Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4


The Little Giant (1933)          Kid Galahad (1937)      The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Invisible Stripes (1939)        Larceny, Inc. (1942)

 


Titles

 

 


 

The Little Giant (1933)
The era of the bootlegger is past but liquor runner Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson) has a plan for what he’ll do now that Prohibition is history. He decides to head for California’s posh, polo-playing Santa Barbara to become part of the high society. What he finds there -- swindlers, gold diggers, great fun – makes first class entertainment in this pre-Code gem. Edward G. Robinson shows his comedic chops for the first time, paving the way for such subsequent films as A Slight Case of Murder, Brother Orchid, Larceny, Inc. and more persona-skewering frolics.

Kid Galahad (1937)
This influential ring saga dramatically links professional boxing to criminal gambling. Edward G. Robinson is racketeer/fight promoter Nick Donati and tightly coiled Humphrey Bogart is Turkey Morgan. They’re rival promoters who, like fighters flinging kidney punches, end up swapping close-range bullets. Bette Davis plays the moll who has a soft spot for the bellhop (Wayne Morris) that Nick is grooming for the heavyweight title. And prolific Michael Curtiz directs this first of his six collaborations with Bogart that would include the romantic masterwork Casablanca and the sly comedy We’re No Angels.

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) is fascinated by the study of the physical and mental states of lawbreakers, so he joins a gang of jewel thieves for a closer look in this often amusing crime drama. Claire Trevor co-stars as a savvy crime queen, and Humphrey Bogart plays Rocks Valentine, whom Dr. C. calls “a magnificent specimen of pure viciousness.” The movie also marks the start of one of film’s most noteworthy collaborations. John Huston, who was to later direct Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen, co-wrote the screenplay of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse.

Invisible Stripes (1939)
Parolee Chuck Martin is going straight when he gets out of jail – straight back to a life of crime. In lockup or out in the civilian world, he knows he’ll forever wear a con’s ‘Invisible Stripes.’ As Martin, Humphrey Bogart continues to battle and sneer his way to career stardom in this volatile social-conscience crime saga adapted from a book by warden Lewis E. Lawes. Top-billed George Raft plays Martin’s ex-Sing Sing yard mate Cliff Taylor, who vows to walk away from crime and be a role model for his kid brother (William Holden). But what awaits Taylor are suspicion, public disdain and joblessness. So he turns to a fellow con for help. Then, as now, he finds crime doesn’t pay.

Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Edward G. Robinson once more turns his gangster image on its head in a gleeful romp based on the Broadway farce penned by Laura Perelman and S.J. Perelman. Robinson plays Pressure Maxwell, who emerges from Sing Sing planning to run a dog track with cronies Jug (Broderick Crawford) and Weepy (Edward Brophy). But the plan needs funding, so the group (assisted by Jane Wyman) opens a luggage shop as a front while attempting to tunnel into the bank next door. Now add the store’s unexpected success, a gabby traveling valise salesman (Jack Carson) and the arrival of a sour con (Anthony Quinn) who wants in on the action, and the laughs are thick as thieves.

Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film

Warner Home Video Documentary
As popular as these films were in their heyday, seminal giants like Little Caesar and Public Enemy as well as post-war gems like Key Largo and White Heat still hold power over their audiences today. Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film will explore the invention and development of the crime genre; the rise of Warner stars like Cagney, Bogart and Robinson; as well as directors like Walsh, Wellman and Curtiz. It will cover the films themselves and the influence they had on filmmakers all over the world; and the artistic merit that these defining classic films still warrant. Finally, the documentary will celebrate the impact that Warner Bros. Studios had in establishing the iconic Hollywood Gangster, often imitated but never equaled.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1931 - 1940

  DVD Reviews

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

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

NOTE: Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 appears to be exactly the same content as Warner Bros. Pictures - Tough Guys Collection released June 6th, 2006 (and reviewed HERE)

 

Time: The Little Giant - 1:15:33, Kid Galahad - 1:44:33, the Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse - 1:27:06, Invisible Stripes - 1:21:18, Larceny Inc. 1:35:03, Pubic Enemies Documentary - 1:45:40
Audio English (original mono)
Subtitles English (CC), French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

• The Little Giant (1933)
Special Features:
Commentary by Daniel Bubbeo and John McCarty
Vintage newsreel
WB short: Just Around the Corner
WB cartoon: The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
Theatrical trailer

Kid Galahad (1937)
Special Features:
Commentary by Art Simon and Robert Sklar
It’s Love I’m After theatrical trailer
Vintage newsreel
WB Shorts: Alibi Mark and Postal Union
WB Cartoons:
- Egghead Rides Again
- I Wanna Be a Sailor
- Porky’s Super Service
Theatrical trailer

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
Special Features:
Commentary by Dr. Drew Casper and Richard Jewell
Racket Busters theatrical trailer
Vintage newsreel
WB short: Night Intruder
WB cartoons:
- Cinderella Meets a Fella
- Count Me Out
1941 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Broadcast (audio only)
1944 Gulf Screen Guild Theater Broadcast (audio only)
Theatrical trailer

Invisible Stripes (1939)
Special Features:
Commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini
You Can’t Get Away with Murder Theatrical trailer
Vintage newsreel
WB short The Monroe Doctrine and Quiet, Please
WB cartoons:
- Bars and Stripes Forever
- Hare-um Scare-um
Theatrical trailer

Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Special Features:
Commentary by Haden Guest and Dana Polan
Vintage newsreel
The Big Shot theatrical trailer
WB short: Winning Your Wings
WB cartoons:
- Porky’s Pastry Pirates
- The Wabbit Who Came to Supper
Theatrical trailer


DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2008

6 standard keep cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters: various

 

Comments:

The 6 main features of this boxset are housed in individual keep cases (see image above) and are not sold separately at this time and, presently, can only be obtained in the Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4.

Technical specifications of the discs: All six are coded for regions 1,2,3, and 4 in the NTSC standard and all six discs are dual-layered and progressively transferred. Each have original English audio and options for English (CC), or French subtitles (no Spanish) in an off-white font with black border. Each film is supplemented by an optional, expert, audio commentary and each have a Warner Night at the Movies section which includes a newsreel, a short, a cartoon, and various trailers.

 

Image: Kid Galahad, tends to show its age more than the other five and there are noticeable vertical scratches and healthy amount of speckles. It's probably right on the cusp of having a "We used the best elements available...' caveat notice appearing.  There is noise in all six to varying degrees with Invisible Stripes and Dr. Clitterhouse distinguishing themselves as looking the best. Aside from Kid Galahad - speckles and light scratches are minimal - the bulk successfully removed by Warner's restoration system. There are no surprises - these DVDs look and sound as good, maybe a slim notch lower, to previous from the same era - and generally, maybe only another notch below the other 3 volumes but I'll wager it has more to do with the source material than anything absent in the transfer process. I don't suspect fans will be very unhappy with the image quality.  

NOTE: We feel the selected screen captures below give a decent representation of the image quality. 

Audio - All original (monaural) and are as correspondingly as limited as the image but dialogue was always clear and consistent. Again Kid Galahad is weaker than the rest but it is never unacceptable. I have always said that this is one of Warner's strengths - they rarely issue DVDs with substantial audio deficiencies. I noted no excessive gaps, pops or hisses just remember how old these films are and they never sounded like our current state-of-the-art to begin with. 

Extras - I always enjoy the seasoned and professional commentators like Dr. Drew Casper, Silver and Ursini and Dana Polan. We've heard many before on the previous Gangster sets. You can appreciate their styles (Casper's enthusiasm and Silver's more matter-of-fact, impressive knowledge).  The commentaries are all excellent and in my opinion they are worth the price of the set alone. All are brimming with information from gossip to production facts to monetary details of costs and performers salaries. Immense value for those interested in advancing their knowledge of Edward G. and Bogie... as well as the film era in general.

Original theatrical trailers are included for all and beyond that each disc offers a Warner Night at the Movies section which includes a newsreel, a short, a cartoon, and various trailers. A decent touch to separate them as those keen would likely view all... and those uninterested wouldn't venture into that section regardless.

The last disc is a solid documentary, narrated by Alec Baldwin with people like Martin Scorsese giving input. I loved it  - lots of clips and interesting participants. I appreciated the occasional specific focus on directors as well as the actors (like Cagney). Thumbs up! 

There are some great films here - I was especially keen on The Little Giant and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse and although vintage comedy may be my least favorite genre - I had some fun with Larceny Inc. I pretty much feel that I am probably preaching to the converted here as I suspect that either you are a fan... or not - with few existing between those extremes. Fans, as I consider myself, can't help but revel in the era, clothing, style, architecture and many other markers of the period... plus you have the likes of Bogie, Bette Davis and Edward G. (who is starring 4 of the five) in their prime. What more could you want?         

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


 


 

The Little Giant

 

Directed by Roy Del Ruth

Starring - Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson, Russell Hopton, Kenneth Thomson and Shirley Grey

 

Screen Captures

 

 


Kid Galahad

 

Directed Michael Curtiz

Starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Wayne Morris

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 


The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

 

Directed by Anatole Litvak

Starring Edward G. Robinson, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart and Allen Jenkins

 

Screen Captures

 

 


Invisible Stripes

 

Directed by Lloyd Bacon

Starring George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart and Flora Robson

 

Screen Captures

 

 


Larceny, Inc.

 

Directed by Lloyd Bacon

Starring Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, Broderick Crawford, Jack Carson and Anthony Quinn

 

Screen Captures

 

 



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

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

NOTE: Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 appears to be exactly the same content as Warner Bros. Pictures - Tough Guys Collection released June 6th, 2006 (and reviewed HERE)

 





 

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