The Jack Lemmon Film Collection: (Phffft! / Operation Mad Ball / The Notorious Landlady / Under the Yum Yum Tree / Good Neighbor Sam)
DVD | Box Set
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Eminently versatile, two-time Oscar® winner Jack Lemmon (Save the Tiger [Best Actor], 1973; Mr. Roberts [Best Supporting Actor], 1955) was an actor's actor - the sort who made it look easy as he lit up the screen in everything from powerful dramas to irresistible comedies. Now for the first time on DVD are five of his best-loved Columbia comedy classics, along with a must-see bonus disc hosted by Jack's son and biographer, Chris Lemmon. This disc features intimate interviews with friends and colleagues plus never-before-seen personal photos. Included in this exclusive collection are Phffft!, featuring Kim Novak with a script by George Axelrod (Breakfast at Tiffany's); Operation Mad Ball and The Notorious Landlady featuring Fred Astaire, both co-written by Blake Edwards (The Pink Panther); and, from writer/ director David Swift (Pollyanna), Under the Yum Yum Tree and Good Neighbor Sam. It's pure comic gold - with a twist of Lemmon!
Stills from The Jack Lemmon Film Collection (click for larger image)
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I gave this package the full five stars because it is an excellent cross section of 5 of the films that get the least attention from most film critics when chatting about Jack Lemmon's legendary career. It's a nice fold out package, the photos are excellent, and the bonus disc from Jack's son Chris (including never before seen photos, with interviews) is a nice treat for the true Jack Lemmon fan.
By the way, none of my discs were mislabeled!
Every movie does not match the DVD's label - Disc 2 is really "Good Neighbor Sam" though it's labeled "Operation Mad Ball." Disc 5 is labeled "Good Neighbor Sam," but it's really "Operation Mad Ball". And the confusion just continues through the other discs. Time to get out the DVD Felt Pen Marker.
What makes this mishap particularly irritating is that the Root Menu/Title Screen for each DVD does NOT tell you the name of the movie. Just "Play movie" or "Languages" or "Select Scenes." It's bad enough that every disc is mislabeled, but to not even tell you on the Main Title root menu what the name of the movie is? You have to actually start each movie to see which one it is.
I bought this set for one movie only, "Good Neighbor Sam," and I must say the transfer was poor. Couldn't Sony have at least cleaned the print before transferring it to DVD?
Jack Lemmon (and his fans) deserve better.