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The Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Black Cat / The Raven / The Invisible Ray / Black Friday) (1932)

Bela Lugosi , Boris Karloff , Robert Florey , Lambert Hillyer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Black Cat / The Raven / The Invisible Ray / Black Friday) + The Boris Karloff Collection (Tower of London / The Black Castle / The Climax / The Strange Door / Night Key) + Universal Horror: Classic Movie Archive (The Black Cat / Man Made Monster / Horror Island / Night Monster / Captive Wild Woman)
Price for all three: $46.15

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Sidney Fox, Leon Waycoff, David Manners
  • Directors: Robert Florey, Lambert Hillyer, Edgar G. Ulmer, Louis Friedlander, Arthur Lubin
  • Writers: Tom Reed, John Colton, Dale Van Every, David Boehm, Peter Ruric
  • Producers: Jr. Carl Laemmle, Edmund Grainger, Burt Kelly
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 338 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X770E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,053 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Black Cat / The Raven / The Invisible Ray / Black Friday)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Bela Lugosi is known as the master of evil in the horror-film genre. His range as an actor in this realm knew no boundaries and his legend lives on in this 5-movie collector's edition, featuring Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray, and Black Friday.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
168 of 170 people found the following review helpful
By RES
Format:DVD
These represent the Universal films outside the "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" franchises that starred Bela Lugosi--or more accurately, Karloff and Lugosi in all but one. Once Karloff entered the Universal scene a few months after "Dracula" (1931) and created such a hit with the Frankenstein monster--eclipsing Lugosi's Dracula, the studio wasn't keen to feature Lugosi as their horror star any longer: very ungrateful of them. So it leaves a "Lugosi Collection" from Universal largely as pairings with Karloff. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1932) is exclusively a Lugosi vehicle. In "The Black Cat" (1934), the two are matched. Lugosi dominates in "The Raven" (1935), while "The Invisible Ray" (1936) is more a Karloff vehicle. "Black Friday' (1940), by far the weakest film, shouldn't be here at all, as Lugosi only has a small role.

Since others have already spoken at length about the films, and since most people buying this two-sided disc know what they're getting, I want to address the DVD mastering problems experienced. Many have noted that, regardless of player, films on the disc pixelate and freeze at random points. This is a problem with Universal's DVD-18 mastering process, which has flaws that have since caused Universal to return to their earlier, more reliable DVD-9 process.

In the meantime, both this disc and the 2-DVD "The Hammer Horror Series" have more than their share of bad discs. Contacting Universal itself will serve no purpose: even though they are aware of the problem, the pressings are out there and are not being remastered. You just have to be persistent and keep exchanging defective copies at retailers--even if you have to get a refund and start again with another dealer; the films are worth it. Eventually, you *will* get one without glitches.
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180 of 187 people found the following review helpful
By tpm1800
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the well-priced Universal Legacy Collections featuring their classic monster films of the 30s and 40s and have been waiting and hoping for them to release the balance of their classic horror titles. This DVD collection is the one I have been wishing for. Now I will finally have two of my favorite horror films of the 1930s, "The Black Cat" and "The Raven," on DVD.

As much as I am delighted by this set I find it an interesting and somewhat sad chronicle of Lugosi's early film career. The disc features an early 30s film following his success in "Dracula" where he is the main star ("Murders in the Rue Morgue" 1932), two films which team him in a role of equal stature with his rival, Boris Karloff ("The Black Cat" and "The Raven," 1934 and 35 respectively), a film which exploited the marquee value of his name but gave him a more minor role ("The Invisible Ray" 1937), and, finally, a film which saw him slip into a rather demeaning supporting role ("Black Friday" 1940) beside his old equal, Karloff.

Within eight years Lugosi had gone from full-fledged leading man to supporting actor. It must have compounded matters for Lugosi to have Karloff continue to receive leading roles while he was reduced to small supporting roles in Karloff's films. The duo would work again in 1945 in RKO's "The Body Snatchers" where Lugosi, again, played a minor role opposite Karloff's much meatier portrayal. Lugosi's career was on a steady downward slide by this point (with few exceptions like "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein") and would continue to decline through the next decade until his death in the mid-1950s.

The best part of this collection are the earliest films (pre-1937) which represent Universal's golden age of horror.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great films but not a hint of restoration! September 19, 2005
By JasKing
Format:DVD
First of all, I will say right now I am a fan of Universal's classic horror product including their B-movies of the 40s as well as a lifelong Lugosi fan. I am also very happy Universal chose to release this collection containing some of their best titles of the 30s ("The Black Cat" and "The Raven" being the best on this set) and some of Bela Lugosi's best work on film. Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings about this set. Let me go over the collection:

THE FILMS THEMSELVES:

Not a hint of restoration on any of the films. This to me is a huge disappointment. As far as I know Universal made no claims of restoration so they have not falsely advertised or anything. I guess I am just so spoiled by Warner's classic releases which always seem to be restored and remastered.

The prints don't look horrendous or anything but they could have looked spectacular. The prints they used to make this collection are probably what they show in syndication (like you'd be likely to see on TCM). There is a lot of graininess in all of the films. "The Raven" even has some blotchiness (like dirt on the print) in some early scenes. You can also see lots of scratches all over the place.

If MGM can take a film like "The Ghoul" that was once considered lost and make it look brand new then Universal could have invested some cash in restoring these classic horror films. They did a much better job with their Monster Legacy Collections. I am surprised they put no effort into this set. These are some of the most famous films they ever made!

P.S.: I strongly advise old-time horror fans to buy "The Ghoul". Great film, great restoration.

THE EXTRAS:

All I can say to describe the extras in this collection is threadbare. All you get are some battered old trailers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest!
This film collection shows why Bela Lugosi is the greatest actor of horror movies to ever live. The horror genre owes a lot to Lugosi.
Published 28 days ago by Andy Collier
5.0 out of 5 stars Lugosi
Nice collection. I actually like Lugosi in all his films. I am a bigger fan of Karloff, but there is enough for everyone
Published 1 month ago by jbkb
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a great collection of movies of this man and all togerther as one and easier to work and find etc.
Published 3 months ago by Marguerite Poll
5.0 out of 5 stars Invisible Ray
This is another move I had not seen in many years - never on TV. Great performances by Lugosi/Karloff. Some of their good 'over the top' acting.
Published 6 months ago by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela's Best
Of the Bela films available in dvd sets this set is the best and a good place to start. It doesn't include Dracula but it does include some of his best moments at Universal. Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. Payne
4.0 out of 5 stars Poe, you are avenged...
The Bela Lugosi (and Boris Karloff) collection. 5 movies starring Universal's Titans of Terror from the 1930s and early 1940s. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Paul Carruthers
4.0 out of 5 stars LONG LIVE LUGOSI!
THE BELA LUGOSI COLLECTION HAS SOME OF LUGOSI'S BEST MOVIES ON IT,ALSO KARLOFF IS IN FOUR OUT OF THE FIVE SO YOU GET TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE SO TO SPEAK. Read more
Published 9 months ago by stephen 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable!
I had read many reviews on this film set and some said that one or two of the films would freeze up at a certain point. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Alex Doster
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs More Lugosi!
I'm in my late 20's and find myself drawn more to the horror, sci-fi and psychological thriller genres of the 20's, 30's and 40's than those of today. Read more
Published 9 months ago by OathofDarkness
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the Lugosi films I've seen, these are five of them.
If this set was The Black Cat and four movies starring French people eating baguettes, it would still be worth owning. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Joshua W. Kurtz
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