Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film)
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THE AMAZING DR. CLITTERHOUSE Takes one to know one! Doctor Edward G. Robinson infiltrates a gang to study the ways of hoodlum Humphrey Bogart. LITTLE GIANT He got class, see? His bootleg beer biz is tapped out, so Robinson aims to join Santa Barbara's polo set. LARCENY, INC. Bag the swag! Ex-jailbirds run a luggage shop while attempting to tunnel into the bank next door. Robinson, Broderick Crawford, Jane Wyman and Anthony Quinn star. INVISIBLE STRIPES Once a con always a criminal? Ex-yard mates Bogart and George Raft return to the life. With William Holden. KID GALAHAD "Best of the '30s boxing movies"* stars Bogart, Robinson, Bette Davis and Wayne Morris (*David Shipman, The Story of Cinema). Bonus Disc: All-New WHV Feature-Length Documentary! PUBLIC ENEMIES: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE GANGSTER FILM Times were tough. They were tougher. A fascinating new look at the mobsters, the movies and the studio that ruled the gangster genre.]]>
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse has its dark side; The Little Giant and Larceny, Inc. are broad comedies pure and simple. From the outset, Robinson chafed against his stereotyping in gangster roles, and The Little Giant (1933), as the title suggests, gave him the chance to turn "Little Caesar" on his head. With Franklin D. Roosevelt's election spelling doom for the bootlegging business, "Bugs" Ahern (Eddie G.) retires from mob life to get some culture and mingle with the swells on the polo fields of California. Roy Del Ruth directed, albeit with less pizzazz than usual. Larceny, Inc. (1942) finds newly paroled convicts Robinson and Broderick Crawford taking over a Manhattan luggage store that happens to sit next to a bank that, alas, economic setback may compel them to rob. The movie has its charms--inconveniently for their plans, the guys' business becomes a success and sparks a revival of their Gotham neighborhood--but it's distinctly inferior to the other gangster comedies in which Lloyd Bacon directed Robinson, A Slight Case of Murder (in Vol. 2) and Brother Orchid (Vol. 3). This was the final film Robinson made under his long Warner contract. (Incidentally, the audio commentary on it is bone-crushingly pedantic.) Lloyd Bacon also directed Invisible Stripes (1939), starring George Raft as a not-very-hardened criminal trying to go straight following a prison term. Trouble is, society keeps distrusting him, and when it appears his desperate younger brother (William Holden) might turn to crime, Raft agrees to abet his old prison-mate Humphrey Bogart on some holdups. At a double-feature-ready length of 80 minutes, Invisible Stripes feels like an A-movie struggling to break out of B constraints. There's some excellent stuff, as when garage mechanic Holden and the sweetheart (Jane Bryan) he can't afford to marry cross paths with wealthy revelers out on the town; and Raft and Bogart convincingly have a friendship above and beyond the obligations of genre plotting. But like the underdressed neighborhood street scenes (in contrast to the flavorful busyness customarily observed in Warner gangster pictures), mostly the movie leaves us wanting more. And that includes more of the gang's-all-here supporting cast: Paul Kelly, Marc Lawrence, Joseph Downing, Bert Hanlon, Frank Faylen, et al. Completing Vol. 4 is Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008), a feature-length documentary that serves up solid history and astutely chosen clips, from The Great Train Robbery (1903) through GoodFellas (1990). A small army of commentators holds forth on the gangster film as "the myth for the urban immigrant," and there's lots of anecdotal material about not only icons Cagney, Robinson, and Bogart ("the badder bad guy" brought in as the two previous stars turned legit) but also key directors and writers. Tasty. --Richard T. Jameson
Top Customer Reviews
- "The Little Giant" is a pre code 1933 vehicle, a typical smart comic melodrama with Robinson as a beer baron who mixes in society, a not dissimilar theme to the later and far superior "A Slight Case of Murder". In this case, Robinson is still a bit close to "Little Ceasar" to be funny and the main interest is the endless slang and pre-code innuendo.
- From 1937, "Kid Galahad" is an exciting prize fight melodrama. Robinson is paired with a very attractive Bette Davis as his moll and together, they tear up the screen with their magnetism. Bogart and Robinson have a great shoot out at the end of the film.
- "The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse", released in 1938 and based on a successful West End play, stars Robinson as a surgeon who infiltrates a gang to analyse the criminal mind. With Bogart in support as a particularly vicious crook and the attractive and brittle Claire Trevor as the leader of the gang, this film, as directed by Anatole Litvak, is more polished than the usual Warner's programmer. The story is ambiguous with a very clever climax; a most unusual and interesting film.
- by 1939, the gangster cycle had just about runs its course and the Hays Code was more interested in how the gangster reformed than how he operated. "Invisible Stripes" is more a social melodrama than a gangster film and stars the wooden George Raft as an ex-crim trying to re-establish himself while on parole.Read more ›
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) is fascinated by the study of the physical and mental states of lawbreakers, so he joins a gang of jewel thieves for a closer look in this dark comedy. Claire Trevor co-stars as a savvy crime queen, and Humphrey Bogart plays Rocks Valentine, whom Robinson calls "a magnificent specimen of pure viciousness." The movie also marks the start of one of film's most noteworthy collaborations. John Huston, who was to later direct Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen, co-wrote the screenplay of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse.
Commentary by Dr.Read more ›
"The Amazing Dr.Clitterhouse",released in July of /38(4-4 1/2 stars),stars Edward G.Robinson as Dr Clitterhouse.He is a well educated and spoken physician/surgeon in the city with a flourishing practice.But the good doctor,as the picture opens,has just committed his fourth robbery by heisting some jewels out of the upstairs safe of a friends home.The doctor has immersed himself into criminology,specificially the study of criminals,their behaviour and reactions of same.The fence he finds for his takings is one Joe Keller(Claire Trevor) and her head man Rocks Valentine(Bogart).He ingratiates himself into Joe's favour and he joins the gang for a period of six weeks to study them in depth for his research and an eventual book;he does blood work,takes blood pressure readings and their reactions to light,stress,etc.Rocks doesn't like Clitterhouse and tries at one point to kill him;unsuccessfully.The six weeks come and go and the doctor leaves but Rocks learns the doctors location,confiscates his research and wants to use his office as his front.Clitterhouse is backed into a corner and kills Rocks.He is found out and put on trial.With a top lawyer friend for his defense,and in spite of almost blowing his own case,the doctor gets off with an insanity plea.
The screenplay co-written by future director John Huston is an engrossing one and Robinson is on top of his game in this film.Bogie also turns in a powerful and menacing performance as Rocks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good old Edward G. Robinson movie with Bette Davis. How can you go wrong? If your a fan of classic movies than you will enjoy this movie. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Maria P. Mason
Bought this for the husband for Christmas. He loves gangster movies having 1 - 3. Watched one so far. Sure to be a hit!Published 18 months ago by Alan S. Doran
Excellent movie! Interesting to the end! Includes some of cinemas best actors and actresses!Published 19 months ago by deb
As an avid movie buff, especially when it comes to classic films like these, this is a definite welcome to my large and growing home library collection. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Wa2oosy
This is one of the those old classics that you can watch over and over again. The story of a boxing promoter who is involved with gangsters, is impressed with ayoung guy and trys... Read morePublished on June 30, 2014 by KIRT P.
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