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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: The Grace Kelly Collection
The Warner Brothers Set
By Robert T. Trate
August 05, 2014
Dial M for Murder (1954)
© Warner Bros.
The titles this week, Maniacs, are on the light side. As you can see in my top three picks of the week, down from five, I have Grizzly (DVD),Green Ice (DVD) and the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of Phantom of the Paradise. A crazy three, but worth while on some level, I assure you. Since the summer is coming to an end, we need to get ready for the big fall releases of all those summer block busters. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrives in a few weeks, as does Godzilla. This week, I wanted to focus on a new collection that Warner Brothers has just released. It dips in and out of our genre here at Mania, but features a classic beauty nonetheless.
Yes, those two words can stand on their own. A classic Hollywood beauty that Alfred Hitchcock knew how to direct and dress. Hitchcock is a great place to start on this new collection as two of his Warner pictures are included here. If Hitchcock were alive today, or Mania existed as an old movie mag, he would have graced our site/ pages on more than one occasion. The classic thriller Dial M Murder (1954) is in this box set, a film that was recently re-released on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. Only the standard DVD is included, but the picture quality is still stunning.
If you need a refresher, here is the trailer:
Hitchcock uses the stunt of 3D to great advantage here, but the film is not a one trick pony or loaded with 3D gags (see House of Wax). What I always find so shocking is that Ray Milland’s husband to Kelly’s wife wants this stunning beauty killed. I won’t ruin the reasons why, as it is something you have to discover for yourself. Hitchcock cripples us with suspense and even dresses Kelly in a negligee. One could say he was making her as vulnerable as possible. Others could say he just wanted to give the audience what they really wanted. It’s up to you to decide.
The other Hitchcock masterpiece included is To Catch a Thief (1955). Kelly is not the victim here, more on the prowl for a Cat Burglar that has recently stolen her mother’s jewels. Her chief suspect is John Robie , the one only Cary Grant, who is a retired jewel thief. The catch is that she has fallen in love with him. He confesses his innocence and plots to capture the real Cat Burglar. Hitchcock drives us crazy with all multiple suspects and the thought that perhaps John Robie is behind all this. Kelly’s best scene happens in a swim suit and it is an all-out verbal cat fight between her and another woman over who gets to take John home. The film is hands down a classic and the true gem in this collection.
The one picture in this set that I had not seen before was Mogambo (1953). It leaped out at me and not because of its cast; which featured Kelly, Clark Gable, and Eva Gardner. No, it was the fact that it was directed by the legendary John Ford. Yes, the very same man who directed The Searchers (1956) and The Quiet Man (1952). I had never heard of this picture before.
The film is actually quite terrible. It lacks Ford’s stock players as well as his twinkle that he brought to so many pictures no matter what the subject matter was. I was shocked to learn that this was not one of Ford’s last pictures, but actually sandwiched between several of his biggest. What went wrong? Sometimes the story behind the movie is far more interesting than the actual film. Ford and star Clark Gable did not get along. Ford thought Gable was too old for the part. Gable wasn’t really thrilled to be visiting a story that was so close to one of his earlier pictures, Red Dust (1932). Ford actually wanted Maureen O’Hara for Gardner’s part, but the studio insisted otherwise. Gable and Kelly presumably had an affair while making the film. Then, to top it all off, Ava Gardner left in the middle of production to have abortion. Good times! All this explains whyMogambo might be Ford’s worst picture and best forgotten.
Also included in this set is war picture, The Bridges of Toko-Ri (1954) and High Society (1956). That film is a musical romantic comedy with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. It is not a sad film, but one that lingers with you in a strange way because it is her last last picture. Kelly would marry the Prince of Monaco and quit Hollywood all together. This stunning star of the silver screen only worked for 6 years in Hollywood and has over 30 credits to her filmography. What could she have done if she wouldn’t have given it all up to be a real life princess?
This is great starter kit for a Grace Kelly Collection. Sure, it is missing Rear Window (1954) and High Noon (1952), but you will be dazzled by Kelly in these pictures just the same.
Top 3 Picks of the Week:
2. Green Ice
3. Phantom Of The Paradise (Collector's Edition) [Bluray/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray]
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
Green Ice 1981
Ironclad: Battle for Blood [Blu-ray]
Submarine X-1 [Non USA PAL Format]
The War Around Us (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Destined for Love Complete Collection
Dragon Ball Z: Season 6 [Blu-ray]
Freezing: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
Love Lab: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Love Lab: Complete Collection
Short Peace: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Yuyushiki: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Lego Ninjago: Rebooted - Battle for New Ninjago
The Big Boss (1941) - DVD
Laurel & Hardy: Collection
My Friend Bernard
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
Full Monty [Blu-ray]
Man Who Knew Too Little [Blu-ray]
Ping Pong Summer [Blu-ray]
Phantom Of The Paradise (Collector's Edition) [Bluray/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray]
Without Warning (Bluray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
Dawn of the Dragon Slayer
I'll Follow You Down [Blu-ray]
I'll Follow You Down
NINJA APOCALYPSE [Blu-ray]
Best of The Cisco Kid (15 Episodes)
Californication: Season 7
Community: Season 5 - DVD
Mad About You Seasons 1 & 2
Mad About You: Season 2
Mad About You: Season 1
Naked City: Season 2
Naked City: Season 3
Naked City: Season 4
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Tennessee Williams