Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Sergio Leone Anthology |
A Fistful Of Dollars / For A Few Dollars More / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly / Duck, You Sucker
Actors: Clint Eastwood, James Coburn, Rod Steiger, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Director: Sergio Leone
Genres: Westerns, Classics
Disc 1: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY Collector's Edition Disc 2: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY Bonus Disc Disc 3: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS Collector's Edition Disc 4: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS Bonus Disc Disc 5: FOR A FEW DOLLAR... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Four classic Leone movies given the deluxe treatment and FIN
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prepared for release in 2005 we've only had to wait two years for this deluxe reissue of three of the four Leone films included here. For those that want to know this box set has a 32 page booklet with credits and essays on the films but no postcards like the original release of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". If you want the collectable version, I suppose you'll have to buy these individually. This set is definitely worth picking up as it is a HUGE improvement over all the previously released home video versions of the film. All the films look terrific, have commentary tracks (although "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" is the exact same release as before)and great featurettes/extras that were released overseas two years ago.
"Fistful of Dollars" looks very good in its new DVD transfer lovingly restored although there is an odd strobe like effect in one sequence. We get a terrific commentary track from Leone scholar Sir Christopher Frayling discussing the making of the film, the delayed release in the United States (part of which was related to Akira Kurosawa's lawsuit. It was legit though since "Fistful" is an unauthorized remake of Kurosawa's classic "Yojimbo" although Leone's version of the same story is equally compelling), how Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson (who called it one of the worst scripts he had ever read...interesting considering he later appeared in "Once Upon a Time in the West")both turned down the lead role.
Eastwood reveals in a featurette that he wrote much of his own dialogue for the film, made his own script notes all of which contributed to truly making the role his own.
"For a Few Dollars More" looks exceptional. Like all the films here, it is released in an anamorphic widscreen transfer that does justice to the deep, rich colors of the films. There is one scene where there appears to be some sort of scratch on the film that wasn't corrected but otherwise the film looks beautiful. We also get Eastwood again discussing the making of the film, Sir Christopher Frayling with another very good commentary track as well as a section that compares three variations in the film (the sequence where Manco and Mortimer are beaten up has a slightly longer more brutal variation and we also see the way UA released the film with a brief trim that eliminated Manco's name to tie the film into the promo campagin that UA had for "The Man with No Name").
"The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" is exactly the same as the 2005 release on DVD right down to the graphics on the disc. Sir Christopher Frayling did record a commentary track for this after it was released hoping that it could be added to later editions (he wasn't available for the original remaster. Time critic Richard Schickel does the honors here). The extras are exactly the same. For those that are interested this includes the 5.1 mix that had new sound effects for that mix but does not include the original mono soundtrack in English.
"Duck You Sucker" comes in the most complete version released so far. At 157 minutes it is closest to Leone's original cut of the film. The film looks exceptionally good. It's clear that John Kirk went the extra mile to get this right. Also, kudos to Glenn Erickson (aka DVD Savant at DVD Talk)who worked on the featurettes and started the campaign to get these films restored and released on home video ages ago.
Again, Sir Christopher Frayling does a very good commentary track discussing the various versions of the film released. The soundtraack has been reprocessed for 5.1. Sergio Donati a collaborator of Leone's discusses working on the film in a featurette and how Eli Wallach was replaced by Rod Steiger at United Artist's insistance but that Leone never shared the information with Wallach. "Restoration Italian Style" features John Kirk who worked on this special project discusses how he went about reassembling the film for this edition. We also get location comparisons (this is also on the other discs as well)showing scenes from the film and how the locations look now. "The Autry Exhibit" is a featurette on a show assembled by Frayling and Estela Chung for a Leone exhibit. Unfortunately, that happened in 2005 when this was ORIGINALLY was supposed to be released before MGM was bought by Sony throwing this and other releases into limbo. "Sorting out the Versions" uses stills, footage used to show us scenes that weren't included in the movie.
The whole set is assembled in a cardboard foldout box with the discs resting on top of each other. There's a little holder built into the set for the booklet.
Overall this is a terrific set and an essential addition to fans of Leone's westerns. Although it took two years to get this released in the United States (that's nothing compared to the delay for the second season of "Twin Peaks" for even the release of the pilot for that show in the U.S.), it was worth the wait. I'm not sure what the Blu-Ray plans are for this release yet so I went ahead and plunked down the money for the whole set. Fans who already have "TGTBATU" may want to buy these individually although it would be more expensive than this set. MGM (and Fox which distributes all MGM titles now even though MGM is held by Sony)have done a terrific job with this set. My only complaint is that it would have been nice to have the collectable postcards that reproduced the lobby cards/posters. Highly recommended.
Good as stolen gold
Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 06/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The word on MGM's higly anticipated "The Sergio Leone Anthology" is good; almost nothing bad or ugly to report. The eight-DVD set turns out to be a clone of the design, format and extras from 2004's excellent upgrade of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." That DVD was so good, in fact, MGM didn't change a thing in transporting it into this box set, down to the liner notes design.
All films are restored to their full running times (or as close as possible) and appear in glorious 2:35.1 anamorphic widescreen. They all come in English Dolby 5.1, but see comments below.
"A Fistful of Dollars," the first in Italian director Leone's "Man with no name" trilogy, looks smashing -- far better than you'd expect for a low-budget pic from 1964. Images and audio are dead-on. If you haven't seen the film for a while, you're in for some serious fun. The film holds up beautifully and young Clint Eastwood's performance is a hoot. Quentin Tarantino calls it "the best-directed movie of all time."
The marginally less-successful sequel "For a Few Dollars More," with Lee Van Cleef, exhibits a fair amount of speckling on the otherwise decent color images. The dubbed English stereo audio option proved a bad choice -- voices wandered around the front soundstage for no apparent reason. Leone purists will be listening to the straight-shot mono on these titles, anyway. You might as well join them. [...].
In "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel does the heavy lifting in a commentary that, amazingly, runs on fumes only near the end of three hours. He maintains that Leone's artistry was lost on critics of the 1960s because of the debate over the film's violence (the New York Times pan was titled "The Burn, the Gouge and the Mangle"). Leone was relatively tame by today's standards, employing "an enormous amount of foreplay" before the killings, as in this movie's famous final shootout, Schickel remarks.
MGM's John Kirk covers the audio restoration, a sore spot for Leone purists. Eastwood and Eli Wallach rerecorded their voices in 2002 for the restored scenes, which had never been dubbed. (Everyone on the production just spoke whatever language they spoke.) Another actor stood in for the late Lee Van Cleef
The Anthology also includes the DVD debut of "Duck, You Sucker," a holy grail title for fans. This is the Italian cut of the 1972 Mexican adventure starring Rod Steiger and James Coburn, running at its full length of almost 3 hours."
An almost perfect boxed set
mrliteral | 05/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Among the truly great movie directors, few have a smaller body of work than Sergio Leone. He really only directed seven movies, and the first of those, The Colossus of Rhodes, is a standard sword-and-sandals flick with little of the true Leone touch. After that, he would make his mark with five westerns and finish with one of the great gangster films, Once Upon a Time in America. It is, however, the westerns that Leone really excelled, making some of the best in the genre. These so-called "Spaghetti Westerns" (because they were Italian-made) actually exceed in quality most of the ones made in the U.S. The Sergio Leone Anthology contains four of these five westerns.
All three of the "Man With No Name" trilogy are included. This is a bit of a misnomer; although all three movies star Clint Eastwood (in roles that would make him a major movie star), he does not play the same character. In the first film, A Fistful of Dollars, Eastwood plays a mercenary gunfighter who plays both sides in a gang war in a small Mexican town. A re-make of Yojimbo, this movie was made on a small budget, but already, in the first film in which Leone could truly express himself, he has created a minor masterpiece. As with all the movies in this set, this film comes with tons of extras including commentaries and behind-the-scenes material; especially amusing is an incompetent attempt by a TV studio to add a prologue to give the movie a bit of moral standing.
The follow-up, For A Few Dollars More, ups the ante by including Lee Van Cleef as a rival bounty hunter whose motives may be more complicated than the mere pursuit of money. And both Eastwood and Van Cleef would be back for the third "Trilogy" movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In my opinion, this may be the best western ever, and I doubt I'm alone (it rates consistently in IMDB's top ten movies). Eastwood is The Good, Van Cleef is The Bad and Eli Wallach is The Ugly, but good and evil are not really relevant terms here. It has been said that while in American Westerns, the hero is always the best with his gun, in Leone's Westerns, being the best with your gun makes you the hero, not any moral standing. The plot deals with the hunt for stolen Confederate gold during the Civil War; and while the previous films also conclude with grand showdowns, this movie has perhaps the best showdown in movie history (probably part of the reason it is one of the best films ever).
What's missing from the set is Once Upon a Time in the West, which rivals The Good, the Bad and The Ugly in quality. While this missing film deals with the end of the era of the gunfighter and the coming of civilization, the last film in the set, Duck, You Sucker, takes place after that era. Of all Leone's films, this is probably the least watched, and while good, it is bound to be a disappointment to those expecting another western like the earlier ones. Instead, this one has Rod Steiger as a bandit thief (very similar to Wallach's Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) who is converted against his will into a revolutionary by explosives expert and ex-IRA member James Coburn. Despite moments of humor, this is the darkest movie in the set, but also forms something of a thematic transition to the gangster era of Leone's final movie, Once Upon A Time in America.
Although this set suffers from the omission of Once Upon a Time in the West, it is still a great set well worth five stars. All the movies look great with once-deleted scenes again restored and plenty of extras: each set has two discs, making this an eight disc set. Even if you've seen these movies in other formats, you should pick up this set if you enjoy westerns at all. These are not just westerns at their best, they are movie-making at its best."
The Sergio Leone Anthology
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 01/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recall as a teen these Spaghetti Western movies were typically shown at Drive-ins and often two at a time. The critics thought they were disgusting and rarely even made more than one sentence derogatory reviews. However, the general public loved them and by the time "Two Mules for Sister Sara" came out they were shown in any respectable theater. These are by far the best IMHO, and show the range of decent to remarkable. The first two movies are entertaining, but the second two are indeed art of the Spaghetti Western style. "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" does such a great job of showing the 1861-65 West and the Civil War it is like an epic tale. The thing that always stood out to me in the Italian Westerns was the level of detail in setting the era and mood. You will see far more authentic looking items of the period in shops, saloons, and homes on their sets than you will see in many American Westerns. That and Ennio Moriccone's music is fantastic, far better than we have in many American Westerns of course with the exception of "Magnificent Seven". I highly recommend this set. Excellent quality DVDs and excellent replayability. If you enjoy these catch "My Name is Nobody" and "Once Upon a Time in the West".