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Robert Wise directed Executive Suite (1954), a still-relevant portrait of cutthroat corporate shenanigans, starring Frederic March and William Holden (in a truly dazzling performance) as the sharks in the corner-office tank. Stanwyck plays an heiress with her trademark unflappability--and with possibly the steeliest business persona of them all. Extras include an enthusiastic commentary by Wall Street director Oliver Stone, as well as a vintage short and cartoon.
Annie Oakley (1935), the oldest film in this collection, went a long way toward cementing Stanwyck's tough-talking (and yes, straight-shooting) persona. Stanwyck is brassy and bold, and mighty fearless as the Old West legend. There's a fair amount of humor, too, in the screenplay and deft direction of George Stevens. Extras include a vintage short and cartoon.
Stanwyck stretches her acting wings in the soapy love story My Reputation (1946). It's hard to imagine the tough-dame Stanwyck worrying about anything so ephemeral as a reputation, but in this well-acted film, she's convincing as a young widow who cautiously tries to date again, only to set tongues wagging, and scandalizing even her own children. Extras include a great musical short featuring Jan Savitt and Band, and a vintage cartoon.
Mervyn LeRoy directs a fabulous cast in the film noirish thiller/melodrama East Side, West Side (1949), involving a bored married couple, past infidelities, and murder. Ava Gardner's a standout as the "other woman" who comes between Stanwyck's Jessie and James Mason's Brandon. The cinematography is atmospheric and taut. Even the supporting cast dazzles in its own right--Cyd Charisse, William Frawley, William Conrad, and a winsome Nancy Davis (the future First Lady). Extras include a short film and a fun Tex Avery cartoon, "Counterfeit Cat."
To Please a Lady (1950) may have one of the least appropriate film titles ever--it's a high-octane drama set around the world of early car racing, with a romance between Stanwyck and Clark Gable as the hook. But the film itself is a blast, especially for the well-shot, adrenaline-rush scenes of car racing, decades before the polish of NASCAR. Gable's a reckless driving champ and Stanwyck's the hard-nosed reporter who revs up his heart. Stanwyck's Regina catches racing fever: "It's like the Fourth of July and the heavyweight fight and the World Series all rolled into one." Amen, sister.
Jeopardy (1953) appears as a "double feature" on one disc with To Please a Lady. It's a fascinating psychological thriller that presages a whole genre of "ticking time-bomb" peril films, and also suggests a pivotal scene in Sometimes a Great Notion. Stanwyck plays a happily married wife, vacationing in Mexico with her husband (Barry Sullivan), who becomes trapped in the surf--and as the tide comes in, his luck may run out. A frantic Stanwyck has to make scary choices if her husband--and she--is to survive. The extra on this disc is an audio-only radio interview with Stanwyck. --A.T. Hurley
Over the years historians have documented the rise of Annie Oakley, the five foot girl from Ohio who donned the Wild West stage with Buffalo Bill as a sharp shooter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rama Rao
This was the movie that made me fall in love with Barbara Stanwyck. I was so happy to find it on DVD, and it's as great as I remembered it to be.Published 1 month ago by AJK
Love it!!! Very sweet telling of a remarkable story! Barbara Stanwyck and Preston Foster were great together. Definitely a favorite for me!!! :-)Published 3 months ago by Kerri Brown
I love all her movies so I'm biased.....good copies of great moviesPublished 4 months ago by Maria Wroblewski
Barbara Stanwyck does a fine job portraying the backwoods country girl, Annie Oakley, who became famous as one of the greatest rifle shots in history. Read morePublished 6 months ago by dhart
The author was thorough in describing the times, actors and actresses appearing during BS's life.
I enjoyed the journey through time with many of our 'heroes"and their... Read more
So good to see these films. I bought this package for the film There's Always Tomorrow: 1956. A film that shows the angst of the man who is not appreciated by his busy wife and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gina Rose St John