MARIE ANTOINETTE The woman who was France! Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power headline an opulent saga of royalty and revolution. DAVID COPPERFIELD Based on the best-selling book by Charles Dickens. W.C. Fields is Micawber, an... more »d Freddie Bartholomew is young David in a splendid version of Dickens' most autobiographical work. A TALE OF TWO CITIES From the famed author Charles Dickens. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Ronald Colman stars in the lavish story of the French Revolution...and one man's redemption. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Based on the best-selling book by Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy (Laurence Olivier) sets maiden hearts aflutter - except for that of unimpressed Elizabeth Bennett (Greer Garson). Austen's masterwork! TREASURE ISLAND Based on the unforgettable book of the same title by Robert Louis Stevenson. Avast, me hearties, for the swashbuckler about a boy with a treasure map - and a pirate (Long John Silver) with a scheme. The Champ's Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper reunite!« less
Stephen H. Wood | South San Francisco, CA | 03/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
The title tells the truth. Even by 1930's golden age of Hollywood standards, these five movies are literary masterpieces and true film classics. I remember all five fondly as a teenager in the late 1960's and early 1970's in long-gone San Francisco art theaters, and cut to threads on morning prize movie TV shows. It is an honor to watch them now in a comfortable bedroom, uncut and non-commercial. They are, of course, MGM studio print editions that in one instance, MARIE ANTOINETTE, even contains roadshow music and an intermission never seen on television.
TREASURE ISLAND (1934) stars Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper, was directed by Victor Fleming (CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, GONE WITH THE WIND), and is based on a Robert Louis Stevenson novel about pirates and buried treasure. In gorgeous B&W, it reunites Beery and Cooper from THE CHAMP (1931) and also features Lionel Barrymore and Lewis Stone. Come to think about it, this is a reunion for half the cast of GRAND HOTEL (1932).
DAVID COPPERFIELD and A TALE OF TWO CITIES (both 1935) are towering masterpieces based on Charles Dickens novels; both are impeccably produced by David O. Selznick. Painstakingly faithful to very long books, they both have gorgeous art direction and are cast to perfection down to the bit roles: W.C. Fields as Micawber, Freddie Bartholomew and Frank Lawton as David, Basil Rathbone as Mr. Murdstone, and Edna May Oliver as Aunt Betsey in DAVID; and Ronald Colman in maybe his greatest performance in TALE, which also features Oliver and Rathbone. At about 130 minutes each, they are long enough to do justice to the Dickens novels; I am sure he would have loved both immensely.
MARIE ANTOINETTE (1938), presented in a never-seen 157 minute roadshow edition, has an Oscar-nominated Norma Shearer in a wonderful role. If someone wanted to know who Shearer was, I would show this incredibly opulent and literate costume romance to them. It is the underrated masterpiece of this box set and also stars Tyrone Power and an Oscar-nominated Robert Morley as a shy, child-like King Louis XVI. The magnificent art direction and regal music were also Oscar-nominated. W.S. Van Dyke (THE THIN MAN, SAN FRANCISCO) directed.
Finally, we have a splendidly cast and written adaptation of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), starring Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet and Laurence Oliver as Mr. Darcy. Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin scripted this lovely and witty romantic comedy of manners that won an Oscar for B&W Interior Set Decoration.
But you don't just get five great movies in this Warner Home Video boxed set. TREASURE ISLAND also comes with two shorts, a cartoon, and a theatrical trailer. DAVID COPPERFIELD has the marvelous Technicolor short PIRATE PARTY AT CATALINA ISLE, along with a second Technicolor short, a cartoon, and a theatrical trailer. A TALE OF TWO CITIES has a memorable 60 minute Lux Radio Theater adaptation of TALE from 1942, starring Ronald Colman, along with two vintage cartoons and the theatrical trailer. MARIE ANTOINETTE has two shorts and a theatrical trailer, all tied in to the 1938 movie. And PRIDE AND PREJUDICE has an Oscar-nominated patriotic short on Navy training during World War Two, plus a color cartoon and theatrical trailer. It is one hell of a DVD boxed set, a labor of love and an absolute must-see on a slow TV week.
teetee5 | Massachusetts | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like classic movies, this collection is a must have. These are some of the best performances you'll ever see. Marie Antoinette (though at times can be a bit melodramatic) really moved me and the end of A Tale of Two Cities starring Ronald Colman is extremely moving as well. Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson shine in the Jane Austin classic Pride and Prejudice. I'm not as familiar with the other two movies but with Wallace Berry and Jackie Cooper in Treasure Island and W.C. Fields in David Copperfield, how can you go wrong? Great viewing for the whole family and great viewing for a lazy Sunday afternoon!"
"We acquired this collection because we wanted to own the 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities. We just watched it and had a wonderful experience. The movie is very close to the plot, the performances are superb. Charles Dickens' book will forever be a testament to the struggle of humanity between the have and have nots.
The performance of Blanche Yurka, as Madame DeFarge is outstanding. The citizens of France, seeking to put an end to the tyranny they experience from the oppressing aristrocracy, presents the never ending example that when rights are stepped on, it always ends in revolution and change. The Marquis St. Evremonde, played by Basil Rathbone, provides a view to the horror it represents for anyone to show they do not care about those who suffer. Especially when it comes to children; for the horror committed against this family, sparks the fire that leads to events that put an end to the ruling society.
Dr. Manette's performance as the innocent man who was a prisoner at the Bastille for over 18 years is superb. His daughter, played by Elizabeth Allen, represents the person that inspires great love in two men, one Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton, superbly played by Ronald Colman.
The character of Miss Pross, played by Edna May Oliver, is awesome. We go from disliking her, to admiring and then loving her for her sacrifice that saves the life of Ms. Manette. In the end, the sacrifice made by Sydney for the love of Lucie is one of the most sensitive and touching of all love stories. He finds purpose for his life, knowing full well that his actions shall forever live in the hearts of those he sacrifices for. Would highly recommend owning this DVD. The other movies shall be reviewed as we see them."
Nohosky | North Hollywood, CA USA | 01/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is a great example of the golden age of the movie studios. There is a little something for everyone in this set. The length of each of the DVD's hovers around 90 minutes and the time really zips by. For my money, this is the best version of David Copperfield with a top rate cast including WC Fields as Macawber and little Freddie Bartholomew as David. Marie Antoinette with Norma Shearer is heads and tails above that awful recent Marie misfire. This Pride and Prejudice is quick, to the point and completely enjoyable with Lawrence Olivier as Darcy and Greer Garson as Elizabeth (not to mention the amazing Mary Boland as Mrs. Bennett). A Tale of Two Cities is the best adaptation of Dickens ever on the screen. Ronald Coleman is perfect as the doomed hero. And finally the original pirate movie Treasure Island with the fantastic Wallace Beery as Long John Silver. Force your kids (and yourself) to watch all or at least some of these great classics. You won't be sorry."
Famous Movie Quotes
J.P. Wammack | Montrose, CA | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Each of these movies are treasures. Yes they are old and sometimes slow. Yes, the sound is not excellent. We have all seen them at one time or another. Still, they are filled with some of the greatest movie quotes of all time. When Ronald Coleman says the famous line in "A Tale of Two Cities", "It is a far, far, better rest I go to than I have ever known", you can't imagine anyone saying it better. When Laurence Oliver, speaking about his pursuit of "Lizzy" tells Greer Garson in "Pride and Prejudice" that "..that chapeter is definitely closed", you are seeing the best Mr.Darcy and Miss Bennet that have ever been filmed. Yes even better than Kiera Knightly. But as a total surprise, you get to see W.C. Fields in "David Copperfield". Who would have known how great an actor he was. I still have to check out if this is a direct quote from the book or something that Fields made up when he says..."Copperfield, I have nothing to bestowe but advice, still, that advice is so important that I have never taken it myself....." Enjoy these movies."