The Billy Wilder DVD Collection (Stalag 17 Special Collector's Edition / Sunset Boulevard / Sabrina 1954)
Collector's Edition, Special Collector's Edition
DVD | Box Set
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Two worthy Academy Award® nominees from 1950's Sunset Boulevard actor William Holden and director Billy Wilder reteamed three years later for the gripping World War II drama, Stalag 17. The result was another Best Director nomination for Wilder (his fourth), and the elusive Best Actor Oscar® for Holden. Holden portrays the jaded, scheming Sergeant J.J. Sefton, a prisoner at the notorious German prison camp, who spends his days dreaming up rackets and trading with the Germans for special privileges. But when two prisoners are killed in an escape attempt, it becomes obvious that there is a spy among the prisoners. Is it Sefton? Famed producer/director Otto Preminger tackles a rare acting role as the camp's commandant; actor Robert Strauss won a Supporting Actor nomination for his role as "Animal." Here's Wilder's powerful, acclaimed film classic -- now packed with never-before-seen special features, including audio commentary and "behind-the-scenes" featurettes.
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Top customer reviews
After that it only increase my liking of his film work. I was happy to find this set.
Of the three I would have to say Sabrina and Stalog-17 are my favorite.
Sabrina: Is a great film with a powerful cast. One of the great beauties of the area is Audrey Hepburn and this film and Roman Holiday made her one of my favorties. She pulls off a great performance especially when working beside Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. It is a sweet story of the Cinderella like story of a young girl who is in love with the son of her fathers employer. Her charm simply carries the film.
Stalog-17: The film that served the foundation for Hogan's heros. This is a classic as William Holden plays self serving loner of a POW camp during WWII. The rest are trying to escape but every attempt is foild and people die. Somebody is betraying them. Is it Holden who never seems to go without favors or special gifts? The support cast really make the film fly. Even when it ends you still want more!
Sunset Boulevard: Is a great story that paints a bad image of Hollywood. We have Norma Desmond once queen of the cinema now forgotten by Hollywood. Holden is hired to write her a script to bring her out of "retirement" Holden thinks it's a job but it turns out to be much more. This film led to many uses of the famous line "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille" It's rather scary! Too bad many people.
A sad thing that many people don't know these films.
I will finish with giving a tribute to Mr. Wilder.
Years ago I was in a theater that shows old films. I went with my wife to watch Sabrina. Two women sat behind us and my wife heard one say:
"I saw the new movie they just did. This film is way more funny then it!"
These three movies represent Wilder in his heydey at Paramount Pictures, and also his three best with William Holden, who was just at home playing it straight or wisecracking. Sure, I'd like to see "The Apartment," and "Some Like It Hot" on this collection, but those were released by United Artists, so those would be released by MGM, not Paramount anyhow.
These three movies really hold their own, even -- or rather, especially -- today. "Sunset Boulevard" is one of the darkest of black comedies, and a really disturbing portrait of Hollywood has-been Norma Desmond and Holden as her kept man screenwriter, who's been hired to bring her out of mothballs. Chilling last line: "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille."
"Stalag 17" is a nice mix of serious war movie interspersed with slapstick humour. Though Holden is great, his supporting cast almost steal the show, especially Sig Ruman as Sergeant Schultz, the camp guard, Otto Preminger as Commandant von Scherbach and Harvey Lembeck and Robert Strauss as the camp cutups, Harry Shapiro and "The Animal."
"Sabrina" is a beautiful portrait of a young Audrey Hepburn, so vivacious and full of wondrous energy. Though she's a bit self-aware in her role, her charm still just carries you away. Holden is in a supporting role here, but Humphrey Bogart comes off as a bit stiff. Really, though, it's Audrey's movie from beginning to end, and the romantic-comedy script by Ernest Lehman and Samuel Taylor has wit and panache.
I own all three movies separately, but this set is worth laying down your Benjamins in one fell swoop.
take you inside the set and inside the mind of Billy Wilder. The well spoken narrative on all three films is not only intelligent but enlightening as well. You can really benefit by watching all three films "as they are", but then again
WITH the narrative because it is then that you learn how Wilder worked and got the best performances out of his splendid cast of actors. The astonishing performance of the 50ish Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. is truly
amazing in itself. Of the three THAT one's my personal favorite.
William Holden fans will be delighted to know that he is in all three movies!! Was there any sweeter girl than Audrey Hepburn (Sabrina)? She wins your heart as does the character in that movie played by Humphrey Bogart whose subtle turn is quite noteworthy.
Most recent customer reviews
Big Carnival(AKA Ace in the Hole). This movie deserves a dvd release. It is a great indictment of mass media.Read more
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