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  • Joan Crawford: The Signature Collection [DVD]
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Joan Crawford: The Signature Collection [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: John Garfield, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks, Stanley Ridges
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz, Edmund Goulding, Jean Negulesco, Curtis Bernhardt, Vincent Sherman
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg, Jerry Wald
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 548 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002L7O81M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,760 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Five films featuring Joan Crawford as leading lady. 'Mildred Pierce' (1945) is based on a James M Cain novel. Crawford stars as an estranged wife fighting to make her restaurant a success. She won an Oscar for Best Actress, and the film was nominated for a further four. 'Grand Hotel' (1932) is an MGM classic focussing on the intertwining lives of the inhabitants of a Berlin hotel. A lonely ballerina (Greta Garbo) contemplates suicide; a ruthless industrialist (Wallace Beery) makes a last ditch attempt to save his company; a fallen aristocrat (John Barrymore) resorts to thievery; an ambitious young woman (Crawford) is about to trade her virtue for success; and a terminally-ill clerk (Lionel Barrymore) has a final fling. All five residents are unaware that their lives are about to change dramatically. The film won an Oscar for Best Picture. In 'Humoresque' (1947), a talented young violinist (John Garfield) becomes patronised by a wealthy alcoholic (Crawford). Despite the difference in their social standing, the pair embark on a romance. However, the affair ends in tragedy, and the violinist ends up having to choose between his music and the woman he loves. In 'Possessed' (1947, a nurse (Crawford) collapses in an LA diner and is admitted to a psychiatric ward. From her hospital bed, she recalls the events that have led not only to her breakdown, but also to romantic obsession and murder. Finally, in 'The Damned Don't Cry' (1950), Crawford stars as Ethel Whitehead, an ambitious young woman who makes her way from the wrong side of the tracks to a mobster's mansion and finally into high society one man at a time. The film is told in flashback following the murder of gangster Nick Prenta (Steve Cochran), which leads to an investigation of the mysterious socialite Lorna Hansen Forbes (Crawford), who appears to have no discernible past and has now vanished altogether...

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Satish Nimkar on 8 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have not seen any films of Joan Crawford,then this the THE best collection for you by way of the introduction. It brings out her best films. All the dvds come with extras on Joan Crawford and the commentaries on the films. All the films have multi-lingual subtitles, dvd transfers are superb.

All the films in this collection,with the exception the Grand Hotel,are highly powerful and absorbing dramas on the human nature,frailties,desires and hopes. Don't give them a miss!!

MILRED PIERCE is the story that combines the elements of family drama with the elements of cine noir. There is a murder,there is greed for money,the visual treatment of the film is in the style of cine noir. Lot of play of shadow and light, lot of action happens in the night. In the core,the film,nevertheless remains a family drama,the story of a strong-willed Mildred Pierce,fighting in the world of men for success and security for the family after she is separated from her husband. She builds a successful chain of restaurants, prevails in the world of men until... well,I don't want to spill the beans further.

GRAND HOTEL. Although the film is alost 80 years old,it hardly shows the signs of being dated, It is because of the human interest stories involved behind the façade of the Grand Hotel. Ms.Crawford steals the show as a steno-secretary.

THE DAMNED DON'T CRY. A powerful morality tale about an ambitious woman,Ethel,who wants the best of life, for which she is willing to do anything. She leaves her working-class family,gets into modelling,climbs up materially with the help of the underworld,until one day the fate catches up on her and she vanishes, back to the little town,where everything started.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not saying that Joan Crawford was a better actress or was in better films than Ms Davis, as both were really quite different. Bette, small and fiery; Joan, dark, brooding, melodramatic, though despite their competitiveness they were to unite in 1962 for the gothic horror 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane'.

Both Oscar winners, though Bette got more, Joan's real triumph is Grand Hotel which even today is a timeless classic, though it's its 80th birthday, this year. Winning Oscar for Best Picture, everything from the legendary luminosity of the silver screen to the array of stars playing interesting characters make for a really enjoyable and emotionally fulfilling experience. Joan herself is utterly mesmerising on screen and you can see that the camera adores her. Legendary stars Greta Garbo and John Barrymore head the cast.

Mildred Pierce may be Joan's best known and loved picture as a leading lady and showed the Oscars panel exactly what she could do, winning Best Actress. She shows huge and deep emotional range and the film's popularity has been increased by an HBO TV series adaptation starring Kate Winslet, last year.

Humoresque is one of those superbly crafted rags to stardom classics that Hollywood did so well in the '40s. John Garfield is the intense violinist who gets embroiled with the rich and autocratic Crawford. Heady stuff - and the wonderful music won an Oscar for Franz Waxman.

The Damned Don't Cry is a steamy crime drama where Joan is definitely the lead, as she shines above a collection of colourless male criminal types.

In 1947's Possessed, Joan is a woman on the edge of sanity and all chaotic, moody and bruising. Not her best film but again, she out-acts everything, including the scenery.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mrs A M McKechnie on 24 Feb. 2013
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my husband and i like old movies nice to watch in the cold winter nights
would recommend for this to watch
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By fruitbat on 12 April 2013
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I wanted originally what ever happened to baby Jane and has most people associate Bette Davis with this film, it can be really quite expensive to buy, but this way you get four films and in some cases cheaper than buying the film singualy
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 Dec. 2013
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I bought this collection because it was quite a bit cheaper than the bette davis collection with baby jane in it. Since the I have thoroughly enjoyed the other crawford films.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grainne on 11 Dec. 2013
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I finally bought it and enjoyed every minute of this classic .... Bring on more buying classic dvds for the winter season!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Freddie Flintstone on 10 Feb. 2010
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Joan Crawford at her best, if you are a fan then you will not be disapointed. The set also includes a short biography of the star, very interesting and a great insight into the fiery star. A must see.........
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I was trying to find a collection of Joan's films that would satisfy my "fussy" taste. Shame they are so many boxsets! As far as I am concerned this is the best for me.

"Mildred Pierce" I have watched before and is one of her great films. Love it.
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" - I genuinely thought that a infamous kitchen scene was in but wasn't. I must have been confusing this with another film, Despite that, it felt like I was watching tennis between the main characters - WOW - such strong, mesmerising, Oscar winning performances from both Joan and Bette. I have never watched this one before. I enjoyed every second.
"Possessed" a film noir - she gives another strong performance. So much so, she was nominated for an Oscar - shame she didn't get it. This is dark, psychological film, in which her character is so mentally unstable, her love for "David Sutton" is literally suffocating him; she just wants to "love him to death". Does she succeed? That is for you to find out............
"Grand Hotel" she has a minor early role. It is evident that you can see her talent as an actress of what she would become: extremely talented by being choosy as to which films she would take on. .

The most important things Joan did best was to choose her films wisely, become a perfectionist and not to take "any crap" from anyone. If becoming a control freak is a crime in the world of acting, she is guilty. Despite that, she will always be One Helluva Great Actress. No one comes near her acting ability; especially in tisi day and age This is her legacy.
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