The Columbia Best Pictures Collection Review

Breathless, often manic anticipation of future box office fare has become such an intrinsic and not necessarily aesthetically healthy part of the filmgoing experience, that it’s rare these days for viewers to pause for a look back to savor the procession of vintage movies that have dazzled the big screen across time. The Columbia Best Pictures Collection offers such a tantalizing magical stroll down cinema’s memory lane, and it’s a stunning treasure trove of movie maven on and off screen memorabilia.

Spanning films across nearly five decades from 1934 to 1982, The Best Pictures Collection includes eleven Academy Award winners that together garnered a total of fifty-seven Oscars. This tabulates into fifty-one hours of viewing and eight hours of special archival features, but numbers alone can’t begin to describe the stellar array of assembled material here.

The titles that comprise this anthology of acclaimed films include:

1934 It Happened One Night

1938 You Can’t Take It with You

1949 All the King’s Men

1953 From Here to Eternity

1954 On the Waterfront

1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai

1962 Lawrence of Arabia

1966 A Man for All Seasons

1968 Oliver!

1979 Kramer vs. Kramer

1982 Gandhi

Descriptive details, synopses, original artwork and vintage posters accompany each film, in an impressively designed collectors edition embossed case. And above all, the Best Pictures Collection offers a vividly realized sense of the adventurous and innovative roads cinema has traveled through the decades, visually, creatively and dramatically.

DVD Features:

* Additional Footage – 1. Vintage Newsreel Footage

* 2. Original Newsreel Footage Of The New York Premiere

* Additional Audio Footage – 1. Ben Kingsley Talks About Gandhi

* 2. A Conversation With Steven Speilberg

* Audio Commentery – 1. Lord Attenborough Audio Commentary

* 2. Commentary – Frank Capra Jr.

* 3. An Appreciation – John Milius

* Documentary – Boulle’s Novel Adaptation/Casting/Production History/Score:

* Release/Restoration

* Featurettes – 1. Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast

* 2. Romance Of Arabia

* Highlights – 1. Designing Gandhi

* 2. From the Director’s Chair

* 3. In Search of Gandhi

* 4. Looking Back

* 5. Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad

* 6. Reflections On Ben

* 7. Shooting An Epic In India

* 8. The Funeral

* 9. The Making Of Gandhi Photo Montage

* 10. The Words Of Mahatma Gandhi

* 11. Frank Capra Jr. Remembers… “It Happened One Night”

* 12. The Life Of Saint Thomas More

* 13. Milestones In The Life Of Gandhi

* 14. Making Of Lawrence Of Arabia

* 15. Rise And Fall Of A Jungle Giant

* Introduction – Lord Richard Attenborough

* Trailers – 1. Vintage Advertising

* 2. Advertising Campaigns

Vintage Lobby Cards

DVD-ROM: Web: Gandhi Weblink

Bonus Features:

From Here To Eternity

*Making of From Here to Eternity

*Fred Zinnemann: As I See it

*Commentary with Tim Zinnemann (Director’s Son) and Al Sargent

It Happened One Night

*Frank Capra Jr. Remembers.. “It Happened One Night”

*Original Live Radio Broadcast – Radio Spot

*Vintage Advertising – Photo Gallery

Kramer vs. Kramer

*Making-of Featurette

Lawrence of Arabia

*Making of Lawrence of Arabia

*A Conversation with Steven Spielberg

*Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast

*In Search of Lawrence

*Romance of Arabia

*Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic

*New York Premiere – Newsreel

*Advertising Campaigns


*Interactive Map of London (game)

*Map: Bloomsbury Square, Holborn, Clerkenwell, London Bridge & Covent Garden

*Meeting Oliver!

*Meeting Fagin!

*Oliver’s Nice & Easy Quiz

*Fagin’s Tricky Quiz

*Bill Sikes Fiendishly Hard Quiz

*Charles Dickens Timeline-Photo Gallery

*Be Back Soon Dance Instruction

*I’d Do Anything Dance Instruction


Be Back Soon

I’d Do Anything

Food Glorious Food

Consider Yourself

Pick A Pocket

Who Will Buy?

Reviewing The Situation

Oom Pah Pah

You Can’t Take It With You

*Commentary by Frank Capra, Jr. and Cathrine Kellison

*Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers

The Bridge On the River Kwai

*An Appreciation by filmmaker John Milius

*Rise and Fall of A Jungle Giant

*Making of The Bridge on the River Kwai


*Commentary by director Richard Attenborough

*Vintage newsreel footage

*Designing Gandhi #1: Building the Ashram

*Designing Gandhi #2: The Tent

*Designing Gandhi #3: Finding Trains

*In Search of Gandhi

*Looking Back

*Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad

*Reflection on Ben

*Shooting an Epic in India

*The Funeral

*The Words of Mahatma Gandhi

*Ben Kingsley Talks About Gandhi

*From the Director’s Chair #1: On Casting

*From the Director’s Chair #2: On Music

*Vintage Lobby Cards-Photo Montage

*Milestones in the Life of Gandhi-Photo Montage

A Man for All Seasons

*The Life of Saint Thomas More

On The Waterfront

*Contender: Mastering the Method

*Commentary by Critic Richard Schickel and Film Historian Jeff Young

*Director Elia Kazan Interview