Classic and Contemporary Gangsters (Bogart, Cagney, De Niro, Di Caprio) Coming to Blu-ray in Two Collections

With Father’s Day coming up, it makes perfect sense for Warner Bros. to look to the past, and release two impressive Blu-ray collections. Ultimate Gangster Collection Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection Contemporary should make plenty of men happy*.
*Women are also allowed to be happy by this news.

Here is the news release…

BURBANK, Calif., March 11, 2013 – As part of the studio’s 90th Anniversary celebration, eight of Warner Bros. Pictures’ greatest gangster films – from Edward G. Robinson’s 1931 classic Little Caesar to Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning masterpiece The Departed– will now be available in two Blu-ray sets May 21. Released to coincide with Father’s Day gift-giving, the WB genre greats, along with one of Paramount’s best gangster films, will be offered in the Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary.

The four films in the Classic Collection have been remastered for their Blu-ray debuts. They include The Public Enemy and White Heat with the legendary performances of James Cagney; Little Caesar with Edward G. Robinson as hoodlum Rico Bandello; and The Petrified Forest starring Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Leslie Howard. The collection includes a feature-length documentary Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Drama which explores the development of the crime genre and the rise of Warner stars like Cagney, Bogart and Robinson. Also discussed are directors such as Walsh, Wellman and Curtiz; the films themselves; their influence on filmmakers worldwide; and Warner’s impact in establishing the genre.

The Contemporary Collection is a 5-disc set with five crime films that include Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, The Departedand Mean Streets; Heat, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer; and Paramount’s The Untouchables with Kevin Costner, De Niro and Sean Connery.

These two collections are being released in tribute to the films that remain a cornerstone in the legacy of Warner Bros. Major Hollywood studios in the ‘30s and ‘40s were each known for their distinctive styles (MGM for its musicals, Universal for its horror films, etc.). Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre which contained socially conscious themes and a simple visual look (low key lighting and sparse sets). Nowhere were these elements more prominent than in the films featured in the Classic Edition, with the Contemporary Edition showing how a new generation of crime drama has been established.

Both Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary will include 32-page booklets with images and additional information about each film. Each of the two Collections will be offered at $49.99 SRP.The titles in the Classic Collection will be available individually as well. Each single will sell for $19.98 SRP. 

Details of Ultimate Gangster Collection Classic

The Public Enemy (1931) – Now on Blu-ray!

The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney’s powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers, a role Cagney won only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. Cagney had a secondary role but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney’s screen dominance and gave him the star part, even after shooting had begun. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with ’20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era — taut, gritty and hard-hitting. Several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film are included — unseen for decades until they were restored by WHV for its premiere DVD release.

Special Features:

  • Commentary by film historian Robert Sklar
  • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931
  • Featurette Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public 

Little Caesar (1931) – Now on Blu–ray!

“R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that’s who!” Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone and Hollywood got the message. The 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello, a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy.

Special Features:

  • Commentary by film historian Richard B. Jewell
  • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1930
  • Featurette Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero

The Petrified Forest (1936) – Now on Blu-ray!

A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of other hostages. The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood’s 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. The film presented Bogart with his first major starring role and helped launch his brilliant movie career.

Special Features:

  • Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
  • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936
  • Featurette The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert

White Heat (1949) – Now on Blu-ray!

Playing a psychotic thug, Cody Jarrett, devoted to his hard-boiled “Ma,” James Cagney gives a performance to match his electrifying work in The Public Enemy. Tightly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett’s violent life in and out of jail is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney’s career.

Special Features:

  • Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper
  • Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949
    • Newsreel
    • The Fountainhead theatrical trailer
    • Comedy short So You Think You’re Not Guilty
    • Cartoon Homeless Hare
    • 1949 Trailer Gallery
  • White Heat: Top of the World

Details of Ultimate Gangsters Collection Contemporary

Mean Streets (1973)

In the film considered one of his early accomplishments, Scorsese teams with Robert De Niro for the first time in this tale of young toughs in New York’s Little Italy. De Niro won the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Supporting Actor award for his role. Fans will appreciate what Leonard Maltin calls a “technically dazzling film which put Scorsese on the map deservedly so.” Mean Streets also stars Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Richard Romanus, Robert Carradine and David Carradine.

Special Features

  • Commentary by Martin Scorsese
  • Back on the Block – Vintage Featurettes
  • Theatrical trailer

The Untouchables (1987)

Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables is a must-see masterpiece — a glorious, fierce, larger-than-life depiction of the mob warlord who ruled Prohibition-era Chicago…and the law enforcer who vowed to bring him down. This classic confrontation between good and evil stars Kevin Costner as federal agent Eliot Ness, Robert De Niro as Al Capone and Sean Connery as Malone, the cop who teaches Ness how to beat the mob.
Special Features:

  • The Script, The Cast
  • Production Stories
  • Reinventing The Genre
  • The Classic
  • Original featurette: The Men
  • Theatrical trailer HD 

GoodFellas (1990)

Based on the true-life best-seller “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi and backed by a dynamic pop/rock oldies soundtrack,GoodFellas was hailed as “the best mob movie ever” by Roger Ebert. The film earned six Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director and was named 1990’s  Best Film by the New York, Los Angeles and National Society of Film Critics. Scorsese was also awarded the Silver Lion Award in Venice. Robert De Niro received wide recognition for his performance as veteran criminal Jimmy “The Gent” Conway; and Joe Pesci, as the volatile Tommy DeVito, walked off with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar®. Academy Award® nominees Lorraine Bracco, Ray Liotta and Paul Sorvino also turned in outstanding performances. GoodFellas explores the criminal life like no other movie.

Special Features:

  • Two Commentaries:
    • Cast and Crew
    • Cop and Crook with Henry Hill and Former FBI Agent Edward McDonald
  • Featurettes:
    • Getting Made
    • Made Men: The GoodFellas Legacy
    • The Workaday Gangster
    • Paper Is Cheaper Than Film: Storyboard-to-Screen Comparisons

Heat (1995)

Written, directed and produced by Michael Mann (Collateral, Ali, The Insider), this tale of big city crime and obsession marks the first time that actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro starred together on the big screen. Heat also features Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman and Natalie Portman.

Neil McCauley (DeNiro) is an expert thief who has assembled a top-notch team of criminals whose latest string of heists has even impressed detective Vincent Hanna (Pacino). As Hanna becomes obsessed with bringing McCauley down and McCauley’s crew prepares for the score of a lifetime, the two find that they are facing the toughest challenges of their careers — on opposite sides of the law.

Special Features:

  • ·   Commentary by writer/director Michael Mann
  • ·   11 additional scenes
  • ·   Five making-of documentaries featuring the cast and crew

o   Return to the Scene of the Crime

o   Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation

o   The Making of Heat: True Crime

o   The Making of Heat: Crime Stories

The Making of Heat: Into the Fire

The Departed (2006)

Set in South Boston, The Departed follows the lives of two state police officers and their all-out war to end the reign of the city’s most powerful mob boss. As they work to infiltrate and gain the trust of the city’s top organized crime ring, it becomes clear to both sides there is a mole in their midst, and now it’s a race to uncover his identity.

Special Features:

  • Stranger Than Fiction: The True Story of Whitey Bulger, Southie, and The Departed – Gritty documentary about the history of the South Boston Mob and its nefarious relationship with the FBI
  • Crossing Criminal Cultures – We uncover what draws Martin Scorsese to the world of mobsters
  • Nine Deleted Scenes with introductions by Martin Scorsese

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