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The Cary Grant Box Set

 

Holiday    Only Angels Have Wings    The Talk of the Town    His Girl Friday    The Awful Truth

 

Comments:

The Cary Grant Box Set as put out by Sony appear to be slightly different transfers than the old Columbia Tri-star releases from many years ago. But they don't appear to be extensively superior in the image department, but indeed they are marginally different (See our comparison below with His Girl Friday), but Holiday is finally seeing the digital light of day outside Region 2. NOTE: We have not fully compared all 4 duplicate film transfers with the initial Region 1 releases but are basing our assumption on the His Girl Friday comparison. Only Angels Have Wings could very well be improved - it looks the best by far of all the transfers.

I think we should clear up one point. This box set is being advertised as 'All 5 discs are loaded with featurettes and commentaries'. There are featurettes with each disc but only His Girl Friday has a commentary track. This could be construed by some as misrepresentation.

The packaging is very nice - individual discs - no dual sides and there are a number of very nice looking postcard sized images and posters included in an envelope.  

Differences include:

1) The DVDs in the new set are region-coded for 1,2,3 + 4 where the old Columbia's were set for regions 1,3 + 4 (all NTSC).

2) The host of subtitle (and DUB) options available on the initial releases have been omitted (except on the new Holiday) and only English and French subtitles are included. The audio is original English only (no DUBS) on the new discs.

The films are some of the best of their period regardless that they all star Cary Grant. Romantic and screwball comedies helmed by Hawks, Cukor, McCarey and George Stevens. The reasonableness of the cost make this a financially sound investment even if you already own 2 of the initial releases.  

NOTE: At the time of this review the new releases are not available individually (except in their original form)

NOTE: From 'A.J.' in email - "I found a slight difference between the Columbia and Sony releases of "His Girl Friday" that you don't mention in your comparison review. Both have four featurettes, but the first featurette is different. On the Columbia release it's called "Cary Grant: Making Headlines", which is 4:57 long. On the Sony release it's called "On Assignment: His Girl Friday", which is 8:46 long. In your description, you list "Cary Grant: Making Headlines" on both, but your capture of the featurettes menu for the Sony release shows a listing for "On Assignment: His Girl Friday"." Thanks A.J.!

Gary W. Tooze

 

Directed by George Cukor
USA 1938

 

Barry's high-style comedy suited Hepburn wonderfully, and this satire on the egotism and selfishness of the upper classes (the wealthy) in the States gave her a vehicle so finely tuned that it paved the way for her even greater success two years later with an option on his The Philadelphia Story. Here she plays the older sister in a family which boasts an alcoholic brother and a younger sister engaged to a struggling lawyer (Grant) who brings a welcome note of dissension into the household. Naturally, he ends up with the sparky Ms Hepburn. Cukor's elegant grasp of the original drama ensures a silkily smooth transition from stage to screen.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: June 15th, 1938

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:45 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Cary at Columbia
• Deleted Scenes Photographs

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006

Digipak (see capture HERE)
Chapters: 28

 

 

Comments:

Lots of grain that looks more like digital noise and there are some damage scratches and marks. Overall it still looks quite acceptable although I'd love to see the same treatment that Only Angels Have Wings received.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1939

 

A compelling character study crossed with nail-biting action, Only Angels Have Wings is fully immersed within the male-centric world of Howard Hawks. In the South American coastal town of Barranca a couple of likely looking fellows, Joe Souther (Noah Beery Jr.) and Les Peters (Allyn Joslyn), are making their way along the dock. One of the regular passenger ships has just docked, supplying them with mail to be collected. However, the real perk is that they get the first look at any newly arrived beauties. While their luck seems to be out, that all changes when Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur) strides down the gangplank, cowing the ship's purser (Rafael Corio). As she wends a glowing path through the crowds, Joe and Les set off in hot, though wary, pursuit.


Their reticence is surely misplaced though for when Bonnie discovers that they're Americans, rather than local lechers, she practically jumps all over them. Hence the trio soon find themselves in the Dutchman's (Sig Rumann) combination shop-hotel-bar, where Joe and Les toss for who'll get to have dinner with Bonnie. The loser, unfortunately, will have to go to work, flying the nightly mail plane over the Peruvian Andes. Luckily for Joe he comes up trumps, at least until their boss Geoff Carter (Cary Grant) crashes onto the scene. One look at Bonnie and Joe's headed for the pilot's seat while Les gets dispatched dockwards. Before any wooing can take place though, Joe's got to take off in the soupy fog and successfully negotiate the 14,000 ft pass which serves as a gateway to the interior.

Excerpt of Damian Cannon's review at Movie Reviews UK located HERE.

 

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 12th, 1939

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 2:00:48 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Angels: Made in Heaven
• Previews

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006

Digipak (see capture HERE)
Chapters: 28

 

Comments:

Aside from the cheesy menus this is the best disc in the package. It looks virtually like a brand new film - an amazing transfer. Fabulous, but its greatness tarnishes the rest of the set by comparison. In my opinion this film and DVD are worth the price of the entire boxset. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Directed by George Stevens
USA 1942

 

In this sparkling, risquée romantic comedy, three of Hollywood's top stars—Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Ronald Colman—play house together. Grant is a convicted arsonist and murderer who's escaped from prison, and Arthur is his old girlfriend who's fixing up her apartment to rent out to Colman, a famous law scholar. The film features one of Grant's best performances (on a long list of great performances); he's perfectly matched by Arthur, who was one of the silver screen's finest comediennes. Colman, in a rare comic turn, is essentially the straight man, although "straight" doesn't quite describe him. In addition to its status as one of the great screen comedies, the film is a treasure trove of homosexual undercurrents, many of which aren't all that disguised. Sideways glances, beards, an asexual professor with an ambiguous relationship with his "man," and a love triangle in which the men attempt to foist the woman on each other—there are so many elements here, some quite brazenly so, that it's not crazy to see homosexual themes in it.

 Excerpt from Goatdog's movies located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 20th, 1942

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:56:56 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Talking About: Talk About the Town
• Previews 

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006

Digipak (see capture HERE)
Chapters: 28

 

 

Comments:

Probably the second best transfer after Only Angels Have Wings. Good contrast, a smattering of film grain and conspicuously sharp. Minor speckles show up infrequently.  Another, in the list of fabulous films from the boxset.

Gary W. Tooze

 


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(aka "Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday" )

 

directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1940

 

Ben Hecht's and Charles MacArthur's hit Broadway play, The Front Page, has been filmed four times to date, and His Girl Friday is by far the best version, thanks to not only the new screenplay by Hecht and Charles Lederner, but to stars Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, director Howard Hawks, and a new idea. The idea was to change one of the male lead parts to a female role, allowing romance and the battle of the sexes to invade the story.

The story itself concerns a newspaper editor whose best reporter has left to get married. Worse, she used to be his wife, and the editor (Grant) wants her back. After quitting, Hildy (Russell) introduces her ex to her new fiancé, the nice-but-nerdish Ralph Bellamy. Grant then sets out to do everything in his power to regain Russell as both wife and reporter. Amongst the antics is a sub-plot of a murder trial, which increases the confusion as the paper tries to cover the story.

Excerpt from Martin Hunt Taken from EUFS Programme 1995-96

 

Theatrical Release: January 11th, 1940

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DVD Comparison: 

Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:31:51 1:31:48

Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 4.72 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 4.74 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 : Columbia

Bitrate: Sony

Audio English (2.0 Dolby Digital) DUB: Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital English
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Columbia Tri-star

Aspect Ratio:
Original 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: Film Critic and Author Todd McCarthy
Four Featurettes:

• "Cary Grant: Making Headlines,"

• "The Inside Scoop: Rosalind Russell," • "Reporter's Notebook: Howard Hawks"

•  "The Funny Pages"
• Vintage Advertising
• Talent Files (Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy)

DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2000
Keep case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: Film Critic and Author Todd McCarthy
Four Featurettes:

• "Cary Grant: Making Headlines,"

• "The Inside Scoop: Rosalind Russell," • "Reporter's Notebook: Howard Hawks"

•  "The Funny Pages"
• Vintage Advertising


DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006
Digipak (see capture HERE)

Chapters 28

 

Comments The new transfer is superior but by a hairsbreadth. With inconsequential differences this is the same release (same menus although not askew) and has the duplicate commentary and 4 featurettes, but it lacks the text file 'Talent Files'. For most anyone's purposes this is the same DVD if you don't require the subs or Spanish DUB.     - Gary Tooze  

NOTE: From 'A.J.' in email - "I found a slight difference between the Columbia and Sony releases of "His Girl Friday" that you don't mention in your comparison review. Both have four featurettes, but the first featurette is different. On the Columbia release it's called "Cary Grant: Making Headlines", which is 4:57 long. On the Sony release it's called "On Assignment: His Girl Friday", which is 8:46 long. In your description, you list "Cary Grant: Making Headlines" on both, but your capture of the featurettes menu for the Sony release shows a listing for "On Assignment: His Girl Friday"." Thanks A.J.!

 

 


DVD Menus

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

 


Screen Captures

 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 

 


 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


Directed by Leo McCarey
USA 1937

 

A superbly lighthearted production, and the epitome of 1930s screwball comedies. Grant tells wife Dunne that he is going on a short Florida vacation, but then spends his time playing poker with the boys, establishing an alibi by burning himself under a sunlamp. When he returns home he finds his wife absent; then she appears with D'Arcy, a dashing voice teacher. Both Grant and Dunne assume that the other has been unfaithful and, after a rousing round of accusations, they decide to accept a 90-day interlocutory divorce.

Excerpt from TV Guide Entertainment Network, Movie Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 21st, 1937

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:30:30 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• In Love With Cary Grant : Inside the Awful Truth
• Previews
 

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006
Digipak (see capture HERE)
Chapters: 28

 

 

Comments:

Very nice release - deep, rich black levels punctuated by some digital noise that resembles grain (see backgrounds). Quite clear - as sharp as one could expect. A fitting conclusion to a well-appointed boxset regardless of the prior releases duplications.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

 
DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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