I give it five stars in advance for the movies included...
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 03/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As of today, here at Amazon there still aren't any details of which movies are included in this DVD Release. Well, it includes some of the best and most intriguiging films, Gary Cooper made at Paramount Studios during the 1930s.
The set includes 2 discs and five movies: (not five discs as stated, at the moment being)
"Design for Living" (1933) with Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March.
"Peter Ibbetson" (1935) with Ann Harding, Ida Lupino and John Halliday.
"The General Died At Dawn" (1936) with Madeleine Carroll and Akim Tamiroff.
"Beau Geste" (1939) with Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward.
"The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" (1935) with Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell, Guy Standing and C.Aubrey Smith.
All the films are presented in Full Frame (1.33:1); English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono; English captions and subtitles in French and Spanish. I checked all of this at Universal, the company which is releasing this DVD.
It also includes Theatrical Trailers of "Peter Ibbetson", "Beau Geste" and "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer".
In my opinion this set is a must-buy, because it features very rare titles (especially "Peter Ibbetson" and "Design For Living", never before released on DVD or VHS) and the price is good.
Universal....stop giving us cheapjack DVDs & treat 'em right
Eric | Columbus, OH | 05/31/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The 1 star rating doesn't apply to the movies. DESIGN FOR LIVING is fun, BEAU GESTE is rousing, LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER, PETER IBETSON and THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN are corny...only for the diehard collector.
What's disappointing is how Universal slapped these films together with no care whatsoever!
The transfers range from adequate to lousy, and the films are packaged and manufactured in a way that easily lends itself to scratching and ultimate defective, worthless product.
Universal needs to take some lessons from Fox, Paramount or Warner in terms of how to release their DVDs. For shame!"
GREAT MOVIES, GREAT COLLECTION, AND, FOR THE MONEY, GREAT DV
Waitsel Smith | Atlanta, GA USA | 04/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I made my way to this page to write my review, I was thinking, "This will be all five-star reviews. What Cooper fan wouldn't love this collection?" When I got there, I was "Shocked, shocked I tell you!" at some of the comments I read. The world - as well as some of the reviewers on this web site - have gone crazy. For those of us who still have some sanity left, and appreciate the sanity that existed in Coop's day, I highly recommend this five-pack.
Yes, these are unrestored films. Does it surprise anyone that every film in the world has not been restored? The cost to restore one film is phenomenal - not a "little", as one reviewer suggested - and archivists are making their way through the stacks of black-and-whites as fast as they can. Give them time. In the mean time, be thankful that these films are available now. They are not poor quality, as a couple of people wrote. For unrestored films, they are EXCELLENT quality. And, frankly, I don't expect restoration to add a whole lot. That's probably why they haven't been restored yet.
Contrary to what "Ohio Guy" wrote, none of these films is corny. They're just different, and need to be watched with discernment. I loved The General Died At Dawn, and found it to be as much fun as Design For Living, which, frankly, I found to be the weakest of the lot; yet, still enjoyable. The photography in General, as in all these films, is incredible. There's something about the photography of the 1930's (these films range from 1934 through 1939): a lot of atmosphere, an understanding of lighting. When color came in, that knowledge was lost. So, appreciate these films for what they are, not for what they're not.
The art direction in all five films is also gorgeous: sets, costumes - across the board, they're top notch. The acting is different from acting today, because these actors are coming out of the silent era. They are relearning their craft. Give them some credit. They still give wonderful performances, and Coop is a treat to watch in every film.
Contrary to a few malcontents, I appreciate the fact that Universal packed these five films together, making them more affordable. Frankly, I would only have bought a few of them, had they come out individually at $20 a pop. I also like the packaging and cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with it.
I think there's a lot we can learn from the so-called corniness - I call it honesty - of Coop's day. I also think we could learn from their humility. For the most part, people back then were thankful for what they had, and didn't complain. That's how they were able to make it through the depression. I wonder how the selfish, spoiled malcontents of today would have fared back then. My guess is that, like the General, they would have died at dawn. They certainly wouldn't have been self-sacrificing like Beau Geste.
I've been looking for a print of Peter Ibbetson for years!
Becky | New Port Richey, FL USA | 08/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a little girl in the 1960's, I watched a movie on late night TV and was absolutely entranced with it! I remember it to this very day! It took me years to finally find someone who could tell me what the name of that film was. PETER IBBETSON - finally I found the name, only to find that I could not purchase it anywhere. I searched for many years and my daughter found a copy which she bought on ebay and gave it to me for Christmas. It was obviously a poorly taped copy off AMC or some other tv network. Quality was bad, but I could finally see the film again. And now to have it on DVD - along with Beau Geste - this is GREAT! Yes I know that PETER IBBESTON is a french surrealistic film, but that is the beauty of it. When you watch these films, watch them, don't compare them to others. They are unique. If you don't like the film, then fast forward to the one you want to watch. I think the film is GREAT! And you are entitled to your opinion. We should all be glad that films like these are saved in the dvd format, taking into consideration the fact that there are so many films just disentigrating in rusty cans - lost forever with no way of saving them. Enjoy these films for what they are, made during a time when technology was in its infant stages. Don't expect High Definition Surround Sound quality. Once you get past that, you can view these films with a new respect. ENJOY THEM!"
wordsmyth | Australia | 07/09/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Be forewarned: this otherwise excellent set of disks is marred by an INCOMPLETE PRINT of "The General Died at Dawn", which makes nonsense of the meeting between the Cooper & Carrol characters. Their whole first scene, where they first meet, is MISSING. The print cuts from her argument with her father re ensnaring Cooper to join her on the train, to her boarding the train the following day and being confronted by Cooper in her cabin, who embraces her passionately and declares he is nuts about her. I suggest prospective buyers lay seige to Universal,demanding they re-issue the set. Or boycott the collection. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?"