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Showing 1-10 of 35 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 41 reviews
on February 17, 2010
Barbara Stanwyck fans rejoice! Universal Home Video's latest addition to its Backlot Series on DVD is "The Barbara Stanwyck Collection", featuring six of her most rarely shown features films, some never before available on home video in any format. Each has been newly remastered for this release, and together they span a wide range of genres, making this collection a wonderful testament to Stanwyck's amazing versatility as an actress.

"Internes Can't Take Money" (Paramount, 1937), earned its place in cinema history as the first film featuring the popular character of Dr. Kildare. Here he's played by frequent Stanwyck leading man Joel McCrea. This film was released a year before MGM launched its popular series starring Lew Ayres, and features Stanwyck as a mother whose young daughter has been kidnapped by a gang of crooks. In truth, the drama is rather tepid, but Stanwyck and McCrea play off each other well, and the supporting cast includes such stalwarts as Lloyd Nolan, Stanley Ridges, and Lee Bowman. At 77 minutes, it zips right along and is worth a look-see.

Stanwyck had high hopes for "The Great Man's Lady" (Paramount, 1942), directed by William A. Wellman, with whom she had collaborated a decade before ("Night Nurse", 1931 and "The Purchase Price", 1932) at Warner Brothers. Its failure to catch on with the critics or the public certainly had nothing to do with her performance. She plays "the wind beneath the wings" of Joel McCrea, a pioneer turned oil man and politician whose successes are directly attributable to her "behind the scenes" efforts on his behalf. Stanwyck's character ages from a teenager to a hundred year old woman in this fascinating Western saga which features an outstanding supporting performance by Brian Donlevy. The film crowds a lot of action into 90 minutes, and perhaps that's its main weakness; such an expansive story might have benefitted from the kind of pacing and detail that Cecil B. DeMille might have provided.

"The Bride Wore Boots" (Paramount , 1946) is one of Stanwyck's weaker comedies, certainly not in the same class as delights like "The Lady Eve", "Remember the Night", or "Ball of Fire". Sadly, although she continued to star in feature films for another 11 years, it proved to be Missy's last screen comedy. Here she plays an accomplished equestrian whose husband (Bob Cummings) hates horses. The script is, to be kind, witless and a competent cast including Diana Lynn, the acerbic Robert Benchley and young Natalie Wood are generally wasted. Still, "The Bride Wore Boots" has never before been available on home video, and is rarely shown on TV, so Stanwyck completists and die hard fans (like me) will be pleased to finally add this one to their collections.

Stanwyck gives a superb performance in the much-underrated "The Lady Gambles" (Universal, 1949). She plays an average woman whose obsession with betting destroys her relationship with her husband (Robert Preston) and leads her down the road toward destitution and finally, suicide. That she is able to make such a self-destructive character both sympathetic and repellant is a tribute to Stanwyck's amazing acting prowess. The supporting cast, which includes Stephen McNally, Edith Barrett, cult favorite John Hoyt, and (in a small walk-on role) Tony Curtis, is uniformly excellent ... but this movie belongs to Stanwyck. Also new to home video!

"All I Desire" (Universal, 1953) is a superior soap opera directed by one of the masters of the genre, Douglas Sirk. Set in the early 1900's, Stanwyck plays a frustrated and unfaithful wife who had abandoned her family in their small hometown a decade before to pursue a career in the theatre. Now she's been invited back to watch her middle child perform in a high school play. Her attempts to reconcile with her husband (Richard Carlson) and children are complicated by the continuing enticements of her former lover (Lyle Bettger) and her husband's budding interest in a local teacher (Maureen O'Sullivan). Beautifully acted, this modestly budgeted film is played very low-key and holds up under repeated viewings.

Sirk also directed "There's Always Tomorrow" (Universal, 1956) which re-teams Stanwyck with her frequent co-star, Fred MacMurray. MacMurray plays a neglected husband and father who rekindles an old romance with a charming and attentive former flame (Stanwyck). His older children interfere in their relationship, and the lovers are forced to decide what is right for everyone involved. The marvelous cast includes beautiful Joan Bennett as the wife, as well as talents like Jane Darwell and Pat Crowley in supporting roles. This film could easily have descended into turgid melodrama in less capable hands, but Sirk's sensitive direction and Stanwyck's beautifully modulated performance lift it out of the realm of the ordinary. Another welcome newcomer to home video!

The extras included in this set are rather sparse, including only trailers for some of the films, but that quibble is negated by the fact that these genuinely "rare" films have been long sought by many Stanwyck fans, who can now enjoy them after years of waiting. Thank you, Universal Home Video!
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on May 26, 2016
I love Barbara Stanwyck. The two Douglas Sirk movies are worth the price of this very affordable set. The Lady Gambles is also very good and memorable, really great performance. The weakest offering is the Bride Wears Boots. I love screw ball comedy(The Awful Truth, The Lady Eve) but this one was just off the mark. Cummings and Stanwyck have the chemistry of chewy spaghetti and pickles. Not a good combination. The Great Man's Lady and Internes Can't Take Money with Joel McCrea are fair and watchable.
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on November 21, 2016
This is a collection of some of Barbara Stanwyck lesser known films from the Paramount vaults (now controlled by Universal) and Universal Studios. Some people have stated that they didn't like "The Bride Wore Boots" but I thought it was okay - Barbara Stanwyck just usually isn't in that type of role. Yes, I prefer her as the tough working woman or the femme fatale, but because she was a versatile actress, she could play a variety of roles. For us Baby Boomers who only knew her as "that old lady on the Big Valley", it's wonderful to see her in lots of other roles from her Hollywood heyday.
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on April 11, 2010
I just had to put in my two cents about this collection. I instantly preordered it when I saw in here. I'm especially excited about "The Lady Gambles" and "There's Always Tomorrow". I have only been able to see these 2 films on old copied from cable vhs tapes I've had for over 10 years! There's Always Tomorrow has a wonderful sentimental quality because Stanwyck and McMurray are reliving the love they once had; it also has that wonderful Douglas Sirk direction! The Lady Gambles is great material for Stanwycks' passionate acting style. The set is worth the price just for the 2 Douglas Sirk films : There's Always Tomorrow and All I Desire. All I Desire also has that soft, sentimental quality you always get from Sirk. I will admit I've never seen the other 3 films, even though atleast 2 of them were once available on vhs. I'm looking forward to seeing 3 (brand new to me) Stanwyck films, along with the 3 I already love. Do yourself and the other Stanwyck fans out there a favor and buy this set! Hopefully this one will be successful and we can get a third Stanwyck collection released one day. Lord knows there are still plenty of her films as yet unreleased. For anyone taking note I'd love to have No Man of Her Own, The Other Love, The File on Thelma Jordan, Witness To Murder, and Blowing Wild on DVD to! Happy viewing everyone!!!
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on July 4, 2017
I didn't know how big a Stanwyck fan I was until I watched this and another collection. Barbara Stanwyck was always worth watching. Check out here anthology tv series from 1960-1961. Surprisingly good.
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on March 22, 2016
Enjoyed this set because Barbara Stanwyck turns in stellar performances even when the films are not great.
The movie I liked the least was Interns Don't take money. The plot became predictable the moment Kildare saved the life of a gangster- a gangster who is a laughable hypocrite playing a noble thug and whom the ethics minded Kildare turns to for help
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on June 6, 2017
product was exactly as promised. Would recommend to others...
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on October 18, 2016
Enjoyed all the movies, even the ones that didn't sound too promising. Excellent acting as always.
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on August 11, 2017
A must have for Stanwyck fans.
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on December 20, 2015
purchased as a gift for my mother-in-law. she LOVES this collection! says it has a lot of classics, as well as many that she does not have!
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