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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performances from a variety of actresses, August 7, 2007
This review is from: Leading Ladies Collection, Vol. 2 (A Big Hand For The Little Lady / I'll Cry Tomorrow / Rich And Famous / Shoot The Moon / Up The Down Staircase) (DVD)
The first volume in this series included films that were already part of other Warner boxed sets. Volume two includes more modern films than volume one that were previously not on DVD. The purpose of the set is to focus on great performances by a variety of actresses. The following is a description of the films and their extra features.

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955) - The oldest film in the bunch certainly does not have a 1950's feel to it. Susan Hayward gives one of her best performances as Lilian Roth. Roth has to deal with an overbearing ambitious stagemother, the sudden death of her childhood sweetheart before the two can marry, failed marriages to two different men - one who can't care for her and another who only cares for himself, and the alcohol that she attempts to drown her problems in. Hayward was nominated for an Oscar for her performance but did not win. Special features include:
MGM Parade TV-series excerpts with Susan Hayward & George Murphy
Vintage MGM newsreels covering the film's premiere
March 6,1956 MGM Top Awards
Two classic Vitaphone musical shorts starring Lillian Roth
Original theatrical trailer
Subtitles: English

Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966) - JoAnne Woodward plays the wife of a farmer (Henry Fonda) who can't resist a poker game, loses the family savings, and then has a heart attack. She takes her husband's place in the game even though she has never played poker before. However, the story you think you are seeing is not the real story at all. A comic western is a strange venue for such a cynical ending, but it all works very well. Subtitles are in English and French. There are no special features.

Up the Down Staircase (1967) - Seems like I've been waiting forever for this one to come out on DVD. Sandy Dennis plays Sylvia Barrett, a teacher in a public high school in inner-city New York that wants to make a difference. However, she is not only fighting the students' personal backgrounds, she has to fight the school itself which is much more interested in rules that can't be enforced than in educating kids. Jean Stapleton is great as the school secretary that, oddly enough, practically runs the place since she is the one in the trenches dealing with all of the chaos. Special features include the original theatrical trailer and subtitles in Spanish and English.

Rich and Famous (1981) - Director George Cukor's last film. This is about the friendship of two women over the years from their time in college until they are well into their 30's and their careers are established. Their careers have developed along parallel lines that are the roots for some deep-seated resentment on both sides that coexist with the friendship. Liz (Jacqueline Bisset) is a famous serious novelist, but Mary (Candice Bergen) is a writer too - of romance novels that sell exceedingly well. Thus the title. Probably the weakest film in the bunch, but still above average. Special features include:
Vintage featurette: "On Location with Rich and Famous"
Original theatrical trailer
Subtitles: English & Spanish (feature film only)

Shoot the Moon (1982) - This movie is out of print and seldom seen on TV anymore. It deals with the break-up of a fifteen year marriage and all of the emotional fallout that comes with it. The husband (Albert Finney) is a successful writer, but the couple grows apart, the husband cheats, and everything finally unravels. The film also deals with the effect of divorce on children. Diane Keaton gives the great performance you would expect of her as the wife facing a future of uncertainty. Special features include:
Commentary by director Alan Parker and screenwriter Bo Goldman
Original theatrical trailer
Subtitles: English & Spanish (feature film only)

All of the information on the extra features comes from a press release from Warner Home Video.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Famous Ladies, January 6, 2008
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This review is from: Leading Ladies Collection, Vol. 2 (A Big Hand For The Little Lady / I'll Cry Tomorrow / Rich And Famous / Shoot The Moon / Up The Down Staircase) (DVD)
Each disc was a reminder of how movies should be made. Great stuff. Thank you.
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