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October 20, 2009

DVD of the Week – “The Paul Newman Collection” Box Set


This month is unofficially Paul Newman month on Commentary Track, courtesy of Nir and his ongoing series of reviews of some of the star’s classic titles. In that connection, I decided to check into how well Newman’s career is represented on DVD. As one might expect (and would certainly hope), the famous films are readily available, some in multiple DVD editions or with plentiful extras.

A good few of his lesser known films are also on DVD, and my pick for this week is a DVD box set of seven of those titles. “The Paul Newman Collection” is Harper, The Drowning Pool, The Left-Handed Gun, The Mackintosh Man, Pocket Money, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and The Young Philadelphians.

The collection as a whole is an interesting cross-section of the bread and butter films of Newman’s long career. The earliest film in the set is 1956’s Somebody Up There Likes Me, a biopic of boxer Rocky Graziano and Newman’s second film. The latest is The Drowning Pool from 1976, a detective story sequel to Harper (1966).

The Left-Handed Gun (1958) psychoanalyzes Billy the Kid, The Young Philadelphians (1959) is melodrama among the society set, Pocket Money (1972) is a comedy co-starring Lee Marvin, and The Mackintosh Man (1973) is a spy movie directed by John Huston. 

Special features include commentary tracks for four of the films, including Somebody and Harper, the best regarded films in the lineup.

New releases this week: Blood: The Last Vampire, Cheri, Imagine That, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen