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Monday, January 28, 2013

Contest Winners Announced; Warner Releases 'Best Picture' Collection

Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection Best Pictures (DVD) DVD 
Shout Factory for Joy, soon to be renamed to reflect my regular reviews of Warner Brothers releases as well, is pleased to announce both the winners of my Warner Brothers sponsored giveaway contest and the release of what seems to be a great DVD set of classic Warner Brothers films.

The prize was a bundle of Blu-ray releases of the the Best Picture winners "Grand Hotel," "Mrs. Miniver," and "Driving Miss Daisy." The contest, which reflected my love of Warner Archives' releases of '70s Hanna Barbera cartoons, asked that contestants write a short essay on which of the three films mentioned above would best be suited for a cartoon series and why.

Both Ron and Jim chose "Daisy." Ron astutely pointed out that Morgan Freeman was an awesome, my word not his, voice actor and had shown his comedic side. Ron added that the friendship between Miss Daisy and her chauffer Hoke would allow for some great adventures and "fun mishaps."

Jim noted that "Daisy" provided a good chance to educate kids about the period from the 1940s to the 1970s that that film depicted. 

Jim's great idea, which could have been executed in a properly "hip" manner, evoked memories of the feds quasi ruining Saturday morning cartoons in the mid-70s, well after "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids" and "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space", by requiring that kids' programming include educational content. I suspect that I would have started a "Keep Your Laws Off My Scooby" if I had been a little older in the '70s.

Jim also channeled the "Laverne and Shirley" early '80s cartoon series, which had the gals serving under a pig in the army, by suggesting the additional Southern element of adding the animated pig mascot from the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain in the series.

Good job guys! I hope that you enjoy the Blu-rays.

This contest winners announcement coincides with what seems to be another winning Warner release. The "Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection Best Pictures" DVD set hits stores tomorrow. I have not seen this one yet but will report on it  more fully when I add it to my collection.

Warner divides the set into three chapters; the first, which is labelled "A New Era," spans the period from the introduction of "The Jazz Singer" and other "talkies" to the beginning of World War II." It does not include "Singer," which did not win Best Picture but that I recently reviewed,  but does include "Mutiny on the Bounty" and other classics that are just as good as "Singer."

The second chapter leaps over the war years to the post-war period known as "The Golden Years." This portion begins with 1946's "The Best Years of Our Lives" and ends with 1959's "Ben Hur."

The set rounds out with the Clint Eastwood  (insert your own imaginary world leader joke here) era dubbed "The New Classics." The Eastwood directed flicks "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby" are joined by the truly epic "Chariots of Fire," the wonderfully subversive "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" featuring Nurse Ratched, and a handful of other favorites from the '70s through 2006.

I cannot imagine Warner doing anything short of a spectacular job with the set but look forward to verifying that it is a must-own collection for this year's pre-Oscars period. Anyone with questions or comments regarding classic films is welcome to email me.