Customer Reviews: Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection
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on October 15, 2010
This is a great collection for the avid or passing Bogart fan. Price, picture and extras are all first rate...

BUT...I just purchased this set in Canada and noticed two of my discs were missing content and one movie wasn't even included. Here's what I found:

Disc 2: Dark Victory / Virginia City - This set uses double-sided DVDs. The Dark Victory side is missing the commentary track by James Ursini & Paul Clinton, as well as the Featurette 1939: Tough Competition for Dark Victory listed on the box. There might be more content missing because the menu doesn't match. It also starts right into the movie without the menu coming up first like it should. (You have to stop the movie for the menu.)

Disc 6: Casablanca / The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - The Casablanca side is missing the two commentaries and the intro by Lauren Bacall listed on the box. Again, it starts right into the movie without the menu coming up. On The Treasure of the Sierra Madre side, the movie is missing altogether - as well as the commentary, etc. referred to on the box. Instead, the menu reads "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Special Features Disc 2" and has some features not listed on the box. It also says "Additional Special Features on Disc 1." (It appears Warner Brothers accidentally transferred the wrong disc over from their 'Sierra Madre' Special Edition DVD set to press this disc.)

I'm not sure how widespread these mistakes are - but hopefully, WB Customer Service can arrange for replacement discs for me or anyone else out there with the same problem and get this mess straightened out.
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...and every one of these films are already available - at least in DVD collections - previously put out by Warner Brothers. There is not one new release in the set. What it does do is put back into circulation several individual titles that have gone out of print. At least Warner Brothers has not entirely shut off their supply of classic films new to DVD, but it is down to a trickle if you don't count the Warner Archive.

Do note that several of Bogart's films are being released on Blu-Ray, so if high definition classics are your thing you might want to rethink the following:
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Maltese Falcon
These two are due out on Blu the same time that this collection is being released. What differentiates Humphrey Bogart's career from other Warner legends such as Errol Flynn and James Cagney is that Bogart was in films for over ten years and largely as a supporting player before he finally broke through into leads in consistently good films, thus he has twenty films that are not on pressed DVD to which Warner Brothers holds the rights. The following Bogart films are under the control of Warner Brothers and have never been on DVD:
Love Affair (1932)
Big City Blues (1932)
Two Against the World (1936)
China Clipper (1936)
Isle of Fury (1936)
The Great O'Malley (1937)
Swing Your Lady (1938)
Men Are Such Fools (1938)
Racket Busters (1938)
King of the Underworld (1939)
Oklahoma Kid (1939)
You Can't Get Away With Murder (1939)
It All Came True (1940)
The Wagons Roll at Night (1941)
The Big Shot (1942)
Conflict (1945)
The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947)
Chain Lightning (1951)
The Enforcer (1951)
Crime School is available via the Warner Archives.
Granted, quite a few of these are B or even B- pictures and/or have Bogart in a supporting role but they're still Bogart films. It would be nice to see at least a few of them be released properly.
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VINE VOICEon October 3, 2010
If you're a hard-core fan of Bogie's finest film work, I would still recommend the multi-disc collections of some of the titles of "The Essential Collection", over this new release (there are excellent special editions of "Casablanca", "The Maltese Falcon", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", and other classics). If, however, you want an overview of Humphrey Bogart's remarkable career at Warner Brothers, I can't think of a better collection to buy. Warner Home Video creates wonderful 'packages' for features, including commentaries, newsreels, trailers, and vintage cartoons, radio broadcasts, and short film features, and the inclusion of the terrific TCM documentary, "The Brothers Warner", on the tempestuous careers of Jack & Co., Bogie film bloopers (on occasion, Bogie's reactions on flubbing a line were unprintable, but funny!), the minature one-sheet advertising recreations and correspondence, and the book, of course...well, there are a LOT of incentives to shell out the money for this compilation!

The films offered are certainly the best of the Warner years, with all four of his teamings with wife Lauren Bacall, his John Huston classics, his 'Murderers' Row' years with Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and George Raft, his most successful films with Bette Davis ("The Petrified Forest", "Dark Victory" and "Marked Woman"), and his laughably bad attempt at a Mexican accent ("Virginia City"...Westerns were simply not his forte!). Naturally, "Casablanca" is here (as well as a few of the film variations it inspired), yet surprisingly, Bogie's richly-layered post-war Noir portrayals are largely ignored (I was surprised "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" and "Dead Reckoning" were left out). Still, the choices are outstanding.

If you are just beginning to 'discover' the actor many consider Hollywood's greatest star, I strongly recommend you check out his post-Warner's performances, as well. Films like "In a Lonely Place", "The African Queen" (his Oscar winner), "Sabrina", "Beat the Devil", "The Caine Mutiny", and "The Harder They Fall" are every bit as impressive as the output from his days sparring with Jack Warner...

Enjoy a magnificent film star!
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on January 9, 2011
First off, let me say, I love this set. I previously owned the first version of the Signature set (The Bogart Collection (Casablanca/The Maltese Falcon/To Have and Have Not/The Big Sleep/The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)), and will be giving it to a friend. Fantastic to own so many great Bogart flicks -- all those on the Signature Collection, plus rarer gems like They Drive By Night.

As I was giving my Signature set one last look before giving it away -- watching all the 2nd disk stuff that isn't in The Essentials -- in the case of Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I got what I expected: The Essentials included all the data from the first disk, but not the second. Fine... better to get 24 movies instead of 5, even if it means giving up a few bonus features.

In the case of "The Big Sleep" however, they included instead what was on the B side of that two-sided disk: the inferior prerelease 1945 version, not the better 1946 theatrical release. There was a reason WB held up the release for a year, because the 1945 version simply isn't as good. The 1945 release was the bonus selection in the Signature Collection, but in The Essentials, they pass it off as the main feature.

Looking at the comments in response to the 3-star review "A Few Bugs In Bogart", it is apparent that WB's quality control is lacking, and different copies of The Essentials have different versions of the DVDs. (It is also apparent from those comments, that requests to WB to replace this disks are not always successful -- I will be trying my luck on that.)

To tell which version of "The Big Sleep" you have, go to chapter 18. If you see Lauren Bacall wearing a ridiculous looking veil (presumably in mourning after the death of her family's chauffeur), you too have the wrong version.

I was thrilled when this set came out, but am disappointed that "The Big Sleep", my favorite Bogart movie of all time, will no longer be my favorite on this set.
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on September 10, 2010
I am 30 years old, and a fan of contemporary crime and action flicks, but I never have neglected the classics, and among the classics, no one stands out more so that Humphrey Bogart. A man's man in the truest sense, he was a tough guy, more in attitude and can do that in physical brawn. He was cool, but not arrogant, handsome, but not good looking. Simply, he was a true action star and a role model for guys of all times. Stars like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Mickey Rourke, even Sylvester Stallone owe a debt to Bogie. As for the films, oh, yes, these are films, not just movies or flicks, these are to be savored. As for the films, they're a mixed bag, some of are only good, a number are great, all have Bogie, and anything with him is worth watching and easily watched. So if you've never seen these films, or only a few this is a must purcahse: CASABLANCA, THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, HIGH SIERRA, THE BIG SLEEP, KEY LARGO, THE MALTESE FALCON, THE PETRIFIED FOREST, THE ROARING TWENTIES, masterpieces all. Fans of Goodfellas, Mean Streets, The Godfather, even The Expendables, should gives these classics a chance. After all these decades, Humphrey Bogart is still the man.
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on February 16, 2015
3 stars, because it has some movies that are VERY hard to find.
The plus side is that it has movies that I can't find anywhere else.
Treasure of The Sierra Madre is missing, as others have noted. Also, Casablanca starts skipping in chapter 32 and finally grinds to a halt. Tried on 3 different players. Casablanca also does not open to the root menu, so you are apt to miss some good additional content.
These things do not totally spoil the experience, , as I already have those two, but I was looking forward to having the complete set in one box. I will make certain to check out all of the disks before the 30 days are up, which is a PITA, since I had planned on watching the set over a longer period and savoring the movies that I've never seen before.
I suppose that it's a sad commentary on the time in which we live, that we have come to accept shoddy and incomplete merchandise as the norm, and this is a shoddy piece of work.
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on December 15, 2015
I was a bit nervous about ordering this set on account of the reviews here indicating that some content was missing. But when the price dipped to less than $2.50 a movie, I crossed my fingers and ordered. I am glad I did!

I am pleased to report that my set does include all 24 movies (I have not verified the miscellaneous extras that some reviewers have reported missing, because I am mainly interested in the movies). This is a great collection of films and old Hollywood stars. I am particularly glad to finally have added The Petrified Forest to my DVD library, having first seen it decades ago on the late, late show. Not to mention classics like The Maltese Falcon, the Bacall movies and Treasure of the Sierra Madre. While I might eventually upgrade to Blu-Ray on some of these, it is a sure bet that all of these titles won't be on Blu-Ray, and certainly not with a difference in quality that offsets this nearly $2 a movie deal.

One down side that I would note. I would have rated this five stars if it weren't for the two-sided disc format with micro-print names on the discs. But aside from that complaint, this is a must have for old movie buffs who have a Bogey-anemic DVD collection! Also, it appears that the collection still includes the pre-release version of The Big Sleep rather than the theatrical release. I would have preferred the theatrical version...

Even though this set does not include the 70th Anniversary edition of Casablanca (by the way -- get that disc, and Sahara!), at the current price of $54 this set is a value that can't be beat.
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on April 19, 2016
I'm a huge Bogart fan, and though I have some of these movies, there are others like Across the Pacific I didn't have in my collection (and about 7 others in this collection). Even one of these films I had never seen is worth the price I paid for the entire lot. So, yes, this 'essential' collections lives up to its reputation. I am very happy I procured same and am about a third of the way through watching the Bogart film festival (so-named for my purposes). Excellent recordings, as well. I mean the quality of the DVDs. I'm half-surprised the collection is priced as low as it. Hey, it's Bogart, you know?
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on April 19, 2012
What? You don't own this already? And you call yourself a "Bogart fan"? Buy it now! NOW, NOW, NOW!
Good grief, what are you waiting for!? This is the definitive collection of Mr Bogart's work- with a load of extras [I won't spoil the surprises].
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on May 13, 2013
The only reason I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because 'The Big Sleep' version that they include (To my annoyance!) is the inferior 1945 version, not the theatrically released 1946 version. I had to go and purchase the better version elsewhere, as it is definitely one of my favourite Bogie movies! Although, it was interesting to watch the original version... it gave so much more explanation of the convoluted plot line (as this movie is known as Hollywood's most convoluted and impossible to follow plotline of all time! :P), and was definitely fun to watch! I just wish they included the better version too!! Also, some screwy things go on with some of the bonus features on the discs that I've watched so far. But overall, I don't regret this purchase... I love it and would definitely buy it again!! :)
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