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Literary Classics Collection

Gregory Peck , Virginia Mayo , Peter Ustinov , George Sidney    NR (Not Rated)   DVD

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Product Description

Billy Budd (1962) Adapted from the last book written by Herman Melville an allegory of good vs. evil with innocence standing by as the helpless victim. A naive young man is pressed into the service of the British Navy at the very end of the 18th century. He views first hand the cruelty and extreme brutality of the ship's sadistic master-at-arms and accidentally kills him. He is then tried for his murder. Commentary by Terence Stamp and filmmaker Steven Soderbergh 16X9 anamorphic with 2.40 aspect ratio, B&W Theatrical trailer Captain Horatio Hornblower (1950) Screen legend Gregory Peck brings to life C.S. Forester's classic nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower. Hornblower battles the French and the Spanish forces during the Napoleonic wars, but also finds time for romance in this story from director Raoul Walsh. Vintage Oscar-nominated short My Country 'Tis of Thee Classic cartoon Captain Hareblower Audio-only bonus: Lux Radio Theater adaptation with Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo Theatrical Trailer 1.33, color, Portugese subtitles The Prisoner of Zenda (1937/1952) The identical cousin of a kidnapped prince impersonates the would-be king and foils the plot of one desiring to assume the throne. Pete Smith specialty short Penny Wisdom Cartoon The Wayward Pups Audio-only bonus: Lux Radio Theater Adaptation with Ronald Colman 1937 Theatrical Trailer 1.33, B&W (1937), color (1952) Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short "Land of the Taj Mahal" Oscar-winning cartoon Johann Mouse 1952 theatrical trailer The Three Musketeers (1948) Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short Looking at London Classic MGM Tex Avery cartoon What Price Fleadom Audio-only bonus: MGM Radio Promo with Dick Simmons interviewing Lana Turner Madame Bovary (1949) Passionate rendering of Flaubert's masterpiece about a beautiful 19th-century woman whose unconcealed affairs upset conservative French society. Pete Smith specialty short Those Good Old Days "Out-Foxed" 1.33, B&W, Portugese subtitles


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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIX LITERARY FILM CLASSICS COME TO DVD! Dec 15 2006
By Forrest C. Hopson - Published on Amazon.com
"The Three Musketeers" (1948) has got to be the best screen adaptation of the beloved Dumas literary classic. I had all but given up hope to have this on dvd! Gene Kelly is brilliant in the lead roll as D'Artagnan, and petite June Allyson (Little Women (1949) his love interest, Constance. Their comic performance in this classic is one not to be missed! The beautiful Lana Turner and the devious Vincent Price give a touch of elegant charm as the villains. Filmed in gorgeous Technicolor, this MGM jewel is one for the collection!

Also included is the Gregory Peck seafaring tale, "Captain Horatio Hornblower," in which Peck gives a fine performance. In 1807, unflappable Capt. Hornblower (Peck) of the British Navy is sent on a secret mission to divert Napoleon's Spanish allies by sponsoring a megalomaniac's Central American revolution. After a hard voyage, unexpected complications force Hornblower to revise his plans...and play reluctant host to the beautiful sister (Virginia Mayo) of the Duke of Wellington. Sea-battles, remarkable adventures, and a star-crossed romantic interlude follow.

A stellar cast give fine performances in another literary classic brought to film in the 1949 "Madame Bovary." French author Gustave Flaubert (James Mason) is on trial for writing the "indecent" novel "Madame Bovary." To prove that he wrote a moral tale, Flaubert narrates the story of beautiful Emma Bovary, (beautiful Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun (1946) an adulteress who destroyed the lives of everyone she came in contact with. The film also stars French actor, Louis Jourdan (GiGi (1958) and Van Heflin (Possessed (1947)

Two versions of the literary classic, "The Prisoner of Zenda" are also included. David O. Selznicks's 1937 version is a classic swashbuckler. Maj.Rudolph Rassendyll, (Ronald Colman) which is Rudolf V's identical distant cousin, is asked to risk his life and impersonate the would-be king. While doing so, his relative is kidnapped before his impending coronation. If Rudolf V isn't present at the ceremony, he will forfeit the crown to his younger brother. Complications ensue when Princess Flavia (lovely Madeleine Carroll) the cousin's betrothed, begins to notice a "personality change" in her fiancé.

The 1952 version of "The Prisoner of Zenda" stars Stewart Granger as Maj Rudolph Rassendyll, and Deborah Kerr as the Princess Flavia. The story is beautifully filmed in Technicolor with Granger and Kerr giving fine performances, especially Granger that excelled in swashbuckling tales such as this and my personal favorite, "Scaramouche (1952).

The sixth and final literary classic brought to film is the 1962 version of "Billy Budd." Billy (Terence Stamp) is an innocent, naive seaman in the British Navy in 1797. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms (evilly played by Robert Ryan) is murdered; Billy is accused and tried. Great performances by Peter Ustinov, Melvyn Douglas, Terence Stamp, and especially Robert Ryan, who certainly deserved what he got!

Any serious dvd collector of classic Hollywood films will definitely add these gems to their library and be glad that they did!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds are forever!! March 9 2007
By Michalis Tapakoudis - Published on Amazon.com
I ordered this package because of Captain Hornblower and The Three Musketeers, two films that have really marked my childhood memories. I haven't had the chance to see the rest of the films so this package was an excellent chance to do so and also get the two other films that I only possess in worn-out VHS copies.

I have already watched Captain Hornblower and it was as if it was brand new. The quality and sound are of high quality, the colours are better and I also loved the fact that I had the english subtitles available (I always wanted to figure out the "Fire as your guns bare" phrase).

The price is not a bargain only if you compare it with other available box-sets but I would pay even more for this one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 GREAT FILMS. GREAT PRESENTATION. GREAT VALUE. BRAVO WB March 11 2007
By Eric - Published on Amazon.com
Like so many other Warner Brothers releases, this set will spoil you. A 5 disc set of 6 great films (2 versions of ZENDA on one disc), beautifully remastered, exquisitely packaged, and selling here on Amazon for a bargain price.

This is one to tell your friends about, because there's something for everyone here. I echo all the positive comments left by others, and underscore emphatically how amazing it is to finally have a proper widescreen BILLY BUDD. The other films in the collection haven't been as hard to see or own as BILLY, but BILLY suffered from being made by a small company (Allied Artists).

Warner rectifies that error now with this great new set, which is a no-brainer purchase for any true cinephile.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where have all the French subtitles/audio gone? March 4 2007
By a movie lover - Published on Amazon.com
Since these are Region 1 DVDs -- USA and Canada -- the official languages are English and French, so both audio and subtitles should be provided in both languages. Subtitles help people with hearing difficulties, and help all when actors don't speak clearly or aren't recorded well.

Spanish is a good third choice.

[BTW, it would be nice if subtitle authors were required to be proficient in the source and destination languages. Ideally, they would have access to the script. Also, they should not make common, elementary English errors: its vs. it's, maybe vs. may be, everyday vs. every day, a lot (not alot), till or until (not 'til or til), Internet (not internet), could've or could have (not could of), OK or okay or even O.K. (not Ok or ok), for a while (not for awhile), I used to (not I use to), omitting the second delimiter of parenthetical information, hyphenating two words (a-b) when they mean to put a dash between two parts of a sentence (a--b, a - b, or a -- b), vs. or v. (not vs), etc. or et cetera (not etc...), etc. Punctuation doesn't matter much in e-mail or in Web reviews, but these subtitle authors are being paid as professionals to create something that lasts.]
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!! Nov. 30 2006
By J. Norberg - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This item popped up in my recommendations yesterday, and I was excited! Although this is still about 4 months away from being released, it is highly anticipated by me.

The main attractions in this collection (at least from my perspective) are "Captain Horatio Hornblower" and "The Three Musketeers." Neither of these has been available on DVD, and I have looked forward to their inevitible (eventual) release.

"The Three Musketeers" is a very fun movie. This literary classic has been made into several movies over the years, but this is my favorite. There is a humerous slant to this that only someone like Gene Kelly could add. This was actually one of those videos that I watched as a kid, and it made an impression on me. There are some good laughs and overall good entertainment!

"Captain Horatio Hornblower" is another one of those that makes you wonder what took so long to get on DVD! An all-time great that epitomizes the seafaring tale--and Gregory Peck doing a terrific job.

"The Prizoner of Zenda" is considered one of the all-time great family adventure movies by some prominent critics (at least the 1937 version). A terrific addition to this collection.

As for the remaining three, I cannot give individual reviews on them because I have not seen them. However, I would most likely buy this collection for the other three alone, so an additional three titles just makes the bargain better! This is a terrific buy with several "overdue" DVD releases. This is a no brainer for your classic movie collection!

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