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Region 1 encoding.
(requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV.More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product.New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them
(click here for details)
Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.
This collection is currently the only way to get new region 1 copies of some of Allen's greatest and most important films, including 'Annie Hall', 'Stardust Memories', 'Interiors', 'Bananas' and others. I can only hope that these films are going out of print in anticipation of an upgraded re-release (hopefully blu-ray?), but there's always the danger that they've gotten caught up in some sort of rights war, in which case this it could be a while before these films reappear, and grabbing this set now makes even more sense.
My brief reviews of each, on a 4 star scale;
Bananas (1971) ***1/2 Incredibly funny, broad, slapstick, surreal political satire as Woody takes over a Latin American country to impress a girl. A few bits feel dated, and it didn't make me laugh quite as much as 'Take the Money and Run' when I recently re-watched Allen's 'early funny films', but it still has more than it's share of great comic moments. The whole trial sequence is genius worthy of the very best of the Marx Brothers. (Or, in a more modern context Monty Python). Personally I don't love the score -- it tends to underline jokes that don't need the help. It was after this that Allen went away from having music written for his films, using existing pieces instead, which became a huge part of his filmmaking style.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) *** While all the early Woody Allen films are funny and worthwhile, this is probably the most uneven to my taste. Allen took the famous, serious non-fiction book about sex, and turned it into a series of short comedy pieces.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
In Response to the Below Review2 July 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
This is in response to the below review which states that there are "No extras, no remastered sound or video, no trailers even!" I happen to have this set, which I seriously doubt this person does, and I am very pleased with this collection. Every disk in the set does indeed have the original trailer for the movie. And with the exception of Annie Hall, all the movies have anamorphic widescreen transfers. The movies look beautiful, especially when you consider they're over 20 years old (some almost 30). The sound is presented the way is was originally recorded; seriously, do we really need a DTS soundtrack for a Woody Allen movie? And you can't blame MGM because there are no extra features; Woody Allen has stated that he wants his movies to speak for themselves, and he feels that extra features would take away from that so he does not want them included. Also, each disk does come with a 2-page booklet that lists some interesting facts about the movie. Overall I think this is a great collection, and if your a Woody Allen fan you should definitely pick this one up.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't get much better than this...18 Jun. 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
No one will doubt that Woody Allen is the only director who has consistently mastered the art of writing and directing intelligent, funny, unforgettable stories. These films are great examples of that. Fromk Annie Hall to Sleeper [I haven't viewed Stardust Memories yet], you will be completely satisfied with your purchase. Here's an overview of the films:
Annie Hall: Allem's best film, hands down. The story of a couple who meets in a New York tennis club. Allen plays Alvy Singer, a carbon copy of Allen's stereotypical self [neurotic, clumsy, "suave"], while Keaton, who gives a stunning performance, plays Annie Hall, a country girl from Wisconsin trying to find a life in New York. A great story about relationships. The last paragraph that Allen narrates is fabulous. Don't watch this film first, or you may not appreciate Allen's other work as much!
Bananas: On the sillier side, this film is about Fielding Mellish, another character based on himself. Mellish works for a large corporation. Testing products. If you are at all familiar with Allen, you already know that there is a witty scene coming up. Mellish travels to the small Latin American country of San Marcos to find something to do. He ends up becoming the communist dictator there, and that is all I will say.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* *But were afraid to ask: A great satire on the popular book. This is a series of seven small sex stories, varying from Gene Wilder's affair with a sheep to a giant, deadly mammary. Watch for Allen's coolest role as Fabrizio, the Italian.
Interiors: A stunning film [very serious] about a wealthy Long Island family that steers away from the mother. This film is beautifully shot, and it really pays a lot of attention to showing every aspect of every character. Tension builds quickly, and it stays until the end.
Love and Death: One of my personal top five Allen films. This one is about Napoleon trying to take over Russia. Allen plays Boris Grushenko, a Russian Catholic, who falls in love with his distant cousin, Sonja [Keaton]. This one is nonstop laughs, but only if you are familiar with the war and the works of Russian writers. It is still very funny otherwise, but not as deeply funny.
Manhattan: Similar to Annie Hall, but a little different. Allen plays Isaac Davis, who falls in love with a seventeen year old [Mariel Hemingway], and also with Mary [Keaton], an overly pretentious New Yorker at the same time. This story is again about relationship, but this one is extreme. Shot in black and white, and accompanied by a George Gershwin soundtrack, many Allen fans consider this film his love letter to New York City. It is also considered his best by many people. I think he has made better, but this is a stunning film.
Sleeper: Sleeper is 'Love and Death' set in the future. A great film about Allen, who is frozen in 1973, and defrosted 200 years later. Great jokes, chase scenes, and more. In one scene, Diane Keaton and a leader of a revolutionist underground organization re-create scenes from his childhood. Another joke about the NRA. Sleeper is probably the best film to see if one wants a good introduction to Allen's style.
All in all, this collection is a must-own. Also, at less than ten dollars per DVD, no fan should pass this up. Separately, they cost more. Buy this today and you will be granted a good taste in motion pictures!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the finer things in life14 July 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
This collection is excellent. Eight classic movies, beautifully packaged and transferred carefully to DVD. One point to note - in fact, something I hadn't read anywhere else: With the exception of Manhattan, all the DVDs here are double-sided, containing both a standard and a widescreen version of the movie in question. The Manhattan DVD is one-sided, containing only the widescreen edition. I personally think this is no bad thing, as you lose a sense of panorama when you see a panned-and-scanned version. However, I know widescreen isn't for everyone.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Collection with a reservation. See Below!30 April 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
This collection of Woody Allen written and directed movies is well chosen in that it begins with his second writer / director effort and includes all eight in a row from that point on. The included films are:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask
Love and Death
This selection is great for a complete Woody Allen fan, but it has some drawbacks to people who are entertained by his comedies, but find nothing of interest in his other movies. And, there is no more `other movies' film than `Interiors', which has not a single joke, gag, laugh, or snicker. That is not to mean it is not pure Woody, as all of his most popular themes such as sex, death, creative freeze-up, parents, and relationships between partners.
`Stardust Memories' is also an `other movie', however, it is on more familiar ground as a parody with jokes. If fact, one can say that the object of parody in `Stardust Memories' is the earlier seven movies and Allen himself.
The one other movie worth noting in this context is `Love and Death'. Amazon's published review of the collection describes this movie as underrated. I think it is more accurate to say that it is much less well known, almost totally overshadowed by the earlier comedies and the great success of `Annie Hall'. In fact, I am almost inclined to guess that some of the changes toward more serious characters and plot may have come as a result of critical ennui with `Love and Death', even though these are by far two of Allen's most pregnant topics. I believe it is not `Love and Death' but `Stardust Memories' which is underrated.
For Allen fans and wannabe Allen fans, this is a great collection. For people who just happen to like his funny movies, do the math to see if the discounted price for the collection means you are getting `Interiors' and maybe `Love and Death' for free. Personally, I feel there are no losers in this collection, but that's me. I just don't know why they didn't bother to start with the first movie, `Take the Money and Run', since it is distributed by MGM, just like all the others.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for you collection27 July 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
This 8-DVD set is a great deal. The sound and picture are very good-or at least adequate for a Woody Allen movie, the booklets are informative, and the discs have the option of widescreen or pan-and-scan, not to mention the fact that these are wonderful movies. They chronicle the development of a filmmaker from slapstick (Bananas) to drama (Interiors) to the incorporation of both elements (Stardust Memories). If you're a fan of Woody Allen's, there's no reason not to get this. And if you're not sure if you're a fan, there's still no reason not to get this set-it should win you over. I'm just hoping we'll see his Orion releases on DVD sometime soon.