The Warner Gangsters Collection (The Public Enemy / White Heat / Angels with Dirty Faces / Little Caesar / The Petrified Forest / The Roaring Twenties)

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3 thoughts on “The Warner Gangsters Collection (The Public Enemy / White Heat / Angels with Dirty Faces / Little Caesar / The Petrified Forest / The Roaring Twenties)

  1. 79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Top Of The World Warner Brothers, February 6, 2005
    By 
    bobtec (United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Warner Gangsters Collection (The Public Enemy / White Heat / Angels with Dirty Faces / Little Caesar / The Petrified Forest / The Roaring Twenties) (DVD)

    Who can argue that this isn’t the greatest collection of classic gangster films ever made?

    If you need more proof about how good these are, I have 3 sources that rated these films BEFORE they were released to DVD.

    Leonard Maltin (represented by LM, his highest rating is 4 stars),Nick Martin & Marsha Porter (authers of DVD & Video guide – represented by DVDG), and All Movie Guide (Represented by AMG).

    Let’s go Chronologically:

    Little Caesar: LM- 3 1/2; DVDG – 3; AMG – 5

    The Public Enemy: LM – 3 1/2; DVDG – 4 1/2; AMG – 5

    The Petrified Forest: LM 3 1/2; DVDG – 4 1/2; AMG – 4

    Angels With Dirty Faces: LM – 3 1/2; DVDG – 4 1/2; AMG – 4 1/2

    The Roaring Twenties: LM – 3; DVDG – 4 1/2; AMG – 4 1/2

    White Heat: LM – 3 1/2; DVDG – 4 1/2; AMG – 5

    If you really look at the ratings (and consider that Maltin uses a 4 star rating system (as opposed to a 5 star)),you will see that the profesional critics rate these as quite high. Let’s face it. These are the cream of the Warner gangster library. Another neat thing that was done for the DVD is the Warner Night at the Movies (Similarly done with Yankee Doodle Dandy, Treasures of the Sierra Madre, and the Adventures of Robin Hood – also introduced by Leonard Maltin) which gives you the option of viewing the film the way it was in theaters during that year (complete with trailer, news item, short, cartoon, & movie). They all have commentaries by notable historians, and have “Making of” special features (a few which include Martin Scorsese).

    The prints are the cleanest I’ve seen in years (Turner does a top notch job of getting the best available source material).

    The sound is above average to good. There are subtitles for the films, and closed captioning. Subtitles in english, french, and spanish.

    The bottom line is if you are into this genre, you are going to want to get all 6 of these films (watch them in chronological order, the way the “making of”s are presented is much more rewarding if you do). These are simply the best of the gangster films. Second to none, and (to quote Cagney) “Top of the World”.

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  2. 30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Warner’s top-tier gangster movie properties, January 18, 2008
    By 
    calvinnme
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    It’s interesting to compare the three stars of these movies – Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart – and their styles in each of these movies. “Little Caesar” and “Public Enemy” were made when prohibition was still in effect and gangland crime was still a big problem. Thus Robinson and Cagney each play remorseless criminals with no redeeming values whatsoever. Robinson’s Rico is less physical than Cagney’s Tom Powers, though. You believe that either one of them would shoot you without a second thought. However, Cagney’s Powers is scarier because the real fear is that he would beat you to a pulp for the fun of it and THEN shoot you.

    “The Petrified Forest” is not your typical gangster film, with Leslie Howard’s vagabond being the real star in what amounts to an improbable romance set against the backdrop of the desperation of the Great Depression which the desert setting seems to signify. This 1936 film has Bogart as Duke Mantee, a gangster on the run, in what amounts to a supporting role. However, you do get to see all of the traits that made Bogart great when he got the opportunity to seize the lead in later roles. And to think they almost cast him as the filling station attendant in this one!

    In 1938′s “Angels with Dirty Faces” and 1939′s “The Roaring Twenties” Cagney is again playing the lead gangster and Humphrey Bogart plays a supporting role in both films. With prohibition long over, though, these movies make Cagney’s gangster more three-dimensional, showing him to even be a self-sacrificing character at times as well as a killer. Both movies bother to show that had circumstances been a little different, he might not have even become a criminal in the first place.

    1949′s “White Heat” shows the influence of film noir that was so popular in the 40′s an 50′s. Here, Cagney’s gangster persona has come full circle back to the viciousness of Tom Powers in “Public Enemy”. The big difference is that in this film Cagney’s mother is no cream puff. She is, in fact, probably a bigger criminal in thought if not in deed than Cagney’s Cody Jarrett. This final gangster film of the six shows technology and thus the law gaining on the criminal, with electronic gadgets and undercover lawmen with college degrees in psychology replacing the determined hard-boiled detectives and beat cops of the past. It very much looks forward to the Dragnet series that is to emerge in the 50′s.

    In summary, this is just a terrific package and basically acts as a complete course on the gangster film as genre. All studios should stand up and take notice of how Warner Home Video put this set together. Highly recommended. The following are the extra features:

    The Public Enemy (1931)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Comedy Short: The Eyes Have It, Cartoon: Smile, Darn Ya, Smile, and 1931 Trailer Gallery.
    Featurette – Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public
    Commentary by Film Historian Robert Sklar
    1954 Re-release Foreword
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

    White Heat (1949)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short: So You Think You’re Not Guilty, Cartoon: Homeless Hare, and 1949 Trailer Gallery .
    Featurette – White Heat: Top of the World
    Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

    Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938 with Newsreel, Musical Short: Out Where the Stars Begin, Cartoon: Porky and Daffy, and 1938 Trailer Gallery.
    Featurette – Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say?
    Commentary by Film Historian Dana Polan
    Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Production with the Film’s 2 Stars
    Languages: English & French
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

    Little Caesar (1930)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1930 with Newsreel, Spencer Tracy Short: The Hard Guy, Cartoon: Lady Play Your Mandolin, and 1930/31 Trailer Gallery.
    Featurette – Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero
    Commentary by Film Historian Richard B. Jewell
    1954 Re-release Foreword
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

    The Petrified Forest (1936)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel, Musical Short: Rhythmitis, Cartoon: The Coo Coo Nut Grove, and 1936 Trailer Gallery .
    Featurette – The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert
    Commentary by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax
    Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Adaptation Starring Bogart, Tyrone Power and Joan Bennett
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

    The Roaring Twenties (1939)
    Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1939 with Newsreel, Musical Short: All Girl Revue, Comedy Short: The Great Library Misery, Cartoon: Thugs with Dirty Mugs, and 1939 Trailer Gallery.
    Featurette – The Roaring…

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  3. 29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I Love You, Warner Home Video!!!!!, November 23, 2004
    By 
    P. B. Reynolds (North Carolina) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Warner Gangsters Collection (The Public Enemy / White Heat / Angels with Dirty Faces / Little Caesar / The Petrified Forest / The Roaring Twenties) (DVD)

    Ah, good ol’ Warner Bros. Home Video! If she were a woman, I’d marry her! First, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, then the Film Noir Classics Collection, and now this!!! I should have known that they would be the ones who would finally bring the often imitated but never duplicated “White Heat” to DVD. Not only that, but we also get two, count ‘em TWO of the infamous pre-Hayes Code gangster classics, the two films which singlehandedly founded the entire crime-drama genre, “The Public Enemy” and “Little Caesar”!

    “Angels With Dirty Faces” and “The Roaring Twenties” are also terrific films, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of these cherished treasures of the American cinema rescued from neglect and digitalized for posterity! From what I’ve heard, Warner has poured their sweat and blood into this set, with commentaries for each film, vintage poster-art keep-cases, and the deluxe treatment that such a fine pack of films deserves. I think I speak for every classic film fan here when I say that January is going to be a darn good month to have a DVD player!

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