Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film)

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3 thoughts on “Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film)

  1. 38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    More from the Warner’s vaults – the best source, June 20, 2008
    By 
    Douglas M
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film) (DVD)

    The fourth collection in Warner’s Gangster sets contains more unsung gems from Warner Brothers, the studio whose product stands up the best of all today. The reasons are simple – they had the best actors and their production environment produced dynamic economical unpretentious entertainments. This set contains 4 starring vehicles for Edward G Robinson and 3 supporting roles for Humprey Bogart.

    - “The Little Giant” is a pre code 1933 vehicle, a typical smart comic melodrama with Robinson as a beer baron who mixes in society, a not dissimilar theme to the later and far superior “A Slight Case of Murder”. In this case, Robinson is still a bit close to “Little Ceasar” to be funny and the main interest is the endless slang and pre-code innuendo.
    - From 1937, “Kid Galahad” is an exciting prize fight melodrama. Robinson is paired with a very attractive Bette Davis as his moll and together, they tear up the screen with their magnetism. Bogart and Robinson have a great shoot out at the end of the film.
    - “The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse”, released in 1938 and based on a successful West End play, stars Robinson as a surgeon who infiltrates a gang to analyse the criminal mind. With Bogart in support as a particularly vicious crook and the attractive and brittle Claire Trevor as the leader of the gang, this film, as directed by Anatole Litvak, is more polished than the usual Warner’s programmer. The story is ambiguous with a very clever climax; a most unusual and interesting film.
    - by 1939, the gangster cycle had just about runs its course and the Hays Code was more interested in how the gangster reformed than how he operated. “Invisible Stripes” is more a social melodrama than a gangster film and stars the wooden George Raft as an ex-crim trying to re-establish himself while on parole. Bogart is in support again and a very young William Holden appears. It is a dull and predictable film.
    - “Larceny Inc”, released in 1942, is a very funny comedy with Robinson out of jail and buying a luggage shop adjoining a bank in order to break in. Jack Carson is particularly amusing as a travelling salesman. Watch out for his sales pitch on his range of luggage – hilarious! Also the incomparable Ed Brophy with his hysterical Brooklyn accent appears as one of Robinson’s sidekicks.

    All the prints are in good condition and the DVDs are packed with extras – cartoons, short films and trailers as part of “Warners’s Night at the Movies”. A number of the films have expert commentaries. The one for “Larceny Inc” is lousy. A seperate DVD is included which contains a very detailed documentary about the development of the gangster genre at Warner Brothers. The best parts are the snippets of archival interviews with such people as Joan Blondell, that spunky moll essential to the early Warner’s product, and directors such as William Wellman (“The Public Enemy”) and Raoul Walsh (“White Heat”). If you are interested in the history of Warner Brothers, then the documentary is interesting but keep in mind that most of its content has been covered in commentaries and featurettes included on the DVDs of the films which make up Warners Gangster Collections.

    As usual, Warner Brothers have produced a good value package.

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  2. 21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Another first -rate classic film set by Warner Home Video, June 28, 2008
    By 
    calvinnme
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film) (DVD)

    The films in this edition of the Warner Gangsters are The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, The Little Giant, Larceny, Inc., Invisible Stripes and Kid Galahad. The films contain bonus features such as rarely-seen Warner Bros. shorts, vintage newsreels and classic cartoons, plus original theatrical trailers. Also included in the collection is an all-new Warner Home Video feature-length documentary, Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film which takes a detailed look at the crime genre and how it came about. Kid Galahad will be available as a single title. Notably absent in this set is James Cagney, but we have just about all of his gangster films on DVD now. All that’s left are his precodes that don’t really fit into the gangster genre.

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

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

    The Little Giant (1933)
    Bootlegger Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson) has a plan for what he’ll do now that Prohibition is past. He decides to head for California’s posh, polo-playing Santa Barbara to become part of the high society. What he finds there – swindlers and gold diggers – are the set-up for some great precode antics. Edward G. Robinson shows his comedic talents and paves the way for such subsequent films as A Slight Case of Murder, Brother Orchid, and Larceny, Inc..

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

    Larceny, Inc. (1942)
    Edward G. Robinson plays Pressure Maxwell, who emerges from Sing Sing planning to run a dog track with his cronies Jug (Broderick Crawford) and Weepy (Edward Brophy). But the plan needs funding, so the group (assisted by Jane Wyman) opens a luggage shop as a front while attempting to tunnel into the bank next door. Unfortunately, the store is a success and this puts a comedic dent in Maxwell’s plans.

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

    Invisible Stripes (1939)
    Parolee Chuck Martin (Humphrey Bogart) is going straight back to a life of crime when he is released. In lockup or out in the civilian world, he knows he’ll forever wear “Invisible Stripes”. Bogart often played these tormented souls in the 30′s during his long apprenticeship at Warner Bros. Top-billed George Raft plays Martin’s ex-Sing Sing yard mate Cliff Taylor, who vows to walk away from crime and be a role model for his kid brother (William Holden). But what awaits Taylor are suspicion, public disdain and joblessness, so he turns to a fellow ex-con for assistance.

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

    Kid Galahad (1937)
    Edward G. Robinson is racketeer/fight promoter Nick Donati and Humphrey Bogart is Turkey Morgan who is also a fight promoter and Donati’s rival. Bette Davis plays the moll who has a soft spot for the bellhop (Wayne Morris) that Nick is grooming for the heavyweight title. Michael Curtiz directs this first of his six collaborations with Bogart that would include Casablanca and We’re No Angels.

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

    Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film is a documentary that explores the invention and development of…

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  3. 8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Volume#4-Heavy on Edward G….see?, July 29, 2009
    By 
    Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film) (DVD)

    The final volume of this series finally clocks in and it is heavy on the Edward G.Robinson,and that is definitely a good thing.I am glad Warner’s has put these titles out there for our enjoyment and re-assessment of his considerable acting talents.
    “The Amazing Dr.Clitterhouse”,released in July of /38(4-4 1/2 stars),stars Edward G.Robinson as Dr Clitterhouse.He is a well educated and spoken physician/surgeon in the city with a flourishing practice.But the good doctor,as the picture opens,has just committed his fourth robbery by heisting some jewels out of the upstairs safe of a friends home.The doctor has immersed himself into criminology,specificially the study of criminals,their behaviour and reactions of same.The fence he finds for his takings is one Joe Keller(Claire Trevor) and her head man Rocks Valentine(Bogart).He ingratiates himself into Joe’s favour and he joins the gang for a period of six weeks to study them in depth for his research and an eventual book;he does blood work,takes blood pressure readings and their reactions to light,stress,etc.Rocks doesn’t like Clitterhouse and tries at one point to kill him;unsuccessfully.The six weeks come and go and the doctor leaves but Rocks learns the doctors location,confiscates his research and wants to use his office as his front.Clitterhouse is backed into a corner and kills Rocks.He is found out and put on trial.With a top lawyer friend for his defense,and in spite of almost blowing his own case,the doctor gets off with an insanity plea.
    The screenplay co-written by future director John Huston is an engrossing one and Robinson is on top of his game in this film.Bogie also turns in a powerful and menacing performance as Rocks.
    “Invisible Stripes”,released in December/39,(3 1/2 stars),stars George Raft as Cliff Taylor,William Holden as his brother Tim,and Bogart as Chuck Martin .Cliff and Chuck are jail mates and get released on the same day.Cliff vows to go straight while Chuck is just as determined to go back to crime.Cliff finds the life of an ex-con a tough one,with very few people willing to give him a break.Brother Tim longs to give he and his sweetheart a decent life but can’t.Cliff ends up back into crime thanks to the help of his old pen mate Chuck,to make some easy dough.When he has enough he quits.But after a botched robbery Chuck hides out in Tims new business and gets him implicated with the gang.He’s arrested and Cliff has no choice but to confront Chuck then go back to jail and force his brother to tell the police the real story.When he returns to try and help Chuck out of his jam both get caught in the pursuing gangs gunfire and get killed.
    This film is an enjoyable one with Raft doing a nice turn as the big brother and Bogie turns on the menace as Chuck.This was only Holden’s second major screen appearance;another star on the rise.
    “Kid Galahad”,released in May/37,(3 1/2-4 stars),
    stars Edward G.Robinson as fight owner Nick Donati.His right hand “man” is Louise Phillips(Bette Davis).Together for years,they have owned,promoted,trained and fought several potential fighters but none have gotten very far.One day during a party one Ward Guisenberry(Wayne Morris),a new bellhop,comes into their lives.Showing potential Nick trains the now named,Kid Galahad,towards becoming the next world champion;something Nick and Louise have always wanted.The Kid develops a crush on Louise but she keeps things strictly business.Over time while Louises’ affection turns to love it is too late as the Kid has fallen in love with Nick’s sister.The Kid goes on to a title bout with his rival Chuck McGraw(William Haade) managed by Turkey Morgan(Bogart).Nick double crosses Turkey on the betting and the bout and when the Kid wins Turkey is out for blood.Both Turkey and Nick die in a shoot out.
    A pleasant film with Robinson turning in another boffo performance along with Bogie,playing that menacing thing to a tee.
    “Larceny,Inc.”,released in May/42(3 1/2-4 stars),stars Edward G.Robinson as “Pressure Maxwell”,a just released con who is smart and a natural born salesman.While in the “jug” Pressure was asked by fellow con Leo(Anthony Quinn) if he wanted to go in on a bank job with him when he got out.Pressure said no as he was going straight and all was forgotten.Pressure,with his two sidekicks Weepy(Ed Brophy) and Jug(Broderick Crawford),attend the very same bank Leo approached Pressure about to ask for a legitimate loan.They refuse and he gets angry.He buys a luggage shop next door whose basement backs onto the banks’ vault.They start digging but continually get interrupted either by salesmen or legit customers.Leo makes a jail break and finds Pressure and the boys muscling in on his plan.Leo gets through to the vault but is apprehended by the cops trying to esacpe.All ends well with popular Pressure now a legitmate and well loved local business man with many lofty plans.
    “Larceny,Inc” has gotten alot more airplay on TV in…

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