warner bros, blue ray
As part of the studio's 90th Anniversary celebration, eight of Warner Bros. Pictures' greatest gangster films - from Edward G. Robinson's 1931 classic Little Caesar to Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning masterpiece The Departed -- will now be available in two Blu-ray sets May 21. Released to coincide with Father's Day gift-giving, the WB genre greats, along with one of Paramount's best gangster films, will be offered in the Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary.
The four films in the Classic Collection have been remastered for their Blu-ray debuts. They include The Public Enemy and White Heat with the legendary performances of James Cagney; Little Caesar with Edward G. Robinson as hoodlum Rico Bandello; and The Petrified Forest starring Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Leslie Howard. The Collection includes a feature-length documentary Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Drama which explores the development of the crime genre and the rise of Warner stars like Cagney, Bogart and Robinson. Also discussed are directors such as Walsh, Wellman and Curtiz; the films themselves; their influence on filmmakers worldwide; and Warner's impact in establishing the genre.
The Contemporary Collection is a 5-disc set with five crime films that include Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas, The Departed and Mean Streets; Heat,starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer; and Paramount's The Untouchables with Kevin Costner, De Niro and Sean Connery.
These two collections are being released in tribute to the films that remain a cornerstone in the legacy of Warner Bros. Major Hollywood studios in the '30s and '40s were each known for their distinctive styles (MGM for its musicals, Universal for its horror films, etc.). Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre which contained socially conscious themes and a simple visual look (low key lighting and sparse sets). Nowhere were these elements more prominent than in the films featured in the Classic Edition, with the Contemporary Edition showing how a new generation of crime drama has been established.
Both Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classicand Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary will include 32-page booklets with images and additional information about each film. Each of the two Collections will be offered at $49.99 SRP. The titles in the Classic Collection will be available individually as well. Each single will sell for $19.98 SRP.
Details of Ultimate Gangster Collection Classic
The Public Enemy (1931) - Now on Blu-ray!
The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney's powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers, a role Cagney won only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. Cagney had a secondary role but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney's screen dominance and gave him the star part, even after shooting had begun. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with '20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era -- taut, gritty and hard-hitting. Several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film are included -- unseen for decades until they were restored by WHV for its premiere DVD release.
Little Caesar (1931) - Now on Blu--ray!
"R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that's who!" Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone and Hollywood got the message. The 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello, a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy.
The Petrified Forest (1936) - Now on Blu-ray!
A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of other hostages. The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. The film presented Bogart with his first major starring role and helped launch his brilliant movie career.