Customer Review

330 of 344 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Deal..., June 24, 2004
This review is from: Mystery Classics 50 Movie Pack Collection (DVD)
These "50 Movie Packs" are a "Deal". 50 movies on 12 double sided DVDs for a lot less than $1
each. Some of these same movies are being sold in retail stores for between $5 to $15 each.
As to the movie quality, "your mileage will vary". Some are good, most are watchable and there
are a few stinkers {"The Sign Of Four"}. These are NOT classics, like the "Maltese Falcon" is
a classic. They are classics, just because they are old (and marketing by TreeLine).
These are black & white "B Movies" from the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.
TreeLine Films does a good job of transferring them to DVD. They appear to have found films in
the best condition to do the transfers from. However it appears TreeLine did NOT do any
post-processing to the DVDs; to clean up past imperfections. The Historical Purists, will be
glad to know all the scratches in the films, lighting problems and audio aberrations have been
faithfully preserved, intact. There is only one option, "Scene Selection". The movies are
only broken into four separate scenes. It barely beats "Fast Forward". But, adding options
and doing post-processing clean up would have added to the overhead of production and resulted
in a lessening of "The Deal".
"A Picture" movie stars are sprinkled throughout all these movies. Remember, from the 30s to
early 50s, the Movie Studios ruled. For this period (before TV) outside of the movies, your
evening entertainment options were; going out to a nightclub/bar or staying home to listen to
the radio, read a book or watch the grass grow from your porch. The studios cranked out a lot
of pictures during this period. They liked to keep all their stars working and at times any
picture would do. This was movie making, assembly line style to fill the demand. In this
"50 Movie Pack" are some of the results of those times.
I bought this, because of the Basil Rathbone, Sherlock Holmes movies. Basil Rathbone was the best
Holmes, until Jeremy Brett came along to do Holmes. People will buy these DVDs; because they are
deals, because of their nostalgic value, and because they are movie buffs. {BTW, there is a
lot of real history buried in these films with regards to their context and perspective,
ex., Japan & Great Britain were buddy-buddy, prior to WWII.}
My caveats, I've only viewed 8 of the 50 movies so far. I suspect it will take me the rest of
the year to view them all. They are good filler for when there isn't something better to
watch or do. Not likely, I'll ever get around to the "Nancy Drew" movie. I'm also going to
buy some of the other "50 Movie Packs", but for varying reasons.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 20, 2010 6:44:18 AM PDT
For those who only look at the top Spotlighted Review, note that there are a fair number of gems among the admitted 2nd and 3rd rate filler here (and even that filler has its own cultic or historical value). I had about given up on the set after viewing a number of Bulldog Drummond and other serials, then months (or years:-) later decided to check out some more and have found some pleasant surprises. As to the Nancy Drew B flick that the reviewer doubts he will ever get around to ... OK, it's the simplistic plot you might expect about a high school girl intended for high school girls in this supposedly simpler time, but Bonita Granville perfectly captures the spunky "modern girl" of the times. I especially like the portrayal because my own mom was a spunky "girl reporter" just about the time this film was made :-).

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 7:28:19 PM PDT
Svelte says:
I agree with member avoraciousreader. I have seen one Nancy Drew movie and the late Bonita Granville simply radiated youth and "spunkiness" on the screen--loved it. Basil Rathbone is THEE Sherlock Holmes. I found Jeremy Brett to be a mincing fop, and quite boring. Sorry to burst the "bubble" around Mr. Brett. He will pass in Holmes's history as Arthur Wontner did in the early '30's. Who knows Wontner now?? But Rathbone will live forever especially in the films Sherlock Holmes Faces Death and The Scarlet Claw. I, for one am purchasing the 50 movie pack. Gems hide in these packs. I found Murder Once Removed in with a bunch of junk. Once Removed is a classic 1972 murder mystery starring John Forsythe, Richard Kiley and Barbara Bain (of original Mission Impossible). Can't beat it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2010 5:57:15 AM PDT
Thanks, Linda-Mary. I did make a bit of a mistake. I've done some reading on Nancy Drew and I think she was supposed to be more in her early 20's than high school; maybe being in simpler times made her seem younger.

I also agree that Jeremy Brett is an awful SH, and for me the iconic visual image will always be Basil Rathbone. BR may be too prettified (an accusation Doyle made against the widely reproduced illustrations for the Strand stories), but Brett carries it too far the other way. (I also disliked the PBS shows' production, where music and carriage wheels seemed to substitute for actual action.) Of course, Nigel Bruce's Watson is nothing like Doyle's, though he has become iconic in his own right.

I'll have to try to find "Murder Once Removed". Thanks for the hint.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 9:18:42 PM PST
Colonel Mike says:
Actually, Nancy Drew refers to herself as being 15 years old in one scene. I always marvelled at what a skilled, high-speed driver she was at 15! If you enjoyed "Reporter", there are 3 other ND movies in a boxed set I bought on Amazon a few years ago -- all equally watchable.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 10:49:23 PM PST
Hmm. I'll have to re-watch the Nancy Drew flick here (Nancy Drew, Reporter) to see where she said that, and to get a feel for the general ambiance that might indicate her age. Maybe the movies made her younger than the books? I can't really recall what I found from that "reading" a year and a half ago. ANd yes, I did notice (and amazingly, recall!) she seemed an awfully snappy driver for a high schooler or even a college age kid.

Thanks for the ref to The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection (Detective / Reporter / Troubleshooter / Hidden Staircase). At less than 8 bucks for the set, I may spring for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2013 4:42:02 AM PDT
Connie HP says:
I grew up reading the Nancy Drew Mystery books and she is a teenager in the books so you are correct. I know some movies take liberties, so regardless of what anyone says, her original character is suppose to be a teen.

Posted on May 9, 2014 8:17:24 AM PDT
Enjoyed your enthusiasm for these films. I own a couple sets of these types. What great actors, actresses, and just wonderful. Thank you I am 62 years old and love this era too. Thank you!
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