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TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace / A Night at the Opera / The Long Long Trailer / Father of the Bride 1950)

4.6 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace / A Night at the Opera / The Long Long Trailer / Father of the Bride 1950)
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Editorial Reviews

TCM Greatest Classic Films: Comedy (4FE) (DVD)

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Cary Grant and a stellar cast romp through this classic farce based on the Broadway hit and breezily directed by Frank Capra. A frazzled drama critic's two maiden aunts put a secret ingredient in their elderberry wine – and the resulting circus is howlingly hilarious, with a comically rubber-faced, rubber-legged Grant in the center ring. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA Grand opera equals grand comedy as the Marx Brothers cram a ship's stateroom and more with wall-to-wall gags, one-liners, musical riffs and two hard-boiled eggs – all while skewering pompous schemes to sabotage an opera production. "Arguably their finest film" (4 Star Rating! - Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide). THE LONG, LONG TRAILER Anyone know how to park this thing? Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play newlyweds who hit the honeymoon road with a 40-foot house trailer in tow in this slaphappily-ever-after comedy directed by Vincente Minnelli. FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950) Spencer Tracy is the father and Elizabeth Taylor the bride in this comic celebration of an American rite (and wrongs) of passage. Here comes the bride, there goes dad's wallet…and everyone's heart. What sparkling fun!

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Special Features

Disc 1, side A: Arsenic and Old Lace
B&W, 1.33, English 1.0, English and French subtitles
Disc 1, side B: A Night at the Opera
Commentary by Leonard Maltin
Featurette: Remarks on Marx
1961 Groucho Marx interview from The Hy Gardiner Show
Two vintage shorts: Sunday Night at the Trocadero, Robert Benchley's Oscar-winning How to Sleep
Theatrical trailer
B&W, 1.33, English 1.0, English, French, and Spanish subtitles
Disc 2, side A: The Long Long Trailer
Vintage Pete Smith Specialty short Ain't It Aggravatin'?
Classic cartoon Dixieland Droopy
Theatrical trailer
Color, 1.33, English 1.0, French 1.0, English, French, and Spanish subtitles
Disc 2, side B: Father of the Bride (1950)
Two vintage newsreels
Theatrical trailer
B&W, 1.33, English 1.0, French 1.0, English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portugese, and Thai subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Spencer Tracy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, Black & White, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Turner Classic Movie
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 406 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GSXKPQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,388 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace / A Night at the Opera / The Long Long Trailer / Father of the Bride 1950)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movies were great!! I have more comments about how they were packaged because it was different that I had expected.
I bought these for my elderly mother who lives with me, so my review is based on using these for a senior person.
The titles were in extremely tiny print stamped around the center hole. Very hard to read.
The subtitles were created in white w/o a black box around them -- this made it hard to read them -- especially if the film was black and white!! Most subtitles come with a black box in which the subtitle is reversed out to white -- same as the TV -- which makes it much easier to read. Caring for a senior makes me much more aware of all the small things that affect their independence. Ease of use, larger type on the packaging and a visually enhanced subtitle would improve the use of these for that population immensely. Thanks!!
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Format: DVD
This collection contains four very different comedies from four very different types of comics. It is part of over a dozen sets produced by Warner Home Video to bring classic film to the masses by making inexpensive sets of the better films in their libraries that have no extra features.

The oldest in the bunch, "A Night at the Opera" (1935), revived the career of the Marx Brothers after they were released from their contract at Paramount. Irving Thalberg thought that the brothers' comedy still had merit and that part of their problem was that "they never helped anybody". The test of time has shown that, although not profitable at the time, the Paramount Marx comedies were the best film work that the brothers did. However, that doesn't mean that this film isn't great. It is also available in a more deluxe form in the collection The Marx Brothers Collection (A Night at The Opera/A Day at The Races/A Night in Casablanca/Room Service/At the Circus/Go West/The Big Store).

"Arsenic and Old Lace" (1944) stars Cary Grant in a classic dark comedy. Grant plays a newlywed who finds out that his aunts have made a habit of poisoning their elderly male boarders and burying them in the cellar. This has only been available in the past as a single DVD, and it is an older one at that - released in 2000 I believe.

"Father of the Bride" (1950) has Spencer Tracy as a man who begins to feel his age and his pocketbook when his daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) gets married. It shows Tracy has a knack for comedy even if Katharine Hepburn is not involved.
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I ordered this dvd for the Arsenic and Old Lace and A Night At The Opera movies, which are unbelieveable to watch on a lcd large screen...happily surprised with the other two selections...well worth the price!
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I love Arsenic and Old Lace! My daughters (16 years old & 22 years old) watched it with me and thoroughly enjoyed it. My youngest thought Cary Grant was "hot". Father of the Bride is priceless and The Long Long Trailer is a hoot! I haven't watched "A Night at the Opera" yet. Great DVD! Good clean family fun. Arsenic and Old Lace is a rather dark and morbid for young children. You are dealing with murder (several of them). I would say no one younger than 12 years old just because of the dark humor.
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A Night at the Opera is a madcap spree with the Marx Brothers. A conglomeration of music, comedy and a little insanity. Arsenic and Old Lace is a brilliant comedy. Cary Grant plays an author of books against marriage who just got married to the girl next door to his aunts. His aunts have a bad habit of poisoning elderly men with arsenic in the elderberry wine. His brother has escaped from the prison for the criminally insane, and his uncle Teddy thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt. Add a host of policemen, doctors, a judge, a reverend, and family secret and it is riotously funny. Father of the Bride is about the stress of the wedding on the father of the bride. Spencer Tracy is great. The Long, Long, Trailer is a Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnez vehicle for their comedy.
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The TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection make some terrific classic movies available for a more than reasonable price and this comedy entry can be yours for a little less than that even! It's a nice package with a sleeve containing the usual individual titles on the front and brief synopses on the back and a flip style case where the first disc is in a holder that flips over to reveal the second (instead of both discs being seated on the inside of the covers). The movies alone are more than worth the price but some extras (trailers, a cartoon, a short) are included.

I'm not a Marx Bros. fan so "A Night At The Opera" is my least fav of the 4 pictures, but it is still worth looking at for the history of the MBs, to wonder how anyone could think they were funny, and Harpo playing, you know, a beautiful tune on the harp. "Arsenic And Old Lace" is a typical screwball comedy and showcase for Cary Grant and, since you've had to see a high school theater cover it on stage at some time, good chance to see if your drama club was merely trying to copy the 1944 Hollywood version. "Father Of The Bride" is a fantastic domestic comedy based on the simple premise of a bride's family preparing for a wedding - deservedly included as a classic in this collection. Spencer Tracy is one of the VERY few actors/resses in history able to really excell in any type of role and this is proof in the comedy department (though there is considerable pathos in this story). Then there is "The Long Long Trailer" as a showcase for the talents of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz; this film is underrated and kind of steps up from the wedding theme of FOTB to a honeymoon motif.
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