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Old 07-06-2005, 14:50   #1
John Hodson
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R1 & R2 Warners/TCM Garbo Signature Collections in September - FIRST LOOK

Time to get a thread up for one of the DVD releases of the year. Warners Garbo: The Signature Collection showcases a luminous talent of both the silent era and early talkies, her seductive accent - 'Garbo talks!' - providing both an oft quoted trademark and an epitaph - 'I vant to be alone'; The run down...

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of Garbo: The Signature Collection for 6th September 2005. Released in celebration of the luminous and mysterious star’s 100th birthday on September 18, the ten film, ten disc Collection includes seven Garbo classics – six of which are brand new to DVD including Mata Hari, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the four-time Academy Award®-nominated Ninotchka, Queen Christina, Anna Christie and Camille, as well as the previously released Academy Award Best Picture winner Grand Hotel. The Collection also includes the deluxe two-disc TCM Archives: Garbo Silents with three of the star’s greatest silent films – Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress and The Mysterious Lady. In addition, the brand new insightful bonus feature-length documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Kevin Brownlow and Turner Classic Movies, Garbo, featuring interviews with Garbo’s friends and colleagues, is available exclusively with the gift set.

Garbo: The Signature Collection will sell for $99.92 SRP and the two-disc TCM Archives: Garbo Silents will be available as a separate set for $39.92 SRP. Each Garbo: The Signature Collection title will also be available individually for $19.97 SRP.

About the Signature Collection

TCM Archives: Garbo Silents
This TCM Archives two-disc collection focuses on Garbo’s earliest years in Hollywood. In The Temptress (1926) Garbo establishes her magnetic screen persona as a vamp who destroys the lives of men who cannot resist her charms. In Flesh and the Devil (1927), she is an irresistible vixen who comes between lifelong friends John Gilbert and Lars Hanson, and in The Mysterious Lady (1928), she’s a Russian spy who seduces her victims. Each film greatly contributed in building the Garbo legend that still fascinates audiences almost 80 years later.

DVD Special Features include:
Settling the Score Goes Behind the Scenes of the TCM Young Film Composers Competition and the Scoring of Notable Silent Movies, Including These Garbo Classics
Commentary on Flesh and the Devil by Garbo Author Barry Paris
Commentary on The Temptress by Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy Author Mark A. Vieira
Commentary on Mysterious Lady by Film Historians Tony Maietta and Jeffrey Vance
The Divine Woman: Surviving 9-Minute Excerpt of This Lost 1928 Silent Film
Alternate Ending on The Temptress
Photo Montages on Garbo’s Silent Years at MGM
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Anna Christie (1930)
Garbo made her landmark transition to “Talkies” with this film, playing a former prostitute whose past threatens her chance for happiness. A different director and cast join Garbo in a German-language version (Side B, with English subtitles) filmed on the same sound stages immediately after the English version. Later, Garbo called it the better film, and this new DVD release gives fans the rare opportunity to compare the two versions.

DVD Special Features include:
German-Language Version
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

Mata Hari (1931)
Garbo is mesmerizing as a dancer turned German secret agent in wartime Paris seething with secrets and betrayal. The notable supporting cast includes Lionel Barrymore as a Russian general in love with her, Lewis Stone as an icy master spy and Ramon Novarro as a handsome aviator who wins the heart Mata Hari did not know she possessed.

DVD Special Features include:
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

Grand Hotel (1932)
Ruined aristocrat John Barrymore. Terminally ill clerk Lionel Barrymore. Ruthless tycoon Wallace Beery. Scheming stenographer Joan Crawford. And disillusioned ballerina Greta Garbo. Based on Vicki Baum's novel and produced by Irving Thalberg, this radiant film captured the 1932 Best Picture Academy Award.

DVD Special Features include:
New Documentary Checking Out: Grand Hotel
Premiere Newsreel
Vintage Musical Short Nothing Ever Happens
Just a Word of Warning Theatre Announcement
Trailers of the film and the 1945 Remake of Week-End at the Waldorf
Languages: English & French
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

Queen Christina (1933)
To escape the burdens of the monarchy, Sweden’s Queen Christina (Garbo) rides into the countryside disguised as a boy. She meets and secretly falls for a dashing Spanish envoy on his way to the royal court. When her lover’s true identity is revealed, Christina knows her people will not accept her marriage to a foreigner. Torn between her duty and her heart, she must make a fateful decision. Garbo is luminous in this lavish costume drama, starring with her one-time off-screen fiancé John Gilbert under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian.

DVD Special Features include:
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

Anna Karenina (1935)
Leo Tolstoy’s novel of a dutiful wife and doting mother who gives up her life of contentment to experience real passion, receives sumptuous treatment in a David O. Selznick production. Clarence Brown directs a stellar cast – including Fredric March, Basil Rathbone, Maureen O’Sullivan and Freddie Bartholomew. Greta Garbo is the soul of the film in a nuanced performance that won the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award. At the height of her art, Garbo is unforgettable as a woman helpless in love’s grasp and heartbroken at the loss of her son.

DVD Special Features include:
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Camille (1936)
Life in 1847 Paris is as spirited as champagne and as unforgiving as the gray morning after. In gambling dens and lavish soirees, men of means exert their wills and women turned courtesans exult in pleasure. One such woman is Marguerite Gautier (Garbo), the Camille of this sumptuous romantic tale based on the enduring Alexandre Dumas story.

Garbo earned an Academy Award nomination and the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award for her memorable work in this George Cukor-directed film.

DVD Special Features include:
1921 Silent Version Starring Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino
Audio Bonus: Leo Is On the Air Radio Promo
1936 Version Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Ninotchka (1939)
Garbo shines in her first comedy, a frothy tale of a dour Russian envoy sublimating her womanhood for Soviet brotherhood until she falls for a suave Parisian man-about-town (Melvyn Douglas). Working from a clever script written in part by Billy Wilder, director Ernst Lubitsch knew better than anyone how to marry refinement with sublime wit. That’s how we see Garbo’s love struck Ninotchka: serenely dignified yet endearingly ridiculous.

DVD Special Features include:
1967 BBC Show Garbo – hosted by Joan Crawford
Theatrical Trailer of this Film and Its Musical Remake Silk Stockings
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

TCM Original Documentary: Garbo (2005)
A brand-new Turner Classic Movies original, feature-length profile from legendary documentarian Kevin Brownlow and his Photoplay Productions, Garbo offers an intimate look at the life and career of Greta Garbo. Brownlow’s unique portrait of the enigmatic actress is drawn through rare footage, new and vintage interviews with biographers and admirers, plus many of the friends, relatives and associates who came closest to penetrating the lonely star’s veil of solitude. Her career is illustrated with clips from all her movies, ranging from her early film work in Sweden to such Hollywood triumphs as Anna Christie, Grand Hotel, Camille, Ninotchka and her swan song in 1941’s Two-Faced Woman.

Among those offering analysis and reminiscences are biographers Barry Paris; actor/playwright Charles Busch; Garbo’s niece and great nephews, Gray, Derek and Scott Reisfeld and friends Gore Vidal, Gavin Lambert, Jack Larson and Sam Green, Garbo’s confidante and walking companion for 20 years. Archival interviews include those with childhood friend Mimi Pollak, author Adela Rogers St. Johns and her favorite director Clarence Brown. The new documentary (a co-production with Turner Entertainment Co.) features a rousing musical score from the eminent film composer Carl Davis and premieres on Turner Classic Movies in September as part of a month-long tribute to the enigmatic beauty.


Box art at DVD Times here. So far, the cheapest I can come up with is the $79.95 (about £35) they are asking at DVD Import here.
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Last edited by John Hodson; 30-08-2005 at 18:19.
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Old 07-06-2005, 16:32   #2
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This is really great news - I remember the NFT's Garbo Season way back in the 80s when they ran some truly ravishing nitrate prints of the silent movies and one expects the same lustrous sheen in this set. The Brownlow docu should be state-of-the-art, too. As to whether Garbo's acting still hits the spot will become a great talking point, I think. She might be the perfect minimalist icon - and in my view you can't have too much minimalism. I don't have the exact quote to hand but the best thing ever written about Garbo was by Kenneth Tynan - he said something like, "What men see in women drunk, they see in Garbo sober."
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Old 07-06-2005, 23:30   #3
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Sadly Derek & Clive are no longer around to record a commentary
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Old 06-07-2005, 07:06   #4
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That would be for the Jayne Mansfield Collection, I believe...

Meanwhile, DVD Times has the announcement of the R2 Garbo Signature Collection here.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:00   #5
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Yeah region 2 gets shafted yet again

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Old 17-08-2005, 14:30   #6
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Bump for this, as it's now getting close - anyone beat DVD Import's £37-ish?
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Old 30-08-2005, 18:07   #7
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Over at the HTF, Robert Harris has delivered his verdict:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris
During her American career, Greta Garbo starred in 24 feature films for M-G-M.

Nine of them were produced during the silent era, and fifteen, beginning with Anna Christie in 1930, were sound.

For cinephiles 2005 has thus far been an exciting, if wallet-emptying year, and will continue as such through the final four months.

While silent film buffs are waiting anxiously for the Harold Lloyd films, a collection certain to be one of the most important releases of the year, they must also be taking notice of the three silent Garbo films in this ten disc boxed set, which covers approximately one half of M-G-M's Garbo library.

Beginning with The Tempress (1926), and including the more famous Flesh and the Devil (1927) and The Mysterious Lady (1928), the two disc set featuring the silents serves as a taking off point for the rest of the collection. Also included with the silents is the only surviving footage of the presumably lost 1928 The Divine Woman.

Of the fifteen sound films, we are given seven... Anna Christie arrives along with the German version, directed by Jacques Feyder as an additional extra; Grand Hotel; Camille; Ninotchka; Mata Hari; Queen Christina (my personal favorite Garbo film); and Anna Karenina round out the selected titles.

But it is the 86 minute documentary, which makes up the tenth disc, that alone is worth the $75 price of admission for the entire collection.

There is something about a Photoplay documentary that sets it apart from all others, no matter how superb their quality. And it is "Garbo," narrated by Julie Christie, produced by Patrick Stanbury and directed by Kevin Brownlow that tops off this collection, meeting the level of quality found in the Garbo films themselves.

In any ranking of documentaries on the history of film, there are the Photoplay productions (the companion piece to King Kong, on the life of Merian C. Cooper is coming), there is a large void, and then a ranking of all the others. There is simply no comparison.

The forthcoming release of the first installment of Garbo films from Warner Home Video marks a red letter day for cinephiles. Everything has been done right; the finest surviving film elements have been gathered, inventoried and digitally transferred; and the finest documentarians have been set to the task of relating the life and legend of the extraordinary Ms. Garbo.

This is yet another of those "no brainer" purchases offered to us by WHV.
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:29   #8
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DVD Beaver on Mata Hari and Ninotchka.
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Old 13-09-2005, 23:15   #9
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The Beaver on Camille and Queen Christina.
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Old 14-09-2005, 16:01   #10
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And shipped Still no sign of 'The Thin Man' set from them, but there are still quite a few tales of demand outstripping supply. Which, despite me not having it in my sweaty mitts, is nice.
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Old 14-09-2005, 20:36   #11
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Did anyone see the programme about Garbo on BBC2 tonight? It was it seems the last episode of The World's Most Photographed. Fascinating woman.
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Old 15-09-2005, 11:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie
Did anyone see the programme about Garbo on BBC2 tonight? It was it seems the last episode of The World's Most Photographed. Fascinating woman.
Damn! Missed it...

DVD Beaver on The Garbo Silents.
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Old 18-09-2005, 04:24   #13
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Maybe a bit late notice for most but...
The Garbo docu is on UK TCM THIS MORNING, Sunday 18th Sept. at 11.15am. It's sandwiched between Flesh and the Devil (at 9.05am) and Ninotchka (at 1pm).
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Old 18-09-2005, 08:57   #14
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And Savant's review of same doco is here, plus his review of The Mysterious Lady.
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Old 23-09-2005, 15:09   #15
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Mysteriously, DVD Times has reposted news of the R2 box again. Doesn't seem any different (unless artwork has been added?)

Anyhoo, an opportune moment to pass on the rather sad news that the rather interesting looking extra '1967 BBC Show Garbo – hosted by Joan Crawford', has been ditched from Ninotchka, and that Flesh and the Devil is a PAL to NTSC conversion (I can never spot these things, but apparently it is causing much angst amongst those that like to freeze frame, then step through their movies slowly...)

EDIT - Today's Observer is reporting that the R2 Garbo; The Signature Collection has been postponed until next year and indeed, this HMV exclusive is nowhere to be found on the HMV website

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Old 15-01-2006, 18:56   #16
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Loaded247 has the R1 TCM Archives - The Garbo Silents for a bargain £9.99 delivered here, quite a reduction, though it is listed as a March 21 pre-order and the existing set is still on the site at £17.99. If you intend to order, it might be worth a quick email to confirm the situation.

Meanwhile, of course, the R2 HMV exclusive Garbo set is up for pre-order at a breathtaking £49.99 here
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Old 16-01-2006, 18:09   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Meanwhile, of course, the R2 HMV exclusive Garbo set is up for pre-order at a breathtaking £49.99 here
Looking at the specs on DVD Times, and the desc. on HMV, this seems to be missing not only Grand Hotel and odd extras here and there, but also the "Garbo" doc and the silents from the R1 set? And they wanna charge almost the same price? The bloody cheek. Breathtaking is the right word. I do intend to stump up the cash for this ... eventually, and somehow methinks it'll be R1 all the way.
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Old 16-01-2006, 21:37   #18
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They've done it again. Not only is it missing over a third of the content of the R1 release, they want £50 for it and about 6 months after the R1 release. They must think we are mugs!
I wonder why they go to the trouble of employing someone to edit down a perfectly produced R1 boxed set. Do WBUK think they are adding value by removing films and extras? Are they using the 'less is more' principle?
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