T. E. Wilder | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Diva Pack is mostly a marketing name, as the roles in many of the films don't fit the discription. With the DVD market becoming crowded with low cost collections of old films, one can now afford to be discriminating. This set is extremely varied in it content and mostly has films that don't show up repeatedly in other collections. Two that do are Love Affair (1939), the first one with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne, found on many sets, and Too Late For Tears (1949), often included in low cost Film Noir collections.
Some other selections are just junk. The Fat Spy (1966) is a cheap imitation of a mid-sixties beach movie. Where those have a popular singer, bikini babes and a has-been comic, such as Don Rickles, as a buffoon representing the parents of the intended audience, this one has several such buffoons and centers most of the action on them. The singers are nobodies. Another loser is Oh Alfie! not really a remake or a sequel to the original Alfie movie but featuring the same sort of character. Home Town Story, available on many DVDs is really corporate promotion, not a theatrical release.
Most of the films, though, are quite interesting. Affair in Monte Carlo (1952) is odd in that it feels like something from the 1930s. Lady of Burlesque (1943) also seems to have the production values of a much earlier picture, but features Barbara Stanwyck in one of the tough roles she was good at. Film Noir is also represented by The Bigamist with Ida Lupino acting and directing. Indiscreet (1931), an early sound, pre-code film seems trite, aiming to tease and titillate the audience, I Cover the Waterfront (1933) also seems pre-code in its content and features a tough-guy newspaper reporter who falls in love with skinny dipping Claudette Colbert, playing the daughter of the smuggler he is investigating.
There are psychological stories: In Dishonored Lady (1947), Hedy Lamarr plays a magazine editor who is seeing a psychiatrist. Much less successful is Susan Hayward in Smash Up, a study of alcoholism that hardly seems like something people would pay to see.
The Joyless Steet (1925) is silent (the classical music soundtrack does not suit the film at all), and is Greta Garbo first feature role, directed by G.W. Pabst who also went on to greater things. There are many versions of this ranging from 94 minutes to 175 minutes. This is one of the chopped down ones, as part of the story is missing, leaving the parts that center around Garbo.
The films are not always in good condition, this is not a restoration. Also I found one defect on one of the disks in the set where it stuck and then skipped. As there is no scratch or blemish on the disk, it must be due to the quality of manufacturing."
I'm ready for my close-up....
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 04/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The DIVA 20 MOVIE PACK delivers the goods: Monroe, Collins, Mansfield, Gardner, LaMarr, Colbert, Stanwyck and more are here. Many ladies appear in supporting roles however, and there's one whose screen time is so brief, if you blink you might miss her entirely (Garbo). These mostly 'B' pics will undoubtedly be of interest to any fan of vintage movies.
Please note that MILL CREEK occasionally flashes their logo on screen for 15 second intervals.
STAR POWER 20 MOVIE PACK is the perfect companion piece to this box set.
Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.
(5.3) Affair In Monte Carlo ("24 Hours In A Woman's Life") (UK-1952) - Merle Oberon/Richard Todd
(6.6) The Bigamist (1953) - Joan Fontaine/Ida Lupino/Edmund Gwenn/Edmond O'Brien
(5.7) Carnival Story (USA/W Ger-1954) - Anne Baxter/Steve Cochran/George Nader
(6.3) Dishonored Lady (1947) - Hedy Lamarr/Natalie Schaefer/Margaret Hamilton
(2.9) The Fat Spy (1966) - Phyllis Diller/Jack E. Leonard/Brian Donlevy/Johnny Tillotson/Jane Mansfield
(6.0) Heartbeat (1946) - Ginger Rogers/Adolphe Menjou/Basil Rathbone (in support)
(5.6) Hell's House (1932) - Bette Davis/Pat O'Brien
(5.1) Home Town Story (1951) - Jeffrey Lynn/Donald Crisp/Alan Hale Jr./Marilyn Monroe
(6.1) I Cover The Waterfront (1933) - Ben Lyon/Claudette Colbert
(6.9) Indiscreet (1931) - Gloria Swanson/Ben Lyon/Arthur Lake
(7.2) The Joyless Street (silent-Germany-1925) - Greta Garbo (in an uncredited minor role)
(4.9) Killing Heat (Zambia/Sweden-1981) - Karen Black/John Thaw
(6.3) Lady Of Burlesque (1943) - Barbara Stanwyck/Pinky Lee (minor role)
(7.2) Love Affair (1939) - Irene Dunne/Charles Boyer
(4.5) Oh, Alfie! ("Alfie Darling") (1975) - Alan Price/Jill Townsend/Joan Collins/Rula Lenska
(5.5) The Outlaw (1943) - Jane Russell/Walter Huston
(6.4) Smash-Up: The Story Of A Woman (1947) - Susan Hayward/Lee Bowman/Eddie Albert
(6.3) The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (1952) - Gregory Peck/Susan Hayward/Ava Gardner/Leo G. Carroll
(7.2) Too Late for Tears (1949) - Lizabeth Scott/Don DeFore/Dan Duryea"
Absolutely terrible tehcnical quality
Hans Hansen | Copenhagen, Denmark | 10/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I love old B movies, so I was really looking forward to this collection. I was terribly disappointed by the technical quality of the reproduction, however. The sound is so poor I often found it difficult to follow the dialogue, and the visuals are grainy and ugly. Furthermore, I found the navigation system extremely primitive and difficult to use. This "bargain CD" is really no bargain, although a few of the movies on here are real gems."