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Katharine Hepburn Collection (Morning Glory / Undercurrent / Sylvia Scarlett / Without Love / Dragon Seed / The Corn Is Green)

43 customer reviews

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  • Katharine Hepburn Collection (Morning Glory / Undercurrent / Sylvia Scarlett / Without Love / Dragon Seed / The Corn Is Green)
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Product Description

Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection (DVD)


Katharine Hepburn fans--and let's face it, who isn't one?--will be delighted by The Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection. It showcases juicy, sometimes overlooked roles played by the winsome Hepburn both early and later in her career. The set includes 1933's Morning Glory, for which Hepburn won her first Best Actress Oscar, playing a determined young actress who just knows she's going to make a splash on the stage, and not fade like, well, a morning glory. The early screwball-era tempo is infectious, and young Kate, though insecure and--Lord help us all--skinny, beats the odds as she forges ahead in her career. Her rapid-fire delivery rivals that in another underrated Hepburn classic, Desk Set. Up next is Undercurrent, a gripping film noir that's slow in starting, but gets under the viewer's skin. Hepburn plays against type as an Ashley Judd-style gal-in-peril (or is she?), with a menacing husband (Robert Taylor) and a brother-in-law (Robert Mitchum) whom she may not be able to trust.

Sylvia Scarlett is a George Cukor-directed gem costarring Cary Grant, though Hepburn and Grant are most decidedly not in wacky Bringing Up Baby mode. The film wasn't well received when it was released in 1935, but it's a revelation now, for its daring homosexual subtexts--quite apparent to the modern viewer--and for Grant's against-type dark persona. Without Love, from 1945, is one of the first films to team Hepburn with Spencer Tracy, and yes, their onscreen chemistry is palpable. The conceit is one they would go on to use successfully time and again--plucky single woman resigned to living solo; rumpled, affable, slightly clueless bachelor who only needs to be shown just how much in love with our heroine he is. The supporting cast includes a terrifically cast Lucille Ball and Gloria Grahame.

Dragon Seed (1944) is an honorable misfire, an earnest period drama about the Japanese invasion of China. Through 21st-century eyes, Hepburn's impersonation of an Asian woman isn't great casting, and yet, Hepburn's honest, clear-eyed portrayal saves it from caricature. The Corn Is Green, a TV film from 1979, is an excellent counterbalance to all the brash, dewy-eyed roles in the rest of the set. Hepburn reteams with director Cukor for what is both a showcase for the diva's mighty talent, and yet also a completely even-handed ensemble piece, about a teacher's dedication in a small Welsh village.

Extras are plentiful on this already-packed disc, and include public-service and other shorts compiled by Warner Bros. that provide a window into mid-20th-century life. The short "Traffic with the Devil" (from the MGM Theatre of Life series) showcases the musings of a traffic cop, the real life Sgt. Chuck Reineke, who helps clueless, hapless drivers over what appear to be the wide-open spaces of L.A. highways. As a window to the truly more innocent times in Hollywood, the shorts are priceless. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Morning Glory (1933)
  • Oscar-nominated short "Menu"
  • Classic cartoon "Bosko's Mechanical Man"
  • B&W, 1.33, English and French subtitles
  • Undercurrent (1946)
  • Oscar-nominated Theater of Life short "Traffic with the Devil"
  • Classic cartoon "Lonesome Lenny"
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
  • Vintage Fitzpatrick TravelTalk short "Los Angeles: Wonder City of the West"
  • Classic cartoon "Alias St. Nick"
  • Without Love (1945)
  • Vintage Crime Doesn't Pay short "Purity Squad"
  • Classic cartoon "Swing Shift Cinderella"
  • Dragon Seed (1944)
  • Vintage short "Romance of Celluloid: Twenty Years After"
  • Classic cartoon "Happy-Go-Nutty"
  • The Corn Is Green (1979)
  • Color, 1.85 anamorphic, English, Portugese, and French subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Adolphe Menjou, Walter Huston
  • Directors: George Cukor, Vincente Minnelli
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
  • Run Time: 632 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NJXG68
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,983 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Katharine Hepburn Collection (Morning Glory / Undercurrent / Sylvia Scarlett / Without Love / Dragon Seed / The Corn Is Green)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Randall A. Byrn on June 17, 2007
Format: DVD
2007 is the centenary of quite a few who touched the movies one way or another:
the poet W.H. Auden, novelists Robert A. Heinlein and Daphne Du Maurier, singers Gene Autry, Kate Smith, and Connee Boswell, bandleader Cab Calloway, film score composer Miklós Rózsa, director Fred Zinnemann, and the actors Dan Duryea, Cesar Romero, Buster Crabbe, Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Barbara Stanwyck, Fay Wray, Burgess Meredith - and one Katharine Houghton Hepburn of Connecticut.

We have already seen tributes to Wayne, and no doubt Olivier and Stanwyck will also be acknowledged. In honor of Miss Hepburn, Warner has issued a rather odd and quite endearing six-disc boxed set of films not previously available on DVD. They range widely in both chronology and quality, and few would put these particular films at the very top of the Hepburn canon, even the one that won her her first Oscar. But as I watched this motley group of films - two from RKO in the 1930s, three from MGM in the 1940s, and one TV film from the late 1970s, I was reminded what a treasure she was and is. Even in the midst of misguided melodramas and not-quite-good-enough romantic comedies, she gives unique, memorable performances. In two cases, her acting may in fact be memorably off-key rather than memorably wonderful, but she makes all these worth seeing.

Morning Glory (1933) won Hepburn an Academy Award. She's excellent as a stage-struck young woman who is trying to make it as a Broadway actress. Her eccentric, fascinating performance can even be seen as a stylized self-portrait. The film itself, directed by Lowell Sherman, is dated in fascinating ways: the stilted storytelling, the 1920s/1930s view of Broadway as the ultimate place to become a dramatic star, the sexual mores.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas M. Disabatino on March 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thank God Warner Bros is on the ball with Katharine Hepburn!

She deserves this and so do her fans.

"Sylvia Scarlett"- panned in 1936 when RKO released it, this gem directed by George Cuckor with Hepburn and Cary Grant about con artists and sexual ambiguity was scandalous at its time, and although the plot is thin in certain parts, as a whole today it's a great movie. Hepburn looks great dressed as "Sylvestor."

"Without Love" - one of the lesser known pairings of Hepburn and Tracy, but still a gem about a loveless marriage of convienance. Lucille Ball plays Hepburn's best friend/realtor.

"Undercurrent" - beautiful cinematography, yet Hepburn never struck me as the "victim." Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum costar with her in a story about a newly married couple, and Hepburn's worries over her husband's mysterious past and mysterious brother.

"Morning Glory" - "My name is Eva Lovelace, my stage name, you've probably never heard of me because I'm just starting." - Hepburn won her first Oscar for Best Actress as a stagestruck girl destined to get into the theatre. There's supposedly a cut scene between her and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. where they perform the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and I wish they would include it on the extra features, but I don't think they will for some reason. Adolphe Menjou co-stars as well.

"Dragon Seed" - this is probably the only one of the bunch that I wish they'd left out. At the time it was critically acclaimed (it was 1944), yet by today's standards having American actors portraying Chinese peasants is ludicrous. The movie isn't horrible; however, I don't see why they couldn't have actually used Chinese actors, but blame the Studio System of the 1940's and racial intolerance for that. Hepburn however does portray and independent, freedom fighter peasant woman, and that is the only admirable thing I can think about this movie based on Pearl Buck's novel.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By D. James on February 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Not a moment too soon, the Katharine Hepburn Signature Collection finally arrives on DVD. A brief description of the titles:

Morning Glory (1933)

Eva Lovelace, would-be actress trying to crash the New York stage, is a wildly optimistic chatterbox full of theatrical mannerisms. Her looks, more than her talent, attract the interest of a paternal actor, a philandering producer, and an earnest playwright. Is she destined for stardom or the "casting couch"? Will she fade after the brief blooming of a "morning glory"?

Undercurrent (1946)

Young bride Ann Hamilton soon begins to suspect that her charming husband is really a psychotic who plans to murder her.

Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, "disguises" herself as a boy, "Sylvester." They are joined by amiable con man Jimmy Monkley, then, after a brief career in crime, meet Maudie Tilt, a giddy, sexy Cockney housemaid who joins them in the new venture of entertaining at resort towns from a caravan. Through all this, amazingly no one recognizes that Sylvia is not a boy...until she meets handsome artist Michael Fane, and drama intrudes on the comedy.

Without Love (1945)

In World War II Washington DC, scientist Pat Jamieson's assistant, Jamie Rowan, enters a loveless marriage with him. Struggles bring them closer together. Written by Ed Stephan {}

In WWII Pat Jamieson is a scientist working, without backing, on a high-altitude oxygen mask for fighter pilots. But he has nowhere to conduct his research until he meets Jamie Rowan, a woman with a large empty country house.
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Visit Warner and search Katharine Hepburn
The other 2 films were unexpected: The Corn is Green and Dragon Seed. I would've went with A Song of Love and Quality Street.
Feb 26, 2007 by C. Clark |  See all 4 posts
Why isnt there a single DVD for Dragon Seed ? I could only find a Video... Be the first to reply
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