This year, Warner Brothers has been releasing several sets of their best films on DVD, and on Sept 3, the Best of Warner Brothers 20 Film Collection Thrillers hit the streets. This is a set of 20 movies on 20 discs neatly packed into two jewel cases, and comes with a booklet that gives a brief synopsis of each movie.
These aren't just any movies, either - these are highly acclaimed full feature motion pictures that include seven award winners, spanning from 1931 to 2010.
I had the pleasure of watching several of these over the Labor Day weekend and during this past week, and I must say, it's been fun watching the progression of how the stories, captured on film, have changed in presentation over the years.
Everything from fashion, to phrases, scene and angle changes to vocabulary have changed dramatically. Today we're likely to see more shocking things - nudity, sex, blood and gore - than in the black and white films of yesteryear.
The biggest shock I got was having watched the first 5 movies in the set - which were dated from 1931 to 1959, and then suddenly watching Dirty Harry. Although the previous ones had strong story lines, there wasn't anything embarrassing in any of them.
Then along came movie number 6. Dirty Harry. I think I lost my innocence watching that one. Wow! There were profanities and racial slurs - (although I think maybe "silenced" out - it was still there on the screen scrawled out onto a note for all to see), there was even a naked lady standing in a window. Oh, my poor eyes and ears - I might have to go to confession and I'm not even Catholic, but what a good movie! I loved the storyline and how it played on the emotions.
All of the movies in the set that I saw after Dirty Harry had some profane language in them, but the best one, I thought, was the beautifully scripted Shawshank Redemption. Now that's a classic - it's a movie that never gets old. And it's in this set! YAY!
Of all the movies before the Dirty Harry movie - I liked them all, but Strangers on a Train and North by Northwest were the most fun. I think out of the entire set those were the most fun. Typical Alfred Hitchcock - entertaining, engaging, thrilling. And North by Northwest had some interesting scenery, too - and it really is a cliff hanger. Literally. Cary Grant was perfect for this action packed role. He gets crop dusted and dragged and dropped and shot, and even ends up hanging off of Mount Rushmore by the finger tips, and still manages to muster up his suave style with a sense of humor.
Love this set - it's available right now on DVD at wbshop.com for $64.69 - down from the MSRP of $98.92.
This entire collection includes:
- The Public Enemy (1931) - starring James Cagney & Jean Harlow
- The Maltese Falcon (1941) - starring Humphrey Bogart & Mary Astor
- The Big Sleep (1946) - Starring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall
- Strangers on a Train (1951) - an Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Farley Granger and Robert Walker
- North by Northwest (1959) - another Hitchcock goodie starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint
- Dirty Harry (1971) - Starring Clint Eastwood
- Dog Day Afternoon (1975) - Starring Al Pacino
- Lethal Weapon (1987/2000) - Starring Mel Gibson & Danny Glover
- Batman (1989) - Starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger
- Goodfellas (1990) - Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Joe Pesci
- The Fugitive (1993) - Starring Harrison Ford & Tommy Lee Jones
- Natural Born Killers (1994) - Director's Cut - Stars Woody Harrelson & Juliette Lewis
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Starring Tim Robbins & Morgan Freeman
- Seven (1995) - Starring Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman
- Heat (1995) - Starring Al Pacino & Robert De Niro
- L.A. Confidential (1997) - Starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
- American History X (1998) - Starring Edward Norton & Edward Furlong
- The Dark Knight (2008) - Starring Christian Bale & Heath Ledger
- Inception (2010) - Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
- The Town (2010) - Starring Ben Affleck and Rebecca Hall