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Literary Classics Collection (Madame Bovary (1949), Captain Horatio Hornblower, The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions), Billy Budd) (2007)

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4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Literary Classics Collection (Madame Bovary (1949), Captain Horatio Hornblower, The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions), Billy Budd) + Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 1 (Ziegfeld Follies / Till the Clouds Roll By / Three Little Words / Summer Stock / It's Always Fair Weather) + The Classic Musicals Collection: Broadway to Hollywood (Easter Parade Two Disc Special Edition / The Band Wagon Two Disc Special Edition / Bells Are Ringing / Finian's Rainbow / Brigadoon)
Price for all three: $82.64

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJU18M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,421 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Literary Classics Collection (Madame Bovary (1949), Captain Horatio Hornblower, The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions), Billy Budd)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Billy Budd (1962)
  • Commentary by Terence Stamp and filmmaker Steven Soderbergh
  • 16X9 anamorphic with 2.40 aspect ratio, B&W
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Captain Horatio Hornblower (1950)
  • Vintage Oscar-nominated short My Country 'Tis of Thee
  • Classic cartoon Captain Hareblower
  • Audio-only bonus: Lux Radio Theater adaptation with Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • 1.33, color, Portugese subtitles
  • The Prisoner of Zenda (1937/1952)
  • Pete Smith specialty short Penny Wisdom
  • Cartoon The Wayward Pups
  • Audio-only bonus: Lux Radio Theater Adaptation with Ronald Colman
  • 1937 Theatrical Trailer
  • 1.33, B&W (1937), color (1952)
  • Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short "Land of the Taj Mahal"
  • Oscar-winning cartoon Johann Mouse
  • 1952 theatrical trailer
  • The Three Musketeers (1948)
  • Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short Looking at London
  • Classic MGM Tex Avery cartoon What Price Fleadom
  • Audio-only bonus: MGM Radio Promo with Dick Simmons interviewing Lana Turner
  • Madame Bovary (1949)
  • Pete Smith specialty short Those Good Old Days
  • Classic cartoon "Out-Foxed"
  • 1.33, B&W, Portugese subtitles

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Literary Classics Collection (DVD)

The great movie tradition of adapting high-toned novels into star-studded vehicles gets an airing in Warner DVD's Literary Classics Collection, a group of six such pictures. It's a grab bag, but some of this stuff is unmissable. The best film in the box might be the 1937 version of The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope's buckle-swashing tale of a commoner (Ronald Colman) impersonating a lookalike king. This David Selznick production is one of those sparkling examples of the Hollywood heyday of the thirties, in which every cylinder is firing at full speed: buoyant script, luscious black-and-white photography (by the great James Wong Howe), exuberant swordplay, wonderful villainy (take a bow, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Raymond Massey), and a lovely damsel (Madeleine Carroll). John Cromwell directed, although others chimed in. As an adventure picture, it's just about flawless. On the flip side of the disc, the 1952 remake sticks closely to the original--and the formula still works, although the zest isn't quite there. Stewart Granger steps into Colman's shoes, with Deborah Kerr and James Mason in support.

The 1948 version of The Three Musketeers is one of the lesser versions of that swashbuckler; Gene Kelly and Lana Turner leads the cast in a Technicolor-iffic but dramatically underwhelming effort. Raoul Walsh's Captain Horatio Hornblower (1950) delivers thoughtful seagoing strategies, as the British captain navigating gunships and political winds. The movie doesn't have the oomph of the usual Walsh action film, perhaps keyed instead to Gregory Peck's serious presence, but it has a gratifyingly intelligent forward motion. Plus, the Hornblower disc comes with "Captain Hareblower," a Warners cartoon with Bugs Bunny battling Yosemite Sam on the high seas.

The shipboard morality play of Melville's Billy Budd is included here, in the classic 1962 adaptation by director Peter Ustinov (who also plays Captain Vere). Terence Stamp, in his film debut, is the innocent sailor Billy, and Robert Ryan etches one of the all-time portrayals of cold-eyed cruelty as the brutal master-at-arms Claggart. A great conversation piece in the era of the repertory house, the film holds up--and a commentary track with Stamp and Steven Soderbergh provides good stuff on the actor's career start.

The 1949 M-G-M production of Madame Bovary might not please Flaubert purists, but it will impress auteurist fans of Vincente Minnelli. The tale of a wayward small-town wife is infused with Minnelli's swooning grasp of camera movement and décor, and a showpiece ballroom sequence out-duels any Max Ophuls film for swirling dance delirium. Jennifer Jones' alien presence might be a problem for modern viewers, yet her strangeness actually fits the character. This might just be the discovery of the set, which is otherwise filled out with a satisfying batch of vintage cartoons and short subjects. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIX LITERARY FILM CLASSICS COME TO DVD! December 15, 2006
"The Three Musketeers" (1948) has got to be the best screen adaptation of the beloved Dumas literary classic. I had all but given up hope to have this on dvd! Gene Kelly is brilliant in the lead roll as D'Artagnan, and petite June Allyson (Little Women (1949) his love interest, Constance. Their comic performance in this classic is one not to be missed! The beautiful Lana Turner and the devious Vincent Price give a touch of elegant charm as the villains. Filmed in gorgeous Technicolor, this MGM jewel is one for the collection!

Also included is the Gregory Peck seafaring tale, "Captain Horatio Hornblower," in which Peck gives a fine performance. In 1807, unflappable Capt. Hornblower (Peck) of the British Navy is sent on a secret mission to divert Napoleon's Spanish allies by sponsoring a megalomaniac's Central American revolution. After a hard voyage, unexpected complications force Hornblower to revise his plans...and play reluctant host to the beautiful sister (Virginia Mayo) of the Duke of Wellington. Sea-battles, remarkable adventures, and a star-crossed romantic interlude follow.

A stellar cast give fine performances in another literary classic brought to film in the 1949 "Madame Bovary." French author Gustave Flaubert (James Mason) is on trial for writing the "indecent" novel "Madame Bovary." To prove that he wrote a moral tale, Flaubert narrates the story of beautiful Emma Bovary, (beautiful Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun (1946) an adulteress who destroyed the lives of everyone she came in contact with. The film also stars French actor, Louis Jourdan (GiGi (1958) and Van Heflin (Possessed (1947)

Two versions of the literary classic, "The Prisoner of Zenda" are also included. David O. Selznicks's 1937 version is a classic swashbuckler. Maj.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds are forever!! March 9, 2007
I ordered this package because of Captain Hornblower and The Three Musketeers, two films that have really marked my childhood memories. I haven't had the chance to see the rest of the films so this package was an excellent chance to do so and also get the two other films that I only possess in worn-out VHS copies.

I have already watched Captain Hornblower and it was as if it was brand new. The quality and sound are of high quality, the colours are better and I also loved the fact that I had the english subtitles available (I always wanted to figure out the "Fire as your guns bare" phrase).

The price is not a bargain only if you compare it with other available box-sets but I would pay even more for this one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Eric
Like so many other Warner Brothers releases, this set will spoil you. A 5 disc set of 6 great films (2 versions of ZENDA on one disc), beautifully remastered, exquisitely packaged, and selling here on Amazon for a bargain price.

This is one to tell your friends about, because there's something for everyone here. I echo all the positive comments left by others, and underscore emphatically how amazing it is to finally have a proper widescreen BILLY BUDD. The other films in the collection haven't been as hard to see or own as BILLY, but BILLY suffered from being made by a small company (Allied Artists).

Warner rectifies that error now with this great new set, which is a no-brainer purchase for any true cinephile.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where have all the French subtitles/audio gone? March 4, 2007
Since these are Region 1 DVDs -- USA and Canada -- the official languages are English and French, so both audio and subtitles should be provided in both languages. Subtitles help people with hearing difficulties, and help all when actors don't speak clearly or aren't recorded well.

Spanish is a good third choice.

[BTW, it would be nice if subtitle authors were required to be proficient in the source and destination languages. Ideally, they would have access to the script. Also, they should not make common, elementary English errors: its vs. it's, maybe vs. may be, everyday vs. every day, a lot (not alot), till or until (not 'til or til), Internet (not internet), could've or could have (not could of), OK or okay or even O.K. (not Ok or ok), for a while (not for awhile), I used to (not I use to), omitting the second delimiter of parenthetical information, hyphenating two words (a-b) when they mean to put a dash between two parts of a sentence (a--b, a - b, or a -- b), vs. or v. (not vs), etc. or et cetera (not etc...), etc. Punctuation doesn't matter much in e-mail or in Web reviews, but these subtitle authors are being paid as professionals to create something that lasts.]
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!! November 30, 2006
Verified Purchase
This item popped up in my recommendations yesterday, and I was excited! Although this is still about 4 months away from being released, it is highly anticipated by me.

The main attractions in this collection (at least from my perspective) are "Captain Horatio Hornblower" and "The Three Musketeers." Neither of these has been available on DVD, and I have looked forward to their inevitible (eventual) release.

"The Three Musketeers" is a very fun movie. This literary classic has been made into several movies over the years, but this is my favorite. There is a humerous slant to this that only someone like Gene Kelly could add. This was actually one of those videos that I watched as a kid, and it made an impression on me. There are some good laughs and overall good entertainment!

"Captain Horatio Hornblower" is another one of those that makes you wonder what took so long to get on DVD! An all-time great that epitomizes the seafaring tale--and Gregory Peck doing a terrific job.

"The Prizoner of Zenda" is considered one of the all-time great family adventure movies by some prominent critics (at least the 1937 version). A terrific addition to this collection.

As for the remaining three, I cannot give individual reviews on them because I have not seen them. However, I would most likely buy this collection for the other three alone, so an additional three titles just makes the bargain better! This is a terrific buy with several "overdue" DVD releases. This is a no brainer for your classic movie collection!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars but enjoyed them just as much now
Old movies are sometimes more enjoyable than some of the new ones.I had seen them Years ago,but enjoyed them just as much now.
Published 2 months ago by David B Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
We have greatly enjoyed the movies included in this collection, and can assess their overall quality as excellent. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dr. Angel E. Pacheco
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing disc
Capt. Horatio hornblower disc was missing? The rest of the cases and DVDs were was too much trouble and expense to return.
Published 19 months ago by Michael F. Krogman
5.0 out of 5 stars The title is right -- excellent set of literary classics
Enjoyed the mix of movies included in the collection. I hadn't seen the version of 3 Musketeers since I was a boy -- great to see it again. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sooner Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
This is a wonderful treat for the old movie buff. The films, the transfer and quality, and the price can't be beat.
Published 22 months ago by Arthur S. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movies are simply wonderful and evergreen !
I am beloved with classic fillms, books, songs from my childhood. Not only American, English, French, but also Russian as
well as Polish,of course. Read more
Published on August 22, 2012 by BOGDAN MACIEJ PRUSZAK
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Budd
I'll try to keep it short, I've waited years to track down a copy of this movie. (Thank you, Amazon, if that is not inappropriate). Read more
Published on August 6, 2007 by P. Neal
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised at lack of quality
I purchased this set mainly for the wonderful 1937 version of "The Prisoner of Zenda." I watched that film first, and was surprised at the lack of quality there. Read more
Published on June 22, 2007 by Roger Howerton
5.0 out of 5 stars How I remember these films!
I waited with earnest anticipation for these films to be released. And finally my wish was granted what wondeful and delightful memorys came flooding back to me. Read more
Published on May 7, 2007 by Cruz David Acosta
5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of Zenda
This Definite Literary Classic Collection is great and a great addition to one's collection. My favorite was the 1937 version of The Prisoner of Zenda.
Published on May 6, 2007 by John F., Warris, III
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