' credentials.
ADVISE AND CONSENT (1962)
Controversy: Director Otto Preminger's adaptation of best-selling novel and hit play deals with Washington in-fighting over a presidential cabinet nomination.
Strengths: Charles Laughton and Walter Pidgeon as savvy senators give this one backbone and keep it interesting.
Weaknesses: Episodic and ultimately more soap opera than exposé.
Bottom Line: In my opinion this is the weakest entry in the set.
AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964)
Controversy: The Navy needs a hero on D-Day and this movie not only questions hero worship, it pulls it apart and blows it up, bit by bit.
Strengths: Paddy Chayefsky's script is perfect. James Garner and Julie Andrews are perfect as the mismatched lovers.
Bottom Line: My favorite movie in the bunch, a perfect satire while treating with compassion those it satires. One of the great comedies of the twentieth century.
A MAGNIFICENT ASSEMBLAGE OF LANDMARK FILMS AT A GREAT PRICE
Eric | Columbus, OH | 05/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warner Brothers home video department just keeps topping their previous exceptional achievments.
Here we have SEVEN magnificent, acclaimed feature films from the 1930s to the 1960s that still have the power to reach the "gut" of the viewer and be profound and provocative. Of course, each film is available individually, but the value of buying this boxed set brings the price to around $8 per film. Unreal.
Any serious cinema afficiando owes it to him or herself to buy this.
Pre-release reviews have praised the exceptional transfers (typical of WB), and I cannot imagine anyone not being blown away by this boxed set of incomparable films."
Controversial Classics Collection
Gold God | Earth Sector | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a wonderful treat this collection is....at first I was skeptic because I am a big Film Noir fan...and did not think that this collection would suffice...how wrong I was. The commentaries are crisp, clean and full of information...the movies are some of the Best Produced...Bad Day At Black Rock...starring Tracy as in Spencer...and Ryan. Then there is The Americanization of Emily with a script by one of the best writers: Paddy C......and one of my favorite movies starring Julie Andrews fresh from Mary Poppins..thank God...and James Garner...both of them a treat. A face in the Crowd should be one of the 10 BEST Movies Ever Produced...Andy Griffith is just magnificent along with Patricia Neal...Watch This Movie! I am a Fugituve from a Chain Gang...a must see of what happened in the disgrace of the American Judicial System...Advise and Consent I really did not care for but it was worth watching just to listen to the commentary....and finally Blackboard Jungle which still pulls no punches with a very young Glenn Ford...with funny commentary by the teen-agers (I am not going to tell you who) that were in the movie.
Get this collection and give yourself a Treat that is seldom if ever seen in the Movies now days...."
stewie | Victoria, Australia | 06/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased these films from the USA as unfortunately they are not available in Australia on DVD.
All of the films in this special edition are classics and my family have thoroughly enjoyed viewing these very special early films - especially "I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" and "Bad Day at Black Rock".
I am very happy I was able to purchase these controversial classic films."