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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 (279 customer reviews)

List Price: $149.98
Price: $83.84 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Blu-ray 8-Disc Version $83.84  
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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] + Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection - Limited Edition [Blu-ray] + Gravity (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)
Price for all three: $146.82

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Jr Lon Chaney
  • Format: 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 (279 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008FL8OTK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,063 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

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
454 of 471 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.
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131 of 140 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.
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149 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Collection November 18, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful restoration, very disappointed with 3d
Just purchased this and love the restored versions of the classic movies. One of the best aspects is the soundtracks being cleaned up. Read more
Published 4 days ago by SkyKing
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars!!!
Hands down one of my favorite purchases on Amazon! This bluray boxed set is freaking awesome. The movies are crisp and clean. The boxed set is beautifully done. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Nelson J. Horta
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old horror movie collection
These movies scared the pants off me when Iwas a kid. I still love watching them. Some are good for a laugh too. Read more
Published 8 days ago by J. H. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars old but still scary
all the movies were masterly restored.the extras were great especialy showing how they were remastered.please restore more of the classics w.u.
Published 12 days ago by william urquhart
5.0 out of 5 stars Monsterously awesome!
Check out my extensive review here:
[...]

Before CGI took over Hollywood, there was Jack Pierce. They may "re-make" these classics, but they can never equal them.
Published 13 days ago by J. Milton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection!
Unlike some unfortunate people, my discs were all pristine with no scratches (the only reason I contemplated buying the UK version was due to packaging reviews of the UK product as... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Jeffrey in Paradise
5.0 out of 5 stars I can not recommend this Blu-Ray collection highly enough!!
Picture on all the movies are quite simply stunning!!

For those who have not seen any of these movies you are in for a real treat! Read more
Published 15 days ago by David W. Nesbitt
3.0 out of 5 stars minus two stars
minus two stars because the Lon Chaney Sr. version of The Phantom of the Opera is not included. You get the Claude Rains version which is good but not good enough versus the 1925... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Juan Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars great box set
worth every penny!
8 Blu ray movies with extras on every disc and a nice booklet. Actually 9 movies {the Dracula disc contains the English and Spanish version }
Published 27 days ago by CoffeeDrinker
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Universal Monsters in one box.
Excellent collection of classic Universal Monsters. The only complaint I have about this collection is that it doesn't include all the sequels, but that would have been a much... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel
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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 11 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
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