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The James Cagney Collection [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Eugene Palette, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin, Ann Sheridan
  • Directors: William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, William Keighley
  • Producers: Darryl Zanuck, Louis F. Edelman, Hal B. Wallis, William Cagney, Louis F. Edelman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Oct. 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002L7O830
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,602 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

This seven disc collection features the films;

The Public Enemy; White Heat; The Roaring Twenties; The Bridge Came C.O.D; The Fighting 69th; Torrid Zone; and The West Point Story

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is for the James Cagney Signature Collection, Black card slipcase with a picture of Cagney and his signature across the front, ASIN: B002L7O830.

This set collects seven classic Cagney features into one box. Each film is on a separate disc, held in two normal size DVD cases enclosed in a neat black card slipcase.

The films are a well chosen selection that showcase Cagney's hard man persona and his more genial knockabout side. From his breakthrough film Public enemy, the masterpiece that is White Heat, a topical (for the time) war film the fighting 69th and on to a more lighthearted romantic adventure The Bride Came COD, Cagney's magnetic charm comes shining through on the screen, and shows just why he is a screen icon.

Cagney is helped in these films by having great scripts, directors and co-stars. The films here hail from a time when Hollywood relied on good stories and characters rather than just stunt after stunt. This really gave Cagney every opportunity to show just how good an actor he was, and to draw the viewer in to some enthralling tales.

Each film is on a separate disc. The transfer of each is as good as can be, with no obvious defects and a crisp and sharp picture. The sound is in similarly good shape. Some time and care has obviously been taken over these.

The seven films (in the order they are presented in the set) are:

White Heat (1949)
The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Public Enemy (1931)
The Bride Came COD (1941)
The Fighting 69th (1940)
The Torrid Zone (1940)
West Point Story (1950)

An excellent set, well worth getting.
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I bought this set after seeing James Cagney in the 1975 documentary film Brother Can You Spare A Dime [DVD], and becoming intrigued, having seen little of his work. I now understand why Cagney is considered a great. A fantastic set of films showcasing James Cagney's (and others) impecable acting talents. All the films were Warner Brother's productions. All films are in black and white. As others have covered this set very well, I have provided the following information, most of which comes from Wikipedia.

Public Enemy (1931)
Cagney's breakthrough movie. Contains the famous scene where Cagneys character (Tom Powers) forces a grapefruit into his girlfriend's face (Kitty, played by Mae Clarke). This scene is viewed by many critics as one of the most famous moments in movie history. The film cost only $151,000 to make, but it became one of the first low budget films to gross $1 million.

The Roaring Twenties (1939)
The Roaring Twenties was the last film that James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart made together. The movie is hailed as a classic in the gangster movie genre, and considered an "homage" to the classic gangster movie of the early 1930s. In 2008, the film was nominated for AFI's Top 10 Gangster Films list. In 2009 Empire Magazine named it #1 in a poll of the 20 Greatest Gangster Movies You've (Probably) Never Seen.

The Fighting 69th (1940)
"The Fighting 69th" is a First World War regiment of mostly New York-Irish soldiers. Amongst a cocky crew, perhaps the cockiest is Jerry Plunkett, a scrappy fellow who looks out only for himself.
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I have the full cable package and there's still bugger all on! These films are the perfect thing for curling up to on a cold winter's day. Jimmy Cagney could dance,fight, fall over and generally make a prat of himself in search of his acting talent.
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A superb collection showcasing a major talent. But nore than this, the choice of films, and the selection of backing material- period newsreals, cartoons, musical and comedy shorts- make this collection an extraordinary insight into the period. If you're curious about the times of Image Entertainment's "Buddy Can You Spare a Dime" documentary, you will be better served by this box of gems than by any history.
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Some classic films, but the topper has to be the immortal White Heat. Who can forget Cagney's closing line-"Made it ma, top of the World"-watch just that one and ask yourself-why don't they make movies for adults any more?.
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Brilliant. Bought it for My Darghter's birthday (she's 45). She loved it, used to watch him on TV on a Saturday morning when she was young. Loved him then, loved him now.
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Format: DVD
Amazon have unhelpfully mixed up the reviews for the box set. The set with the green cover contains four Cagney films:

Public Enemy - Cagney’s breakthrough piece is too dated for my taste. The acting style is stilted (perhaps that was the way it was done then) and the film is too episodic to allow the viewer to engage with the characters. Cagney has some good scenes, but the overall feel of the film is clumsy.

White Heat - a strong storyline, great cast and good cinematography combine to make a truly great film. Tense throughout, this is a marvellous film though, perhaps, the ending is a little overcooked (literally!).

The Fighting 69th - a propaganda piece, entirely predictable and full of little homilies about duty and patriotism. Cagney plays a wise-talking troublemaker and poor soldier who (inevitably) makes good at the end and, bizarrely for a modern audience, finds God at the same time. On the positive side, the battle scenes are well done and don’t try to downplay the horrors of conflict.

The Roaring Twenties - this is an enjoyable film, though a little clunky around the edges, and with a predictable ending. However, the characters are well played and very engaging, and the scenes that Bogart and Cagney have together are electric.

So, of the four films, one is superb, one enjoyable if you like films of the period, and two are pretty forgettable. A good set to sample the period, though I would have wished for stronger films to replace the two weak ones.
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