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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have collection of Lugosi's work
There seems to be some confusion on the reviews of this superb box set. I have recently purchased it from Amazon and can confirm it includes: murders in the rue morgue, the black cat, the raven, The invisible ray and Black Friday so am unsure which box set other reviewers are referring to!

With the exception of Dracula and White Zombie the films contained in...
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by Buzz Pliskin

versus
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning! Reviews attached to this item for different product
Lugosi fans, take note - this DVD set does NOT include the five films (Murders In The Rue Morgue, The Raven, et al) as listed in the reviews that have been attached to it.

Instead, it contains three films - The Invisible Ghost, The Corpse Vanishes and Scared To Death.
Published on 3 May 2010 by Thorn Steafel


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have collection of Lugosi's work, 28 Dec 2010
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There seems to be some confusion on the reviews of this superb box set. I have recently purchased it from Amazon and can confirm it includes: murders in the rue morgue, the black cat, the raven, The invisible ray and Black Friday so am unsure which box set other reviewers are referring to!

With the exception of Dracula and White Zombie the films contained in this collection, in my opinion, represent the high points of Lugosi's career. Unlike many cheaper Lugosi box sets available on Amazon this is a quality affair. The pictures are crisp and well defined with deep blacks, not light grey, whilst the audio tracks are clear and not drowned out by the 'hiss' or distortion often found on cheaper releases.

If you are a Lugosi fan and have bought, and been disappointed by cheaper box sets, this is the one that stands out from the crowd. A must buy!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two monsters - Bela and Boris, 19 Aug 2006
By 
Margaret A. Foster (Quakertown, PA) - See all my reviews
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This collection is comprised of some of Bela Lugosi's not so well known roles in which he did not play Dracula. But it also contains some of the finest acting on his part and some of the worst and all are overlooked or overshadowed in favor of his Dracula role.

The films are all black and white, off beat and are horror films in nature. They are good quality films visually, nicely restored and the sound is good. There is one disk in this collection, double sided.

We start the rampage with Murders in the Rue Morgue, an interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's classic, and we find Lugosi as a mad scientist looking for a human bride for his gorilla. Gorilla finds girl, gorilla kidnaps girl, mad scientist injects girl with gorilla blood, girl dies, repeat till we get to the star, then boyfriend tracks them down, kills mad scientist and gorilla. Gorilla always loses girl. Actually, it's not all that bad. Love the faces on Bela as the mad scientist. It's amusing if nothing else.

The real reason to purchase this collection is the second film The Black Cat. Staring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, with Karloff as the Priest of Satan and he plays the part very well. That stare - that glower... he is so totally a minion of Satan. Oh, the cat-phobic Lugosi is a scream. This is a classic chiller; sit on the edge of your chair film. Not to be missed.

At times you have to wonder about this collection. Some of these films Karloff is just as strong a character as Lugosi is and you got to wonder - why did they call this the Lugosi collection?

Another very good reason to buy this collection and probably the best offering of this collection is The Raven. Here again we are treated to the magical chemistry of Lugosi and Karloff at it's very finest. This is set in a very art deco photographed film of two enemies, one woman and torture and incredible horror. This one will leave you stunned in its ability to shock. A classic, not to be missed.

The Invisible Ray again presents us with the Lugosi/Karloff duo, with Karloff as the misshaped doctor who is afflicted with a "deadly touch" and Lugosi as the mad scientist who tries to cure him. Not as good as the other two offerings, but it is one of those "mad doctors go mad" films.

Last entry here is Black Friday. This is the final Lugosi/Karloff entry, and it involves brain surgery, two friends, gangsters and hidden money. This one plays with a more of a "Jekyll and Hyde" flavor, with Karloff in the split personality role. To be honest, Karloff is the movie, with Lugosi in almost a "walk in" part. The acting is good, the film is not bad - but not the best and this makes it not one of the better movies in this collection.

Overall, for the two films mentioned, this is well worth the purchase. You can not find these films on their own (at least at the time I purchased this collection you couldn't), and with the other films thrown into the mix, this isn't a bad collection of Lugosi films, though all but one also features Karloff, so it could be called the Lugosi/Karloff collection. Collectors of classic horror films will not want to miss this disk from their collection. boudica
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage lugosi!!, 2 Jun 2012
By 
jeremiah harbottle (Littlebourne, Kent.) - See all my reviews
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the films in this dvd set are the ones to watch for those who haven't seen much of bela lugosi. the picture and sound quality is excellent throughout and as it was "universal" studios who released this set, so much the better.
there are 5 films altogether. i recommend "the black cat," "the invisible ray," and "murders in the rue morgue" the most as they transcend horror in the film world. i still reckon that the version of "rue morgue" is the censored one as some film references guides list the running time as 75 minutes. here, the running time is 60 minutes. in a way, i can understand the cuts that were made as some of the violence and horror is a bit extreme for 1932. however, there are some classic moments to be seen in the film and lugosi has the time of his life as the mad dr. mirakle. "the invisible ray" sees karloff and lugosi on the same side for a change rather than being foes. as the main character, karloff seeks help and guidance after one of his experiments goes awry. lugosi becomes his ally and does all he can to alleviate karloff's problem but at a cost........ a classic of science fiction as well as horror. the special effects are terrific for 1936.
"the black cat" is the more original film in this collection. released in 1934 and shot in 19 days, there are key moments that would have difficulty getting past the censors nowadays, let alone back then! as the film did indeed run into censorship problems, an additional 3 days were alloted to the filming schedule. during that time, the director was able to include 1 or 2 other daring scenes that practically flew by the censors as they didn't understand what the extra footage meant! it is rare to see lugosi portray a likable character but he does just that as the tormented doctor who seeks revenge on the man who stole his wife and betrayed numerous soldiers during the first world war. i have seldom seen boris karloff play a character of such evil. both he and lugosi are given top marks for their performances in my opinion. a film like "the black cat" proves how and why they were and are the true kings of horror cinema.
for the other films, "the raven" and "black friday" are less effective. both are rather more routine and the low budgets are clearly in evidence. "the raven" suffers from a somewhat unimaginative storyline and some of the supporting cast at the end of the film are both pointless and irriating. for once, lugosi dominates karloff as he is the central character in the film. lugosi does well as the crazed dr. vollin who lusts after the female patient whose life he saves at the beginning. karloff, as the other lead, is the bitter and unhappy convict who longs to put his life of crime behind him. again, both leads act very well and they alone save this film from becoming a bore. in "black friday," it is karloff who is in command of the screen, playing a familar character, the mad scientist but plays it well. i'm afraid that lugosi is hopelessly miscast as a gangster. i can't imagine for one moment that he would be convincing in the part. in fairness to him though, lugosi wasn't in a position to refuse any offer of work that came his way. the film is still watchable but no classic by any means.
i can't understand why the films in this set have been released on a double-sided disc. why not issue them on 2 seperate ones? still, that is a mere quibble when i think of the classics and gems that included in this collection. enjoy!
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Horror with the great Bela Lugosi, 18 Jan 2006
After giving us all their famous monsters from the golden age of cinema in the so-called “Legacy Collections” Universal studios thinks of one of the greatest horror stars of the early thirties and presents “Bela Lugosi, The Franchise Collection” where they praise him as “ an master of evil”, an actor, “whose range knew no boundaries” and whose “legend will live on forever”.
This is kind of funny because Lugosi, who was a star after “Dracula” became more and more a supporting actor, sometimes almost a bit player for the major studios, he worked very often for independent filmmakers in little horror flicks. (leading to the (in) famous collaboration with Edward D. Wood Jr.) and in the end he had to take every role he was offered. See for yourselves; he has five (!!) lines in “The Wolf man” with Lon Chaney, he was already 61 years old when Universal decided that he should put on the heavy costume of the Frankenstein monster in “Frankenstein meets the Wolf man” and when “Abbot and Costello meets Frankenstein” was shot in 1948 he was not originally considered to play Dracula because the studio thought he was already dead (!!)
Nevertheless Universal gives us now a collection of these five films (four of them absolutely amazing and one is not really a Lugosifilm.)
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932)
THE BLACK CAT (1934)
THE RAVEN (1935)
THE INVISIBLE RAY (1936)
BLACK FRIDAY (1940)
Lugosi is (next to the guy in the ape costume) the main attraction in the dark and moody “Murders …”, which is a very well photographed and extremely entertaining version of the short story by Edgar Allen Poe.
In all the other films he is teamed up with Boris Karloff, which is of course great. But with the years passing by you can see Belas roles become smaller and smaller. The two are equal rivals in “The raven” and “The black cat” (although Karloff always got the more colourful and fatter role), in the amazing “The invisible ray” Lugosi already plays second fiddle to the flamboyant main character Dr. Rukh played by Karloff and in “Black Sunday”(which is actually a nice little thriller) he is totally miscast as the bad gangster boss and has already very little screen time.
This DVD is well worth the money. The first four films are just adorable, good old spook stories with thunderstorms, chilling music, great sets and cool characters.
Check out this scene from my favourite movie on this disc “The black Cat”; Bela Lugosi as an Hungarian doctor, seeking revenge on the man who betrayed him and his unit during the first world war and therefore was responsible for his spending 15 years in a Russian prison camp plays chess with his nemesis in form of the evil Boris Karloff, playing an Austrian architect and Satanist who celebrates black masses in his great art deco house deep in the Carpathian mountains, for the life of a young woman. Wow!
Great DVD for lovers of Universals classical horror films and of course a must have for fans of the great Bela Lugosi whose “legend will live on forever …”
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning! Reviews attached to this item for different product, 3 May 2010
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This review is from: Bela Lugosi Triple DVD Box Set (DVD)
Lugosi fans, take note - this DVD set does NOT include the five films (Murders In The Rue Morgue, The Raven, et al) as listed in the reviews that have been attached to it.

Instead, it contains three films - The Invisible Ghost, The Corpse Vanishes and Scared To Death.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great old movies, 5 Jun 2013
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Most of these movies contain Karloff too. The DVD is region 1, so you will need a player set to region 1 or region free plus an NTSC capable TV. Lugosi is worth watching time and time again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars bela and karloff!!, 2 April 2013
By 
Diane Tate "70S MAN" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Fantastic to own these 5 great classics of the kings of horror my fave is black friday ..but, the black cat the invisible ray the raven murders in the rue morgue are all excellent!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of horror classics, 10 July 2009
For fans of horror, fans of Bela, fans of Karloff, fans of film or fans in general - this is it.

A great "box set" (with one double-sided disc) with Bela Lugosi's best Universal films (although without Dracula - THE Lugosi movie - which is available in the "Dracula Legacy Collection" box set).
The best ones are "The Raven", "The Black Cat" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue". But "Invisible Ray" and "Black Friday" are classics as well - although Lugosi has smaller parts in these two. All films but "MITRM" co-star Boris Karloff.

Classic films. This is the only Bela Lugosi collection you need. All other ones are low budget, crappy editions of his C-movies.

BUY!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death by flaying and death by ape; there's a lot of pleasure here, 7 Aug 2008
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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The five movies on one DVD disc that make up The Bela Lugosi Collection are great fun and a great bargain. The price is worth it even if you're only interested in one or two of them. The two for me are The Black Cat and Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Black Cat, The (1934):
"I go to visit an old friend," says Dr. Vitus Werdegast to Peter and Joan Alison, the young newlyweds he meets on the train moving through a rain-swept night. Their destination is the picturesque village of Vizhegrad that had been the site of a horrendous battle during the Great War. They board a bus and the driver tells them, "Tens of thousands of men died here. The ravine down there was piled twelve deep with dead and wounded men. And that high hill yonder where Engineer Poelzig now lives was the site of Fort Marmorus. He built his home on its very foundations. Marmorus, the greatest graveyard in the world." Then the bus swerves and crashes in the driving rain, leaving the driver dead and the young wife injured, Dr. Werdegast takes them to Hjalmar Poelzig's home...his "old friend." Just who are these two men?

Werdegast (Bela Lugosi), says Poelzig, "is one of Hungary's greatest psychiatrists," He was captured in the Great War and thrown into a dank prison to rot for 15 years. He lost his wife, his young daughter and, as we shall see, his sanity. Yet he will be deeply touched by the newlyweds.

Poelzig (Boris Karloff), says Werdegast, is "one of Austria's greatest architects." He designed the great house that sits atop what was Fort Marmorus. Poelzig has a slab of a face and a widow's peak that would make Robert Taylor cry with envy. We also will learn that he is a traitor, a murderer, a seducer, a Satanist and a talented embalmer.

That this story takes place in a stylish art deco setting keeps us smiling...but down in the dungeon, where we meet the wives of Engineer Poelzig and watch how a keen scalpel can slowly flay the skin from a man's face...well, we don't turn away.

What makes this movie one of my favorites is the character of Dr. Werdegast and the performance of Bela Lugosi. Werdegast may go mad, but he's been driven mad by terrible injustice, by the loss of those he loved and by the final knowledge that their fate was worse than he ever believed. "Is she not beautiful?" says Poelzig to Werdegast, deep in the preserved caverns of Fort Marmorus. "I wanted to have her beauty, always. I loved her too, Vitus." Lugosi is quite touching in those moments he shows tenderness to young Peter and Joan. And Boris Karloff? He was a fine actor, and studying his style is time well spent. All this in just 65 minutes, and with art deco, too.

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932):
"I'm not a side-show charlatan...I'm not exhibiting a freak, a monstrosity of nature, but a milestone in the development of life," says the intense Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi) to the gape-mouthed ticket buyers seated in the small tent. "The shadow of Erik the ape hangs over us all...I tell you I will prove your kinship with the ape. Erik's blood shall be mixed with the blood of man!" Or, more precisely, with the blood of luscious young Parisian éclairs. It's Paris, 1848. A mad scientist has been abducting young women and injecting them with blood from his ape. They die soon after and are dumped in the Seine. Dr. Mirakle is determined to prove Darwin was right...that young women crave apes. No, no, I mean the other theory, which Dr. Mirakle says can be proved by mixing the blood of ape and human.

This early Lugosi horror movie has a lot of charm, even if at only 61 minutes it doesn't have much time for characterization, plot development or subtlety. It makes up for this by its style. Dr, Caligari could have been the set designer and photographer. (Karl Freund, the cinematographer, had worked with Murnau and Lang in Germany). Freund and the director, Robert Florey, are expert in layering moody, threatening, off-kilter shots that range from Paris street scenes and roof tops at night, to Dr. Mirakle's dungeon of experimental science (featuring a semi-crucifix on which his assistant strings up the young women), to the dank morgue, to the gaslit side-shows, to the...you get the idea. Lugosi does a fine job as the unctuous, mad Dr. Mirakle. His under-the-chin lighting and the Unified Theory of Bushy Eyebrows Growing Together make Dr. Mirakle a medical man to avoid. The standout actor after Lugosi for me is the amusing, pungent performance of D'Arcy Corrigan as the morgue keeper. Corrigan plays him as aged, gaunt, with a long nose and a sunken mouth, and with long hair parted in the middle and oiled down on either side of his head. He has an unpleasant habit of inspecting his handkerchief every time he blows his nose.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of "The Invisible Ray", 14 Oct 2010
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The invisible ray comes from Andromeda and allows Dr Rukh (Boris Karloff) to see a meteorite that hit Africa millions of years ago. He goes in search of evidence with a party that includes his wife Diane (Frances Drake), Dr Benet (Bela Lugosi), Sir Francis (Walter Kingsford), Lady Arabella (Beulah Bondi) and non-entity Ronald (Frank Lawton). He discovers Radium X and lets Dr Benet into his secret, but it has a fatal effect on him. He starts to glow and decides to exact his revenge on the party that "stole" his discovery. He's a madman!

It's a film that starts out spooky, then goes into science fiction, then switches to adventure in Africa before changing into a murder story. It contains quite a lot of shifting story lines but it never really settles into any. It's a bit of everything and comes across as quite dull in parts. The best thing about the film is the performance of Violet Kemble Cooper as "Mother Rukh". She is proper scary and her performance would still creep the hell out of audiences today. At the opposite end of the scale is the dreadful Frank Lawton who has no charisma, especially as a love interest for Diane. Lugosi is laughable at first because of his accent but then becomes very likable. I was convinced by his performance as a good scientist and quite surprised that he managed to pull it off.

Unfortunately, the film ends rather unimaginatively. My mind drifted in parts, Violet Kemble Cooper is good but the film is just OK.
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