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Old 18-08-2006, 08:21   #1
jackal
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Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Film Collection in Dec

As somebody at the HTF has spotted, Warner Bros' Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton Collection will be released on Dec 5:

From USA Today:

One of filmdom's most famous couples is being honored with a DVD gift set due Dec. 5.

The highlight of The Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton Film Collection ($50) is a lavish two-disc special edition of 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a taboo-toppling film about a bitter, boozed-up couple that won five Oscars. The disc, also available separately for $27, includes commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh and three new featurettes.

Also included in the set: The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians, none of which have been available on DVD.

"Compared to the tabloid duos of today, there was no more captivating couple than Liz and Dick, " says Warner Bros.' George Feltenstein. "They were the superstars of their day, with explosive chemistry."


Never seen Sandpiper or Comedians - are they any good?
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Last edited by jackal; 21-08-2006 at 13:58.
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Old 18-08-2006, 08:54   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackal
Never seen Sandpiper or Comedians - are they any good?
It's that long since I've since them, I couldn't give you any reasonable assessment, but I'm looking forward to the set if only for 'Virginia Woolf', sounds like a great 2-discer.
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Old 18-08-2006, 09:12   #3
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This announcement for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is great news!
I will probably just get that on it's own tbh, not really bothered about the other titles.
The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians are on TCM fairly often btw if anyone wants a preview!

The V.I.P.s is next on Wednesday, September 6, 1:00am

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up jackal as '...Virginia Woolf' is one of my most wanted titles!

Should I add this info to this thread or is that pointless cross-posting?

Last edited by Richie; 18-08-2006 at 09:15.
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Old 18-08-2006, 10:59   #4
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The Sandpiper is a load of rubbish but magnificent rubbish in the best Vincente Minnelli style.
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Old 18-08-2006, 16:08   #5
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The Sandpiper is hilariously bad--perhaps Minnelli's worst movie. But it's entertaining as only a really terrible movie can be.
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Old 18-08-2006, 16:13   #6
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What everyone agrees with, however, is that it looks fantastic thanks to the stunning locations - and seeing it in the correct ratio will be even better.
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Old 19-08-2006, 03:55   #7
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I saw The Sandpiper at the Empire Leicester Square and remember being bored out of my skull, being much too young to appreciate its kitsch value. Yes, the Monterey- Big Sur area location was lovely but today we might find it solely interesting for the script by Michael Wilson and Dalton Trumbo, two former blacklisted writers "fresh" from Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus and Exodus. The Comedians is very stodgy, VIPs worthless. The Taylor pic I would most like to see again is Losey's Secret Ceremony, a very weird movie indeed.
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Old 19-08-2006, 05:11   #8
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I saw The Sandpiper a good six months before its release at a sneak preview at the Warners Beverly Hills (where Lawrence of Arabia played). The film received constant unwanted laughs and the preview was quite the disaster (my strongest memory is that Julie Andrews and Tony Walton were there) - afterwards, they reshot almost thirty percent of the film.
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Old 19-08-2006, 10:38   #9
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Unlike Mr Armbruster, I'm quite fond of The VIPs - trashy fun, but fun nonetheless IMO, and worth seeing just for the cast if nothing else. Very glad to see it hit DVD.
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Old 19-08-2006, 12:13   #10
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I'm delighted with all these films actually and this, along with the Brando set, is on my must-get list for the Autumn.
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Old 19-08-2006, 22:31   #11
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At last! The VIPs!! Now let’s have "Hotel" on disc.
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Old 19-08-2006, 22:49   #12
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Hotel! That's what I'M talkin' about. I LOVE Hotel. Now I'll have to put on the soundtrack.
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Old 19-08-2006, 23:05   #13
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I hoped this set could include 'Hammersmith is out', seen it 20 years ago and I don't remember much about it.
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Old 19-08-2006, 23:35   #14
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I saw The V.I.P.s on TCM and thought Taylor & Burton were terribly wooden. Don't really see the chemistry George Feltenstein's talking about, or understand why they were a "legendary" couple. I enjoyed the movie in a superficial way, mostly 'cause of Maggie Smith and Margaret Rutherford. (Maggie should've won the Oscar over Margaret though). I might buy it, if it were sold separately, but I'm guessing it won't be.

Wish Warner would release more famous-screen-team boxsets... like Greer Garson/Walter Pidgeon, James Cagney/Joan Blondell, Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy... I'd like Clark Gable/Joan Crawford and Clark Gable/Jean Harlow as well, but WB's already said they won't do that. At least The Thin Man box sold so well that another William Powell/Myrna Loy collection has been promised. And they *couldn't* ignore a team as famous as Astaire & Rogers. But I am disappointed that the general "rule" is, "no screen team boxsets" ...unless it's a tabloid-fueled couple like Dick & Liz, I guess. Sigh.
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Old 21-08-2006, 13:48   #15
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Full details now at DVD Times:

After Bogie and Bacall but before Brad and Angelina or Tom and Katie … there was Liz and Dick, the ‘60s most famous on-and off-screen couple. Warner Home Video will honour these two legends with the Region 1 DVD debut of the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection on 5th December 2006. Featured will be the 5-time Oscar®-winning, taboo-toppling landmark film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in a new 2-Disc Special Edition, along with the DVD debuts of The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians.

The five-disc giftset, available just in time for holiday gift-giving, will sell for $49.92 SRP. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2-Disc Special Edition can also be purchased as a single title at $26.99 SRP.

Highlights of the collection’s special features include, for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2-Disc Special Edition new commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Sodenbergh, three featurettes about the movie and a 1966 interview with Mike Nichols.

In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed beauty who literally grew up on soundstages, and Richard Burton, a Welsh-born, classically-trained stage actor, met on the set of Cleopatra, fell in love and eventually married in 1964. They enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and famous – expensive furs, luxurious yachts, incredible cars, lavish houses and spectacular jewelry -- and became very public symbols of jet-set glamour. They remained married for 10 years, before divorcing in 1974. Miserable apart, they remarried in 1975, but the marriage again broke up four months later.

Taylor and Burton appeared together in nearly a dozen films and in 1983 also co-starred on Broadway in Noel Coward's Private Lives. Ms. Taylor was nominated five times for Best Actress Academy Awards -- for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly, Last Summer, Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She won for the latter two. Burton never received any Oscars although he was nominated seven times -- for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , My Cousin Rachel, The Robe, Becket, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Anne of the Thousand Days and Equus.

Richard Burton died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1984, and friends say Taylor calls Burton “one of the two great loves of my life.” (The other was Hollywood producer Mike Todd, who died tragically in a plane crash just after their first anniversary.) After starring in nearly 60 feature films, Elizabeth Taylor has been a tireless humanitarian in her recent years. In spite of struggling with serious health problems, she has raised more than $100 million in the crusade against AIDS.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The most famous real-life couple of the ‘60s star in the roles of the most famous stage couple of the ‘60s. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are ideal as malevolent marrieds Martha and George in first-time film director Mike Nichols’ searing film of Edward Albee’s groundbreaking Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor won her second Academy Award (and New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and British Film Academy Best Actress Awards). Burton, also Oscar-nominated, matches her as her emotionally spent spouse. And George Segal and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Sandy Dennis score as the naïve young married couple invited over for drinks only to find themselves dead center in the older couple’s destructive path. The movie won a total five Academy Awards and remains after 40 years as shocking and electrifying as ever.

DVD Special Features:
Commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh
Original commentary by cinematographer Haskell Wexler
3 New Featurettes:
Elizabeth Taylor: Intimate Portrait
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: A Daring Work of Raw Excellence
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Too Shocking for Its Time
1966 Mike Nichols interview excerpt
Sandy Dennis screen test
Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie trailer gallery
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean
Subtitles: English and Français (feature film only)

The Comedians (1967) New to DVD
A poor nation can mean riches…for the corrupt. In an absorbing screenplay based on his novel, master of intrigue Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) sets passions both romantic and political against the backdrop of Haiti during the brutal rule of Papa Doc Duvalier. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor lead a who’s-who cast of stars who portray diplomats, imposters, adulterers, hangers-on, the indolent and even a pair of pacifist vegetarians – all caught up in the reign of terror. From the discovery of a dead body in the bottom of a pool to a harrowing showdown with Papa Doc’s ruthless secret police, The Comedians tells a story as disturbing and redeeming as mankind’s conflicted heart.

DVD Special Features:
Vintage featurette The Comedians in Africa
Languages: English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English and Français (feature film only)

The Sandpiper (1965) New to DVD
Laura Reynolds (Elizabeth Taylor) is a free spirit, living in rustic Bohemian splendor in an oceanfront Big Sur home. Minister Edward Hewitt (Richard Burton), a school headmaster, lives a life as constrained as his clerical collar. Now his world is changing. Blessed with a devoted wife (Eva Marie Saint), he must come to terms with his love for another woman.

Love was in the air. So was music in the form of 1965’s Oscar-winning Best Song The Shadow of Your Smile. And fans were at theatres, eager to witness on screen the charismatic chemistry that made Taylor and Burton the decade’s most scrutinized off-screen couple. Academy Award winner* Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, An American in Paris) directs this bittersweet tale that was one of its year’s top box-office hits.

DVD Special Features:
Two vintage featurettes:
The Big Sur
A Statue for the Sandpiper
Languages: English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English & Français (feature film only)

The V.I.P.s (1963) New to DVD
For elite passengers awaiting London-to-U.S. flights, takeoff can’t occur soon enough. But then fog rolls in, grounding air traffic. Over the next fateful night, the jet-setters must face problems and not flee them.

First-class stars book passage for romantic melodrama mixed with wry comic flourishes in The VIPs. Frances (Elizabeth Taylor) is running from her neglectful tycoon husband (Richard Burton) into the arms of suave Marc (Louis Jourdan). Filmmaker Max (Orson Welles) is dodging the taxman. Harried entrepreneur Les (Rod Taylor) is blind to the romantic devotion of his secretary (Maggie Smith). And a dotty duchess (Margaret Rutherford won an Oscar, Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for her delightful performance) is determined to save her ancestral manor. Now boarding: The V.I.P.s.

DVD Special Features:
Languages: English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English & Français (feature film only)

Last edited by John Hodson; 21-08-2006 at 13:51.
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Old 21-08-2006, 16:02   #16
Douglas R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisRose
I saw The V.I.P.s on TCM and thought Taylor & Burton were terribly wooden. Don't really see the chemistry George Feltenstein's talking about, or understand why they were a "legendary" couple. I enjoyed the movie in a superficial way, mostly 'cause of Maggie Smith and Margaret Rutherford. (Maggie should've won the Oscar over Margaret though). I might buy it, if it were sold separately, but I'm guessing it won't be.
I guess Chris, that you were not around in the '60s! As George Feltenstein says, Taylor & Burton were HUGE stars, especially after Cleopatra and they were constantly in the news. I agree that The VIPs was not their finest acting hour but it was very successful in box office terms because everyone wanted to see them on the screen together. I find it an entertaining film although, even when first released it seemed old-fashioned. Their chemistry was better seen though, in Taming of the Shrew.
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Old 21-08-2006, 17:50   #17
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What about The Comedians, is it any good?
I've only read the novel by Graham Greene, but never seen the movie.
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Old 21-08-2006, 21:37   #18
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It's not anything like as good as the book, but since the book is probably Greene's masterpiece (in my very subjective opinion) that's not surprising. Alec Guinness is ideally cast however and it does capture some of the atmosphere of the original.
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Old 22-08-2006, 08:51   #19
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OK, this is starting to bug me now: WB's new strategy of issuing boxsets with most of the titles not available seperately. I wanted Storm Warning from the Reagan set, and I'd love The VIPs from this set. Can I buy either? No, I'd have to fork out around £45 for the two boxsets. Yes, the sets are bargains; I wish I had the money to pick them up, along with most all the other Warner sets. I have to pick and choose what I buy, though, and I find it very frustrating to miss out on DVDs like these, that I really want, especially when another DVD in the set is released separately and, in the past, all boxset titles were available separately.

And hey, no quips about what kind of fool only wants The frickin' VIPs?

/moan over, anyway.
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Old 22-08-2006, 11:23   #20
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The Comedians - I agree with Mike about Greene's novel. I have seen the movie twice - initially blown up to 70mm and shown on the ginormous Cinerama screen at the Coliseum (St Martin's Lane, not Rome). That says a lot about what's wrong with the movie. It's overlong, overblown, pumped up like a 60s blockbuster to justify the expense of the Burtons, while it should have been a fairly modest number and had all the potential for a masterpiece, a study of tyranny, faith and superstition in Haiti under the notorious Papa Doc. A wasted opportunity and stagily directed by Peter Glenville, a pal of Burton who also made Becket. Worth seeing, though, for all its faults and notable for being shot on location in Dahomey, now Benin, in West Africa.
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