Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2 (The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition / Across the Pacific / Action in the North Atlantic / All Through the Night / Passage to Marseille)
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Bogart's letter-perfect incarnation as Sam Spade, the anti-hero of John Huston's debut film as a director, grounds The Maltese Falcon in a smart, sardonic groove. Even if Spade is one of Bogart's finest turns, it's hard to single out the film's best performance: Mary Astor as the mystery dame who trips off the case, Peter Lorre as the fey Joel Cairo, or Sydney Greenstreet as the massively erudite Kasper Gutman (the latter making one of the great debuts in film history). Dashiell Hammett's best-selling story had been filmed twice before, and both versions are included in the extras here: the 1931 Maltese Falcon, which has a fair amount of cheek and some near-identical snatches of Hammett dialogue as the 1941 film--but without the magic--and the 1936 Satan Met a Lady, which puts the story squarely in the realm of screwball comedy, with Warren William and Bette Davis acting as though they'd wandered into a Thin Man movie. Other extras include a commentary with Bogart biography Eric Lax, three radio versions of the tale, and a short documentary about the Falcon.
Huston also directed Across the Pacific, a fun and somewhat tongue-in-cheek picture that brought Bogart, Astor, and Greenstreet back together. After being drummed out of the military, Bogie finds himself aboard a ship sailing toward the Panama Canal--and as the date of Dec. 7, 1941, looms on the horizon, we suspect intrigue. Also from 1942 is the wisecracking All Through the Night, which is set entirely in a Damon Runyon NYC but nevertheless unearths a nest of Nazis (Conrad Veidt among them) planning a homeland attack.
WWII figures in the other two features. Michael Curtiz's Passage to Marseille (1944) burdens itself with too many flashbacks, but otherwise presents a nicely atmospheric tale of Devil's Island escapees trying to get home to fight for France. Lorre and Greenstreet are back, with Michele Morgan snuggling Bogart in the Casablanca-inspired love story. Action in the North Atlantic (1943) is a more conventional picture, with Bogart and Raymond Massey fighting the war in the Merchant Marines; the topnotch action sequences and crusty supporting cast keep it going. Bogart's covert socking of a loose-lipped bar patron gives us the vintage Bogie. Bartender: "Did you hurt your hand?" Bogie: "Never do." --Robert Horton
Top Customer Reviews
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941) - One of the earliest examples of the style that became known as Film Noir, John Huston's crime classic has been described as the finest detective film ever made, and certainly deserves the title! The second teaming of the director and star ("High Sierra" had been released earlier that year), both films had a common history, as George Raft 'passed' on both properties (not wanting to work with an 'untested' director), and the films would launch Bogie into the superstardom that had eluded him in the 30s.
Dashiell Hammett's tale of amoral detective Sam Spade, the murder of his partner, and the offbeat collection of characters in pursuit of a fabulous, jewel-encrusted statue, had been filmed twice by WB in the thirties, but never truly captured the 'flavor' of the novel. Huston, with his eye for characterization, and use of light and shadow, not only got it 'right', but popularized a new genre, of beat-up, world-weary anti-heroes with their own 'codes of honor', duplicitous women, and endings where things seldom end 'happily ever after'. While Film Noir wouldn't become a film staple until after WWII, it seldom got better than this!
I could say MUCH more, but this 3-Disc collection says it FAR better...it is, simply, a MUST OWN!Read more ›
I picked up my copy today, and all I can say is WOWEE!
The original FALCON DVD looked very good. It was released when WB didn't seem to care about their older films, and the extras were paltry and the quality was good but not great.
The new FALCON carries the excellence that has been the hallmark of the WB Special Editions that have become the industry standard against which others are measured. Tons of great new extra features, and the two previous film versions of the Hammett novel, both of which are fodder compared to the Bogart version, which looks and sounds SO MUCH BETTER here.
Best of all, the signature collection has taken pity on our shelving, and is packaged in sturdy slim-cases.
I might have just been at an impressionable age, but some of those scenes have stuck in my mind for decades. For example, the atmosphere of the Panamanian movie theater that was showing a Japanese film in "Across The Pacific" (foreign movies in a foreign country - made the little kid that I was realize for the first time that the USA wasn't the only multi-ethnic country); the fact in "Action in the North Atlantic" that the ship convoy was going to help Murmansk (a novel concept at the time for this child of the Cold War - Russians as allies?), not to mention the fact that that was the first film I'd seen where Raymond Massey played a good guy - THAT was a novel concept; and in "All Through The Night", the New York gangsters being willing to fight a greater evil, and appreciating a damn fine cheesecake. Another great thing about these movies is all of the fine character actors that are in these films (Philip Ahn, Conrad Veidt, Jane Darwell, Sydney Greenstreet, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, among others)- they always add a uniqueness to their secondary characters that is absent, for the most part, in today's films.
I've wanted copies of these movies for years - who says dreams don't come true? ;->
This DVD boxed set is a love feast for Bogart fans. It also includes ACROSS THE PACIFIC (1942), ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT (1942), ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC (1943), and PASSAGE TO MARSEILLES (1944). All sparkle in brand-new prints and, since is from Warner Home Video and movies made during World War Two, all include a generous array of patriotic wartime dramatic and musical shorts, documentaries, new interview featurettes, cartoons, and theatrical trailers.
ACROSS THE PACIFIC reteams director John Huston with FALCON cast members Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet. It is an adventure potboiler that goes from eastern Canada to the Panama Canal, without going near the Pacific. Its climax has espionage activities at the canal, and no one is who they seem.
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT has an incredible cast, led by Conrad Veidt and Judith Anderson as Nazis. Bogart battles the Gestapo over his right to have the perfect cheese cake in this tongue-in-cheek wartime adventure that is great fun. A 99 year old Vincent Sherman, who directed, helps out on an audio commentary with Bogart scholar Eric Lax.
ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC is about the Merchant Marine in the north Atlantic when it was made (1943).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movies were great, the DVD discs were buggy, hanging up and freezing at times.Published 2 months ago by Dr Robert
What can an elderly person say regarding Humphrey Bogart--I grewup with his films and still enjoy them--NO bad language-no impossible stunts--just believable historic action.Peter.Published 13 months ago by peterblondy
Purchased this because I wanted the Bogey movie "Action in the North Atlantic" The other titles are good as well. Already owned the classic Maltese Falcon. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tommy Boy
Outstanding collection of movies, well worth the money.Published 18 months ago by Thomas H. Stockel
This is a great option, because the package is beautiful, and buying the movies (the same editions), one by one, makes for almost a hundred dollars. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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