The Gary Cooper Collection

Design for Living     Peter Ibbetson     The General Died at Dawn      Beau Geste      The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

directed by Ernst Lubitsch, Henry Hathaway, Lewis Milestone and William A. Wellman
USA 19
33 - 39

 

The legendary Gary Cooper is synonymous with the image of the strong, silent American hero. In a career that spanned five decades and included over one hundred films, this tall, stoic "everyman" defined quiet courage and strength of character marking his unique niche in cinema history. Now five fan favorites from this Hollywood legend’s illustrious career are available here for the first time on DVD. Journey with "Coop" from the sophisticated streets of Paris and the brutal backcountry of China, to the sweltering sands of the Sahara, the dangerous battlefields of British India and beyond.

****

I must admit, the price is astonishingly cheap. I've paid over double for one DVD from Criterion, but here we get 5 films never before released from excellent directors Lubitsch, Hathaway, Milestone and Wellman. How Universal saved on this DVD package is simple - 5 films spread over two double sided discs - no extras (save trailers), but frankly it is still a total no-brainer purchase. All films have optional bright English close-captioned, French or Spanish subtitles, original mono audio, 18 chapters and moderate to heavy grain in the image, especially in close-ups, which some might consider excessive. All are progressive. Beau Geste is the real prize and easily worth the price of the entire Boxset, but none of the DVD transfers are exceptionally poor considering the age of the films (see individual comments below). Heavily taking into account value for money we give this out of

Gary W. Tooze

directed by Ernst Lubitsch, Henry Hathaway, Lewis Milestone and William A. Wellman
USA 19
33 - 39

Universal  - Region 1- NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Other Universal Dual-sided DVD Boxsets
Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC

directed by Ernst Lubitsch
USA 19
33

When Ernst Lubitsch's film of Noel Coward's famous farce was released in 1933, Ben Hecht's screenplay was attacked for coarsening Coward, and Lubitsch was ridiculed for casting Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins in the parts played onstage by Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, and Coward himself. Well, maybe it is a little lumpy for Lubitsch, but I think the film more than holds its own. Cooper is a problem, but the bubbles rise in spite of him. Very glossy, very continental, and sometimes very funny.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr's capsule at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 29th, 1933

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

Design for Living can only be purchased in the Universal Gary Cooper Collection Boxset with Peter Ibbetson / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer / The General Died at Dawn and Beau Geste.

    

    

Runtime 1:31:12 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s (on same side as Peter Ibbetson)
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

Collection is in three-tiered Digi-pak inside cardboard slipcase with page-book opening.
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

This image looks like a Warner restoration - relatively sharp, good contrast and healthy amount of grain. Frankly it is surprisingly strong. I was impressed. A small amount of damage can be seen and the audio track, is for the most part, consistent. Nice to see this Lubitsch film treated well!

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus

 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

directed by Henry Hathaway
USA 19
35

 Two childhood sweethearts are separated as youths, and then meet again many years later to discover they are still very much in love.

The fantastic aspect of this movie doesn't manifest itself until the second half of the movie, and to tell you the events that lead up to it would be giving away huge chunks of the plot, so all I will say at this point is that the two main characters are able to share the same dreams by which they can be together through a forced separation. In short, this is romantic fantasy. It's fairly good, with decent performances from all concerned, unexpected plot twists, and some interesting secondary characters.

Excerpt of Scifilm (Dave Sindelar's) capsule HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 31st, 1935

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

Peter Ibbetson can only be purchased in the Universal Gary Cooper Collection Boxset with Design for Living / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer /  / The General Died at Dawn and Beau Geste.

         

    

Runtime 1:25:15 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s (on same disc with Design For Living)
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical trailer (1:54)

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

Collection is in three-tiered Digi-pak inside cardboard slipcase with page-book opening.
Chapters: 18

 

 

Comments:

This transfer shows some consistent damage and heavy scratches throughout, but at times can also produce sharp, well-contrasted image with piercing black levels. Many will find the grain in close-ups very heavy - I happen to love film grain, so I'm not bothered - it can tend to look quite charming for much older films such as this and perfectly appropriate. This is on the same side of the DVD as 'Design For Loving' but with no extras on either size doesn't seem to play a factor in quality.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

directed by Lewis Milestone
USA 19
36

The General Died at Dawn (1936) is an adventure film set in the northern Chinese provinces that are torn by civil war, unrest, and revolution. The film is famous for Gary Cooper's line to Madeleine Carroll, "We could make beautiful music together."


An American mercenary and reporter O'Hara (Gary Cooper) is on a dangerous mission to help supply arms to the authorities to aid the peasants in a province ravaged by lunatic ambitious warlord General Yang (Akim Tamiroff). On the train to Shanghai, he meets and falls in love with Judy Perrie (Madeleine Carroll), whose shady and weak father Peter (Porter Hall) is in league with Yang and pressures unwilling Judy to luringly betray O'Hara.

Excerpt of review by Tim Dirks on The Greatest Films located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 30th, 1936

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

The General Died at Dawn  can only be purchased in the Universal Gary Cooper Collection Boxset with Design for Living / Peter Ibbetson / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and Beau Geste.

         

    

Runtime 1:38:03 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.87 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

Collection is in three-tiered Digi-pak inside cardboard slipcase with page-book opening.
Chapters: 18

 

 

Comments:

This transfer is on a single layer on the opposite side from 'Design For Loving' and Peter Ibbetson'  - it looks very good with lots of film grain. I'm again reminded of Warner's treatment of older films with good contrast, dusted grays and heavy grain.  It shows some damage early but settles down very quickly. Overall another acceptable DVD image with slightly fluctuating mono audio and no extras at all.

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

directed by William A. Wellman
USA 19
39

The story of Beau Geste and his adventures in the French Foreign Legion have been filmed more times than you may care to mention, but this version, starring Cooper as the legendary figure, still remains the best. Here, Cooper is joined by Milland and Preston as siblings John and Digby, who join the Legion after being implicated in a jewel robbery, only to discover that their commander is far more frightening than the Arabs they are supposed to be battling. Rip-roaring entertainment, with great turns from the leads and nice support from a young Hayward as the sweetheart Milland abandons.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 2nd, 1939

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

Beau Geste can only be purchased in the Universal Gary Cooper Collection Boxset with Design for Living / Peter Ibbetson / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and The General Died at Dawn.

    

    

Runtime 1:53:04 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:27)

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

Collection is in three-tiered Digi-pak inside cardboard slipcase with page-book opening.
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

The only film in the Boxset unshared on a dual layer side of the DVD. Again we are talking Warner quality with a very sharp image, no real damage and great contrast levels. Simply superb looking for a film of over 65 years old. Some good grain is still visible and audio was smooth. I suppose this film would merit a commentary, but for the bare bones pricing we only get a trailer. The easy winner of the set with a soaring bitrate in comparison to the other transfers. Well done Universal!  

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

directed by Henry Hathaway
USA 19
35

The kind of stiff-upper-lipped adventure they really don't make any more. Cooper stars as the arrogant lieutenant of the 41st Bengal Lancers who, while guarding British India from the threat of invading Afridis, finds himself at odds with two new officers - the outspoken Fortescue (Tone) and Stone (Cromwell), the son of his commanding colonel. It looks dated, but is still pleasing Sunday-afternoon stuff.

Excerpt from the Channel-4 capsule found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 11th, 1935

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer can only be purchased in the Universal Gary Cooper Collection Boxset with Design for Living / Peter Ibbetson Beau Geste and The General Died at Dawn.

         

    

Runtime 1:49:00 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• trailer (1:45)

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

Collection is in three-tiered Digi-pak inside cardboard slipcase with page-book opening.
Chapters: 18

 

 

Comments:

This DVD is the black sheep of the boxset with a very hazy, multiply scratched image in the first 10 minutes - it then settles down well gaining sharpness and although the scratches remain they are less noticeable. I imagine the print was quite damaged and there was little they could do barring a full restoration. It is on one side of a single layer with Beau Geste on the other side. Outside of the first 10 minutes this is  acceptable. 

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Other Universal Dual-sided DVD Boxsets
Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!