What classic flim DVD should I get?

I’m planning or ordering some DVDs in the near future (Hitchhikers guide for one, even tho the TV series pales compared to the radio series*) and I want to add a “classic” film in too.

My choices are (but are not limited too)
Seven Samurai
Battleship Potemkin
Bridge over the River Kwai (is the limited edition worth it?)
One of those “early days of cinema” comiplations
Any other suggestions?
While I ejoyed Casablaca and Maltese Falcon, I dont want to get these yet

I’m probably only getting 1 (max 2). RK is the only one I’ve seen.
thanks,
Brian

*any word on this becoming available on CD again? it was for a while, but the last time I checked it was “unobtanium”

Seven Samurai is a great choice, although I don’t own it yet. (Dammit! You owe me 19.99. :wink: )

I recently picked up the special edition of Citizen Kane and was struck by how much I got out of it as a somewhat older man. There is also a phenomenal commentary track by Roger Ebert which covers composition, special effects, history, the William Randolph Hearst connection, and general trivia. He really did his homework, and unlike most commentary tracks, it really added to my experience of the movie as a whole. Also, if you’re not thoroughly convinced of your desire to see this movie, it helps to have the enthusiastic Ebert as a guide. He absolutely loves this movie, and wants you to know why. I thought it was great.

My recommendation from those choices is “The Seven Samurai.” Not only is it a continual joy to watch (particularly the performances by Toshira Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Kamatari Fujurawa), but there is a superlative commentary by Japanese film historian Michael Jeck.

Sorry for the code ugliness, but it’s nice to get more confirmation of my oh-so-recent amazon purchase… And it was 33.49! So N9IWP owes me an additional 13.50. Unless you want to split it with pldennison at 6.75 per. Thanks.

The Kane and Samurai DVDs are good choices. Some others:

Vertigo Great extras including doc. and a commentary by the restoration team.
Black Narcissus & The Red Shoes. Two of the most beautiful films ever made. Gorgeous transfers and tons of extras including commentaries that feature Martin Scorsese in both.
Dracula The DVD features both the English version, and the Spanish one that was shot concurrently at night with a different cast and crew. Fascinating comparisons, it also includes an option to play the score Philip Glass wrote for the film.
The Passion of Joan of Arc Probably the most lovingly put-together DVD for a silent film, there are plenty of worthwhile things about it, though the film’s a bit of an acquired taste.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Irresistable with a great transfer in its wide-screen glory and an interesting doc.

Heh, heh. I already have most of the titles mentioned. Seven Samurai is, indeed, an excellent choice. Rashomon is also out on DVD. I would also recommend picking up one of the great old musicals, like the newly released The Harvey Girls, starring Judy Garland and a sexy, 20-year-old Angela Lansbury.

I can’t recommend Kane enough: really clean transfer of the film, commentary by Ebert, and the PSB special. Neat.

My all-time favorite film is also a great DVD, Lawrence of Arabia. It’s epic, it’s got pathos, humor . . . sand. I did The Dance of Joy when it came out.

Of those listed, Kwai and Seven Samurai are excellent choices. Samurai requires a little more work on the part of the viewer, so I’d go with Kwai first. The limited edition is well worth the extra $5-7, althought the movie itself is the same on the standard version. I liked the extras on the supplement disc, one of which is a short film made for 60’s university film schools on how to “read” a movie, hosted by Holden and using Kwai as an example. The Kane disc is likewise great. You could do worse than start your classic collection with these three.

I can’t believe nobody has mentioned this yet, but in every case where you’re looking for a classic-film DVD, you always, always, want to see if there’s a Criterion edition. Most of the “special feature” discussion above refers to Criterion discs. That doesn’t always mean you’ll get lots of cool stuff – the Criterion Wages of Fear, for example, basically has just the movie on it – but you’re assured of getting the cleanest copy, video and audio, available at the time.

Start here for your classic movie quest. They’re pricey, but they’re worth it. If I had a bottomless wallet, I’d buy every single disc in their collection.