Search - Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 (Smart Money / Picture Snatcher / The Mayor of Hell / Lady Killer / Black Legion / Brother Orchid) on DVD

Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 (Smart Money / Picture Snatcher / The Mayor of Hell / Lady Killer / Black Legion / Brother Orchid)
Warner Gangsters Collection Vol 3
Smart Money / Picture Snatcher / The Mayor of Hell / Lady Killer / Black Legion / Brother Orchid
Actors: Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
NR     2008

PICTURE SNATCHER (1933): An admirably tough B-picture enlivened by an energetic James Cagney performance, Picture Snatcher stars Cagney as Danny Kean, a former gangster who has decided to go straight after a stretch in the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Sub-Genres: Crime, Animation, Love & Romance, Classics, Family Films, Animation, Musicals, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 03/25/2008
Release Year: 2008
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 6
SwapaDVD Credits: 6
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Six Classic Films - With Cagney, Bogart, and Robinson
Erik Rupp | Southern California | 01/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Warner Brother's Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 is a really nice set filled with classic movies starring some of biggest movie legends of all time. While none of these movies have the reputation of a Public Enemy or The Roaring Twenties they are still quite good and very entertaining movies all the same. One of these films is a welcome surprise, even if it really isn't a "Gangster" movie; Black Legion.

Black Legion was an early starring role for Humphrey Bogart, one that showed that he could play someone other than a gangster, and play the part well. It might be another 3 or 4 years before Bogart shook off the reputation as a supporting player in Gangster movies, but this movie helped get him there. It is well written, well directed, and well acted by all involved. (And it features one of my favorite actresses of the 30's and 40's - Ann Sheridan!)

Now, maybe Kid Galahad would have been more appropriate for a "Gangsters" Box Set, but Black Legion is a fantastic movie, and I'm very glad to see that it will finally be released on DVD. (And maybe Kid Galahad will see the light of day as a DVD in the next Gangsters set.)

As for the other movies in the set, since there are other reviews with synopses and opinions I won't repeat that information, but I will note that they are all worthy of inclusion (well, we could debate Brother Orchid, but with Robinson AND Bogart it's easy to understand why it was included), and despite most of these films not being particularly well known they are all good to nearly great!

Warner Brothers does as good of a job as anyone (better than most) when it comes to cleaing up and releasing good looking prints of their classic movie catalog on DVD, so you can rest assured that this set will look and sound great (for movies of that era).

This set is well worth buying for anyone with any interest in classic movies - especially classic Gangster movies! (At this price you can't go wrong!)

(And hopefully next time we'll see Kid Galahad in the set...)"
Yeah yeah
R. C. | ny | 12/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i cant wait march 25 will be like xmas. yeah yeah now lets get an hd release on blu ray....... Picture Snatcher (1933)
James Cagney portrays Danny Kean, a gangster looking to reform himself -- after a stretch behind bars -- with a new career as a tabloid newspaper photographer. He's also fallen for Patricia Nolan (Patricia Ellis), the daughter of the cop who put him away (Robert Emmett O'Connor). Dad is less than impressed with Kean's new career and none too happy about his daughter's budding relationship. Danny and his editor (Ralph Bellamy) may be selling papers, but is Danny able to sell Dad? Some of the photographs featured in the movie were recreated from sensational images of a 1928 electrocution that were printed in the New York Daily News.

Special Features:
Vintage theatrical trailer: I Loved A Woman
Classic WB short: Plane Crazy
WB cartoon: Wake Up The Gypsy In Me

Lady Killer (1933)
In one of his more comedic efforts, Cagney plays Dan Quigley, a former con artist who goes to Hollywood to hide out and ends up becoming a star. Making it in show business may have its perks, but it also puts him in the spotlight and in jeopardy of being recognized by the thugs he ran away from. By turns, Lady Killer is a filmmaking spoof, a crime thriller and a character study. With Cagney's vitality out front, it's definitely greater than the sum of its parts. The likable cast includes Mae Clarke, his co-star from Public Enemy (part of the first Warner Bros. Gangster Collection) and the recipient of the famous grapefruit.

Special Features:
Two exclusive WB shorts: The Camera Speaks and Kissing Time
Original theatrical trailer
WB cartoon: The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives

Smart Money (1931)
Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney were teamed up for the only time in their careers in Smart Money. Robinson has the larger part of a small-town barber who fancies himself a big-time gambler. He travels to the Big City carrying ten grand from backers at home with his younger brother (Cagney), who comes along as his bodyguard. Unfortunately Robinson has a weakness for beautiful blondes, which means trouble with a capital T. Watch closely in the first reel for an unbilled appearance by Boris Karloff as a dope pusher. Smart Money was Oscar® nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Special Features:
Theatrical trailer: Other Men's Women
Two WB shorts: George Jessel and His Art Choir and The Smart Set-Up
WB cartoon: Big Man From the North

Black Legion (1937)
Factory worker Frank Taylor (Humphrey Bogart in one of his early starring roles) believes that he has missed out on a deserved promotion when it is instead given to a Polish immigrant. Angry and looking for a scapegoat, he is an ideal mark for the Black Legion, an underground "Pro American" group that wants to get rid of immigrants and racial minorities through violent means. Frank joins, and with his new friends, he dons black robes and drives the Polish family from their home. His aim achieved, Frank gets his job, but soon the Legion begins to take up more of his time and money, and turns his character darker and darker. Co-starring Ann Sheridan, Black Legion was inspired by a real case and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.

Special Features:
Theatrical trailer: The Perfect Specimen
Two WB shorts: Hi De Ho and Under Southern Stars
Authentic newsreel
WB short: Porky and Gabby

Mayor of Hell (1933)
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith (Frank Darro), are sent to the State Reformatory, ruled with an iron fist by a callous warden. Soon, Patsy Gargan (James Cagney) - a former gangster - arrives, having been appointed Deputy Commissioner as a political favor. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy (Madge Evans) and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to reform the reformatory and institute some formerly ignored basic Roosevelt-era principles, like humane treatment and democracy.

Special Features:
Four exclusive theatrical trailers: The Kennel Murder Case, The Mayor of Hell, Crime School, and Hell's Kitchen
WB Short: The Audition
WB Cartoon: The Organ Grinder

Brother Orchid (1940)
Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart made five films together and Brother Orchid is the only one in which neither is killed! In this gangster comedy, Little John Sarto (Robinson), returns from Europe where he was hoping to find some "class" and finds his old mob has been taken over by Jack Buck (Bogart). Barely escaping an attempt on his life by the new regime, Sarto takes refuge in the monastery of the "Little Brothers of the Flower," pretending he's interested in becoming a monk so that the Brothers will let him stay while he plots his revenge. However, the kindness of the monks gradually changes him and he resolves to turn over a new leaf and reject his violent past.

Special Features:
Theatrical trailer: It All Came True
WB short: Henry Busse and His Orchestra
Two exclusive WB cartoons: Busy Bakers and Slap Happy Pappy"
Mainly second rung Warners which is still better than most.
Douglas M | 12/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since the previous volumes in this series contained all of the best known films in this genre from Warner Brothers, it is inevitable that the third volume will include a number of lesser known titles. The stars, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart, are the real draws. All of the films are set around crime, if not gangsters, and most contain some fast paced comedy. All are very good entertainment.

The good news is that we get 4 pre-codes (before 1934) when the Warner's product was at its most relentless and entertaining. Cagney stars in 3 and any Cagney is better than just about anyone else! His star rose very quickly and the studio churned out a series of fast moving modern stories to showcase him. He quickly balked at the treadmill and he slams his way through the cliches and is magnetic.

- First off is "Smart Money", released in 1931. Following the success of "Little Caesar", Edward G. Robinson stars as a barber involved in gambling. Cagney plays a supporting role but the film consolidated that he was a star in his own right, after his success in "The Public Enemy". The film is very well directed by Alfred E Green and shows an attention to detail not often visible in Warner's films of this period.
- "Picture Snatcher" is a beautifully made melodrama in which Cagney plays an ex-con who becomes a paparrazi for a crummy tabloid. The film has some great lines, an excellent narrative and Cagney is riveting. It is surprising that the film's themes are just as relevant today as they were in 1933.
- "The Mayor of Hell" is a reform school yarn, a story Warners remade later in the decade as "Crime School" and rich in familiar cliches. The film is pre-code so it is realistic but Cagney has a relatively small role, clearly starred for box office support of the less than starry teenage cast.
- "Lady Killer" is another farce with Cagney teamed with his grapefruit recipient from "The Public Enemy", Mae Clarke. He plays a thug who becomes a film star, of all things. The film is very funny in parts, particularly when Cagney sends himself up as a film star and there is the usual great supporting cast.
- "Black Legion", released in 1937, is a powerful film starring Humphrey Bogart as a worker who gets caught up in the Klu Klux Clan. All the characters are 2 dimensional but the film has a sensational subject and has some cogent things to say about mob rule and bigotry. It was controversial when it was released and represented a welcome change of pace for Bogart at a point when he was typecast on the Warner's treadmill in supporting gangster roles.
- The last film, "Brother Orchid" from 1940, is a comedy/drama in which Edward G. Robinson hides out in a seminary and transforms from a gangster to a monk who cultivates orchids. Ann Sothern plays his moll and she is terrific. Bogart plays one of the last of his supporting roles as a heavy before his stardom finally took off. The film is funny in spots because the supporting cast all have their moments but overall, it pales in comparison to "A Slight Case of Murder", Robinson's previous hilarious foray into comedy. The plot is unbelievable and does not work as farce.

The quality of the prints is outstanding and each disk contains Warner's Night at the Movies, that unbeatable combination of trailer, short film and cartoon prior to the main feature. Each film has a commentary too. "Smart Money's", in particular, is superb, full of information about pre-code Hollywood and cogent observations on the progress of sound films, for this was a very early talkie.

The package is fantastic value."
Entertainment Excellence!
Debra Delaney | Arkansas, USA | 04/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"DVD box set, Warner Home Video. Six crisp, clean prints! And was I thrilled to find all six with commentaries! Not to mention shorts, vintage cartoons, trailers -- first rate quality all the way! Solid entertainment!"