romance collection box art
Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Romance
Warner Bros. has spent a good part of this year putting together 20-film DVD collections for fans. These have ranged from collections of Best Picture winners to comedies to musicals. Today, the newest collection, Romance, offers 20 movies ranging from the 1938 film Jezebel to the 2008 film Nights in Rodanthe, with films like You’ve Got Mail, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Doctor Zhivago, and Rebel Without A Cause. The movies available with the set are definitely the best reason to purchase, and if you’d like to see the full list, you can check out all the movies at the Warner Bros. shop.

Packing with the set includes three giant cases full of films all encased in one unremarkable pink outer shell. Each of the three discs is separated by time period, and is given a cute name (films from 1938-1942 are the “Timeless Love Collection,” etc.). I’m actually a little surprised this set didn’t drop closer to Valentine’s Day, as it would make a good gift for a lover of great romances.

However, sets like these are able to be cost effective by not being cohesive. No great repackaging of the films has been undertaken and no new bonus features have been added—which can be good or bad, depending on perspective. It’s nice if you are watching, say Two Weeks Notice, to be able to check out the audio commentary, the “Making of ” or even additional scenes that were available with the original DVD release. However, if you already own several of the films included in the Best of Warner Bros. set, there may not be a good reason to re-shell out cash for just a few new movies you may be interested in. Additionally, this collection is on DVD by necessity, since many of the older films have not been transferred to Blu-ray. However, for those films that have been transferred, a Blu-ray copy may be preferable to some.

With the Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection Romance, Warner Bros. shines the most in the selection of the films. There are very few duds, indicated by the presence of The Lake House, in the 20-film collection and even films that have less prominence or have had less staying power over the years are, for the most part, still worthy of owning. I never envisioned purchasing a copy of A Touch of Class, but I’m happy it’s part of the collection.

Best Special Feature: There are some great bonus features within many of the individual films, including Casablanca commentary from Roger Ebert, historical commentary for Gone with the Wind, a sweet map tour with You’ve Got Mail, and outtake musical numbers from Annie Get Your Gun. The best bonus feature for the set as a whole, however, is the guide to the collection of films. The booklet offers photos, short summaries, and facts, but the most appealing facet is the use of the original font for each of the titles of the films used to headline each of the pages.

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