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The Joan Crawford Collection (5-disc)

Humoresque      Possessed      The Damned Don't Cry      The Women     Mildred Pierce

directed by Jean Negulesco, Curtis Bernhardt, Vincent Sherman, George Cukor and Michael Curtiz
USA 19
39 - 50

 

The Joan Crawford Collection features classics from the star whose career spanned more than 40 years. "I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door." - Joan Crawford

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Originally Lucille Fay LeSueur, Joan Crawford had a string of successes playing a socialite or happy-go-lucky bachelorette's early in her career. Mildred Pierce (1945) was a defining role and won her a best actress Oscar. With more than seventy films behind her, she acquired the reputation of being a very demanding and difficult 'diva'. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) brought new careers to both Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, though future roles were infrequently offered as their age increased and looks matured. Horrified by a photo taken of her in 1974, she retired completely, devoting herself to Christian Science and abruptly ceased all drinking and smoking. Joan Crawford leaves a legacy of Hollywood-ism - a talented, demanding and aggressive actress, her popularity and box-office decline, being replaced by younger starlets, was both a cruel and factual fate of many stars of her era.


The Joan Crawford Collection includes three new-to-DVD releases including the first-ever home video release of The Damned Don't Cry, plus Crawford's triumphant role opposite John Garfield in Humoresque and her 1947 Warner Bros. classic Possessed, along with two of her most famous films, Mildred Pierce and The Women, both of which have been repackaged into sturdy Amaray keepcases.  out of

Gary W. Tooze

 

Warner  - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Studios - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

 

directed by Jean Negulesco
USA 19
46

Glamorous socialite Helen Wright (Joan Crawford) takes what she wants clothes, alcohol, men uses them up and tosses them aside. Then she meets brilliant young violinist Paul Boray (John Garfield). But this is one toy she can't break. Instead, her love for Paul brings Helen to the breaking point. In this acclaimed and profound exploration of desire, Crawford makes Helen a rich, layered character torn between selfless love and selfish impulses. Garfield matches her as the driven genius. Humoresque's production values extend to the musical interludes, dubbed by Isaac Stern. Garfield's dazzling technique is thanks to two real violinists hidden behind him one to do the fingering and one the bow work. Bravo!...  out of     

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1946

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Cover and individual purchase links:

or buy the Entire Joan Crawford Collection with Humoresque, Possessed, The Damned Don't Cry, The Women and Mildred Pierce

       

    

Runtime 2:04:20
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 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, Spanish, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette The Music of Humoresque
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: June 14th, 2005

Keep case
Chapters: 33

 

 

Comments:

This is a shade softer than you may have anticipated. It, by no means poor, but a little below standard for a usually pristine  Warner Home DVD product. Still it has great contrast and shows some film grain. Original audio and it sounds very good - consistent and clear. Some may find the "Music of Humoresque" Featurette interesting - and include that with a trailer and those are the extras. I would have thought as a few of the other DVDs in the Boxset have commentaries that this great film would have rated one. Solid job by Warner out of !

Gary W. Tooze

 





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(aka 'The Secret')

directed by Curtis Bernhardt
USA 1947

 She loves him when he goes away for months. She loves him when he refuses to marry her. But when callow David Sutton chooses to marry someone else, Louise Howell's love for him takes a darker turn. Give her a gun and she'll love him to death. Joan Crawford reteams with producer Jerry Wald of her Academy Award winning Mildred Pierce and claims a 1947 Best Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of tempestuous, mentally unstable Louise. "I love you" is such an inadequate way of saying I love you, Louise says. It doesn't quite describe how much it hurts sometimes. With Crawford at her film-noir-queen best, be assured it hurts so good...

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 26th, 1947

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Cover and individual purchase links:

or buy the Entire Joan Crawford Collection with Humoresque, Possessed, The Damned Don't Cry, The Women and Mildred Pierce

    

    

Runtime 1:48:00
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 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, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper
• Featurette Possessed: The Quintessential Film Noir
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: June 14th, 2005
Keep case
Chapters:
28

 

 

Comments:

This DVD looks a little worse for wear in the first 10 minutes or so (dirt and excessively grainy), but soon shows a very sharp image after that. (NOTE: There is some very unusual damage at around the 48 minute mark - it looks like fireflies and lasts less than 1 minute. )Deep black levels and great shadow detail with some good film grain show-off a delightful image. Drew Casper's commentary is a big plus bonus and a featurette is also included Possessed: The Quintessential Film Noir. Original mono audio with no offered DUBs. Excellent subtitles too. Again Warner is showing themselves as the best large studio DVD production company. If not for the initial weak image this would be perfect, but we still give it   out of   

Gary W. Tooze

 





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directed by Vincent Sherman
USA 19
50

The murder of gangster Nick Prenta touches off an investigation of mysterious socialite Lorna Hansen Forbes, who seems to have no past, and has now disappeared. In flashback, we see the woman's anonymous roots; her poor working-class marriage, which ends in tragedy and her determination to find "better things." Soon finding that sex appeal is her only salable commodity, she climbs from man to man toward the center of a nationwide crime syndicate...a very perilous position..

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 7th, 1950

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Cover and individual purchase links:

or buy the Entire Joan Crawford Collection with Humoresque, Possessed, The Damned Don't Cry, The Women and Mildred Pierce

      

    

Runtime 1:43:04 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 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), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by the film's Director Vincent Sherman
• New Featurette The Crawford Formula: Real and Reel
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: June 14th, 2005
Keep case

Chapters: 26

 

 

Comments:

This transfer is a little unique from the rest - the image is slightly sepia (or has some green it it) where all others are strong contrast blacks + whites. Actually, it is a pretty small flaw to the overall picture, but a noticeable one in certain sequences. Otherwise this has good sharpness, excellent subtitles and original mono audio with an optional French mono DUB (along with The Women the only DVD in the boxset that has an offered DUB). Extras include a rare director commentary (for such an old film) and another Featurette "The Crawford Formula: Real and Reel" along with a trailer. Good film and I'd like to know more about the sepia tint.out of    

Gary W. Tooze

 





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directed by George Cukor
USA 19
39

Be careful what you say in private. It could become a movie. Some gossip overheard by Clare Boothe Luce in a nightclub powder room inspired her Broadway hit that's wittily adapted for the screen in The Women. George Cukor directs an all-female cast in this catty tale of battling and bonding that paints its claws Jungle Red and shreds the excesses of pampered Park Avenue princesses. Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, Mary Boland and Paulette Goddard are among the array of husband snatchers, snitches and lovelorn ladies.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1st, 1939

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Cover and individual purchase links:

or buy the Entire Joan Crawford Collection with Humoresque, Possessed, The Damned Don't Cry, The Women and Mildred Pierce

    

    

Runtime 2:13:04 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 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), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Romance of Celluliod Documentaries "From the Ends of the Earth" and "Hollywood: Style Center of the World"
• Alternate Black and White Fashion Show
• Scoring Session Music Cues
• Theatrical Trailers

DVD Release Date: July 2nd, 2002 - Reissue - June
7th, 2005
Original issue is in 'Snapper Case' and new edition in Amaray Keep case
Chapters: 34

 

 

Comments:

For the most part pristine transfer, but there are some scratches showing through (debris prevalent). Aside from those minor blemishes it is an amazing image - a little good grain, excellent contrast and the color sequence is ravishing. The mono audio is clear and defined with no interferences noticeable. This is an excellent DVD package with all the extra features. Although Crawford is in a secondary role in the film it is a great addition to the Boxset Collection!   out of     

P.S. Now in an Amaray Keep case instead of a snapper - otherwise same DVD as original.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 19
45

What Veda wants, her mother Mildred Pierce provides. Even if Mildred must end her middle-class marriage, climb atop the male-dominated business world and marry a wealthy man she doesn't love. "I'll do anything," Mildred says in explaining her love for her daughter. But does anything include murder? Just when you think you got this nominee for five other Oscars including Best Picture figured out, along comes a shocking twist ending!

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 24th, 1945

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Cover and individual purchase links:

or buy the Entire Joan Crawford Collection with Humoresque, Possessed, The Damned Don't Cry, The Women and Mildred Pierce

    

    

Runtime 1:50:40 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.24 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: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Acclaimed feature length documentary Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star
• Crawford Trailer Gallery

DVD Release Date: February 4th, 2003 - Reissue - June 14th, 2005
Original issue is in 'Snapper Case' and new edition in Amaray Keep case
Chapters: 34

 

 

Comments:

Perhaps mildly saturated, this is still another excellent DVD from Warner. Like the original it still has the extras on the opposite side (Geez Warner - couldn't you have improved upon that!) and exactly the same image, audio etc. It is essentially the same disc in an amaray keep case instead of a Snapper. Arguably the best film of the boxset - Warner should have added something from the initial release - if not improving the already strong image then putting it on one dual layered DVD would have been a the way to go.  out of    

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Extras on second side of original disc

 


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Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)




 

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