As part of their year-long 90th anniversary celebration, Warner Bros. has been releasing some really great boxed sets. From their 100 Film Collection and their 50 Film Collection, to several 20 Film Collection sets. Last month they released a boxed set of 20 Best Picture winners and coming soon they are giving the same treatment to comedies, thrillers and romance. Last week they released a boxed set of 20 classical musicals (some of the musicals are from MGM, whose back catalogue WB owns), that is simply to die for. Really, my only complaint about the set is that the discs are clearly culled from older releases (The Wizard of Oz is disc one of the special 70th edition from a few years back and Viva Las Vegas is definitely from a previous Elvis collection). Despite that, each film comes with special features and at this price point ($90 retail, $60-70 at most online shops), this collection is a real bargain. It’s also a fun way to get a great overview of how the musical has changed over the years. After the cut, I’ll go through each disc with a little review of the transfer quality, special features, etc.
The first time I saw this film was during TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar in 2011 and a few days ago I gave it a much deserved re-watch. I think I liked it even more on this second viewing. There is a new Blu-ray edition coming from Warner Brothers, which I will be reviewing later this week. Cabaret holds the record for most Oscar wins (eight!) without winning Best Picture. I would be hard-pressed to choose between this film and The Godfather, too. Pretty much every year in the 70s had too many great, important, monumental and insanely entertaining pieces of cinema. In the end, I think the films’s awards are not as important as the impact of the films themselves. That said, Cabaret‘s ten Academy Award nominations were: Best Song Score or Adaptation Score (this category doesn’t exist anymore, won), Best Cinematography (won), Best Editing (won), Best Sound (won), Best Art Direction (won), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor Joel Grey (won), Best Actress Liza Minnelli (won), Best Director (won) and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Deliverance, The Emigrants, Sounder and winner The Godfather.
Somehow, despite subbing more in March than in January and February combined, I watched more new-to-me films than those same two months. I also read 2.5 books, but that’s another story. TCM’s star of the month was Jean Harlow, so I watched every film of her’s they showed (except the two I’d already seen). Via Netflix I saw some real essentials (I only have three films left from the combined AFI 100 Years…100 Films list; 123 films in all); you can see Oscar Vault Monday links to two of them below (I also included links to some films I reviewed for YAM Magazine). Also, for the first time ever, I have seen at least one film from eleven different decades. That’s a feat I hope to duplicate often. All and all March was a great month for me and films. As per usual, after the cut there is a full list of all the new-to-me films, as well as five favorites.