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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] (2012)

Boris Karloff , Bela Lugosi  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)

List Price: $149.98
Price: $80.59 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Blu-ray 8-Disc Version $80.59  
DVD 8-Disc Version $79.99  
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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] + Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection - Limited Edition [Blu-ray]
Price for both: $130.55

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Jr Lon Chaney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono), French (DTS-HD 2.0), Spanish (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 710 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008FL8OTK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Disc 1 - Dracula (1931):
  • The Road to Dracula
  • Lugosi: The Dark Prince
  • Dracula: The Restoration
  • Monster Tracks
  • Dracula Archives
  • Alternate Score by Philip Glass - Performed by the Kronos Quartet
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian David J. Skal
  • Feature Commentary with Steve Haberman, Screenwriter of Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  • Trailer Gallery
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 1 - Dracula (1931) - Spanish Version:
  • Introduction by Lupita Tovar Kohner


  • Disc 2 - Frankenstein:
  • The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster
  • Karloff: The Gentle Monster
  • Monster Tracks
  • Universal Horror
  • Frankenstein Archives
  • Boo!  A Short Film
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
  • Feature Commentary with Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 3 - The Mummy (1932):
  • Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed
  • He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce
  • Unraveling The Legacy of The Mummy
  • The Mummy Archives
  • Feature Commentary with Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Paul M. Jensen
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 4 - The Invisible Man:
  • Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed
  • Production Photographs
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 5 - The Bride of Frankenstein:
  • She's Alive!  Creating The Bride of Frankenstein
  • The Bride of Frankenstein Archive
  • Feature Commentary with Scott MacQueen
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 6 - The Wolf Man:
  • Monster by Moonlight
  • The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth
  • Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney, Jr.
  • He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce
  • The Wolf Man Archives
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 7 - Phantom of the Opera (1943):
  • The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked
  • Production Photographs
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Scott MacQueen
  • Trailer
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot
  • My Scenes


  • Disc 8 - Creature From the Black Lagoon:
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (3D Version)
  • Back to the Black Lagoon
  • Production Photographs
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver
  • Trailer Gallery
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lot

  • Editorial Reviews

    From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection showcases 8 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring over 12 hours of revealing bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate classic monster experience.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    499 of 517 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding Blu Ray Transfers! September 23, 2012
    Format:Blu-ray
    The 'Universal Classic Monsters Essential Collection' takes most of the top tier titles from Universal's classic horror library of the 30's, 40's and 50's and puts them all together in one box set. These films have not just been remastered in 1080p but have also been meticulously cleaned up with much work done to both video and audio. The end result is an eye opening revelation for all the fans of these films.

    To call these movies "classic" is really somewhat of an understatement for fans. These are basically the gold standard for horror films and Universal has finally given them their due. I was fortunate enough to borrow a review set for 2 days in anticipation of receiving my own set that was pre-ordered the same day it was announced. One week to go and I can watch them again! I made notes as I watched and spent a great two days and nights with this set.

    With that said, this review will focus on the video/audio quality of the set and not the films' content. Basically, what everyone is wanting to know is whether or not this upgrade is a major step up from the legacy series DVD sets. Other than containing the more popular top tier titles and only one of the sequels (Bride of Frankenstein) the answer is YES this is a HUGE upgrade. In fact, once you see these transfers on a properly calibrated display you will NEVER want to watch them any other way. I simply can not imagine them looking any better when first released (other than a few missing frames here and there these days) and the audio is most definitely the best it has EVER sounded. Major kudos and hats off to the team at Universal that did this fantastic job of restoration.

    The included booklet is very nice but doesn't contain anything the more than casual fan doesn't already know.
    Read more ›
    Was this review helpful to you?
    146 of 155 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Blu-ray
    No series in the history of the cinematic horror genre has endured as long as the Universal Monster classics of the 1930s and '40s - a time marked by the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler's Germany and America's eventual involvement in WWII. At the outset, the Universal films were hugely successful with audiences seeking an escape, but by the time the U.S. became embroiled in the conflict, the popularity of the studio's trademark monsters became less inviting to viewers, who turned their attention to war-time enemies as the cinematic nemesis of choice. Before that happened, however, Universal established a litany of Monster Classics that would inspire long-running franchises and become favorites of viewers for generations to come.

    Universal's eagerly anticipated UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION arrives on Blu-Ray this week and pays a new, glorious high-definition tribute to eight of the studio's genre benchmarks, all presented in fresh, and impressive, 1080p AVC encoded transfers marked by a surprising amount of detail.

    Looking at Tod Browning's 1931 DRACULA is virtually like gazing upon the Bela Lugosi classic for the first time. The movie is best remembered for its opening Transylvanian set-piece that introduces viewers to Lugosi's unforgettable count, and while the London sequences tend to be static and dull by comparison, the increased detail seen here in the Blu-Ray's HD presentation even makes the talky, latter sections of the picture more interesting. In fact, without any overt use of DNR, this ranks as one of the studio's most satisfying catalog transfers to date.
    Read more ›
    Was this review helpful to you?
    161 of 177 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Collection November 18, 2002
    Format:DVD
    This box set is truly worth every penny it costs: a collection of eight iconographical titles in the "Universal Horror" pantheon from the 1930s and 1940s. The titles are DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLFMAN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Each DVD comes in a plastic case sporting original poster art, and all eight are neatly packaged in a single box for easy organization. Each of the titles have been significantly restored, and although the bonus features vary a bit from disk to disk each disk has a short documentary and interesting critical audio track.

    The "Jewel In The Crown" of the set is DRACULA. While critical response to the film varies, the DVD includes both the Bella Lugosi and the so-called "Spanish" Dracula, as well as the option to play the Lugosi version with or without the recent Philip Glass soundtrack as well as memorable bonus material. The weak link the collection is THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; the Claude Rains remake isn't a patch on the original, and it is a pity that the silent Lon Chaney version was not offered instead. Still, the Rains version has its charms, and it far surpasses later film versions of the same title.
    While each of the DVDs included can be purchased separately, those wishing to have all these titles will find the box set more cost-effective. Sure to delight fans of Universal horror classics and fans of classic film in general; strongly recommended as an essential.

    GFT, Amazon Reviewer
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    gift
    Published 15 hours ago by ds
    5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely love it.
    All the classic Universal monsters that I grew up watching on Saturday afternoons. Absolutely love it.
    Published 1 day ago by Erik Pfingsten
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Thx!!!
    Published 1 day ago by Jodi B. Kubitschek
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    All my childhood favorites with beautifully restored sound and picture.
    Published 2 days ago by The Raven
    5.0 out of 5 stars ... life worth living again lol just kidding omg I love this set
    this made my life worth living again lol just kidding omg I love this set !!!!!!
    Published 2 days ago by William Judson Jr.
    5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the Universal monsters
    If you like the Universal monsters, this is for you. I only wish there were more movies for the money
    Published 4 days ago by Patrick W. Forys
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    these are truly masterful classics
    Published 7 days ago by Edward Timody
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Excellent. But poor choice for Phantom of the Opera.
    Published 9 days ago by arterry
    4.0 out of 5 stars But the discs worked great and still ha all the features he wanted
    I got this as a Christmas present to my boyfriend. It didn't come with the cover shown, which was disappointing since that was the one he preferred to have. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by Jennifer Felton
    5.0 out of 5 stars Universal's Greatest Monsters - Nine Films on Eight Discs
    If you are interested in old films, or classic films, or horror films, then this is the set for you. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by H. Snyder
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Aspect Ratio
    Creature From the Black Lagoon is presented in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It looks amazing. One of the great 3D films of the 1950s.
    Oct 31, 2012 by Chas Springer |  See all 31 posts
    $52 shipped from Amazon.UK
    That is what I did, I ordered the UK Limited Edition Coffin packaging. I can't wait!
    Aug 23, 2012 by paper tiger |  See all 22 posts
    Creature from the Black Lagoon Blu-ray 3D, is it going to be available...
    Creature Blu-ray 3D is available as a single disc from Amazon UK for 11 pounds. It's region-free and, I'm quite sure, defect-free (at least mine is).
    Nov 20, 2012 by Bill Shepard |  See all 11 posts
    Two different Universal Monster Movies...what is the difference
    I noticed that too! Is the cheaper one from the UK?
    Oct 24, 2013 by andy moore |  See all 5 posts
    Still WAY Cheaper at Amazon.Co.UK
    less than $31 USD on amazon.com/uk now
    Dec 23, 2013 by J. Hungerford |  See all 2 posts
    A real problem on a 7" screen Be the first to reply
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