Terrific films but if you bought these separately you've got
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's the holidays so what better thing to do than package up previously released films and a couple of previously released older Bogart classics? Warner has done a good job here combining two of Bogie's finest films "Casablanca" and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" along with "They Drive By Night" and Bogie's starmaking performance as bad guy Ray earle in "High Sierra" (perhaps a sense of humor as well from those who combined this with "Sierra Madre" where Bogie plays a very different iconic role).
John Huston may be America's most consistently brilliant filmmaker. That's saying a lot considering the competition but Huston the son of actor Walter Huston tackled a number of genres with intelligence, a cynical wit and a sharp eye for human behavior. John Huston began as a screenwriter with one of his first jobs working on "Murders in the Rue Morgue" for Robert Florey in 1932 (that's not counting his many appearances as an extra in his father's films). By 1941 he found himself in the director's chair for the first of many collaborations with Humphrey Bogart in "The Maltese Falcon".
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" was only Huston's sixth credited film as director and it still stands tall in his 47 film career as director. The story of three men in search of gold in the mountains of Mexico and how greed and paranoia overwhelm the three men (Bogart, Walter Huston and Bruce Bennett) contributing to tragedy sounds like something that should be a folk tale warning of how gold can bring out the worst in a man.
"Sierra Madre" and "Casablanca" both look terrific with crisp, sharp looking images. Warner has done a superb job of cleaning up both these classic films. "Sierra Madre" doesn't look quite as good as "Casablanca" with sections that are grainy, white spots and other minor analog imperfections but on the whole looks quite good. The grainy quality of the film in a couple of scenes doesn't surprise me given some of the location photography and the occasional use of telephoto shots where the picture is a bit unsteady. Overall "Casablanca" wins this contest in terms of looks but it's somehow appropriate that "Sierra Madre" looks a bit rough around the edges given the cynical nature, location photography and a feeling as close to naturalistic as Hollywood could do at the time. Considering how old the film is I personally feel it looks extremely good in this deluxe edition from Warner.
"Casablanca" actually looks better. Digitally cleaned up with a superior negative used for this edition it's one of the sharpest looking older films I've seen Warner put out. Audio for both films sounds extremely good doing justice to the musical scores for each film and features clear dialogue.
"High Sierra" was originally released to DVD in a single disc edition in 2003. This is exactly the same release as before. Warner released a top notch transfer for 2003 and it still looks extremely good three years later. Audio has considerable punch.
"They Drive By Night" gets a very nice transfer as well. Again it was previously released in 2003 and it's a minor gem from director Raoul Walsh. Audio sounds fine here as well with dialogue presented very clear.
The 2003 releases have two short but informative featurettes that Warner put together for the original snapcase releases back in 2003. Both are extremely good and worthwhile to watch. "Casablanca" actually has all the same materials that I reviewed in 2003 (although I can't find the link for some reason) so I'll briefly provide highlights of this set. We get a TV adaptation of the film which was produced in the 50's. It's most notable for reminding you how great the movie is. It's comparable to watching a high school production of a Broadway play you've seen. The documentary on Bogart which is narrated by Bacall Bogie's romantic lead in film and life provides an excellent if superficial background. There's no dirt but that's not a surprise. Warner cartoon short "Carrotblanca" a somewhat anemic spoof of the film shows up here as well with Bugs playing Bogie and various Warner characters filling the other character roles. A solid documentary is also included on the making of the film and deleted scenes (without the audio) which was recently discovered.
"Treasure" has lots of great stuff buried on the second disc and some fool's gold as well. The older documentary on Huston narrated by Robert Mitchum is a gem and while its not warts and all it's about as close as you're likely to get in the way of a kiss and tell biography on film about this legendary hell raiser. The second on the making of the film features some nice interviews and trivia but isn't quite what I had hoped. It's not bad just doesn't have as many gold nuggets as I expected. We also get a Bogie trailer collection, along with "8 Ball Bunny" which is a classic and funny short that references the film (Faux Bogie: "Excuse me could you help a fellow American down on his luck?" Bugs: "Hit the road!"). We get a Warner Night Out hosted by Leonard Maltin with lots of cool stuff that you might have seen if you had attended the theater to see this when it was released. Finally we get a collection of photos, a radio broadcast of "Treasure" featuring Bogie and Walter Huston, a second cartoon, storyboards and behind-the-scenes photos.
Bottom line: If your film fan hasn't purchased these separate this is a great set. However if you did buy any of these titles individually I should warn you there's nothing here that's new. Unlike the second Bogie set which does have some films that hadn't been released to DVD before (the gem in that set is "The Maltese Falcon" in a three disc special edition but there are also some worthwhile Bogie gold in that set as well. There's no fool's gold but as with any set the quality of the gold will vary).
A Great Deal
Charles Gaines | New York | 01/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I should mention I bought this from the "New and Used" link getting it brand new for 20 dollars.
This set contains four movies High Sierra (1941) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) They Drive By Night (1940) Casablanca (1942)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is the same as the one provided in the link, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Two-Disc Special Edition) This is a 20 dollar value.
Casablanca is the same as the one provided in the link, Casablanca (Two-Disc Special Edition) Another 20 dollar value.
Both High Sierra and They Drive by Night are in the thin DVD cases, not the full size that are the norm.
High Sierra is one of Bogie's first leading roles. This film along with The Maltese Falcon made Bogie a star. It is also the last film in which he does not have top billing.
He is in a supporting roll in They Drive by Night. For those thinking that Bogie has a major roll in this film do not be mislead. His roll is a supporting roll with his screen time diminishing as they film progresses. However this film will give you a glimpse of George Raft and Ida Lupino acting skills.
This set is worth it even if you only want to own Treasure and Casablanca, with two other Bogie films included."
Great Box Set
Surendar Balakrishnan | 07/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best about Warner box sets is that each movie comes in its own individual case rather then clumsy custom cases which hold multiple DVDs. This is equivalent to buying each title separately but with a discounted price. This is one box set which contains 4 great movies. Keep the good work Warner Bros!"
"Bogart is still the best"
Papa Larry H. | Wisconsin USA | 08/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently purchased Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 1 (Casablanca Two-Disc Special Edition / The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Two-Disc Special Edition / They Drive by Night / High Sierra)Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2 (The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition / Across the Pacific / Action in the North Atlantic / All Through the Night / Passage to Marseille) and the Bogart and Bacall Signature CollectionBogie and Bacall - The Signature Collection (The Big Sleep / Dark Passage / Key Largo / To Have and Have Not). I have a DVD collection of well over 1000 films. I can honestly state that these DVDs are not "among" the best I have. They Are The Best!!! Evey single one of these films are genuine classics. I feel that Humphrey Bogart is the best actor "ever" in American film. If he was cast in a film that didn't have a really strong cast around him he would simply carry the production on his strong shoulders. He would become whatever character he was supposed to be. Also, I must commend Warner Bros. DVD( or whoever did it) on the remastering of all the films in the collections. They did what is simply the best job of remastering a film that has has ever been performed. And the bonus features! Thay are all just wonderful. I can't give any more platitudes without repeating myself. If you are any kind of a Bogie fan, you must get these collections. You will not regret it for one second. Not one! Do yourself a favor and purchase all of them. They are the "Best!" Papa Larry H."
justice4all72 | 04/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I also should state that I purchased this collection under the used & new link and got it brand new for $20. amazon should get its prices to match the vendors a little better for this set. But otherwise this is a great collection. Casablanca and The Treasure of The Sierra Madre both come in the special collectors boxes and They Drive by Night, High Sierra come in thin cases. Great transfers the picture qualtiy is great. I am hoping that they will release a massive Bogart collection on blu ray combining all of the signature releases. Buy this set along with the rest it will provide you with hours of Bogie entertainment!"