Cary Grant Screen Legend Collection

 

This three-disc set shines with five films starring the ever-suave Cary Grant. Newspaper publisher Porter Madison II (Grant) falls for a lookalike impersonating the "Thirty Day Princess" (1934), unaware that she's not royal...and not available! Silvia Sidney, Edward Arnold co-star. Grant plays a Paris beauty shop doctor more than pleased with the results of his work on Genevieve Tobin, in "Kiss and Make Up" (1934). Helen Mack, Edward Everett Horton also star. Blinded in a chemical accident, pilot Grant causes aviatrix Myrna Loy's heart to take flight, in "Wings in the Dark" (1935), with Roscoe Karns and Dean Jagger. Can copper Danny (Grant) and manicurist Eve (Joan Bennett) stop bickering long enough to nab jewel thieves together? Find out, in "Big Brown Eyes" (1936). Walter Pidgeon, Lloyd Nolan co-star. And Grant and Bennett play ace reporters, in love but resolutely staying single, in "Wedding Present" (1936). Conrad Nagel, Gene Lockhart also star...

 

Thirty Day Princess (1934)       Kiss and Make Up (1934)       Wings in the Dark (1935)

Big Brown Eyes (1936)       Wedding Present (1936)  

 

Titles

 

Thirty Day Princess
Stars Sylvia Sidney, Cary Grant, Edward Arnold, Henry Stephenson, Vince Barnett
Directors: Marion Gering
Theatrical Release Date: May 18, 1934
Plot Outline - A European princess arrives in New York City to secure a much-needed loan for her country. She contracts the mumps, and an actress who looks exactly like her is hired to impersonate her.

Kiss and Make Up
Stars Cary Grant, Helen Mack, Genevieve Tobin, Edward Everett Horton, Lucien Littlefield
Directors: Harlan Thompson
Theatrical Release Date: July 13, 1934

The setting is a beauty salon in Paris where unlovely females are miraculously transformed. Here are miles of white cubicles where, under Dr. Lamar's messianic leadership, miles of dissatisfied women participate in the barbaric rites by which they are added to and subtracted from according to the advanced mathematics of the good doctor.

Wings in the Dark
Stars Myrna Loy, Cary Grant, Roscoe Karns, Hobart Cavanaugh, Dean Jagger
Directors: James Flood
Theatrical Release Date: February 1, 1935

Ken is a flier trying to perfect instruments for safe flying in the dark or fog. As his devices near completion, he is blinded in a gas explosion. Sheila, a writer/flier is in love with him, but the feeling is not mutual. Ken goes to live in the country with his mechanic and dog for company. He tries to be a writer but never knows the cheques he cashes are from Sheila. Sheila attempts a dangerous flight from Moscow to New York. When she gets into trouble, Ken realizes he loves her.

Excerpt from CaryGrant.net located HERE
 

Big Brown Eyes
Stars Cary Grant, Joan Bennett, Walter Pidgeon, Lloyd Nolan, Alan Baxter
Directors: Raoul Walsh
Theatrical Release Date: April 3, 1936
Synopsis - Dan Barr is a flatfoot on the trail of jewel robbers. Eve Fallon is his girl of 5 years. We meet them spitting and sparring, but never doubting they're in love. Eve is a manicurist, with an eye for news. Soon after we meet her, she's out of the beauty salon and into the news-room as an ace reporter. With Eve's help, Dan nabs one of the jewel gang members, Cortig, whose stray bullet killed a baby in the park. A spooked witness and a slick lawyer get Cortig off. Disgusted with the lack of justice, Dan quits the force to find his own justice. Eve, likewise, quits the paper and returns to her job as manicurist. While giving a manicure, Eve unwittingly discovers that a prominent local citizen is the jewel gang's leader. All the while, Dan is hot on the trail. Their trails merge and the case is solved.

Wedding Present
Stars Joan Bennett, Cary Grant, George Bancroft, Conrad Nagel, Gene Lockhart
Directors: Richard Wallace
Theatrical Release Date: October 9, 1936

Charlie is a funloving scatterbrain who is suddenly thrust into a responsible editorial position at the paper where he works. He carries things too far, and causes his girlfriend, Rusty, to announce her engagement to Dodacker. He is not so much bothered about losing her as he is about what wedding present to give.

Excerpt from CaryGrant.net located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1934- 1936

 DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Universal (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:14:18 + 1:10:12 + 1:16:39 + 1:15:30 + 1:21:33
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.8 + 6.64 + 6.93 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.

Disc 1 : Thirty Day Princess (1934) + Kiss and Make Up (1934)
Disc 2: Wings in the Dark (1935) + Big Brown Eyes (1936)
Disc 3: Wedding Present (1936)
Audio English (original) 
Subtitles English (HoH), French, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none
 

DVD Release Date: November 14th, 2006
3 tiered digipack (2 discs overlapping) - inside a cardboard box (see image at top)

Chapters: various

 

 

Comments:

Frankly, I was all ready to lay into this collection for the very mediocre choices in films that are included. Even at $4 a movie I was expecting some disappointment, but as it turned out - it wasn't Cary Grant that fueled my enjoyment - but rather his co-stars. I've really developed a strong respect for actresses like Sylvia Sidney, Myrna Loy (who I have always had a crush on) and Joan Bennett. As well as being simply gorgeous gals in there prime - I have always loved this time period - that, the clothes, art deco and nostalgic accoutrements melted my initial discontent.

 

This Universal package has 5 also-ran films from Cary Grant's extensive career - all transferred progressively in Region 1 for the NTSC standard. Universal continue their trend of pragmatically housed film-to-DVD releases with 2 dual-layered DVDs holding 2 films and a third containing one... and no extras. There are English (Hard-of-Hearing) or French optional subtitles.

 

     

 

Disc 1: Thirty Day Princess (1934) + Kiss and Make Up (1934)

Disc 2: Wings in the Dark (1935) +Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Disc 3: Wedding Present (1936)

The digital image on these discs really show the age of the films (all over 70 years and counting) - They all display a great deal of digital noise/faux grain - minor damage but decent to strong contrast. I expect that this is due to the manner of restoration - and the transfer process utilized by Universal. The screen captures give a fairly strong indication of how these DVDs look. Audio is not exceptional but I noted no glaring deficiencies - for the most part - very consistent from film to film.

These are far from being mentioned alongside Cary Grant's best ( ex. His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Notorious, North By Northwest, Charade etc.) but I suppose it is a positive that they are now available at all... as many of his best films beat them to the punch. BUT we all know there could have been better choices than these five.  However, Universal make it hard to avoid by offering the package at such a reasonable price. These are quite old and will probably never look better on digital. I suspect though that it is only for some very stalwart Cary Grant fans or those very keen on vintage Hollywood cinema of the 30's. I am and I enjoyed viewing the films from the collection that I had never seen before. It is kind of nice to have them in my library.  

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


 


 

Screen Captures

 

Subtitle Sample

Thirty-Day Princess

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Kiss and Make Up
 

 


 

 


 

 


Wings in the Dark

 

 


 

 


 

 


Big Brown Eyes

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Wedding Present

 

 


 

 


 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Universal (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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