Primary Image

Literary Classics Collection in March - Full Specs added

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of the Literary Classics Collection for 6th March 2007. This five-disc collection features the DVD debuts of Billy Budd, Captain Horatio Hornblower, Madame Bovary, The Three Musketeers and The Prisoner of Zenda: Double Feature with both the 1937 and 1952 versions of the film included. Special features such as commentaries, shorts, vintage Oscar ® winning cartoons, classic Oscar-nominated shorts, radio show adaptations and more add to the entertainment on each disc. The five-disc gift set will sell for $59.92 SRP, with individual titles available for $19.97 SRP.

Billy Budd (1962)
Herman Melville’s classic adventure of the high seas makes its DVD debut in this collection. It’s 1797, and the English frigate Avenger sails wartime seas, ready to engage the French navy in combat. But there’s another type of warfare going on aboard the king’s ship. It’s the battle of good versus evil, the powerful theme of Billy Budd. Terence Stamp, in his film debut, plays the title role, scoring a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as an archetype of goodness. Robert Ryan portrays the master-at-arms, efficient and cruel – especially so to young Billy. And director Peter Ustinov also stars as the captain caught between the inevitable clash of polar opposites.

DVD Special Features:

  • Commentary by Terence Stamp and filmmaker Steven Soderbergh
  • 16x9 anamorphic with 2.40 aspect ratio
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Captain Horatio Hornblower (1950)
In one of his favorite roles, Gregory Peck plays the valiant Napoleonic Era British naval hero in this swashbuckling saga adapted for the screen by Hornblower’s creator C.S. Forester. True to the famed source novels, Hornblower outthinks his rivals to outfight them. He’s unflinching under fire, modest in victory – and more than a little at sea romantically with Lady Barbara Wellesley (Virginia Mayo).

Director Raoul Walsh (White Heat, High Sierra) guides the broadside-for-broadside action with flourishes befitting sea warfare’s most exciting era. Two fully-rigged and three nearly complete ships – from a 38-gun frigate to a 100-gun command ship – are used in the film.

DVD Special Features:
  • 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
  • Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Madame Bovary (1949)
Jennifer Jones stars as the lovely Emma Bovary in this lush adaptation of the Gustave Flaubert novel that scandalized 19th-century France. As the wife of a country doctor, she longs for romance, glamour and possessions. But instead gets routine, motherhood and penny-pinching. So when she catches the eye of a handsome aristocrat, Emma risks all to reach for what she thinks will be happiness. The film’s highlight is the stunning ballroom scene, contrasting Emma’s social success with her husband’s failure, culminating in his drunken arrival on the dance floor. In the famed sequence, director Vincente Minnelli skillfully combines dissolves, cross-cuts, pans, long takes – a library of techniques – into a seamless triumph of head-spinning gaiety, heart-breaking despair and moviemaking artistry.

DVD Special Features:
  • Vintage Pete Smith specialty short Those Good Old Days
  • Classic cartoon Out-Foxed
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English (feature film only)

The Prisoner of Zenda –DOUBLE FEATURE- (1937/1952)
Adventure, pageantry and royal intrigue abound in the two finest screen versions of the beloved 1894 Anthony Hope novel filmed many times. Major Rudolph Rassendyll has the appearance and manner of King Rudolph, yet he’s really his look-alike cousin, and on his shoulders rests all hope of foiling a blackguard’s plot to usurp the throne. Ronald Colman (A Tale of Two Cities) plays the double role in the resilient 1937 David O. Selznick production, making palpable the heartbreak of the royal stand-in whose gallantry is tested by his love for the real king’s fiancée (Madeleine Carroll), with Douglas Fairbanks outstanding as the villain. Stewart Granger (Scaramouche) stars in the lavish 1952 color version, romancing Deborah Kerr and wielding his sword boldly in the film’s bravura climactic duel against the scoundrel Rupert (James Mason).

DVD Special Features:
  • Pete Smith specialty short Penny Wisdom
  • Cartoon The Wayward Pups
  • Audio-only bonus: Lux Radio Theater Adaptation with Ronald Colman
  • 1937 Theatrical Trailer
  • Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short Land of the Taj Mahal
  • Oscar-winning cartoon Johann Mouse and 1952 theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English (feature films only)

The Three Musketeers (1948)
To the cry of “all for one and one for all” comes a version of the Alexandre Dumas classic that’s fun for all – a rousing, swashbuckling adaptation that was Gene Kelly’s favorite among his nonmusical movies. Kelly plays country lad D’Artagnan, who comes to Paris with heady ambition and duels his way into the ranks of King Louis XIII’s musketeers. He swashes-and-buckles with brio, bringing to action scenes the virile athleticism that set him apart as a dancer in movie musicals. A top cast – Vincent Price as unctuous Cardinal Richelieu, Lana Turner as villainous Lady de Winter, June Allyson as Constance, Van Heflin as Athos, Robert Coote as Aramis, Gig Young as Porthos and Frank Morgan and Angela Lansbury as King Louis and Queen Anne – joins Kelly in this exuberant tale, filmed in luscious Technicolor.

DVD Special Features:
  • 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
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English & Portuguêse (feature film only)

Category News

Latest Articles