Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of the Warner Gangsters Collection for 25th January 2005. Six of Warner Bros. greatest classic gangster films – starring Hollywood legends Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson - will be available as part of a six-disc box set retailing at $68.92 SRP. The titles are: The Public Enemy, White Heat, Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest and The Roaring Twenties. Each title is also available separately for $19.97 SRP.
All six titles have been fully restored and digitally remastered, and are loaded with special features including historian commentaries and new making-of featurettes. Each disc also contains an exclusive "Warner Night at the Movies" segment. Hosted by Leonard Maltin, each bonus feature recreates moviegoer attractions such as newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons and trailers from the years each film was released. In addition, The Public Enemy DVD contains several minutes of recovered footage not seen in more than 70 years.
Full details on each title follows complete with individual package artwork...
The Public Enemy (1931)
The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney’s powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers, but only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. When shooting began, Cagney had a secondary role but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney’s screen dominance and gave him the star part. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with ’20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era: taut, gritty and hard-hitting. Contains several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film, unseen since 1931.
White Heat (1949)
Playing a psychotic thug, Cody Jarrett, devoted to his hard-boiled "ma," James Cagney gives a performance to match his electrifying work in The Public Enemy. Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett’s violent life in and out of jail is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney’s career, and the excitement it generates will put you on top of the world!
Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
Off-screen pals James Cagney and Pat O’Brien team up for the sixth time in this enduring gangster classic nominated for three Academy Awards. Cagney’s Rocky Sullivan is a charismatic tough kid from New York’s Hell’s Kitchen whose underworld rise makes him a hero to a gang of slum punks. O’Brien is Father Connolly, the boyhood chum-turned-priest who vows to end Rocky’s influence. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), the film also stars Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. Cagney’s role as Rocky earned him the 1938 New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor along with his first Best Actor Oscar® nomination.
Little Caesar (1930)
"R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that’s who!" Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone and Hollywood got the message. The 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello (Robinson), a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy.
The Petrified Forest (1936)
A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of others hostage. The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood’s 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. The film presented Bogart with his first major starring role and helped launch his brilliant movie career.
The Roaring Twenties (1939)
The speakeasy era never roared louder than in this gangland chronicle directed by Raoul Walsh (White Heat). Against a backdrop of newsreel-like montages and narration, The Roaring Twenties follows the life of jobless war veteran Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) who turns bootlegger, dealing in "bottles instead of battles." However, battles await Eddie both inside and out of his growing empire. Outside are territorial feuds and gangland bloodlettings and inside is the treachery of his double-dealing associate George Hally (Humphrey Bogart).