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Warner Gangsters Collection 2 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

James Cagney , Margaret Lindsay , Anatole Litvak , Jean Negulesco    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £30.95
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Warner Gangsters Collection 2 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + The Petrified Forest [ 1936 ] + extra's
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Product details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, George Raft, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell
  • Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco, Lloyd Bacon, William Keighley
  • Writers: Aben Kandel, Charles Belden, Charles Perry, Damon Runyon
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Mar 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00114XLUA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,995 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Repacking of a previous release 25 May 2013
By WEM51
Format:DVD
This package, Gangsters, Volume Two, is a repackaging of an earlier release titled "Tough Guys". The contents are identical to Gangesters, Volume Two. There are currently four volumes of Gangsters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here comes another one... 14 Jun 2006
By D. James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The descriptions of each film in the product information are comprehensive enough so I won't go on about the story-lines of individual titles, this review is just to highlight the fact that this set is, in format, a follow-up to the Warners' Gangsters Collection. That is, each disc not only has a magnificently restored print of the film, but a set of extras to watch before and after the film hosted by Leonard Maltin, the 'Warner Night at the Movies' section. These extras more often than not run even longer than the film and are thankfully relevant both to the film and to the year that it was released.

Typically you get a cartoon, a newsreel, a preview for another movie of the same year and a short film. At the end there is invariably a ten or fifteen minute retrospective in the form of interviews with leading film critics and sometimes even cast and crew associated with the film (if they're not dead).

The value for money with sets like these (see also Errol Flynn Signature Collection and Film Noir Collection) could not be better, highly recommended.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A box of good stuff 1 Oct 2006
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A couple years ago, Warner Brothers issued a top-notch set of its classic gangster movies. Included were such all-time greats as Little Caesar, Public Enemy and White Heat. On the heals of that boxed set, a new one was issued: the Tough Guys boxed set. This companion piece to the Gangster set features slightly less well-known movies but is definitely worth watching.

The big difference in the two sets are the roles of its principal players. In the Gangster set, the stars - in particular, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson - were criminals. As the studio got more pressure to stop producing movies in which the heroes were crooks, they merely switched their actors from one side of the law to the other.

In more-or-less chronological order, the first in this six-movie set is G-Men, featuring Cagney as a struggling lawyer who joins the fledgling FBI. This puts him at odds with his friend, a genial crime boss who opts to retire rather than contend with Cagney. Unfortunately, his successors are not so nice, setting up a lot of gunplay. Of the three Cagney movies in this set, this is the weakest, although it is still decent.

Also relatively weak is Bullets or Ballots which features Robinson as a cop who joins the mob after he is fired (an obvious ruse that not even the villains totally buy). Once again, there is a "good" mob boss who is Robinson's friend. Humphrey Bogart, in a standard role for him in the 1930s, is a much more evil gangster.

Bogart returns in San Quentin as a small-time crook sent to the title prison. The principal character, however, is Pat O'Brien as a reform-minded Captain of the Yard, who tries to turn Bogart around, partly out of good intentions and partly because he's dating Bogie's sister. Unfortunately, as also shown in Angels with Dirty Faces (in the Gangster set), O'Brien isn't that interesting a character: he's too straight and narrow and this allows Bogart and the other cons to steal the show.

If the first three movies are merely good, the next three are top-notch. A Slight Case of Murder is a comic gangster movie with Robinson as a crime lord gone legitimate after Prohibition ends. He sells the same beer that he sold in the speakeasy days, little realizing that the only reason people bought his stuff was because it was the only drink available. It tastes like swill, however, but before Robinson can do anything about it, he faces financial ruin. Complicating things are some dead bodies, some missing bank loot and his future son-in-law, a law officer. It may be an old movie, but the humor still works well.

Probably the best movie in the set is Each Dawn I Die, with Cagney back as a reporter who is framed for a crime after reporting on corrupt politics. Initially convinced that the truth will set him free quickly, he soon realizes that it's not going to be that easy; as time goes by, he begins to fall apart. George Raft also stars as a fellow con who is wise to the ways of prison.

Finally, there is City for Conquest, which is more of a romance than a crime movie (although there is a little bit of crime). Cagney is a boxer who is strung along by his long-time girlfriend Ann Sheridan. Her ambitions to become a famous dancer will override her love of him, with bad consequences. Among other actors, this movie features Elia Kazan in a rare acting role.

Besides the fact that these movies probably average a high four stars, we get a lot of extras, including commentaries on all the movies and "Warner Night at the Movies" for all the films as well: in addition to the movie, you get an old movie trailer, a news reel, a short subject and a cartoon. Add to this a set of mini-documentaries and some miscellaneous shorts (including several blooper reels) and this set easily rates five stars and should be watched by anyone who enjoys crime films.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The extras 15 July 2006
By RG69 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a big Cagney fan, so this set is great for me. I might have considered just buying the 3 Cagney films all by themselves if not for the incredible extras. I have the Flynn collection as well as the Gangster collection and they are all done with such love and care, it is unbelieveable. You really feel like you are sitting and watching a movie in the theatre in the 30's and 40's. With newsreels, cartoons, and shorts, this set is a real treat. Warner did not censor the period racism, so everything is as it was originally presented. This is a must have for any film fan. Other studios should watch this to see how box sets should be done.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tough Guys" collection renamed 10 Jan 2008
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The Warner Gangsters Collection Volume 2 is a renamed version of the Tough Guys set issued in mid-2006 (and which still seems to be on sale). What follows is my review of the original set, which should apply to this one as well.

A couple years ago, Warner Brothers issued a top-notch set of its classic gangster movies. Included were such all-time greats as Little Caesar, Public Enemy and White Heat. On the heals of that boxed set, a new one was issued: the Tough Guys boxed set. This companion piece to the Gangster set features slightly less well-known movies but is definitely worth watching.

The big difference in the two sets are the roles of its principal players. In the Gangster set, the stars - in particular, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson - were criminals. As the studio got more pressure to stop producing movies in which the heroes were crooks, they merely switched their actors from one side of the law to the other.

In more-or-less chronological order, the first in this six-movie set is G-Men, featuring Cagney as a struggling lawyer who joins the fledgling FBI. This puts him at odds with his friend, a genial crime boss who opts to retire rather than contend with Cagney. Unfortunately, his successors are not so nice, setting up a lot of gunplay. Of the three Cagney movies in this set, this is the weakest, although it is still decent.

Also relatively weak is Bullets or Ballots which features Robinson as a cop who joins the mob after he is fired (an obvious ruse that not even the villains totally buy). Once again, there is a "good" mob boss who is Robinson's friend. Humphrey Bogart, in a standard role for him in the 1930s, is a much more evil gangster.

Bogart returns in San Quentin as a small-time crook sent to the title prison. The principal character, however, is Pat O'Brien as a reform-minded Captain of the Yard, who tries to turn Bogart around, partly out of good intentions and partly because he's dating Bogie's sister. Unfortunately, as also shown in Angels with Dirty Faces (in the Gangster set), O'Brien isn't that interesting a character: he's too straight and narrow and this allows Bogart and the other cons to steal the show.

If the first three movies are merely good, the next three are top-notch. A Slight Case of Murder is a comic gangster movie with Robinson as a crime lord gone legitimate after Prohibition ends. He sells the same beer that he sold in the speakeasy days, little realizing that the only reason people bought his stuff was because it was the only drink available. It tastes like swill, however, but before Robinson can do anything about it, he faces financial ruin. Complicating things are some dead bodies, some missing bank loot and his future son-in-law, a law officer. It may be an old movie, but the humor still works well.

Probably the best movie in the set is Each Dawn I Die, with Cagney back as a reporter who is framed for a crime after reporting on corrupt politics. Initially convinced that the truth will set him free quickly, he soon realizes that it's not going to be that easy; as time goes by, he begins to fall apart. George Raft also stars as a fellow con who is wise to the ways of prison.

Finally, there is City for Conquest, which is more of a romance than a crime movie (although there is a little bit of crime). Cagney is a boxer who is strung along by his long-time girlfriend Ann Sheridan. Her ambitions to become a famous dancer will override her love of him, with bad consequences. Among other actors, this movie features Elia Kazan in a rare acting role.

Besides the fact that these movies probably average a high four stars, we get a lot of extras, including commentaries on all the movies and "Warner Night at the Movies" for all the films as well: in addition to the movie, you get an old movie trailer, a news reel, a short subject and a cartoon. Add to this a set of mini-documentaries and some miscellaneous shorts (including several blooper reels) and this set easily rates five stars and should be watched by anyone who enjoys crime films.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough guys abound in a wide variety of films 18 Jan 2008
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a great and worthy companion to the Warner Gangsters Collection Volume 1. However, this collection of films is much more varied than what you found in the first bunch of Warner Gangsters films. It's not so much that we have a pre/post code comparison here of how Warner handled tough guys and gangsters in their films - there were only two precode gangster films in the Gangsters collection. Instead, we have WB's top three tough guys of the 30's - James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart - taking the lead in a variety of roles and films that often aren't about guys that are gangster tough, or even cop tough for that matter.

Edward G. Robinson stars in "Bullets or Ballots" and "A Slight Case of Murder". In the first film, he is the hard-working cop turned out to pasture by a past associate the minute that associate gets a promotion. Now, suddenly past offers for employment by underworld figures in return for big bucks look pretty good. Will Robinson's character turn against the system and department he has worked for his whole career? In "A Slight Case of Murder" Robinson ably shows his hand at dark comedy as a gangster who is made legitimate by the end of prohibition. Now he can sell his beer legitimately as a businessman. The only problem is, nobody has the heart to tell him that his beer is awful. To top it all off he takes his family on vacation and finds an unwelcome surprise in his vacation cottage.

James Cagney, Warners' number one gangster picture star of the 30's, shows up in three films. In "G Men" he is a lawyer who decides to go to work for the F.B.I. His education was bought and paid for by a local mobster, and thus his new associates are suspicious of him although Cagney's legal career has been on the up-and-up. This is an action-packed film with Cagney as a new G-Man who eventually has his loyalties to his old friends somewhat tested. "Each Dawn I Die" has Cagney as a crusading journalist set up on a manslaughter charge and wrongly sent to prison by the corrupt officials he was trying to expose. Month after month passes as he is sure he will be vindicated and released - but nothing happens. Only his convict friend - played by George Raft - who escapes while Cagney is inside, can find the witness that can free him. But will Raft's character bother to keep his promises once he is out? Cagney gives a top-notch performance of a straight guy turned bitter and hopeless as he realizes he may never get out of prison. Cagney's final film in the set, "City for Conquest", is a very good film that has little or nothing to do with tough guys and a lot to do with tough breaks and melodrama, all of which Cagney's character gets. He and Ann Sheridan are sweethearts in a tenement district. Ann seeks escape from poverty with her dancing skills, Cagney with his boxing. Unfortunately, Cagney's character runs across a corrupt boxer who rubs a corrosive material into his gloves to temporarily blind Cagney so he can win the match. It works a little too well, as Cagney's blindness is more than temporary. This film is a real tear-jerker that is a favorite of mine.

Finally, Humphrey Bogart headlines a very short "San Quentin" at only 70 or so minutes in length. Bogart is a tough-as-nails convict who believes that his special treatment by Pat O'Brien - captain of the yard at San Quentin - may be because he is exchanging Bogart's treatment for his sister's romantic favors, to put it politely. However, Bogart's character has misunderstood the entire situation. The two knew each other and began falling for one another before Bogart's character even went to jail. He decides to escape and give O'Brien the 38-calibre reward he thinks he deserves for dishonoring his sister. Will he come to his senses in time?

Bogart shows up as a supporting player in "Bullets or Ballots" in this set and as a supporting player in several films in the Warner Gangsters Collection. It's hard to believe that Humphrey DeForest Bogart - now recognized as the greatest actor of the 20th century - had to spend a decade slumming at Warner Bros. in supporting roles before his talent was finally recognized for what it was in 1941's "High Sierra". The rest, of course, is history.

In summary, this really is a great set of films supplemented by Warner's Night at the Movies treatment, commentaries on the films by film historians, and various featurettes on the gangster genre. Highly recommended. The extra features are as follows:

Bullets or Ballots (1936)
Vintage newsreel
Vintage Short: George Hall and His Orchestra
Classic cartoon: I'm a Big Shot Now
Theatrical Trailer: The Charge of the Light Brigade
New featurette Gangsters: The Immigrant's Hero
Commentary by Dana Polan
How I Play Golf by Bobby Jones No. 10: Trouble Shots
Breakdowns of 1936 studio blooper reel
Audio-only bonus: 4/16/1939 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast with Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Each Dawn I Die (1939)
Documentary Short: A Day at Santa Anita
Oscar-Nominated classic cartoon: Detouring America
Theatrical Trailer: Wings of the Navy
New featurette: Stool Pigeons and Pine Overcoats: The Language of Gangster Films
Commentary by film historian Haden Guest
Breakdowns of 1939: studio blooper reel
Bonus cartoon Each Dawn I Crow
3/22/43 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

'G' Men (1935)
Comedy short: The Old Grey Mayor starring Bob Hope
Classic cartoon: Buddy the Gee Man
Theatrical Trailer: Devil Dogs of the Air
New featurette: Morality and the Code: A How-to Manual for Hollywood
Commentary by Richard Jewell
How I Play Golf by Bobby Jones No. 11: Practice Shots
Things You Never See on the Screen: Breakdowns of 1935 studio blooper reel
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

San Quentin (1937)
Vintage newsreel
Oscar-nominated Broadway Brevity short: The Man Without a Country
Classic Cartoon: Porky's Double Trouble
Kid Galahad Theatrical Trailer
New featurette: Welcome to the Big House
Commentary by Patricia King Hanson
Breakdowns of 1937 studio blooper reel
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

A Slight Case of Murder (1937)
Vintage newsreel
Oscar-nominated drama short: Declaration of Independence
Classic cartoon: The Night Watchman
The Dawn Patrol Theatrical Trailer
New featurette Prohibition Opens the Floodgates
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

City For Conquest (1940)
Vintage Newsreel
Oscar-Nominated short: Service with the Colors
Classic cartoon: Stage Fright
Theatrical Trailer: The Fighting 69th
New featurette: Molls and Dolls - The Women of Gangster Films
Breakdowns of 1940 studio blooper reel
Audio-only bonus: 2/9/1942 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
Commentary by Richard Schickel
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)
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