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1. Rose Marie
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2. The Adventures of Robin Hood
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3. David Copperfield
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4. Christmas in Connecticut
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5. The Canterville Ghost
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6. The Adventures of Don Juan
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7. Cavalcade
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8. Witness for the Prosecution
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9. The Adventures of Don Juan
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10. Random Harvest
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11. Random Harvest
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12. The Barretts of Wimpole Street
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13. The Bride of Frankenstein
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14. The Adventures of Robin Hood
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15. Christmas in Connecticut
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16. The Adventures of Robin Hood
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17. The Sea Hawk
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18. The Informer
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19. The Bells of St. Mary's (Colorized)
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20. Little Lord Fauntleroy

1. Rose Marie
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6301978315
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 552
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars "When I'm Calling Youuuuuuuuuu..."
Considered by many to be the best of the Eddy/MacDonald cannon, "Rose Marie", while not my personal fave, is nevertheless quite good and makes for an excellent introduction to their films. MacDonald is a tempermental opera diva with a soft spot for her criminal brother (James Stewart) and Eddy is a Canadian Mountie sworn to capture said brother. They end up searching for him together through the Rockies, making time to sing the famous "Indian Love Call".

Other songs include "The Mounties", snippets of "Tosca" and "Romeo et Juliette" and the title song. The music is good, the costumes are stunning, and the secenery is, well, scenic. Jeanette and Nelson have great chemistry as always, and there are plenty of light moments to offset the angst. We also get to see a very young Jimmy Stewart and a huge Indian tribal dance number. What more could you want?

If you like "Rose Marie", be sure to check out "Naughty Marietta" (my favorite Nelson/MacDonald) and the tragic "Maytime". Jeanette and Eddy made a total of eight films together, most of them wildly popular. Watch "Rose Marie" and know why. GRADE: A-

3-0 out of 5 stars Dead or Alive, We Are Out to Get You, Dead or Alive...
Now, you mightn't think those are particularly catchy lyrics, yet that's the song I enjoyed most from "Rose Marie", this proud boast of the Canadian Mounties, led of course by Nelson Eddy. I would be remiss not to mention, however, that two other much better-known songs come from this movie, "Oh Rose Marie, I Love You" and the mega hit, "When I'm Calling You--Indian Love Call". One time they played a bit of that number on the Oscars, and I was sad to see the audience hoot at the rendition. I guess they had gotten beyond simple love stories from a simpler time like this one. The story line is a tad unusual: Jeanette MacDonald, a famous opera singer, races up to Canada to try to find her fugitive murdering brother--very young James Stewart--before the Mounties do (that's where their theme song comes in handy). Well, they somehow manage to carve out a happy ending from this unlikely premise, but that's what movie magic is all about!

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertainment at its best
Rose Marie has it all. Wonderful music, a great story. Good clean entertainment. As for acting, this is Jeanette's and Nelson's best. It is also the first movie Jimmy Stewart was in.
2 of my favorite scenes is when Jeanette and Nelson are in the canoe and he is singing to her. They other scene is she is hungry and he his cooking beans. The looks on their faces are perfectly acted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Has resonance even today.
Rose Marie is one of my favorite films. America's Sweethearts go to a Pow Wow! Wow! Being part Apache myself, it's fun to watch the strange way Indians, in this case Canadians, are portrayed in this film. I was not offended. I don't even mind that the "half-breed" character was played by a Greek actor. There's too much to like here. A little romance blown up to universal proportions is fun sometimes. There's always something new on each viewing. I hope we're not too jaded and cynical today to get lost in a little light romance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, Genevieve Annabelle Caroline Rose-Marie - I love you!
I don't know what kept me away from this movie so long. I'd seen it so many times browsing the shelves at the library, but had no idea who was in it or what it was about. Then I saw The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met, got entranced with baritones all of a sudden (yes, me the tenor fanatic), and decided to see some of Nelson Eddy's movies... the first one was The Phantom of the Opera, which I have reviewed separately, then I saw The Chocolate Soldier and I Married an Angel, which I shall review separately later, and then this one. Besides the fact that Nelson cuts a dashing figure in the spiffy uniform (okay, so the britches ARE a bit weird), I found it an incredibly touching, sweet little story, and also enjoyed all the songs. Coming from me that says a lot, because I am not in the least a musical fan - there are very few musicals I count as favourites.

Nelson and Jeannette have the ability to be very spontaneous in dialogue and work very well together, even depsite the fact that Nelson can be rather stiff at times - his singing more than makes up for it.

One thing I found particuarly striking was the scene toward the end when Jeannette is singing "Tosca": she is literally cracking up. We can hear what she hears - Nelson's Indian love call - and feel the discord between it and the words she must sing on stage. It reaches a pitch and then she faints.

I also felt that for a lightweight piece of "fluff" the character development wasn't half-bad, either - Right from the beginning it's well-established that as far as Jeannette is concerned the entire world revolves around her, so as the movie progresses it's good to see how Jeannette turns from a selfish, slave-driving diva to a sprightly, energetic, loving human being. Not everyone has the opportunity to cross the Canadian mountains with a mountie (unfortunately!), but I'm sure that figuratively there is something like that in each person's life, some backwoods experience that creates real character because of the necessity of facing adversity, learning what sacrifice and love are all about, and that life isn't all "me", and sometimes we have to eat bacon...

I found the totem pole dance scene rather amusing as well. I was very into Indians for a long time as a child, and learnt quite a bit about them, so it struck me funny that this tribe had it all - the totem poles of the Pacific Northwest, the feathered headdresses and tipis of the Plains... Still, it was an interesting sequence, despite the fact that it was very 1930's Hollywood and far from authentic.

James Stewart's small role as Jeannette's brother was fine as well - it was interesting how he really was only on screen for a few minutes, but all through the film, you were seeing the wanted posters and thinking about him to a point where he was really a main character.

I recommend this film very much, along with The Chocolate Soldier, which is another truly delightful musical. ... Read more


2. The Adventures of Robin Hood
Director: William Keighley, Michael Curtiz
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: B00005A1VG
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3911
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (140)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST action/adventure film ever made.
Errol Flynn at his best...swashbuckling at its best...action and adventure galore. This film is simply the best of the genre. The casting is perfect, from Flynn in the best role of his career, to Herbert Mundin as Much the Miller's son. The 3-strip color photography remains as vibrant today as when it was released 61 years ago. The dialogue between Flynn and Oliva de Havilland, between Flynn and Basil Rathbone, between Flynn and Claude Rains, is always lively, always fun. And Miss de Havilland's costumes are absolutely gorgeous, as is she.

The film moves, never stops, and you are never bored. If you watch this movie alongside Kevin Costner's ill-advised Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, you realize why one should never try to improve on perfection.

As the New York Times said in its original review in 1938, this film entertains everyone from 8 to 80. No argument here!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Robin Hood ,Flynn now a fantastic WB DVD set!
Warner Brothers (WB) Studios has begun meticulously digitally restoring its action classics of the 1930's & 40's under the "Two Disc Special Edition" Series. This 1938 TECHNICOLOR (awesome) film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" starring Errol Flynn, Olivia deHavilland, Basil Rathbone & Claude Rains is still the best rendition of this fictionalized English tale.

Warner Brothers has given us with this 2 Disc set the complete movie theatre experience circa 1938. DISC 1 - First we get a complete "Night at the Movies" program. Introduction by film critic Leonard Maltin explaining for your 10 cent investment what you got in a 1938 movie house. Next the entire continous show with; coming attraction, news reel, Bugs Bunny Cartoon, short subject feature and then the main feature, "The Adventures of Robin Hood". This is a totally ingenius idea!!! Also on Disc 1 - you have 12 Errol Flynn movie trailers and finally an indepth feature commentary by film historian Rudy Belhmer.

Disc 2 - Includes 3 hours of everything about Robin Hood, the movie, the stars, documentaries, cartoons, and a most informative documentary about TECHNICOLOR and why even today it still was the best color process ever.

I love this fun filled DVD set. My hat is off to Warner Brothers for their dedication to the golden age of Hollywood and bring back the grandest of movies for us to see again & again better than their original release. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars great movie ....second DVD is amaaazing!
This is more a review of the package than the movie , which is a classic and extremely well presented on disc one....vivid colors , crisp images....not a complaint there....and the bonus features are very good....a comprehensive set of Errol Flynn movie trailers...WB night at the movies....(an exhausting Rudy Belmer commentary track that will have you gasping for air).
the SECOND disc is just ridiculous in its amount of archival coverage..
a wonderful documentary on the movie
a great feature on the history of Technicolor....
two very fun looney tunes cartoons with a Robin Hood theme...
outtakes from the movie!
home movies shot during filming!
a long lost Errol Flynn movie about yachting..
and a positively thrilling short film about archer Howard Hill...
and more.
HOURS of fun and informative viewing on disc two alone!
Warners should be congratulated for such a comprehensive set ....buy this and encourage them to keep this type of content coming!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Errol Flynn: Truly The Sheerwood Forest outlaw
One of the Greatest action/adventure films of the 20th century. The epic swashbuckling adventure of one of history's greatest heroes.the dashing Errol Flynn as Robin Hood or as they also call him "Sir Robin of Locksley" was perfect. He was what a swashbuckler should be and probably the greatest of all swashbucklers. Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains were brilliant as Robin's foes, Sir Guy and Prince John. Oliva DeHavilland was glamorous as the love of Robin Hood, Maid Marian. My Favorite scene was Robin and Sir Guy's sword fight during King Richard's return. Flynn and Rathbone two of cinema's sword fighting experts. I love the sound of sword clangling. If your looking for a classic film or a swashbuckler film, this is a great one. Because this a film that created Pirates of the Carribean, "Long Live King Richard."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Kids Loved It!
This was one that our boys (ages 7 and 10) watched with their grandfather, who caught it in the theatres when it first came out. It's hard to say who enjoyed it more! A fun, spirited and utterly charming film, this one has aged beautifully. Everyone loved the bonus features, too. The DVD transfer is exceptional. Add some popcorn, and you've got a wonderful mulitgenerational hit that will enchant the whole family. ... Read more


3. David Copperfield
Director: George Cukor
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6301967801
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 7372
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Character Actors
MGM's David Copperfield was a great opportunity to make use of some Hollywood's great character actors, and the film does so to great effect. Of course, the film is based on Dicken's famous novel, although the story is condensed. Freddie Bartholomew stars as the title character, a young boy eventually orphaned who meets a host of characters as he grows up alone. Although Bartholomew was actually one of the better child actors in film history, he never captures this character and his performance sometimes seems forced and ineffective. However, he is surrounded by an incredible group of actors playing memorable supporting characters. Basil Rathbone, W.C. Fields, Edna May Oliver, and Roland Young are all excellent in roles that only Dickens could have written. They make the movie. The film features the usual MGM production values and is well worth a look.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most accurate representation of characters
Out of all the movies I've seen made from Dickens novels this is the one that most truly represents the characters of David Copperfield. It is a bringing together of some of the finest character actors that ever graced the screen. Any Dickens fan will love this version. W.C.Fields was born to play Mr.Micawber. Edna May Oliver was created to play Dickens.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jane Murdstone
I would like to add that Jane Murdstone also played an excellent role as Murdstone's black sister. Did you notice the steel handbag she carries and the way she threads beads? She is quiet and deadly, always behind the back of her icy brother, ready to give him directions. I have tried without luck to get a photo of her in this role --- can anyone help?

5-0 out of 5 stars a cherished classic
Shouldn't one of the great endearing classics from Hollywood's golden era be transferred onto DVD? Films like these are to be cherished, so Come on studios get with it, video is becoming obsolete!

4-0 out of 5 stars A sweet movie
A really good movie. Freddie Bartholemew plays young David Copperfield, a boy who lost his father, and whose only relations are his doting mother and his spunky aunt Betsey Trotwood. His nurse Peggoty (I think I spelled it right-) Takes him on a trip to visit her relatives by the ocean. When they return, His mother has married Mr. Murdstone. (Basil Rathbone in a role that sends shivers up my spine)His mother dies, Mr Murdstone sends him away to work in London and board with Mr Micawber ,(WC Fields), Who is constantly hounded by his creditors. Micawber ends up moving, and David goes to live with Aunt Betsey. The second half (When David grows up) Is not nearly as good as the first, Its one redeeming value is 'Umble Uriah Heep (Roland Young). He is truly revolting. (As Uriah Heep SHOULD be).
I reccommend you try it. ... Read more


4. Christmas in Connecticut
Director: Peter Godfrey
list price: $14.99
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Asin: B0000040DS
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2027
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Christmas in Connecticut is a holiday film that plays 365 days of the year. Barbara Stanwyck gives a brilliant, sardonic performance as Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for Smart Housekeeping magazine, whose enticing descriptions of the exquisite meals she prepares for her husband and baby on their bucolic Connecticut farm earns her fame as "America's Best Cook." A writer, she is; a cook, she is not. As she types the words, "From my living room window, as I write, the good cedar logs cracking on the fire..." the view is of clothes flapping on the line outside her bachelorette Manhattan apartment. An able supporting cast keeps her lie on life support: her editor, her stuffy and detestable architect suitor, and the wonderful "Uncle" Felix (S.Z. Sakall), an English-garbling Hungarian chef who provides the recipes that fill her column.

Cut to Jefferson Jones, a sailor adrift at sea for weeks after his destroyer is torpedoed. Memories of the food described in Lane's columns are central to his survival. After his rescue, as he's recuperating in a naval hospital, a marriage-minded nurse thinks she might nudge Jones to the altar if he could only experience a real domestic Christmas. And it just so happens that she was nurse to the grandchild of Alexander Yardley, the wealthy and powerful publisher of --you guessed it--Smart Housekeeping magazine. And so, she pens the letter that could unravel Lane's carefully constructed fraud. She writes to Yardley asking that Jones be included in America's ultimate Christmas--the one to be held at the Lane family farm in Connecticut. The pompous Yardley (ably portrayed by Sidney Greenstreet) believes the Lane myth and instantly sniffs a story that will send his magazine's circulation skyrocketing. And staring down a lonely holiday, he decides to join the Lanes for Christmas on the farm, too. Now, all Lane has to do is come up with a farm. And a husband. And let's not forget the baby. Christmas in Connecticut is classic screwball entertainment of the best kind, with its on-target skewering of social convention and house-of- cards-about-to-tumble tension: a perfect farcical vision of domestic blitz. --Susan Benson ... Read more

Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CARD.
A picture about Christmas in the country, a wonderfully funny, romantic Christmas. It bubbles over with merriment and radiates good cheer like a Christmas tree with all the lights lit. This is a surprisingly well-known film (they play it on television every year at Christmastime) and it's highly entertaining. Stanwyck is winning as Elizabeth Lane, (Betty Crocker personified) who writes a cooking column for a housekeeping magazine (in actuality, she knows nothing about either subject) When a soldier comes to her home for the holidays, she must either master the ways of housekeeping of reveal her incompetence. Dennis Morgan is very likable here and the creepy Reginald Gardiner is amusing as the man who tries to win over Stanwyck. The plot is thin as air and the direction is rather unsure, the script and pacing could have been better - but just sit back and enjoy this little flick - it never claimed to be a Sturges masterpiece. Also available in digital colorized version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stanwyck at her best!
Christmas in Connecticut is a romantic comedy all of you classic movie buffs will enjoy. It centers around a single working girl (Barbara Stanwyck) who writes a cooking column for a ladies magazine. Her writing is so convincing that her boss (Sidney Greenstreet) believes it all--husband, baby, and farm in Connecticut! So he arranges to have a sailor and himself invited to spend Christmas "on her perfect farm." What to do? Here she is, a gal who can "only cook on the typewriter." Well, bring along Uncle Felix to do the cooking. All goes well until she is asked to flip a flapjack. Did she do it? Well, wait and see. This movie is full of fun and romance (the old-fashioned kind). It's a holiday treat for young and old alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Christmas movie
Forget all the others that people think are "must sees" at Christmas time. This is the best and, seemingly, the least well known.

It is so funny to watch in light of today's Martha Stewart and other domestic "divas." A lot of the humor was probably risque for the day but, sadly, most youths today would have to have it explained to them.

The movie is a well written comedy of errors. The characters are interesting and not just one demensional as is so often the case in comedies. I found myself very involved with the story...cheering for my favorite characters.

If you only have time to see one Christmas movie this year do make it this one. You won't be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas Fare
I look forward to seeing this romantic comedy of errors each year at Christmastime. Barbara Stanwick is superb, and it's great to see Sidney Greenstreet in a comedy. I just want to know...when is it coming out on DVD?!!

5-0 out of 5 stars An underappreciated classic on par with "Wonderful Life"
I discovered this movie in my teens and have loved it ever since. It is a classic - capturing the mores of the era and the timelessness of a good farce. It is a shame that this movie has not enjoyed the great appreciation afforded "It's a wonderful life" and "Miracle on 34th Street." "Christmas in Connecticut is every bit as good - if not better, and not nearly as overplayed. ... Read more


5. The Canterville Ghost
Director: Norman Taurog, Jules Dassin
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6301967550
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1237
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Delightful ghost story based on a classic tale
Based on a short story by non other than the legendary Oscar Wilde this version of the "The Canterville Ghost" makes really delightful viewing boasting top notch production values, a superb cast in fine form, and a terrific look that gives the film an appealing and enjoyable appearance.

Being in theory a ghost story the story is full of much well seasoned comedy and really is a film suitable for the whole family to enjoy. I tend to watch this film around Christmas each year and never fail to enjoy the high spirited carryings on of Charles Laughton in what I feel is one of his most appealing roles. "The Canterville Ghost", set in one of those far off misty castles that only MGM could cunger up, tells the story of how Sir. Simon de Canterville through an act of cowardice is walled up in a room of the castle and is doomed to walk the face of the earth for all eternity unless a relative can commit an act of bravery to lift the curse from him. The story jumps ahead a few centuries to the present (1944) where the castle is occupied by visiting soldiers involved in the war. Among them is Sir. Simon's distant relative Cuffy Williams (Robert Young at his most endearing) who is the one selected to perform the brave deed to free his ancestor from his ghostly imprisonment. The tale is an amusing one as Laughton's character first tries to scare and then win over his cynical relative to help him. Charles Laughton is wonderful as the cowardly ghost appearing out of nowhere, screaming, rattling chains and showing his own failings only too obviously. He is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast beginning with gifted child actress Margaret O'Brien as Lady Jessica de Canterville the present owner of the castle. O'Brien, at the peak of her career around this time with triumphs in "Journey for Margaret", and "Meet Me in St. Louis", is a cute delight as the spunky little girl who is not afraid of Laughton's over the top bellowing and corny scare tactics. Robert Young in his last MGM film is also in top form as the young soldier who first is in danger of falling into the same habits as Sir. Simon but who in the end comes through to succeed in freeing his ancestor from his ghostly sentence by an unselfish act of bravery.

"The Canterville Ghost" is about as English a tale as you can get and came along during the war years when all things British were revered in Hollywood. Keeping company with such British outings as "Mrs. Miniver", and "The White Cliffs of Dover", "Canterville' also boasts a superb supporting cast of stalwart British performers so popular in Hollywood during these years. Headed by Laughton himself the film contains great work by the likes of Reginald Owen, Una O'Connor and Peter lawford who give just that right British feel to a production which because of the war had to be filmed in the USA. Technically the film is a superb achievement with Laughton's ghostly special effects a remarkable effort. The sight of Laughton disappearing through walls and flying across a room remind one of that great 1930's ghost story "Topper". Being a product of MGM the film boasts top flight production values in every department and has superb settings with the castle interiors appearing wonderfully spooky and beautiful on the eye.

Among the many versions filmed of "The Canterville Ghost", I feel this is by far the best. Centred on Charles Laughton's unforgettable ghost the production is enjoyable and a fun way to spend a couple of hours. Before computers created all the special effects this film proved what the old Hollywood was capable of achieving. A totally delightful film to be enjoyed by the whole family.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Charming Bit of Hollywood Fluff
Very, very loosely based on a short story by Oscar Wilde--so loosely that he is probably turning in his grave--THE CANTERVILLE GHOST is nonetheless a charming bit of 1940s Hollywood fluff about an English ghost who runs afoul of American pragmatism. In the film version, the Americans arrive in the form of WWII soliders, including Robert Young, who are billeted at a notoriously haunted castle where they encounter a legendary spectre much given to theatrical materializations.

Although the story is very, very slight, the cast makes it enjoyable. Child star Margaret O'Brien gives a typically enjoyable performance as the unwilling heiress to the castle, and Robert Young and his fellow actors mug their way through the script with entertaining aplomb. The greatest pleasure, however, is Charles Laughton as the ghost, which he plays most delightfully. The emphasis is on comedy rather than ghostly thrills, and although the comedy is quite mild it is expertly done. THE CANTERVILLE GHOST will never make any one's short list of "great cinematic art," but both grown-ups and kids alike will have a good time with it; recommended for an old fashioned family night.

4-0 out of 5 stars How could it miss?
This is a movie that could cure a rainy day. Great story, great cast, fun SFX (even by modern standings). I think this is the kind of movie they're trying to make again, with mixed success. Funny without being coarse, outrageously sentimental without being cloying, and, my goodness--the "chemistry"! Entertainment you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable!
By far the Best version of the many made of Canterville Ghost! Robert Young plays his part so well! And the little girl is an inspiration! Many laughs! ... Read more


6. The Adventures of Don Juan
Director: Vincent Sherman
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6301963636
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 34849
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Errol Flynn Shines As Legendary Lover!
THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN was intended as something of a 'comeback' film for Warner Bros. resident 'bad boy', combining the heroic elements of 'ROBIN HOOD' and 'THE SEA HAWK' with Flynn's well-established (by 1948) reputation as a hell-raising womanizer. Unfortunately, the color production was not a box office hit, but the comic adventure is today embraced by his many fans as one of his best roles!

It was not an easy film to make, as Flynn's carousing and frequent disappearances stretched the filming out by months, and forced frequent reshooting. Director George Sherman, cinematographer Elwood Bredell, and editor Alan Crosland often had to 'cut-and-paste' snippets of many takes to achieve a decent performance from the star, and careful lighting had to be used to play down the increasingly obvious effects of the star's hedonistic lifestyle. (The opening sequence, and closing scene, featuring then wife Nora Eddington, were shot nearly a year before the remainder of the film, and the change in the Flynn's physical appearance is clearly evident.) At 38, the star, who always hated being called a 'pretty boy' (to the extent that his home had no mirrors) was aging rapidly, and badly.

All this being said, Flynn tried to give the film his best he could. It had been a landmark film for his friend/mentor John Barrymore, in the first Warners' film with sound, employed for music and special effects only, in 1926 (THE JAZZ SINGER would introduce 'talkies' a year later). It reunited him with friend and frequent costar Alan Hale, who, at 56, was still a popular character actor, and whose son, Alan Jr., was starting to make his mark around town (he would eventually be best known as the Skipper in 'Gilligan's Island'). The script for DON JUAN passed through many hands, including uncredited help by William Faulkner and Robert Florey, with the end result being marvelously funny, tongue-in-cheek, and swashbuckling, to boot! The score, by the legendary Max Steiner, became an instant classic, and would be reused, years later, in George Hamilton's ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE. This was a film which, despite Errol Flynn's self-destructive lifestyle, had enough talent involved to still stand up as one of the better films of the 1940s.

The plot involves roué Don Juan, tossed out of England after breaking up a 'diplomatic' wedding (a VERY funny scene), returning home to Spain to find evil Duke de Lorca (the sublimely nasty Robert Douglas) controlling weak King Phillip, and taxing the population to near starvation, with only the beautiful Queen Margaret standing in his way. Flynn quickly dispatches a de Lorca press gang, earning the Count's hatred, and the Queen's attention...and Don Juan finds himself truly falling in love, for the first time, with the youthful monarch (played by the radiant Viveca Lindfors). Assigned as a fencing master at the Academy, the legendary lover draws the ire of the Queen by stating his feelings for her, then is manipulated into another disastrous diplomatic blunder, involving, of course, another woman. On the run, he discovers de Lorca's ultimate scheme (manipulating the Crown into war), and with the help of the students of the Academy, he must save the King and Queen.

Featuring a great early appearance by Raymond Burr (as a de Lorca henchman), and a stirring final duel between Flynn and Douglas (expanded from the 1926 version, and featuring an astonishing climactic stairway jump, performed by stuntman and future 'Tarzan' Jock Mahoney), THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN is a gloriously adventuresome romp. Sadly, it didn't save Flynn's flagging career, but it certainly has earned a place among his classic films!

5-0 out of 5 stars very good!
Errol Flynn is perfect as the romantic figure Don Juan. This is a must see film with adventure and romance. It's colorful and one of Flynn's best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest (Next to Robin Hood)
Errol Flynn's Robin Hood is one of the greatest adventure films ever made. But after you've seen it again and again, you wish you could see the same thing only different. And that's what Don Juan is. We still have the incomparable Flynn at his best, we still have the fights and the swordplay, and a bunch of Flynn's acolytes storming the old castle (this time they're not men in green tights, they're men in black swordsmen tights, but what the hell). It's "almost" a remake of Robin Hood, and that's why it's so terrific. If you loved Robin Hood, you'll like Don Juan. And if you like Don Juan and haven't seen Robin Hood, well, lucky you, you're in for one of filmdom's supreme achievements.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Swashbuckler
"Adventures of Don Juan" was Errol Flynn's last memorable swashbuckler before his sad decline. A loose remake of John Barrymore's "Don Juan" (1926), this 1949 production is colorful escapism on a grand scale -- abetted by lavish sets, Oscar-winning costumes and a fine Max Steiner score. Flynn's deterioration is somewhat evident, yet this dissipation seems appropriate for the debauched Don Juan. The light-hearted romanticism of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" is replaced by a darker and sometimes brutal tone. Robert Douglas and Raymond Burr are appropriately slimy villains, while Viveca Lindfors' Queen of Spain is not easily won over by Flynn's charm. Admittedly, the film is a bit dialogue-heavy and one can see how Warner Brothers saved a little money through its occasional use of stock footage. However, these flaws are more than compensated by first-rate action sequences and sword duels -- particularly the climactic confrontation between Flynn and Douglas. Though only a moderate success in American theaters, "Adventures of Don Juan" remains a solid swashbuckler and a classic of the genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flynn's Last Great Swashbuckler
"The Adventures of Don Juan" was Warner Brothers' last big investment in Errol Flynn. Their resident bad boy had long ago used up any goodwill he might have had with the studio -- goodwill based primarily on Flynn's power at the box office. But in the late 1940s, Errol Flynn's star was on the wane, and the studio was beginning to take a hard and skeptical look at their one-time box office bonanza.

In an attempt to rekindle some of the old fire, Warner Bros. produced "The Adventures of Don Juan," in which Flynn plays the title role. His Don Juan is world-weary, a man for whom all the loves and swordfights and scandals are beginning to wear him a bit thin. But the most compelling aspect of this Don Juan's character is his sense of humor. Flynn brings a humorous, tongue-in-cheek element to the character that is extraordinarily appealing.

The film is lush and well-appointed. There are times when Flynn shows the effects of years of hard drinking and womanizing, but for the most part he is strikingly handsome. Stunt doubles were used extensively for him, particularly in the final duel scene. In the shot where Don Juan leaps down a long staircase and lands on top of the villain, future "Yancey Derringer" star Jock Mahoney performed the leap.

"Don Juan" did poorly in the United States and fabulously well in Europe. Its cool reception at home convinced Warner Brothers that Flynn was no longer a bankable commodity, and considerably less money was spent on his films in the few years he had left under his contract.

But in the intervening years, "The Adventures of Don Juan" has earned a huge following among Errol Flynn admirers and movie buffs as well. It is a grand, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable jaunt with the King of the Swashbucklers, and one that should not be missed. ... Read more


7. Cavalcade
Director: Frank Lloyd
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6302640520
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2125
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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The winner of 1934's Best Picture Oscar proves that the Academy hasn't changed its tune much in 50-plus years. Though films of that year, such as King Kong, still remain in the public psyche, Cavalcade, which is rarely seen now, fits the Academy's bill as an "important" film, one worthy of the Best Picture title. It chronicles the life of two British families, from the eve of the 20th century to 1933. One family is upstairs, the other downstairs, but it's less a view of the class struggle than a remembrance of things past. People honeymoon on the Titanic, they fight in the War to End All Wars, and they seem to entirely avoid the 1920s. Based upon Noel Coward's play, young couples banter using frightfully high-tea terms--everyone's "dreadful," "horrid," or "pathetic." A final montage tirade about the decrepit state of the times (hey, they did it back then, too!) almost knocks the legs out from under the whole proceedings, but it holds on. Stiff upper lip and all that. --Keith Simanton ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Memorable But Stylistically Dated
CAVALCADE is an extremely good example of films made in the first few years following the advent of sound, an era in which actors, directors, writers, and cinematographers struggled to find a new style that could comfortably accomodate the new technology. During this period, many actors and writers were drawn from the stage--only to discover that what seems real and natural in the theatre seems heavily mannered on screen.

This is certainly the case with CAVALCADE. The film presents the story of two London families whose lives intertwine between 1900 and 1933. The film begins with the upperclass Marryot family and their servants, Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, facing the Boer War--and then through a series of montages and montage-like scenes follows the fortunes of the two families as they confront changing codes of manners and social class and various historic events ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to World War I.

From a modern standpoint, the really big problem with the film is the script. CAVALCADE was written for the stage by Noel Coward, who was one of the great comic authors of the 20th Century stage--but the sparkling edge that seems so flawless in his comic works acquires a distastefully "precious" quality when applied to drama. Although the play was a great success in its day, it has never been revived, and the dialogue of the film version leaves one in little doubt of why: it feels ridiculously artificial, and that quality is emphasized by the "grand manner" of the cast.

That said, the cast--in spite of the dialogue and their stylistically dated performances--is quite good. This is particularly true of the two leading ladies, Diana Wynyard and Una O'Connor (best known for her appearances in THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKESTEIN), both of whom have memorable screen presences that linger in mind long after the film ends. The material is also quite interesting and startlingly modern; although it is more covert than such films as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, CAVALCADE has a decidedly anti-war slant, and the characters in the film worry about where technology (which has produced such horrors as chemical warfare by World War I) will take them in the future.

I enjoyed the film. At the same time, I would be very hesitant to recommend it to any one that was not already interested in films of the early 1930s, for I think most contemporary viewers would have great difficulty adjusting to the tremendous difference in style. The VHS (the film is not yet available on DVD) has some problem with visual elements and a more significant problem with audio elements, but these are not consistent issues. Recommended--but with the warning that if you don't already like pre-code early "talkies" you will likely be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A world long lost, twice removed from our own...
Noel Coward's homage to the bygone era of Edwardian England. A long and somewhat lumpy script tracks one upper-upper class family's trials through 1899-1933, as their paths intersect the Boer War, WWI, and the Titanic... Oddly enough, considering Coward's bon vivant temprament, the movie seems to condemn the libertine sensibilities of the Jazz Era (great glimpses of the action, though, including a gay couple exchanging gifts in a nightclub...) and exalts the more traditional English reserve. An interesting film, although in retrospect WWII loomed large in the background...

4-0 out of 5 stars Cavalcade a historical timepiece
The most important thing to keep in mind with this film is the fact that it was made in 1933. It is an excellent film for capturing the mood of the English people at this time. It seems to be almost a tribute to English perseverance and a wake up call for a society that is spiraling into decadence and immorality. (ie Wake up - life is brief and may be over in an instant) I loved the symbolism in this movie, the horses portraying time marching on, the image of Jesus hanging on the cross as the troops march off to "sacrifice" themselves. The cross on the top of the church that symbolized faith and eternity. You really need to look under the surface to appreciate this film. As a timepiece, and a wakeup call that went unheralded, I give it four stars.

3-0 out of 5 stars AN UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS LACKLUSTER FILM...
It is difficult to believe that this film won the 1933 Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year. It is a somewhat dull, tedious affair, based upon a Noel Coward play of some popularity. The screenplay by Reginald Berkeley evidently lost something in the adaptation, as it has little to commend it.

The movie chronicles a span of over three decades through the lives of two British families, one upstairs, the other, downstairs. The upstairs family, the Marryots, and their maid and butler, the dowstairs Bridges family, undergo tremendous changes as world events spin out of control, impacting on them in unimaginable ways.

The movie begins with the ringing in of the twentieth century. Both families, employer and employee, welcome in the New Year together and toast each other, little knowing the changes that the twentieth century will bring each one of them. As time goes on, the relationship between the two families begins to change, as class distinctions begin to erode. A montage of historical world events, the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, World War I, and the jazz age continue to shape and mold them in a pastiche of human drama.

While it sound like it could be interesting, it is not particularly so. One never really gets to know any of the characters nor care about them. While it is a highly stylistic film, it is one that has not aged very well as a storytelling vehicle. It is just not that interesting a film, though it is highly atmospheric and would, therefore, be of some interest to nostalgia buffs and those who love vintage films.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great
"Cavalcade" directed by Frank Lloyd is probably best known (to those who have actually heard of it) as one of the most forgettable Oscar winners ever! It's a sad fact but true. Diana Wynyard stars as Jane Marryot. The Marryot's are an upper class English family, and are struggling with the same problems people of every class are struggling with. Like the Bridges whom happen to be their servents, they are played by Herbert Mumdin (Alfred Bridges) and Una O' Conners (Ellen Bridges). Originally a play by Noel Coward, the screenplay by Reginald Berkeley doesn't provide us with an interesting portrait inside both families. For example, we don't even know how long each couple has been together. We don't know how old they are, we don't know how old their childern are. We don't know how the Marryot family came into wealth. It's simple things like this we would like to know. But, I must admit at times we do feel for these people. Certain sad events take place, and we found ourselves actually caring and getting caught into the movie. But, not enough of these moments happen where I would dare give this film a 4 or 5 star rating. Even though I didn't care for the screenplay very much, there are highpoints to the film. I liked the acting by Diana Wynyard (She was nominated for an award) and her husband Clive Brook (Robert Marryot). The directing by Lloyd was good also. And, one of my favorite moments in the film Ursula Jean (Fanny Bridges) singing "20th Century Blues". One of my favorite Coward songs. The reviwer below me mentioned Coward's "In Which We Serve" that movie was a better film. We cared for the characters in that film more than we do in this film. But, even though many many people would not go for a movie like this today, it's still not a waste of time to watch it. At least give it a try. This movie was nominated for 4 Oscars, it won three; "Best Picture", "Best Director", and "Art Direction". It's not great but does prove to be entertaining. ... Read more


8. Witness for the Prosecution
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6302413435
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2975
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Billy Wilder cowrote and directed this brilliant 1957 mystery based on Agatha Christie's celebrated play about an aging London barrister (Charles Laughton) who's preparing to retire when he takes the defense in the most vexing murder case of his distinguished career. In his final completed film (he died of a heart attack less than a year later), Tyrone Power plays the prime suspect in the murder of a wealthy widow, and Marlene Dietrich plays the wife of the accused, whose testimony--and true identity--holds the key to solving the case. A classic of courtroom suspense, Witness for the Prosecution is one of those movies with enough double-crossing twists to keep the viewer guessing right up to the very end, when yet another surprise is deftly revealed. This being a Billy Wilder film, the dialogue is first-rate and the acting superb, with both Laughton and his offscreen wife Elsa Lanchester (playing the barrister's pesty nurse) winning Academy Awards for their performances. Although later films would concoct even more complicated courtroom scenarios, this remains one of the best films of its kind and a model for all those films that followed its lead. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect courtroom drama...
Quite simply, this film is brilliant. In addition to being one of Billy Wilder's best films, this is one of the best courtroom dramas ever made! It is cleverly directed, has a compelling plot, features great performances (especially by Marlene Dietrich), and is all in all very exciting and entertaining. This is a film you won't forget.

This plot of this film, which was based on a play by Agatha Christie, is your basic courtroom drama: a series of witnesses testify about the murder of a wealthy widow. Tyrone Power plays the young man accused of the murder, Marlene Dietrich gives an amazing performance as the key witness in the case, and Charles Laughton plays the lawyer determined to unravel the mystery. This film has some terrific, very surprising, twists and turns, so to say any more about the plot would give too much away!

Anyhow, this film is really suspenseful, captivating, and memorable. It's a true classic by the brilliant director Billy Wilder, and has been imitated countless times since its release. But no imitation has come close to the original, which is why this film is a must-see. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Wilder's ultimate best!!!!!
Director Billy Wilder has crafted the most energetic adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel entitled "Witness for the Prosecution" An aging bannister named Wilfrid Robards (played brilliantly by Charles Laughton) can't resist taking an intriguing murder case involving Leonard Vole (played by Tyrone Power in his final film). A seemingly open and shut case becomes more and complicated as the case gains momentum. Splendid acting by all including Marlene Dietrich as Leonard's wife Christine and Elsa Lanchester as Miss Plimsoll (Robard's pesky nurse) Full of surprises from beginning to end. A classic for all time!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Witness for the Prosecution
I first saw this movie as I was walking out the door, and continued to stand mezmirized by the twists and turns. To see these two great actors, not playing their normal roles but so opposite of what I normally see them as.
I was 2 hours late for an appointment, because I was literally glued to the TV

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's not the jury's judgment that worries me. It's mine."
"No more murder cases," is the doctor's strict prohibition upon reluctantly releasing renowned barrister and recent heart attack survivor Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) from hospital. (Although even the word "release" seems to be a matter of some dispute here, because according to Sir Wilfrid's nurse Miss Plimsoll [Elsa Lanchester], he was "expelled for conduct unbecoming a cardiac patient." But let's leave that aside for now.) And following the doctor's orders, Sir Wilfrid's staff have lined up an array of civil cases: a divorce, a tax appeal, and a marine insurance claim - surely those will satisfy their hard-to-please employer's demands?

Err ... not likely.

So, try as he might to be a good patient, Sir Wilfrid needs only little encouragement to accept the case of handsome drifter and small-time inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), accused of murdering his rich benefactress Emily French (Norma Varden). Of course, the very circumstances that most disturb the famous barrister's colleagues Mayhew and Brogan-Moore (Henry Daniell and John Williams) - Mrs. French's infatuation with Vole, his visit to her on the night of the murder, the lack of an alternative suspect and his inheritance under her new will - just make the matter more interesting in Sir Wilfrid's eyes. Most problematic, however, is Vole's alibi, which depends entirely on the testimony of his German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich), an actress he had met when stationed with the RAF in WWII-ravaged Hamburg. Troubling, insofar, isn't only that Christine is her husband's sole alibi witness and that - Sir Wilfrid explains - a devoted wife's testimony doesn't carry much weight anyway. The real problem is that Christine isn't the loving, desperate wife one might expect: far from that, she is cool, calculating and surprisingly self-controlled; so much so that, worried because he cannot figure out her game, Sir Wilfrid decides not let her testify at all, rather than risk damaging his case. That, however, seems to have been one of his illustrious career's few major miscalculations - because now he and his client suddenly have to face Christine as a witness for the prosecution. And her testimony on the stand is only one of several surprises she has in store.

"Witness for the Prosecution" is based on a concept Agatha Christie first realized as a four-person short story (published in the 1933 collection "The Hound of Death") and subsequently adapted into what she herself would later call her best play, which opened in London in 1953 and in 1954 on Broadway, where it won the N.Y. Drama Critics' Circle citation as Best Foreign Play. Throughout the adaptations the storyline was fleshed out more and more, the focus shifted from the work of solicitor Mayherne (whose name changed to Mayhew) to that of QC Sir Wilfrid Robarts, and the screenplay ingeniously added Miss Plimsoll's character, utilizing the proven on-screen chemistry of real-life spouses Laughton and Lanchester, for whom this was an astonishing eleventh collaboration, and whose banter bristles with director/co-screenwriter Billy Wilder's dry wit and the fireworks of the couple's pricelessly deadpan delivery, timing and genuine joy in performing together.

Perhaps most importantly, the story's ending changed: not entirely, but enough to give it a different and, albeit very dramatic, less cynical slant than the short story's original conclusion. - To those of us who have grown up with Christie's works, those of her idol Conan Doyle and on a steady diet of Perry Mason, Rumpole of the Bailey and the many subsequent other fictional attorneys, the plot twists of "Witness for the Prosecution" (including its ending) may not come as a major surprise. At the moment of the movie's release, however, the ending was a much-guarded secret; viewers were encouraged not to reveal it both in the movie's trailer and at the beginning of the film itself; and even the Royal Family was sworn to silence before a private showing. Similarly, features such as the skillful, methodical unveiling of a seemingly upstanding, disinterested witness's hidden bias in cross-examination have long become standard fare in both real and fictional courtrooms, and any mystery fan worth their salt has heard more than one celluloid attorney yell at a cornered witness: "Were you lying then or are you lying now?" (Not recommended in real-life trial practice, incidentally.) Yet, in these and other respects it was "Witness for the Prosecution" which laid the groundwork for many a courtroom drama to come; and herein lies much of its ongoing importance.

Moreover, this is simply an outstandingly-acted film; not only by Laughton, Lanchester and a perfectly-cast Marlene Dietrich but by every single actor, also including Torin Thatcher (prosecutor Mr. Myers), Francis Compton (the presiding Judge) and, most noteably, Una O'Connor (Mrs. French's disgruntled housekeeper). This is true even if Tyrone Power's emotional outbursts in court may be bewildering to today's viewers - and even if one wonders why an American-born star was acceptable for an Englishman's role without even having to bother trying to put on an English accent in the first place, whereas Dietrich and other non-native English speakers of the period, like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, were routinely cast as foreigners. (Yes, yes, I know. Redford and "Out of Africa" come to mind more recently, too, but that's a can of worms I won't open here.)

"Witness for the Prosecution" won a Golden Globe for Elsa Lanchester, but unfortunately none of its six Oscar nominations (which undeservedly didn't even include Marlene Dietrich), taking second seat to the year's big winner "Bridge on the River Kwai" in the Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Editing categories, and to "Sayonara" for Best Supporting Acress (Miyoshi Umeki) and Best Sound. No matter: with the noirish note resulting from its use of multiple levels of ambiguity - in noticeable contrast to Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries - it fits seamlessly next to such Billy Wilder masterpieces as "Sunset Boulevard" and "Double Indemnity;" and it has long since become a true courtroom classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first time I saw this...
...six unblinking, spellbound eyes took every moment in--that is to say, my parents and I (eye!) were thoroughly riveted. The plot was deliciously unpredictable, and Marlene was so unflinching in her role. Perhaps it's not the most feel-good movie in the world, but it's well worth watching anyhow. You're a witness... ... Read more


9. The Adventures of Don Juan
Director: Vincent Sherman
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 079284002X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4529
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Errol Flynn Shines As Legendary Lover!
THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN was intended as something of a 'comeback' film for Warner Bros. resident 'bad boy', combining the heroic elements of 'ROBIN HOOD' and 'THE SEA HAWK' with Flynn's well-established (by 1948) reputation as a hell-raising womanizer. Unfortunately, the color production was not a box office hit, but the comic adventure is today embraced by his many fans as one of his best roles!

It was not an easy film to make, as Flynn's carousing and frequent disappearances stretched the filming out by months, and forced frequent reshooting. Director George Sherman, cinematographer Elwood Bredell, and editor Alan Crosland often had to 'cut-and-paste' snippets of many takes to achieve a decent performance from the star, and careful lighting had to be used to play down the increasingly obvious effects of the star's hedonistic lifestyle. (The opening sequence, and closing scene, featuring then wife Nora Eddington, were shot nearly a year before the remainder of the film, and the change in the Flynn's physical appearance is clearly evident.) At 38, the star, who always hated being called a 'pretty boy' (to the extent that his home had no mirrors) was aging rapidly, and badly.

All this being said, Flynn tried to give the film his best he could. It had been a landmark film for his friend/mentor John Barrymore, in the first Warners' film with sound, employed for music and special effects only, in 1926 (THE JAZZ SINGER would introduce 'talkies' a year later). It reunited him with friend and frequent costar Alan Hale, who, at 56, was still a popular character actor, and whose son, Alan Jr., was starting to make his mark around town (he would eventually be best known as the Skipper in 'Gilligan's Island'). The script for DON JUAN passed through many hands, including uncredited help by William Faulkner and Robert Florey, with the end result being marvelously funny, tongue-in-cheek, and swashbuckling, to boot! The score, by the legendary Max Steiner, became an instant classic, and would be reused, years later, in George Hamilton's ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE. This was a film which, despite Errol Flynn's self-destructive lifestyle, had enough talent involved to still stand up as one of the better films of the 1940s.

The plot involves roué Don Juan, tossed out of England after breaking up a 'diplomatic' wedding (a VERY funny scene), returning home to Spain to find evil Duke de Lorca (the sublimely nasty Robert Douglas) controlling weak King Phillip, and taxing the population to near starvation, with only the beautiful Queen Margaret standing in his way. Flynn quickly dispatches a de Lorca press gang, earning the Count's hatred, and the Queen's attention...and Don Juan finds himself truly falling in love, for the first time, with the youthful monarch (played by the radiant Viveca Lindfors). Assigned as a fencing master at the Academy, the legendary lover draws the ire of the Queen by stating his feelings for her, then is manipulated into another disastrous diplomatic blunder, involving, of course, another woman. On the run, he discovers de Lorca's ultimate scheme (manipulating the Crown into war), and with the help of the students of the Academy, he must save the King and Queen.

Featuring a great early appearance by Raymond Burr (as a de Lorca henchman), and a stirring final duel between Flynn and Douglas (expanded from the 1926 version, and featuring an astonishing climactic stairway jump, performed by stuntman and future 'Tarzan' Jock Mahoney), THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN is a gloriously adventuresome romp. Sadly, it didn't save Flynn's flagging career, but it certainly has earned a place among his classic films!

5-0 out of 5 stars very good!
Errol Flynn is perfect as the romantic figure Don Juan. This is a must see film with adventure and romance. It's colorful and one of Flynn's best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest (Next to Robin Hood)
Errol Flynn's Robin Hood is one of the greatest adventure films ever made. But after you've seen it again and again, you wish you could see the same thing only different. And that's what Don Juan is. We still have the incomparable Flynn at his best, we still have the fights and the swordplay, and a bunch of Flynn's acolytes storming the old castle (this time they're not men in green tights, they're men in black swordsmen tights, but what the hell). It's "almost" a remake of Robin Hood, and that's why it's so terrific. If you loved Robin Hood, you'll like Don Juan. And if you like Don Juan and haven't seen Robin Hood, well, lucky you, you're in for one of filmdom's supreme achievements.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Swashbuckler
"Adventures of Don Juan" was Errol Flynn's last memorable swashbuckler before his sad decline. A loose remake of John Barrymore's "Don Juan" (1926), this 1949 production is colorful escapism on a grand scale -- abetted by lavish sets, Oscar-winning costumes and a fine Max Steiner score. Flynn's deterioration is somewhat evident, yet this dissipation seems appropriate for the debauched Don Juan. The light-hearted romanticism of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" is replaced by a darker and sometimes brutal tone. Robert Douglas and Raymond Burr are appropriately slimy villains, while Viveca Lindfors' Queen of Spain is not easily won over by Flynn's charm. Admittedly, the film is a bit dialogue-heavy and one can see how Warner Brothers saved a little money through its occasional use of stock footage. However, these flaws are more than compensated by first-rate action sequences and sword duels -- particularly the climactic confrontation between Flynn and Douglas. Though only a moderate success in American theaters, "Adventures of Don Juan" remains a solid swashbuckler and a classic of the genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flynn's Last Great Swashbuckler
"The Adventures of Don Juan" was Warner Brothers' last big investment in Errol Flynn. Their resident bad boy had long ago used up any goodwill he might have had with the studio -- goodwill based primarily on Flynn's power at the box office. But in the late 1940s, Errol Flynn's star was on the wane, and the studio was beginning to take a hard and skeptical look at their one-time box office bonanza.

In an attempt to rekindle some of the old fire, Warner Bros. produced "The Adventures of Don Juan," in which Flynn plays the title role. His Don Juan is world-weary, a man for whom all the loves and swordfights and scandals are beginning to wear him a bit thin. But the most compelling aspect of this Don Juan's character is his sense of humor. Flynn brings a humorous, tongue-in-cheek element to the character that is extraordinarily appealing.

The film is lush and well-appointed. There are times when Flynn shows the effects of years of hard drinking and womanizing, but for the most part he is strikingly handsome. Stunt doubles were used extensively for him, particularly in the final duel scene. In the shot where Don Juan leaps down a long staircase and lands on top of the villain, future "Yancey Derringer" star Jock Mahoney performed the leap.

"Don Juan" did poorly in the United States and fabulously well in Europe. Its cool reception at home convinced Warner Brothers that Flynn was no longer a bankable commodity, and considerably less money was spent on his films in the few years he had left under his contract.

But in the intervening years, "The Adventures of Don Juan" has earned a huge following among Errol Flynn admirers and movie buffs as well. It is a grand, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable jaunt with the King of the Swashbucklers, and one that should not be missed. ... Read more


10. Random Harvest
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6301978536
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 12041
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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The ultimate tearjerker, this 1942 romance classic directed by Mervyn LeRoy (based on a novel by James Hilton) stars Ronald Colman as a British army officer suffering from amnesia after World War I. After falling in love with and marrying a dance-hall singer (Greer Garson), Colman's happy character begins a career as a writer and doesn't seem to mind that he doesn't remember who he is. A car accident changes all that, however, causing the hero's memory to return and making him forget all about his lovely cottage and bride. LeRoy modulates the obvious suspense element in the story (for example, is Colman going to remember Greer or not?) extremely well, building ever-so-deliciously slowly toward a huge payoff. This is one of the great date movies of all time. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Old Hollywood
"Random Harvest" is NOT a "tearjerker", as some amazon friends have suggested. In fact, it may be the definitive feel good movie, if the open -minded viewer gives the chance. The two leads, Ronald Colman and Greer Garson carry the story. The fine supporting cast is virtually anonymous, more to their credit. He is a WWI vet, suffering from amnesia. She is the nice girl who nurses him back to health. The plot thickens when Colman is hit by a car- regains his original (!) memory- and forgets about the beautiful, caring Garson. What happens? This reviewer won't give away the rest of the wonderful story. Folks will just have to see this classic and find out but there IS a surprise "reappearance" involved-similar to that by Gene Tierney in "Laura". Watch that office door! (According to Tom O' Neil's "Movie Awards", RH was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Screenplay. The fact that it won NONE of the foregoing is meaningless. It was competing for Oscars with "Mrs. Miniver", which gave Miss Garson an Academy Award for Best Actress and the chance to set the dubious distinction of making the longest acceptance speech in Oscar history). The final RH scenes are golden as Colman retraces his past to the friendly pub where he first met Garson, the old tobacco shop and that little cottage. Maybe it is a bit of a tearjerker- a heartening one. Does anyone seriously believe Hollywood could remake this one? Who would play the Colman role? Tom Cruise? Please! Let's all be grateful to the persons who preserve the old classics like "Random Harvest".

4-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes good does come from doing the right thing.
Many reviews have called this film "the ultimate tear jerker." I think not. We develop genuine interest in the characters played by Ronald Colman, a WWI English soldier who is a shellshocked amnesiac, and Greer Garson, an English music hall singer. Garson sees Colman wandering dazed and tired on the street, feels sorry for him and takes him under her wing. They fall in love, get married, have a child, and appear ready to live happily ever after as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.

Up to this point the story interest is Colman's amnesia and Garson's help in making his life living with this affliction bearable. The story takes a dramatic turn when Colman is struck by a taxi in Liverpool and regains his memory, forgetting Garson and their child. In fact he is a rich industrialist and takes up his former life. It appears as if Garson will be forgotten, but we know this is a 1942 Hollywood production and we are only moderately surprised when Garson reappears in his life as his secretary.

By saying this film is not a tear jerker in my opening comments, I have revealed the ending of this film, which while not surprising, given the nature of the film, nonetheless provides dramatic intensity and genuine interest for the viewer.

This is an old fashioned Hollwood film which has stood up well over time. The story may be contrived, but the performances are so good that we are able to take a genuine interest in everything that happens to them. All comes right in the end and we are left with a satisfied feeling that sometimes good comes from being good and doing the right thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful and tender
An exquisite romance, a love that survives "for better for worse, for richer for poorer", and a wartime tragedy all make this well written melodrama very engrossing, and it stars two of the most gorgeous and popular stars of their era: Ronald Colman was one of the handsomest men that ever drew breath, with a voice of liquid gold...a voice that helped him make the most successful transition from silent films to "talkies" of any actor, and this was Greer Garson's year, as "Mrs. Miniver" was also released in 1942, which won her a Best Actress Oscar.
There are many unexpected twists to the plot, saving it from being "sappy and sentimental", and it is blessed with lovely cinematography (by Joseph Ruttenberg, who also filmed and received an Oscar for "Mrs. Miniver"), an atmospheric score by Herbert Stothart, and sensitive direction by Mervyn LeRoy.

There are some numbers connected with this film: It is # 36 in the American Film Institute's "Top Romances", it was nominated for 6 Academy Awards (Best Picture and Best Director lost to "Mrs. Miniver", and others were Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress with the excellent Susan Peters as Kitty, Screenplay, and Score), and Ronald Colman was my mother's # 1 heartthrob, as he was for so many women during those golden years of the cinema. Total running time is 2 hours and 7 minutes.
Recommended additional viewing for these two marvelous actors is of course, "Mrs. Miniver", and Ronald Colman as a Shakespearean actor in the superb psychological thriller "A Double Life".

5-0 out of 5 stars Does anyone remember Greer Garson and Ronald Colman?


This is an old black and white (1942), but that's all we had at one time. It was more than a generation ago--it was the greatest generation ago.

It was the end of the First World War, and the "asylum" for war shell shock cases in Great Britain was full of problems. John Smith was only one of them, He lost his memory due to the horror of war, and escaped the hospital in the excitement of war's end.

Paula (Greer Garson) gave his life meaning again, and then, on a trip to Liverpool, he was hit by a car and lost it once more. But, unfortunately, he lost that which he had most recently lived through--the current three years--and remembered the rest.

There are flaws in the science of memory loss, but the story is good nonetheless.

The story is Garson's effort to help him regain his memory and his lost love.

Colman and Garson were once both great actors--the first rank. This movie was a good one. No filthy language to prop it up, or gutter histrionics, but--strangely enough--they managed to tell the story anyway, in spite of all those restraints.

Once, we appreciated stories like these. Today's audience probably thinks it "corny." I wish we had more of them, but I am, admittedly, a dinosaur.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

5-0 out of 5 stars Pass the hankie!
This wonderful,extremely romantic movie was made for anyone who is a romanticist at heart.I cannot get enough of Ronald Colman's voice..I can't think of another actor whose inflections are so unique.
The movie itself is wonderfully acted,and although I am not a huge fan of Ms.Garson,she matches Mr.Colman perfectly.
I can't understand why it isn't out on DVD yet!! C'mon,you guys!! ... Read more


11. Random Harvest
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000021Y6L
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 8440
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Old Hollywood
"Random Harvest" is NOT a "tearjerker", as some amazon friends have suggested. In fact, it may be the definitive feel good movie, if the open -minded viewer gives the chance. The two leads, Ronald Colman and Greer Garson carry the story. The fine supporting cast is virtually anonymous, more to their credit. He is a WWI vet, suffering from amnesia. She is the nice girl who nurses him back to health. The plot thickens when Colman is hit by a car- regains his original (!) memory- and forgets about the beautiful, caring Garson. What happens? This reviewer won't give away the rest of the wonderful story. Folks will just have to see this classic and find out but there IS a surprise "reappearance" involved-similar to that by Gene Tierney in "Laura". Watch that office door! (According to Tom O' Neil's "Movie Awards", RH was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Screenplay. The fact that it won NONE of the foregoing is meaningless. It was competing for Oscars with "Mrs. Miniver", which gave Miss Garson an Academy Award for Best Actress and the chance to set the dubious distinction of making the longest acceptance speech in Oscar history). The final RH scenes are golden as Colman retraces his past to the friendly pub where he first met Garson, the old tobacco shop and that little cottage. Maybe it is a bit of a tearjerker- a heartening one. Does anyone seriously believe Hollywood could remake this one? Who would play the Colman role? Tom Cruise? Please! Let's all be grateful to the persons who preserve the old classics like "Random Harvest".

4-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes good does come from doing the right thing.
Many reviews have called this film "the ultimate tear jerker." I think not. We develop genuine interest in the characters played by Ronald Colman, a WWI English soldier who is a shellshocked amnesiac, and Greer Garson, an English music hall singer. Garson sees Colman wandering dazed and tired on the street, feels sorry for him and takes him under her wing. They fall in love, get married, have a child, and appear ready to live happily ever after as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.

Up to this point the story interest is Colman's amnesia and Garson's help in making his life living with this affliction bearable. The story takes a dramatic turn when Colman is struck by a taxi in Liverpool and regains his memory, forgetting Garson and their child. In fact he is a rich industrialist and takes up his former life. It appears as if Garson will be forgotten, but we know this is a 1942 Hollywood production and we are only moderately surprised when Garson reappears in his life as his secretary.

By saying this film is not a tear jerker in my opening comments, I have revealed the ending of this film, which while not surprising, given the nature of the film, nonetheless provides dramatic intensity and genuine interest for the viewer.

This is an old fashioned Hollwood film which has stood up well over time. The story may be contrived, but the performances are so good that we are able to take a genuine interest in everything that happens to them. All comes right in the end and we are left with a satisfied feeling that sometimes good comes from being good and doing the right thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful and tender
An exquisite romance, a love that survives "for better for worse, for richer for poorer", and a wartime tragedy all make this well written melodrama very engrossing, and it stars two of the most gorgeous and popular stars of their era: Ronald Colman was one of the handsomest men that ever drew breath, with a voice of liquid gold...a voice that helped him make the most successful transition from silent films to "talkies" of any actor, and this was Greer Garson's year, as "Mrs. Miniver" was also released in 1942, which won her a Best Actress Oscar.
There are many unexpected twists to the plot, saving it from being "sappy and sentimental", and it is blessed with lovely cinematography (by Joseph Ruttenberg, who also filmed and received an Oscar for "Mrs. Miniver"), an atmospheric score by Herbert Stothart, and sensitive direction by Mervyn LeRoy.

There are some numbers connected with this film: It is # 36 in the American Film Institute's "Top Romances", it was nominated for 6 Academy Awards (Best Picture and Best Director lost to "Mrs. Miniver", and others were Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress with the excellent Susan Peters as Kitty, Screenplay, and Score), and Ronald Colman was my mother's # 1 heartthrob, as he was for so many women during those golden years of the cinema. Total running time is 2 hours and 7 minutes.
Recommended additional viewing for these two marvelous actors is of course, "Mrs. Miniver", and Ronald Colman as a Shakespearean actor in the superb psychological thriller "A Double Life".

5-0 out of 5 stars Does anyone remember Greer Garson and Ronald Colman?


This is an old black and white (1942), but that's all we had at one time. It was more than a generation ago--it was the greatest generation ago.

It was the end of the First World War, and the "asylum" for war shell shock cases in Great Britain was full of problems. John Smith was only one of them, He lost his memory due to the horror of war, and escaped the hospital in the excitement of war's end.

Paula (Greer Garson) gave his life meaning again, and then, on a trip to Liverpool, he was hit by a car and lost it once more. But, unfortunately, he lost that which he had most recently lived through--the current three years--and remembered the rest.

There are flaws in the science of memory loss, but the story is good nonetheless.

The story is Garson's effort to help him regain his memory and his lost love.

Colman and Garson were once both great actors--the first rank. This movie was a good one. No filthy language to prop it up, or gutter histrionics, but--strangely enough--they managed to tell the story anyway, in spite of all those restraints.

Once, we appreciated stories like these. Today's audience probably thinks it "corny." I wish we had more of them, but I am, admittedly, a dinosaur.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

5-0 out of 5 stars Pass the hankie!
This wonderful,extremely romantic movie was made for anyone who is a romanticist at heart.I cannot get enough of Ronald Colman's voice..I can't think of another actor whose inflections are so unique.
The movie itself is wonderfully acted,and although I am not a huge fan of Ms.Garson,she matches Mr.Colman perfectly.
I can't understand why it isn't out on DVD yet!! C'mon,you guys!! ... Read more


12. The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Director: Sidney Franklin
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302308321
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 10905
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Saga Of Love And Courtship In Victorian England
"The Barretts of Wimpole Street", was an prestigious stage play that gave famed actress Katherine Cornell one of her most memorable acting roles in the early years of last century. It was with this thought in mind and hoping that the earlier critical success could be repeated on screen that MGM boy genius Irving Thalberg purchased the property as a vehicle for his wife, the first lady of MGM Norma Shearer. It was all part of Thalberg's personal campaign to elevate Norma to the ranks of the acting elite by performing in film properties that had respected theatrical pedigrees. This was really the first of these ambitious efforts and would be followed in later years by no expense spared productions of "Romeo and Juliet", and "Marie Antoniette". Despite her lack of theatrical training Norma Shearer does excellently in the role of invalid poetess Elizabeth Barrett and she manages to remove quite a bit of the static quality that comes with such a stage constructed piece as this . Combined with the fine talents of Fredric March and especially Charles Laughton in a stunning performance as her tyrannical father the film version became an acting tour de force for all three leads with Norma quite rightly earning another Academy Award nomination as Best Actress of the year.

The story in actual fact is simple and straight forward and details the romance that blossoms between Elizabeth, an invalid in her domineering father's house, and acclaimed poet Robert Browning. The friendship that first develops via letters grows into a consuming love affair after the two finally meet and through the love and devotion that Elizabeth receives we witness a rapid improvement in her health where she begins to enjoy life and begins going out into the world. Elizabeth's new found happiness however is continually blighted by her overbearing father Edward Moulton-Barrett (Charles Laughton), who has it as his aim to not allow any of his 9 children to marry or have any relations with people outside of the family. He comes into conflict not only with Elizabeth and Robert but also with his spirited younger daughter Henrietta (Maureen O"Sullivan), who begins a romance much to her father's disgust, with Captain Surtees Cook (Ralph Forbes). With Robert's promise of a new happier world and future life as his wife, Elizabeth grows in confidence and inner strength and with the assistance of loyal maid Wilson (Una O"Connor) she plots to make her escape and go away with Robert. After much soul searching and heated discussions with her as always obstinate father about the rights and wrongs of marrying Robert, Elizabeth decides that he will never change and leaves her family home where she has not only been a physical prisoner but also an emotional one for far too long. The final scenes see Elizabeth leave the house against her father's wishes to begin a new life with Robert taking Wilson her always devoted servant with her.

Despite the very stagey appearance of much of the film which largely confines the main action to Elizabeth's bedroom the good performances do to a large extent help "open out" the stage origins of the piece. Norma Shearer is both reserved and at times wonderfully spirited in her multi layered playing of Elizabeth and her early work as a full invalid is very well executed in particular when with Robert's prompting she takes her first tentative steps away from the security of her bedroom. Shearer who was often reluctant to take on the mantle of the highly polished queen of period dress films that her husband envisioned for her, was at first most reluctant to tackle the role of a largely bedridden invalid. Reunited with her popular "Smilin' Through" costar Fredric March however she soon saw the golden opportunity awaiting her and she created one of her best pieces of work on film. The story really comes alive in the many heated exchanges that take place between Elizabeth and her horrid father. Here the real dramatic power of "The Barretts of Wimpole Street",lies and Norma Shearer more than holds her own in the dramatic stakes with such a seasoned scene stealer as Charles Laughton. While Laughton's character is all spite and hatred it can be seen thanks to his expert playing of the part, that alot of what motivates him is bascially a deep seated fear of being eventually left on his own. What is amazing is the fact that despite being almost the same age as Norma Shearer, the wonders of makeup have allowed Laughton to convincingly play her father and never once does it look odd or unrealistic. Being a grade "A" production the film has a beautiful rich look and feel to it courtesy of MGM. Attention to detail in sets and general period flavour is top rate and designer Adrian again has excelled with his magnificent historically accurate costumes especially for Norma Shearer and Maureen O"Sullivan. Director Sidney Franklin had a difficult task on his hands in opening out a story that clearly betrayed its stage origins and in the second half in particular he succeeds very well in giving the story more movement and dimension. He liked the material so much that he went on to remake this film to far less dramatic acclaim in the 1950's with Jennifer Jones taking the Elizabeth Barrett role.

"The Barretts of Wimpole Street", is without a doubt one of the crowning glories in the careers of all three lead performers. Norma Shearer totally deserved the acclaim she won for her work here and she managed to make the character of Elizabeth Barrett totally her own. It is definately movie making of the old school and while the romance between these two young lovers may appear a bit dated it is thanks to the determined playing by Charles Laughton adding the necessary spice to the proceedings that makes it totally enjoyable viewing. Treat yourself to a viewing of this early MGM gem and see how Norma Shearer with the influencing of her husband rightly became known as the prestigious Queen of MGM productions during the 1930's.

5-0 out of 5 stars I shall be haunted by the ghost of my unwritten review...
... if I don't get with it and review it now.

I've watched this several times but never been quite certain what I wanted to say in a review and I figured I must do it sometime and since I beheld it once again last night I thought this morning would be a good time and even though I know not what I shall say I think something will come to me. You see it is already coming to me.

This was my first Norma Shearer experience. At first I didn't really have an opinion of her one way or another but by the second viewing I knew I liked her. She gazes at everybody and everything even with her eyes shut. "I am a dying woman," she says low and dramatically. "We are all of us dying," Fredric March answers in the same tones. Speaking of him, maybe I shouldn't get started speaking of him. His part wasn't nearly as much as it could have been but it was sufficient, I suppose. It's entertaining to count the different patterned scarf-ties that he wore. He had a checked one and two different polka-dot ones and a plain black or grey one and one other I think with a nondescript print. His embroidered britches and the cape with the fur collar were a bit much, though. But let's get beyond the clothes - we all know they leave much to be desired. He had some of the most remarkable lines or should I say speeches in this movie which I invariably forget when I try to recall them later. I guess that's a good reason for you to see this yourself. This is really first-rate melodrama in some spots. I keep telling myself, they're poets - they can be as flowery as they like. Besides, I like first-rate melodrama. But back to Robert Dahling... He gives a very energetic portrayal of the poet, brings Elizabeth to life with what she calls "a series of electric shocks", and strides about in a manner reminiscent of his earlier characters, Dr Jekyll and Jeremy Wayne. It's not surprising that Elisabeth should re-gain her will to get well again with the inspiration of someone so sparkling with life. Oh, but that's not all there is to say about him. He had a beautiful view of a swan-inhabited pond from his study window.

I suppose I have to say something about Charles Laughton. Let it suffice to say that he strikes me as particularly disgusting and I don't care for the way he spits out his words like he has a grudge against the whole world plus three and a half.

Ralph Forbes was better as Willy Ainley in "Smilin' Through" than he is here as Captain Certes Cook. Una O'Connor is the niftiest maid on wheels. Flush the dog - well, he's a dog. I don't like dogs. Maureen what's her name who played Henrietta was also quite good. "Will you be here tomorrow? Don't look! That lady across the street is watching. Will I ever see you in full uniform? Don't tell me!"

And Cousin Bella's high-pitched baby talk... "Oh, Henwietta, you WILL be my bwidesmaid, won't you?" "Dear, dear Cousin Elizabeth! So fwagile! So spiwitual! One only has to look into your dear eyes to see how vewy close you are to Heaven!" Cousin Bella's fiancé's most memorable line... "Come, come, my pet!" Also, "Come, come, my pet!"

The filming is good, the story is strong, and Norma sings a sweet little song with her bros. and sisses. It was not only enjoyable to watch but made me go out and read some of the Brownings' poetry. I found Robert's a bit obscure but I have read Eliz's Sonnets several times through.

I've never been able to find the poem though about the "all petals, no prickles" that Robert reads aloud so he can explain it to Elizabeth. He finally said after studying it for some time, "Well, when that was written, only God and Robert Browning understood it. Now, only God understands it."

See this movie. If you are weally on the side of womance, I think you will weally enjoy watching it. It's so twilling!

5-0 out of 5 stars A FINE VERSION
The great stage actress Katherine Cornell was famous for playing Elizabeth Barrett on stage, but her name meant little to moviegoers. At first, Shearer did not want to play an invalid but quickly changed her mind when Marion Davies (!) was offered the role. Shearer gives a performance of genuine charm and pathos (she won an AA nomination but alas she lost to Claudette Colbert for her Ellie Andrews in "It Happened One Night". Victorian London provides the handsome settings for this true story of the romance of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browing. Charles Laughton's performance is amazing (as Moulton Barret) in that he was only a year older than Shearer in real life and he very credibly played her FATHER. The film scored an immediate and well-deserved success with critics and audiences alike with Shearer winning the Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival.

5-0 out of 5 stars DO get this version
If you're into well-acted movies with a strong literary yet romatic leaning, this is the flick for you. Norma Shearer (once married to boy genius producer, Irving Thalberg) plays poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Fredric March's Robert Browning. A true-life love story!

DON'T get or even be bothered with the pasty Jennifer Jones remake. This is the genuine article, with a stellar performance by Charles Laughton as the Father You Love to Hate. Laughton's performance really should be up there as one of the most despicable Hollywood villians EVER filned! Compare him to any James Bond villian and I think you might just agree. He is perfectly horrible; a snake willing to eat his own young. There is a scene (towards the end of the movie) between him and Norma Shearer, that even with 1930's Hollywood Production Code subtly, will still give you the creeps.

The chemistry between Shearer and March is enchanting. You really do care about these two lonely, bright, creative people connecting. Maureen O'Sullivan (Mia Farrow's mom) is wonderful as Elizabth's sister, who really gets the romantic ball rolling. The costumes are lovely and the director's choice to keep the film mostly confined to invalid Elizabeth's bedroom is quietly brilliant.

While is is a stagey film, as many of Shearer's movies are, I believe it holds up extremely well. It is more than worth a look-see and is a fine addition to a classic film buff's library.

Also, it's a pretty good chick flick for coffee, chocolates and converssation!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic
Oh, wow! I loved this movie. It was enchantingly acted, and the best part is that it's a true story. A Hollywood script writer could not have conjured up a better romantic "Romeo and Juliet"-like tale. Forbidden love. An overbearing father. A perfect ten! Kudos to everyone involved in this movie! ... Read more


13. The Bride of Frankenstein
Director: James Whale
list price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300183629
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 17175
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

It appeared, at the end of the epochal 1931 horror movie Frankenstein, that the monster had perished in a burning windmill. But that was before the runaway success of the movie dictated a sequel. In Bride of Frankenstein, we see that the monster (once again played by Boris Karloff) survived the conflagration, as did his half-mad creator (Colin Clive). This remarkable sequel, universally considered superior to the original, reunites other key players from the first film: director James Whale (whose life would later be chronicled in Gods and Monsters) and, of course, the inimitable Dwight Frye, as Frankenstein's bent-over assistant. Whale brought campy humor to the project, yet Bride is also somehow haunting, due in part to Karloff's nuanced performance. The monster, on the loose in the European countryside, learns to talk, and his encounter with a blind hermit is both comic and touching. (The episode was later spoofed in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein.) A prologue depicts the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, being urged to produce a sequel by her husband Percy and Lord Byron. She's played by Elsa Lanchester, who reappears in the climactic scene as the man-made bride of the monster. Her lightning-bolt hair and reptilian movements put her into the horror-movie pantheon, despite being onscreen for only a few moments. But in many ways the film is stolen by Ernest Thesiger, as the fey Dr. Pretorious, who toasts the darker possibilities of science: "To a new world of gods and monsters!" Absolutely. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (90)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Horror Sequel That Outdoes the Original
Even after nearly 70 years, few horror movies match the perfect juxtaposition of spooky ambiance and morbid hilarity that can be found in James Whale's THE BRIDE OF FRANEKENSTEIN. Superior to the first film--though that one is also a masterpiece--Whale's direction is brilliant throughout. Especially interesting is the scene where the "Bride" is created: The use of harsh lighting, odd camera angles, and abrupt cutaways creates an eerie and uncomfortable feeling that heightens the horror of the event depicted, and while watching it all unfold seamlessly, it easy to see why the film is considered the archetype for all mad-scientist horror flicks.

The acting is also quite superb. Ernest Thesiger (Doctor Pretorious) and Elsa Lanchester (The "Bride") both deliver wonderfully quirky over-the-top performances, but they don't upstage Karloff, who still imparts his portrayal of the monster with the same ambivalent mixture of pathos and loathing that helped make the first film so memorable. The performances alone make this film worth watching (again and again!), but add to it the gothic sets, the fine direction, and the outrageous mixture of horror and comedy, and you have a classic horror flick that has yet to be beaten.

Whale's best film, by far!

5-0 out of 5 stars THIRTIES GEM
This caricature by some very knowing people is a macabre comedy classic....i.e., The Monster (Boris Karloff) is the only sympathetic character! James Whale, who had a good gothic sense of humour, directed, with Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley in the prologue, and then as the Bride. For many of us, the scene where she says "Eeeek!" in repulsion when she first sees her intended was so satisfyingly silly that she won our hearts forever! Inimitable Thesiger plays the weird doctor who convinces Frankenstein into making a mate for his monster. One of the silver screen's most fondly regarded horror stories, this excellent sequel to the 1931 FRANKENSTEIN offers an excellent blend of black humour and thrills, with all concerned in top form. Lanchester excels in her playing of the bride; she's also seen in the prologue as author Mary Shelley! The pastoral interlude with the blind hermit and the final, riotous creation scene are among the highlights of this truly classic film of which the lighting, photography, sets and direction could hardly be better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Universal's definitive Frankenstein motion picture
Rarely is a sequel, particularly a horror sequel, better than its predecessor, but Bride of Frankenstein (1935) easily replaced the 1931 original classic as the definitive Universal Frankenstein movie. Director James Whale did not want to do another Frankenstein movie for the most admirable of reasons, and largely because of his feelings on the matter he brought to a life a sequel that sought perfection in every discernible way and provided a much deeper and more poignant look at the monster of Frankenstein's creation - the comedic exploitation of the monster did not begin on his watch. The addition of a full-scale musical score added depth and its own emotional layers to the drama, Karloff brought amazing pathos and humanity to the creature, and Elsa Lanchester, in a few short minutes, gave the world one of the truly eternal horror images and icons in the form of the Bride of Frankenstein's Monster (which is what the film should have been called).

Most of the principal cast members of the original Frankenstein movie reprise their roles here, including Colin Clive as Frankenstein and the inimitable Boris Karloff as the monster. Mae Clarke, however, was unavailable for health reasons, and a seventeen-year-old Valerie Hobson took on the role of Elizabeth, Frankenstein's fiancée. This is a noticeable change, as Hobson played Elizabeth in a strikingly different manner. As you may have guessed, Frankenstein's monster did not actually die in the big fire that ended the first motion picture. The windmill was built over a cistern (more like a great big underground pond, if you ask me), and the monster escapes the conflagration, not before killing a couple of people and scaring Minnie, this film's version of interminable comic relief, half to death. Dr. Frankenstein, for his part, also survives (although we already knew this thanks to the last-minute concluding scene of the first movie). He regrets his foolish attempts to play God, even though he still speaks with a mad zeal about the dreams he pursued so dangerously. Enter Dr. Praetorius (Ernest Thesiger), a former professor of Frankenstein's and the kind of evil genius our reformed young doctor should have become. Praetorius has been doing his own God-like experiments and now seeks to join his knowledge with that of Frankenstein to make not a man, but a woman. In the film's only borderline ridiculous moments, we see the products of Praetorius' work - the film work and special effects are brilliantly done, but the whole idea is just laughably silly. Still, you can't help liking old Praetorius because he is everything a mad scientist should be. Frankenstein has now become - well, (...) a cowardly man who seems incapable of acting on his own accord. Luckily, Dr. Praetorius knows how to deal with a man such as Frankenstein, and he eventually succeeds in getting the good doctor back in the lab for one final experiment.

As for Frankenstein's monster, we finally get to see the humanity of the character emerge. Seeking friendship, he is met only with fear, screams, and malice. He does manage to find a friend in the countryside, however - the sound of violin music takes him to the home of a blind hermit. In one of the most touching scenes in cinema history, the blind man takes the monster in, thanks God for finally sending him a friend to assuage his loneliness, and shines the full light of humanity, all too briefly, on the lonely creature. Naturally, this time of happiness does not last long, but the monster does develop the ability to speak before he is separated forever from his friend. He ends up crossing paths with Dr. Praetorius, who quickly sells him on the idea of a mate, setting the stage for another pyrotechnic creation scene that gives us the unforgettable Bride of Frankenstein.

The cinematography, musical score, and basically everything else are well-nigh perfect in this film; despite the ridiculous editing demands of the censors, Bride of Frankenstein achieves the pinnacle of monster movie success. Still, it bothers me that these films have defined Frankenstein's monster as a creature much different than the literary monster of Mary Shelley's creation. The first film completely stood Shelley's story on its head, missing the point entirely. How ironic it is for Bride of Frankenstein to feature a prologue featuring the character of Mary Shelley herself, in company with her companion Percy Bysse Shelley and the flamboyant Lord Byron, explaining the meaning of her work and then introducing yet another bastardization of the real Mary Shelley's literary masterpiece. The original monster, as envisioned by Shelley, was not the creature at all; it was Dr. Frankenstein, not so much because he played God but because he abandoned his monstrous creation and left him alone to fend for himself. Bride of Frankenstein rights some of this wrong by showing the depth of humanity in the monster, but it cannot undo the wrongs already done the character. In the context of the cinema, he will forever be a "monster," a shadow of his true literary self, forced to suffer at the hands of man while the true villain of the story fails to even attempt to redeem himself or to suffer the harsh yet noble fate that he so rightfully earned in Shelley's original story.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Alltime Classic
theres 1 thing i dont like and its the title
The Bride of Frankenstein.... but it aint hte bride of frankenstein because frankenstein is suppose to be the scientist or whatever u call him
if the title was
The Bride of Frankenstein's Monster then it'd tell the whole thing on what its about

But still its 1 of my fav horror films of all time!

5-0 out of 5 stars James Whale's new world of gods and monsters
From a cultural standpoint the 1931 Universal film version of "Frankenstein" that introduced Boris Karloff as the Monster is an important film because it ended up replacing Mary Shelley's novel in the popular consciousness. The great sin by the novel's Dr. Frankenstein was not the creation of the creature but abandoning it once it was alive, but in James Whales' film it is clearly the act of creation that is the abomination. This idea ends up being quite ironic given that the authoress herself appears in the prologue to the 1935 sequel, "The Bride of Frankenstein," which is actually the better film.

Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton), and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) are sitting around on a dark and stormy night and having apparently narrated the events of the first film, Mary tells her audience that the collapse of the windmill was not the end of the story and that both Dr. Frankenstein and the monster have both survived. The doctor has learned the error of his ways and wants to stop tampering with the forces of life, but his wife, Elizabeth (Valerie Hobson) is kidnapped by Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), an even madder mad scientist if ever there was one. Alone Frankenstein created a man; together they will create a mate for the monster, a bride (also played by Lanchester in an unforgettable performance that owes much to the traditions of German expressionist film).

The sequel is a better film mainly because the production is much more polished and Colin Clive has come back from the edge in terms of both his character and his performance. However, while the film works perfectly well on its own it has been reinterpreted in light of Whale's homosexuality, which became part of the cultural landscape with the 1998 biopic "Gods and Monsters." Critics like Gary Morris are not alone in now seeing "Bride of Frankenstein" as a bold gay parable, especially given that Thesiger was also openly gay in the Hollywood of the 1930s and that his performance is pure high camp. However, you can enjoy the film perfectly without working out the idea that the monster and his bride have a pair of male parents.

It is important to see both of Whales' "Frankenstein" films and to appreciate the important differences between the two works. To do so you only have to look at a pair of memorable scenes. In the 1931 film this would be the scene where the monster comes across little Maria (Marilyn Harris), throwing daisies in the lake and he accidentally drowns her as they play together. In the 1935 sequel the key scene is when the monster comes upon the hermit (O.P. Heggie) living alone in quiet solitude and finds a friend. Both scenes represent the apotheosis of pathos in their respective films, but they also indicate great irony of how the more human the monster becomes, the wider the gulf that is created between him and humanity.

Even as a master metaphor of current age the saga of the Frankenstein monster remains a very human story as well, and it draws its enormous narrative power from both. The performance by Karloff, who is now able to speak a few words (most notably, "I love dead"), creates a pathos for the monster that is unmatched in all the Frankenstein films made since. Much more than the original and despite the title, "The Bride of Frankenstein" is Boris Karloff's film. ... Read more


14. The Adventures of Robin Hood
Director: William Keighley, Michael Curtiz
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6304546386
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 16882
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Dashing Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in the most gloriously swashbuckling version of the legendary story. Warner Brothers reunited Michael Curtiz, their top-action director, with the winning team of Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (Maid Marian) and perennial villain Basil Rathbone as the aristocratic Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and pulled out all stops for the production. It became their costliest film to date, a grandly handsome, glowing Technicolor adventure set to a stirring, Oscar-winning score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The decadent Prince John (a smoothly conniving Claude Rains) takes advantage of King Richard's absence to tax the country into poverty but meets his match in the medieval guerrilla rebel Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, who rise up and, to quote a cliché coined by the film, "steal from the rich and give to the poor." Stocky Alan Hale Sr. plays Robin's loyal friend Little John (a part he played in Douglas Fairbanks's silent version), Eugene Palette the portly Friar Tuck, and Melville Cooper the bumbling Sheriff of Nottingham. Flynn's confidence and cocky charm makes for a perfect Robin Hood, and his easygoing manner is a marvelous counterpoint to Rathbone's regal bearing and courtly diction. The film climaxes in their rousing battle-to-the-finish sword fight, a magnificently choreographed scene highlighted by Curtiz's inventive use of shadows cast upon the castle walls. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (140)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST action/adventure film ever made.
Errol Flynn at his best...swashbuckling at its best...action and adventure galore. This film is simply the best of the genre. The casting is perfect, from Flynn in the best role of his career, to Herbert Mundin as Much the Miller's son. The 3-strip color photography remains as vibrant today as when it was released 61 years ago. The dialogue between Flynn and Oliva de Havilland, between Flynn and Basil Rathbone, between Flynn and Claude Rains, is always lively, always fun. And Miss de Havilland's costumes are absolutely gorgeous, as is she.

The film moves, never stops, and you are never bored. If you watch this movie alongside Kevin Costner's ill-advised Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, you realize why one should never try to improve on perfection.

As the New York Times said in its original review in 1938, this film entertains everyone from 8 to 80. No argument here!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Robin Hood ,Flynn now a fantastic WB DVD set!
Warner Brothers (WB) Studios has begun meticulously digitally restoring its action classics of the 1930's & 40's under the "Two Disc Special Edition" Series. This 1938 TECHNICOLOR (awesome) film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" starring Errol Flynn, Olivia deHavilland, Basil Rathbone & Claude Rains is still the best rendition of this fictionalized English tale.

Warner Brothers has given us with this 2 Disc set the complete movie theatre experience circa 1938. DISC 1 - First we get a complete "Night at the Movies" program. Introduction by film critic Leonard Maltin explaining for your 10 cent investment what you got in a 1938 movie house. Next the entire continous show with; coming attraction, news reel, Bugs Bunny Cartoon, short subject feature and then the main feature, "The Adventures of Robin Hood". This is a totally ingenius idea!!! Also on Disc 1 - you have 12 Errol Flynn movie trailers and finally an indepth feature commentary by film historian Rudy Belhmer.

Disc 2 - Includes 3 hours of everything about Robin Hood, the movie, the stars, documentaries, cartoons, and a most informative documentary about TECHNICOLOR and why even today it still was the best color process ever.

I love this fun filled DVD set. My hat is off to Warner Brothers for their dedication to the golden age of Hollywood and bring back the grandest of movies for us to see again & again better than their original release. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars great movie ....second DVD is amaaazing!
This is more a review of the package than the movie , which is a classic and extremely well presented on disc one....vivid colors , crisp images....not a complaint there....and the bonus features are very good....a comprehensive set of Errol Flynn movie trailers...WB night at the movies....(an exhausting Rudy Belmer commentary track that will have you gasping for air).
the SECOND disc is just ridiculous in its amount of archival coverage..
a wonderful documentary on the movie
a great feature on the history of Technicolor....
two very fun looney tunes cartoons with a Robin Hood theme...
outtakes from the movie!
home movies shot during filming!
a long lost Errol Flynn movie about yachting..
and a positively thrilling short film about archer Howard Hill...
and more.
HOURS of fun and informative viewing on disc two alone!
Warners should be congratulated for such a comprehensive set ....buy this and encourage them to keep this type of content coming!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Errol Flynn: Truly The Sheerwood Forest outlaw
One of the Greatest action/adventure films of the 20th century. The epic swashbuckling adventure of one of history's greatest heroes.the dashing Errol Flynn as Robin Hood or as they also call him "Sir Robin of Locksley" was perfect. He was what a swashbuckler should be and probably the greatest of all swashbucklers. Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains were brilliant as Robin's foes, Sir Guy and Prince John. Oliva DeHavilland was glamorous as the love of Robin Hood, Maid Marian. My Favorite scene was Robin and Sir Guy's sword fight during King Richard's return. Flynn and Rathbone two of cinema's sword fighting experts. I love the sound of sword clangling. If your looking for a classic film or a swashbuckler film, this is a great one. Because this a film that created Pirates of the Carribean, "Long Live King Richard."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Kids Loved It!
This was one that our boys (ages 7 and 10) watched with their grandfather, who caught it in the theatres when it first came out. It's hard to say who enjoyed it more! A fun, spirited and utterly charming film, this one has aged beautifully. Everyone loved the bonus features, too. The DVD transfer is exceptional. Add some popcorn, and you've got a wonderful mulitgenerational hit that will enchant the whole family. ... Read more


15. Christmas in Connecticut
Director: Peter Godfrey
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00000JKNL
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 28
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CARD.
A picture about Christmas in the country, a wonderfully funny, romantic Christmas. It bubbles over with merriment and radiates good cheer like a Christmas tree with all the lights lit. This is a surprisingly well-known film (they play it on television every year at Christmastime) and it's highly entertaining. Stanwyck is winning as Elizabeth Lane, (Betty Crocker personified) who writes a cooking column for a housekeeping magazine (in actuality, she knows nothing about either subject) When a soldier comes to her home for the holidays, she must either master the ways of housekeeping of reveal her incompetence. Dennis Morgan is very likable here and the creepy Reginald Gardiner is amusing as the man who tries to win over Stanwyck. The plot is thin as air and the direction is rather unsure, the script and pacing could have been better - but just sit back and enjoy this little flick - it never claimed to be a Sturges masterpiece. Also available in digital colorized version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stanwyck at her best!
Christmas in Connecticut is a romantic comedy all of you classic movie buffs will enjoy. It centers around a single working girl (Barbara Stanwyck) who writes a cooking column for a ladies magazine. Her writing is so convincing that her boss (Sidney Greenstreet) believes it all--husband, baby, and farm in Connecticut! So he arranges to have a sailor and himself invited to spend Christmas "on her perfect farm." What to do? Here she is, a gal who can "only cook on the typewriter." Well, bring along Uncle Felix to do the cooking. All goes well until she is asked to flip a flapjack. Did she do it? Well, wait and see. This movie is full of fun and romance (the old-fashioned kind). It's a holiday treat for young and old alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Christmas movie
Forget all the others that people think are "must sees" at Christmas time. This is the best and, seemingly, the least well known.

It is so funny to watch in light of today's Martha Stewart and other domestic "divas." A lot of the humor was probably risque for the day but, sadly, most youths today would have to have it explained to them.

The movie is a well written comedy of errors. The characters are interesting and not just one demensional as is so often the case in comedies. I found myself very involved with the story...cheering for my favorite characters.

If you only have time to see one Christmas movie this year do make it this one. You won't be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas Fare
I look forward to seeing this romantic comedy of errors each year at Christmastime. Barbara Stanwick is superb, and it's great to see Sidney Greenstreet in a comedy. I just want to know...when is it coming out on DVD?!!

5-0 out of 5 stars An underappreciated classic on par with "Wonderful Life"
I discovered this movie in my teens and have loved it ever since. It is a classic - capturing the mores of the era and the timelessness of a good farce. It is a shame that this movie has not enjoyed the great appreciation afforded "It's a wonderful life" and "Miracle on 34th Street." "Christmas in Connecticut is every bit as good - if not better, and not nearly as overplayed. ... Read more


16. The Adventures of Robin Hood
Director: William Keighley, Michael Curtiz
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B0000068BZ
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 42200
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17. The Sea Hawk
Director: Michael Curtiz
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6301977157
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3052
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Five years after Captain Blood made him a swashbuckling star, Errol Flynn returned to the high seas as privateer Captain Thorpe in The Sea Hawk. Flynn plays the dashing gentleman pirate as dedicated patriot, looting Spanish ships for English coffers with the private blessing of Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson, reprising the role from Fire over England). The film opens with a rousing sea battle: broadside cannon fire sends masts falling and splinters a-flying before Flynn's men take their Spanish quarry in a furious shipboard cutlass battle. The fearless fighter becomes a stumbling schoolboy when he falls for the Spanish ambassador's niece, but he's back in his element when he sails to the New World for treasure and lands in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Big-eyed beauty Brenda Marshall stands in for Flynn's usual love interest Olivia de Havilland, and the film misses the latter's sass and spirit, but it's a minor shortcoming. Claude Rains plays his usual smoothly conniving villain, and hearty Alan Hale returns as Flynn's loyal sidekick. Michael Curtiz proves once again why he was Warner Brothers' top director with a handsome, action-packed film that mixes intrigue and suspense with grand set pieces, concluding with a rousing series of escapes, chases, and a runaway sword fight. Classic Hollywood swashbuckling at its best. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Right up there with the top 10!
This movie has to be seen to be believed. It's an absolutely fabulous film. Director Michael Curtiz is, in my opinion, one of the great storytellers of all time. (After all, he directed "Casablanca" only two years after "The Sea Hawk.") This is a film unencumbered by flashback sequences and neurotic characters. At the same time, the characters are rich and complicated, all of them caught in an escalating war between England and Spain. These were symbolic when the film was made for the Allies and the Nazis, and you can almost feel the actors' intensity over their uncertainty of the future, and Erich Korngold's music is probably his masterpiece in conveying not only chivalry and heroism, but an extraordinary longing for freedom and release from political aggression.

Like the other reviewers have noted, Errol Flynn is at his best. The cast is generally superb, although I would have cast something closer to a real Spaniard for Don Alvarez instead of - again! - Claude Rains. As a Spaniard, he should at least have tempered his British accent. Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth I is simply the best Elizabeth I have ever seen on film. (Sorry Bette Davis and Judi Dench.)

This film is not only thrilling, dashing, and heartwarming, it is really "about" something. And since September of 2001, this film has suddenly taken on yet a new meaning for our own time.

I am holding my breath for a DVD of this soon?? And please, be careful with the sound transfer. The music for this film is one of the finest film scores ever composed.

5-0 out of 5 stars FLYNN IN HIS ELEMENT
An English privateer learns the Spanish are going to invade England with their Armada....Even without the benefit of Olivia de Havilland and Technicolor, this is a prime Errol Flynn outing. After CAPTAIN BLOOD proved to be such a gold mine, Warner Bros. put writer Delmer Daves to work adapting another Rafael Sabatini novel THE SEA HAWK; it ranks as one of Flynn's best all-round films, and remains a beautiful picture to see and hear. The 1.7 million dollar budget was lavish by 1940 standards; an enormous new sound stage was inaugurated for the film. Two newly built full-scale ships - one 165' long, the other 135' - both surrounded by 12 feet of water (!) helped make the opening of the movie an amazing, crammed-with-detail piece of filmmaking. The musical score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold was his last for an historical pageant and one of his best; his score splendidly captures the "sweep and roll" of 16th century ships. It's interesting to compare Flora Robson's interpretation of Queen Elizabeth I to Bette Davis's. Both are intelligent and convincing, but Robson conveys level-headedness with flashes of temper while Davis (in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, which she made with Flynn one year prior) projects distinctly neurotic and indecisive aspects of her character. Flynn's performance is good and believable; he chose a relatively quiet, restrained delivery here and he was at the apex of his career both looks and performance-wise. The term was "sea dogs" was conveniently changed to "sea hawks", thereby refuting history and confusing Sabatini buffs, but giving a 'raison d'etre' to the saleable and dramatic title the studio decided to retain. Available colorized, which is advantageous for some, and an affront to others.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great swashbuckler films
A REVIEW BY NICK EVANGELISTA:
The Sea Hawk is one of the great swashbuckler films of all time. Errol Fylnn was in top form for the movie. The fencing is a joy to watch. As the author of The Encyclopdia of the Sword and The Art and Science of Fencing, and the publisher of Fencers Quarterly Magazine, I recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous High Seas Adventure
This movie deserves 5 stars and so I had to vote. Great adventure, message, and appropriate for children. The action and story is awesome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning Errol Flynn Adventure On The High Seas
"The Sea Hawk" is the definitive swashbuckling tale and captures legendary actor Errol Flynn at his most dynamic. He was an actor born for these type of romantic action roles as seen in the earlier classics "Captain Blood", and "The Adventures of Robin Hood". This film reveals Flynn in a tailor made role when he was at the peak of his physical fitness, and athletic prowess and he brings a new maturity and depth to his character here after 5 years of top stardom at Warner Brothers. "The Sea Hawk", is everything a good high seas adventure should be with eye filling adventure, exotic locations, romance, dashes of intrigue and superb swordplay.

With the the huge box office returns Warner's got for "Captain Blood", it was certain that Errol Flynn would be the natural choice to head any future productions of lavish pirate tales being filmed by the studio. That encore came along in another adventure story written by Rafael Sabatini "The Sea Hawk",which Warner's planned as one of their most lavish productions for 1940. Discarding most of the original novel writers Koch and Miller fashioned an exciting and beautiful screenplay that worked wonderfully on screen. "The Sea Hawk", tells the story of British Privateer Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn), who with secret backing from Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson), sets out on many voyages designed to harrass the Spanish Empire while enriching the British treasury with plunder from the Spanish Galleons that Thorpe raids on their way back from the New World. An adventure of a different sort confronts Thorpe when he inadvertently captures a Spanish ship that happens to be carrying the new Spanish Ambassador Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba (Claude Rains),and his niece Dona Maria (Brenda Marshall) to England. What initially starts out as outrage at the injustice done to her by Dona Maria slowly turns to love as she sees Thorpe's humane side in rescueing the unfortunate slaves from the Spanish ship's galleys and in seeing to her comfort on the journey to England. Once in England after a superficial reprimand from the secretly pleased queen for the benefit of her Spanish guests, Thorpe and the other Sea Hawks press her about the seriousness of King Phillip of Spain's threat to England's security with the mighty Armada he is planning. Capt. Thorpe plans to attack the Spanish before they are ready to sail and with the Queen Elizabeth's un-official blessing secretly plans a voyage to the Carribean to raid more Spanish vessels to get more gold to help build England's defense fleet. He however doesn't count on English spy Lord Wolfingham who by underhanded means finds out about the voyage and warns the Spanish Ambassador of Thorpe's intent. Once the privateers are in Panama they are ambushed by the Spanish in a trap and sentenced to life imprisonment as galley slaves. All seems lost until Thorpe and his men orchestrate an escape plan which sees them get back to England. Aware that the Queen has been forced to put an arrest order on all Sea Hawks in England, Capt. Thorpe literally fights his way room by room to get to the Queen along the way duelling to the death with his enemy the traitorous Lord Wolfingham. Pardoned by the Queen the preparations to defend England from the growing threat of the Armada are put into place beginning with a rousing speech by the Queen about the need for the nation to be united as one in times of adversity.

"The Sea Hawk", is a stunning "A" class production despite it's strange absence of colour photography. It contains great work by Errol Flynn who is in turn rogueish and athletic on the high seas and then refined and subdued in the romantic and court scenes. The supporting cast is headed by "Flynn regular", Alan Hale in the role of Thorpe's offsider in adventure Mr. Pitt, and the lovely Brenda Marshall as Dona Maria who has just the right dark icy beauty to be perfect as the upright noblewoman who is melted by love for Capt. Thorpe. Claude Rains lends his usual excellent suport to the role of the Spanish Ambassador and Henry Daniell steals ever scene he is in as the traitor Lord Wolfingham. Flora Robson in a great performance also lends impressive support in the smaller role of Queen Elizabeth and delivers a totally convincing and balanced interpretation of this famous woman, at times stern and authoritian and at others almost playful and very human in her dealings with Thorpe. The "Sea Hawk", production christened the huge new sound stage at Warner's built to accomodate this huge production and two full sized galleons were constructed for the sea bound action scenes. With a huge budget of almost 2 million dollars the costumes, sets, and attention to historical detail are unsurpassed. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's sweeping Academy Award nominated musical score is one of the best in his distinguished career and really enhances the overall impact of the story. The recently restored "Sepia " sequence is also a highlight during the Panama scenes and it's murky quality really lends atmosphere to the hot swamp scenes when the men are being pursued by the Spainards and are dying of fatigue.

For all lovers of swashbuckling adventures you need go no further than the Michael Curtiz directed pirate classic "The Sea Hawk". This film is certainly what the legend of Errol Flynn is all about and his obvious appeal to movie goers is very evident in his powerful screen charisma here. Many copies of "The Sea Hawk", have been made but none come close to it in great story telling, lively performances and beautiful production values. "The Sea Hawk", is classic Hollywood at its very best and is esential viewing for all classic movie lovers. ... Read more


18. The Informer
Director: John Ford
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6303360025
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2257
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Four years before he revived and elevated the Western in Stagecoach, director John Ford guided this atmospheric melodrama to multiple Academy Awards, proving that his underlying skills as a storyteller, visual designer, and dramatic guide didn't need epic scale, sweeping action, or favorite star John Wayne to achieve dramatic impact. Based on Liam O'Flaherty's novel set during the Sinn Fein rebellion in 1922, Dudley Nichols's script offers an intimate portrait of Gypo Nolan, a violent, alcoholic Dubliner who betrays a friend (Wallace Ford) for £20, setting in motion a downward spiral of fear, anger, and drunken oblivion.

The Imposter captures Ford and filmmaking at an evolutionary balance point between the purer visual storytelling of silent film and the emerging literary possibilities of sound: on the one hand, Ford paints a nocturnal Dublin of deep shadows and billowing fog in which his characters are placed in pointed tableaux, and project their actions and attitudes with stylized, theatrical gestures that seem naive alongside later, more naturalistic films; on the other, the director pushes his star, Victor McLaglen, past traditional stagecraft toward a truly harrowing, authentic performance. Pauline Kael has noted the Hollywood legend that Ford induced McLaglen's Oscar-winning turn by keeping him too drunk to embellish his work. Whatever the cause, the actor achieves a lumbering, out-of-control power that traces the rage, confusion, and ultimate despair that Nolan's descent describes. That gripping performance is the film's most modern aspect and riveting dramatic hook and more than justifies watching. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Confused!"
Editorial reviewer Sam Sutherland has titled this film The Imposter? Whats up with that? Anyway one of the greatest films of all time, also Director John Ford's masterpiece!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dire Poverty leads to Betrayal during Irish Rebellion
A brilliant portrait of a traitor (Victor McLaglen in Oscar winning performance) who is hounded by his own conscience. McLaglen plays an IRA rouge who betrays his leader to collect a reward during Ireland's Sinn Fein rebellion.

Director John Ford superbly creates an eeirie and tense atmosphere, enhanced by the foggy and grimy depiction of the Irish landscape. Max Steiner's dramatic music score adds to the cinematic delight. Oscar Winner also for Best Screenplay, nominated for Best Picture. A five star classic!*****

5-0 out of 5 stars BETRAYAL IN IRELAND
Liam O'Flaherty's 1925 novel is a masterful psychological study of Gypo Nolan, a dull-witted, impovershed Dubliner who, in the middle of the 1922 Sinn Fein Rebellion, turns stool pigeon during one event-filled night, revealing to police the whereabouts of Frankie McPhillip, a trusting friend and revolutionary who's wanted for murder. Gypo receives a reward of twenty pounds, while Franke is is tracked down by the authorities...........THE INFORMER had already been filmed by the British in 1929 and RKO reluctantly agreed to let Ford remake it with his assurance that it would be a low-budget movie. It was made for slightly over $200,000. This is impassioned Irish melodrama, performed with all the stops out. Beautifully photographed in the mists and dark streets of the studio-built Dublin sets, Joseph H. August's photography coats the film with a striking overlay of distorted realism. The most celebrated image of the film is that of its hulking, blustering central figure, as broadly played by oafish Victor McLaglen in his Oscar winning role of Gypo Nolan. McLaglen's Nolan emerges as a cowardly, despicable brute and boozing liar, capable of any deceit to satisfy a whim or save his neck. McLaglen's interpretation of Gypo is astounding; he seemingly sunk in the sodden body and mind and soul of Gypo Nolan, a creature of the slums pushed on his fumbling way by only the most primitive instincts. Yet, without ever noticeably playing for sympathy, he manages to present a figure that is somehow pitiable. J.M. Kerrigan is terrific, not only because he has the only richly authentic brogue in the whole picture, but because of his portrait of a grasping Irish toady that, for sheer brilliance, surpasses even McLaglen's performance. Ford won his first of four AA for his expert direction. As a footnote, both Ford and McLaglen were said to drink before some of the more emotional scenes. Ford spent some 5 years trying to get this film made (studio heads found the subject matter too dark). The screenplay was written in six days. It wasn't a successful film until the end of the year, when critics named it one of 1935's ten best films; thereafter, audiences flocked to see it, making it a box-office smash.

3-0 out of 5 stars Judas Goat
"The Informer" is about how hard times will make a man turn in another to certain death, if there's enough money involved. Victor McLaglen turns in Wallace Ford to the Black and Tans, and spends the rest of the movie trying to come to terms with his actions. The movie was a bit too antique for my tastes, and seemed overly long as well. But it does show the occupation of Ireland by the British and the terrible effects it had on the native population.

5-0 out of 5 stars Murky, brooding, and dark.
It is hard to reconcile that the same director who created this dark image of Ireland, also created that famed green-tinted valentine to the same country in "The Quiet Man." There is no winsome sentimentality here; just the hopelessness of poverty and alcoholism in a Dublin ghetto. A story of betrayal, a haunted conscious, and the search for redemption against the backdrop of the Irish War for Independence. Victor McLaglen demonstrates why he won the Best Actor Oscar with his fantastic performance as the "The Informer." ... Read more


19. The Bells of St. Mary's (Colorized)
Director: Leo McCarey
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: 6300207919
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 461
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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After watching director Leo McCarey's 1945, black-and-white ode to sentimentality, it's intriguing to note how everything old becomes new again. As evidenced by 1998 box-office fare such as Stepmom and One True Thing, the "disease of the week" mentality has been tugging at filmgoers' hearts for decades. The Bells of St. Mary's is the "sequel" to McCarey's Oscar-winning Going My Way, for which star Bing Crosby incredulously took home a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the paternal priest, Father O'Malley. But in The Bells of St. Mary's, Crosby's undernourished, laconic technique barely registers against the luminous, playful gravity of Ingrid Bergman, who embodies the heart of a faith-abiding but forward-thinking nun named Sister Benedict. O'Malley is transferred to her poverty-stricken school, and the two square off, ultimately forming a respect and liking for each other despite the fact that the good Sister has taken ill with tuberculosis and Father O'Malley must send her away from her beloved parish to save her life. Sure, The Bells of St. Mary's feels outdated and even trivial in light of the successors to its throne, but it's still a contender. McCarey had the touch for striking a chord that hearkens back to everything we didn't get as kids. He fills a need, as it were, with his ability to reveal our human frailties. Too, he's got Ingrid Bergman, who makes us fondly remember every teacher who lovingly and patiently made a difference in our lives. The Bells of St. Mary's recalls better days and romanticizes a gentler way of being, as suggested when Sister Benedict, after overhearing Father O'Malley remark that sometimes a man must fight his way through life, offers simply in response, "Why not make him think his way through instead?" --Paula Nechak ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bing's Tones, Ingrid's Charms,Remastered on DVD....Heavenly!
This review refers to the Silver Screen Classics Edition(Republic Pictures)DVD.......

A beautiful sequel to "Going My Way", is now a beautifully transfered to DVD. "The Bells of St.Mary's" is funny, poignant and will tug at your heartstrings.Father O'Malley(Bing Crosby) has now been assigned to a parochial school that is in dire need of repairs. The school has no money and O'Malley's job is to assess the possibilites, of perhaps sending the children to another school.He meets with some tough oppostion though, in the form of one Sister Benedict(Ingrid Bergman). She is the no nonsense type,and right away the two have some very different ideas on what's good for the kids.There is also the problem of a businesman(Henry Travers) who wants the building condemned so he can put up a parking lot for his own employees.Sister Benedict prays for miracle, will she get it?

The story and Ingrid Bergman are charming and delightful and will have you praying with her for that miracle.Bing's beautiful voice graces the film with song and Henry Travers(It's A Wonderful Life) is wonderful as always. It's not too often a sequel equals the original, but with the addition of Bergman, (along with some really adorable kids)and under the direction of Leo McCarey once again, this heartwarming story has accomplished that.

This Silver Screens Classic DVD has done a really nice job with the remastering of this Black and White Classic.The film made in 1945 barely shows it's age. It is a nice clear picture, and the Dolby Digital Sound is good as well. It contains the original Theatrical Trailer, Has French and Spanish language tracks as well as subtitles, and has captioning in English.It also comes with a little brochure with some facts about the filming.If your looking for some great old classics that look great on DVD to add to your collection, this would be a good one.

Happy Viewing......Laurie

5-0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL in ANY collection
The first time I saw Leo McCarey's THE BELLS OF ST MARY'S was on Christmas Day of 2002 when it aired on TCM. I was blown away from the moment the Main Title rolled across the screen. I've always been a sucker for sentimental movies of the 40s (like MGM's MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, both Judy Garland vehicles... btw, both have recently received beautiful DVD transfers; check them out), and ST MARY'S fits the bill to the "t". I picked up a copy of the DVD this past holiday season. I've seen the movie complete a number of times and never tire of watching it. This is the epitome of 40's motion picture entertainment.

An excellent cast turn in very praiseworthy performances. Bing Crosby is Father O'Malley. Crosby is the only actor ever to have been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar twice for the same role, having also played Father O'Malley in GOING MY WAY the previous year. Ingrid Bergman plays Sister Benedict, the Sister Superior of St. Mary's. Mr. Bogardus is played by Henry Travers... more famliarly known as Clarence from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

The film earned eight Oscar nominations and won for Best Sound Recording.
Nominated for...
Best Actor (Crosby)
Best Acress (Bergman)
Direction (Leo McCarey)
Editing
Score of a dramatic/comedy picture (Robert Emmett Dolan)
Song (Aren't You Glad You're You)
Sound Recording
Best Picture

It's a shame ST MARY'S didn't walk away with more Oscars, this truly is a beautiful film and is necessary in any collection. Good for watching anytime, especailly when your spirit needs a lift.

The DVD transfer is outstanding. Picture is stable and clear throughout. Sound is crisp, with little distortion whatsoever. There is a theatrical trailer included, but no other extras. My only complaint about the DVD transfer... what is up with the gray bar at the bottom of the screen that appears at about the 2nd or 3rd page of the Main Title? It looks like it was digitally superimposed over the film to cover something up, but what and why?

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in any collection. A classic.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bells of St Mary's Beware
If you buy this DVD expecting it to be the video on disc, you will be quite disappointed. Within the first five minutes you'll discover that a scene has been cut. I purchased this version as part of transitioning our holiday film collection to disc from video and I'm quite disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bing Crosby helps an order of nuns at St. Mary's.
Bing Crosby continues his tour-de-force in this sequel to the film, Going My Way (1944). This time Father O'Malley must help the nuns at St. Mary's. Father Fogerty has been sent to the rest home, so O'Malley will be taking his place as the Pastor. Although he does get upstaged by a kitten or two, now and then. Sister Superior, Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) will use him as an educator. The children use to have a playground across the way, but the church needed to sell the ground to fix the church before it could be condemned. With the money, they reinforced the foundation, put in a new sprinkler system and fire escapes. Now a construction company is building a grand building right in front of them. Meanwhile St. Mary's is still in the worst way. The roof is being repaired, but there is still overcrowding. Sister Superior has a prayer, that the big new building will be given to them. She prays that one day, the owner of the new building, Mr. Bogardus (Henry Travers) would wake up one morning and just "give" them the building. A new St. Mary's church would have been on this site, but they sold the land, so seeing a building there tugs at their heart. With the nun's prayers and the help of Father O'Malley, maybe faith can move a mountain. On VHS, available in original black & white or the computer-colored version. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor--Bing Crosby, Best Actress--Ingrid bergman, Best Dircetor, Best Song--"Aren't You Gald You're You", Best Scoring and Best Flm Editing. But only Sound Recording won the Academy Award. Trivia Note: In the "Pledge Of Allegiance", the children say, "...to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible..." If you notice, the words, "under God" was not said. "under God" was not added until 1954 by act of Congress.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Disclaimer
Your disclaimer clauses need to contain the following information for all items: "Although an item on our web site shows it is available "On-the-Shelf", it in fact may not be. We are not sure what we have available when you order an item and we are making our best guess. So it may actually take 2-weeks for us to get the item. We are sorry for any inconvenience." ... Read more


20. Little Lord Fauntleroy
Director: John Cromwell
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 630504645X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 42151
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
I ALSO HAVE WORN OUT OUR COPY MADE FROM THE TV OF THE 1980 VERSION. I HAVE LOOKED EVERY WHERE TO BUY.
IS THERE ANYWHERE TO GO TO DEMAND IT TO BE RELEASED IN DVD.
AFTER ALL ALEC GUINESS IS A VERY FAMOUS ACTOR.

5-0 out of 5 stars Little Lord Fauntleroy - the Ricky Schroeder version.
This (and the 1936 version) are tremendous films easily counted in the top 50 films of all time. I am hoping that the 1936 version will be released in the colorized version in DVD. The current B/W version is alright, but I like the Colorixed versions better. I am also looking for the Ricky Schroeder 1980 version on DVD. I do have the 1980 version on VHS. For those interested the box is marked "1980 by Starmaker Entertainment, Inc, Eatontown, NJ 07724. I purchased it in the early 1990's (guess I was lucky) for my video library.

3-0 out of 5 stars 1980 Version Available!
To anyone who is interested - you can find the 1980 version on E-Bay.

5-0 out of 5 stars Original story comes alive
If you want to accurately compare the 1936 movie and the 1980 TV version of Little Lord Fauntleroy, I suggest you first read the story written by Francis Hodgson Burnett. The casting, characterization and dialogue in the 1936 movie is outstanding and is almost an exact visualization of the original story as written by Burnett. The strong point for the 1980 TV version is of course Alec Guiness. Unfortunately in the 1980 version "Dearest" is portrayed more or less as a feminist and Schroeder as Fauntleroy is - well too cute. Visual appealing, it is but another example of modern screen writers believing they can write the story better than the original author. If you have to choose, pick the 1936 new DVD version. You will not be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars info
I want to buy this movie for my girlfriend, because she likes it very much. My question is: are there subtitels in dutch available? ... Read more


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