Out of idle curiosity, I just looked up The Best of Warner Bros.: 100 Film Collection to find out the cost after hearing it plugged on TCM. Gee, it's a mere $597.98! (Buy it "cheap" on Amazon for $383.49.) Actually, if I didn't already have most of the movies and had a few extra hundred dollars to blow, it does provide a large number of good movies, along with a few fillers like The Clash of the Titans. BUT, what blows my mind is that a significant number of those movies are actually made by other studios, primarily MGM. Okay, so Warner Bros. may OWN them now ... Big Deal!
I went through the first 41 movies listed, covering 1927 to 1959. (My interest in movies fades with every decade after the 1930s!) Of those 41 movies, I came up with 18 being produced by MGM and four more by other studios. I'm sure my numbers are correct within a movie or two, just lack the energy to double-check my findings.
Grand Hotel, Mutiny on the Bounty, Night at the Opera, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Mrs. Miniver, Singin' in the Rain, Ben-Hur, etc....these are NOT movies produced by Warner Bros.! I mean, Louis B. must be turning over in his grave.
Warner Bros. made a lot of good movies overlooked by the collection. Only one Bette Davis movie made the list, Dark Victory, and the lady made a number of great movies in her time at Warners: Now Voyager, Watch on the Rhine, Mr. Skeffinton, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Letter, Jezebel, The Petrified Forest ... all would qualify for a "Best Of" collection. But, NO, they have to use the best of MGM instead.
I checked out about a dozen reviews of the collection. Not one mentions the use of movies made by other studios. Do they not know this? Do they think having the legal rights to a movie in 2013 makes a movie a Warner Bros. production? Yeah, I know, does anyone really care. I just feel insulted on behalf of all those people who worked so hard to make good movies for their studio - for MGM, for Columbia, for RKO, for Universal, for 20th Century - and NOT FOR WARNER BROS.!!
An Interview with John Barbour - Part Two
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