Series spotlights classics

New on DVD

September 15, 2005|By Susan King | Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES

Though it's a relative quiet week for new releases - Crash and the first season of Lost are the big news - there are so many vintage films coming out on DVD that the cineaste may go blurry-eyed with the treasure trove of horror classics, film noirs, dramas, comedies and even animated films to savor.

Universal's Legacy Series ($27 each) features disc sets of three Academy Award-winners: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); The Sting (1973) and The Deer Hunter (1978).

Mockingbird, which stars Gregory Peck in his Oscar-winning role as the compassionate Southern lawyer Atticus Finch, features an artistic "making of" documentary; Peck's Oscar and AFI Life Achievement Award acceptance speeches; "A Conversation With Gregory Peck," an engaging documentary directed by his daughter Cecilia Peck and Barbara Kopple; and commentary with director Robert Mulligan and the late producer Alan J. Pakula.

Highlighting the DVD release of The Sting, which won seven Oscars including best film and best director (George Roy Hill) and original screenplay (David S. Ward), is a comprehensive documentary on the movie's genesis, production and legacy. Included are warm and funny interviews with stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman, as well as Ward.

The two-disc set of The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino's Vietnam War epic - which won five Oscars including best film, director and supporting actor (Christopher Walken) - is a mixed bag. The only extras on the second disc are several outtakes and extended scenes, which don't add much to the viewing experience.

Also new this week:

Crash (Lions Gate, $29): A decade ago Million Dollar Baby scribe Paul Haggis was the victim of a carjacking. That harrowing experience inspired him to co-write and direct this acclaimed ensemble drama dealing with racial intolerance and prejudice in Los Angeles. The DVD includes a better-than-average "making of" documentary and thought-provoking commentary from Haggis, co-writer and producer Bobby Moresco and lead actor Don Cheadle, who is also a producer.

Lost - The Complete First Season (Buena Vista, $60): The seven-DVD set features all 24 episodes about a group of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island. There are four commentary tracks - including the two-hour pilot - with producers and actors; a look at the making of the pilot, a mini-documentary on the casting call for the plane; audition tapes; star Matthew Fox's photographs from the pilot production and Jimmy Kimmel's visit to the set.

Coming Tuesday

The Longest Yard, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, Born Into Brothels, Inside Deep Throat and Mindhunters

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