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Best Major Studio Classics Box Set:
THE WARNER LEGENDS COLLECTION.
A no-brainer. 3 Warner masterpieces (THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, and THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE) restored to shimmering excellence and loaded with carefully crafted extras, no other box-set release even comes close.

Best 3-strip Technicolor Restoration:
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. (see above.)

Best Cartoon Release of the Year:
As Disney took itself out of the running by postponing until May, '04
its third release of DISNEY TREASURES, the answer is obvious:
THE LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION.(W.B.)

Best Mis-labeled Major Studio Release:
THE JOLSON STORY.(Columbia)
The packaging says mono, but this is the '52 re-processed in stereo version.
Whatever. It looks and sounds great, and if it wasn't for YANKEE DOODLE
DANDY, this would conceivably be the best musical bio-pic ever made, with a
mesmerizing central performance by Larry Parks.

Best Transfer of a (previously?) Public Domain Title:
HE WALKED BY NIGHT (M.G.M.) originally available on dvd
in a murky and washed-out print courtesy of the
Roan Group, M.G.M. does this noir masterpiece proud.


Most Surprising (and gratifying!) Release(s) of the Year:
A tie--THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE (W.B.)and THE SOLID
GOLD CADILLAC (Columbia) To call BADGE the greatest civil war film ever
made is to minimize its unique artistry--this is one of the greatest films ever
made--period. It seems inconceivable that a film chopped up and virtually
dumped into the marketplace as a second feature (top of the bill in N.Y.---TOO
YOUNG TO KISS!?!) could be a masterpiece of this magnitude, but it is.
CADILLAC surrounds two sadly forgotten 50's character stars, Judy Holliday
and Paul Douglas, with a glittering supporting cast and a wise and witty
screenplay. Oh yes, it's a superlative transfer.


Best Chapter Serial Release of the Year:
THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL. (Artisan) One of the most
outrageously entertaining serials ever made has never looked this good
before. Note to Artisan--"Please, sir, may I have some more?"


Best Silent Box-Set of the Year:
THE DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS COLLECTION (Kino)
Six silent Fairbanks swashbucklers looking better than they have in
decades, plus three hours of truly "special" special features. Heaven!

We review our selection for the best black-and-white
single-disc release of the year,
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (20th Century
Fox) here.

Stay tuned to DVD CLASSICS CORNER!

 

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