Best of Warner Bros. 20 Films Collection: Musicals. I usually steer clear of the mega boxed sets because DVD quality is often sacrificed for quantity. However, this set was released by a major studio and each disc contains only one movie. Warners has done a great job in compiling classic musicals from its early days (The Jazz Singer) through the Busby Berkeley years (42nd Street) and the colorful 1950s (Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides) and 1960s (The Music Man). Even the choices from the 1980s are engaging, tune-filled romps like Victor/Victoria and Little Shop of Horrors. While the list price is $99, you can find this mammoth set at discounts of 60%--that $2 a movie and that ain't bad.
|The puppet "star" was inspired|
by James Garner.
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Murder Mysteries. The TCM Greatest Classic Films and Greatest Classic Legends are value-priced DVD sets that typically contain four movies featuring a common theme or star. The movies in this particular set have a pretty weak connection--they're all murder mysteries! However, this collection contains three legitimate classics and one underrated feature by a great director. The iconic films are: The Maltese Falcon, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and The Big Sleep. The fourth feature, Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder may not be in the same class, but every time I watch it, I always seem to end up pleasantly surprised.
Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries: Harriet Vane Collection. The title of this three-DVD set is a little misleading, as it's actually comprised of a trio of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. Made in 1987, this series starred Edward Petherbridge as Ms. Sayers' British gentleman detective and Harriet Walter as his love interest Harriet Vane. Being a big fan of Ian Carmichael's earlier Lord Peter Wimsey TV series, I approached this one with trepidation. However, Petherbridge is an excellent Lord Peter and he and Harriet Walter generate plenty of romantic sparks when they're not solving murders (or proving her innocence).
Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters Collection. This four-movie set include one bona fide classic--Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein--and three funny follow-ups in which Bud & Lou confront the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and Mr. Hyde. Even the weakest film in the set, A&C Meet the Mummy, features a hilarious routine in which Bud and Lou try to slip one another a dangerous medallion...and Lou winds up eating it in his hamburger.