The Best of Bogart Collection (Blu-ray)

Nearly sixty years after his death, Humphrey Bogart remains an international icon. Tough, cool, and sophisticated, many regard him as the epitome of class. In a career that spanned nearly three decades, Bogart appeared in seventy five feature films, many of which are undisputed classics. Understanding Bogart’s iconic status, Warner Brothers has released The Best of Bogart Collection, which includes four previously available Blu-ray’s—The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen—in a new case, with a plethora of extras, and a snazzy lobby card for each film.

If you don’t already own at least three of these films, this collection is a great way to snap them up. Most of these “Best of” collections that come out have at least one entry that’s questionable. Such is not the case with The Best of Bogart Collection. Casablanca and the Maltese Falcon are two of the best movies of all time, it’s pretty hard to dispute that the pairing of Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen makes for a rousing good time, and Treasure of the Sierra Madre looks fantastic. Another plus, if you’re a John Huston fan, he directed three of the films, bringing home Oscars for writing and directing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

All four films are pillarboxed at 1.33:1, approximating the original theatrical aspect ratio. The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, exhibit a gorgeous black and white transfer with deep blacks, strong contrast, and a wonderful level of detail. The African Queen presented in a restored Technicolor print, is a visual marvel. Colors are well saturated, and surprisingly vivid, with deep blacks, and outstanding contrast. Though there is some intrinsic softness, and a few slightly faded frames, this is a truly fine transfer. All of the films in The Best of Bogart Collection have been transferred to Blu-ray in a way that makes them look nowhere near as old as they are.

The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre are all presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono, and sound incredibly clean throughout, with tremendous fidelity and considering their age, dynamic range. Dialogue is easily intelligible on all three films. The African Queen comes with a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track. While many would have preferred a lossless option, what we’ve been given serves the film quite well. Dialogue is understandable, and effects are clear.

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, and Swedish subtitles are included.

Along with a lobby card for each of the films, the following extras are included.

The Maltese Falcon

  • Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
  • The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird (SD, 32:10)
  • Breakdowns of 1941: Studio blooper reel makeup tests (SD, 12:50)
  • Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart (SD, 44:50)
  • Make-up tests (SD, 1:40)
  • Warner Night at the Movies:
    • 1941 newsreel (SD, 1:30)
    • The Gay Parisian musical short (SD, 20:00)
    • Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt animated short (SD, 7:50)
    • Meet John Doughboy animated short (SD, 7:00)
    • Sergeant York and Satan Met a Lady trailers
  • Audio Vault:
    • 2/8/1943 – Lux Radio broadcast (57:40, audio only)
    • 9/20/1943 – Screen Guild Theater (28:50, audio only)
    • 7/3/1946 – Academy Award Theater (27:30, audio only)

Casablanca

  • Commentary by critic Roger Ebert
  • Commentary by author/historian Rudy Behlmer
  • Introduction by Lauren Bacall (SD, 2:00)
  • Great Performances: Bacall On Bogart (SD, 1:23:30)
  • Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic (HD, 35:00)
  • Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of (HD, 37:20)
  • Warner Night at the Movies:
    • Now Voyager trailer
    • 1942 newsreel highlighting World War II (SD, 4:40)
    • Vaudeville Days short (SD, 20:20)
    • The Bird Came C.O.D. animated short  (SD, 7:40)
    • The Squawkin’ Hawk animated short (SD, 6:40)
    • The Dover Boys at Pimento University animated short (HD, 9:00)
  • You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca TV special (SD, 34:40)
  • As Time Goes By: The Children Remember (SD, 6:50)
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes (SD, 6:40)
  • Who Holds Tomorrow? TV excerpt (SD, 18:40)
  • Carrotblanca animated short (HD, 8:00)
  • Eight scoring stage sessions (15:22, audio only)
  • Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater radio broadcast version of the film from April 26, 1943 (29:40, audio only)
  • Streamlined for 1947! – November 19, 1927 Vox Pop radio broadcast (29:40, audio only)
  • Theatrical trailers

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

  • Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
  • Leonard Maltin introduction (SD, 3:50)
  • Discovering Treasure: The Story of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (SD, 50:00)
  • Documentary profile of director John Huston (SD, 2:08:10)
  • Outtakes
  • 8 Ball Bunny animated short (SD, 7:10)
  • Warner Night At The Movies:
    • Key Largo and Treasure of the Sierra Madre trailers
    • Vintage newsreel (SD, 4:50)
    • So You Want To Be A Detective short film (SD, 10:50)
    • Hot Cross Bunny animated short (SD, 7:10)
  • Radio show adaptation featuring Humphrey Bogart and Walter Houston (audio only)

The African Queen

  • Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen (HD, 59:20)

 

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