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  • Essential Art House, Volume III (Ashes and Diamonds / Forbidden Games / The Hidden Fortress / Last Holiday / Richard III / Variety Lights)
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Essential Art House, Volume III (Ashes and Diamonds / Forbidden Games / The Hidden Fortress / Last Holiday / Richard III / Variety Lights)


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Frequently Bought Together

Essential Art House, Volume III (Ashes and Diamonds / Forbidden Games / The Hidden Fortress / Last Holiday / Richard III / Variety Lights) + Essential Art House: Le Jour se Lève
Price for both: $96.46

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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Alec Guinness, Beatrice Campbell, Laurence Olivier
  • Directors: Laurence Olivier, Akira Kurosawa, Alberto Lattuada, Andrzej Wajda, Edward Holzman
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001WLMOMI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,845 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Essential Art House, Volume III (Ashes and Diamonds / Forbidden Games / The Hidden Fortress / Last Holiday / Richard III / Variety Lights)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

These affordable movie-only DVD editions of the true classics of art house cinema are perfect for schools, libraries, and rental stores, where their lower cost and sturdy packaging make them a practical alternative to the more elaborate Criterion Collection special editions. Available individually or in box sets of six, Essential Art House editions feature beautiful digital transfers, accompanied by informative liner notes. For the devoted cinephile, these are the must-own fundamentals; for the novice film-lover, this is precisely where to begin

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taylor Brewer on January 27, 2013
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If this were a car it would be labeled "Loaded". The package comes chock full of first rate films, with the sleeper Federico Fellini's first feature film Variety Lights. It's one of the few that do not star his wife Gulietta Masina, who has not yet developed her Chaplinesque mannerisms. She is in the film to be sure, although in a supporting role. Fellini had been getting cinema experience as a screenwriter for the renowned Roberto Rosellini, but in Variety Lights, he sets aside the neorealist concepts of those films. All the hallmarks of style that we have come to associate with Fellini are here; the bawdy along with the grotesque, the burlesque and the screen closeups linked to the absurd. It's a tremendous if underrated debut.

Alec Guiness relishes the subtle humor of Last Holiday with its not so subtle irony in his role as a normal guy trying to endure through difficult circumstances. It's a masterpiece of stiff upper lipped comedy and class consciousness the British are famous for.

Richard III is Lawrence Oliver's adaptation of Shakespeare's play about England's villain king; the embodiment of evil incarnate. Viewers may get bogged down in the ornate Shakespearean delivery, but don't mention that to the English. The film could benefit from multiple viewings to determine the plot line, and I prefer some of the more recent film versions of this tale, one of which was made in the 1990's and placed Richard in a World War II setting.

Ashes and Diamonds is set in Poland as World War II is ending and the Cold War just beginning. Captures the mores of post war Poland on the verge of Communist takeover. Great acting has combined with directorial genius to make a classic that still reverberates.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JMM TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2011
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Length: 0:50 Mins
If you enjoy classic cinema, then this set is for you. If you are not familiar with these films, I suggest you look them up individually and determine whether or not you might like them. Some are foreign films, and therefore not in the English language (they are subtitled). Many of the films were shot in Black & White, and are presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio (what is now called "Full Screen").

Like all Criterion releases, the video and audio quality is top-notch (for a DVD, anyway). The difference between these movies and most criterion collection titles is that these do not have bonus material - they are movie only releases.

The packaging is very nice. Each movie comes in it's own clear DVD case, with beautiful cover art. Each movie also comes with an insert that features a 2-page summary of the movie, cast and credits, and a list of the DVD chapters/scene selection. It all comes packaged inside a sturdy outer box.

I highly recommend these movies - they are presented in high quality video/audio and accurately represent the vision of the filmmakers.

I also purchased Volume 1 of this collection, and highly recommend it: Essential Art House, Vol. 1

NOTE: If you are not interested in the complete set but want one or two movies, these titles have also been released individually. Even if you want all six, in some cases it may be cheaper to buy them individually than as a set (Amazon's prices are always changing).
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By Mr Badexample on October 9, 2014
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If you love classic art movies this is a must own.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hubert Nugent on March 17, 2011
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the set is very good and Richard III is a bonus...just convenient to have this version.....but, Forbidden Games was, for me, a revelation....clever concept, but sympathetic to all the elements in "play"....not maudlin, not depressing, not pitying...just strikes the right balance dealing with a potentially pathetic topic....
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CMA on March 26, 2012
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I bought a new Toshiba Blu-ray/DVD player specifically to play this set of DVD. Despite being listed as "Region 1", the DVDs would not play. I got an error message "Prohibited" when I tried to play it. I had to return the set to Amazon.
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