Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection Volume 3 is released tomorrow 25th March 2008. This latest group of crime genre classics, starring some of Hollywood’s top tough guys – James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart –features six new to R1 DVD gangster flicks, three of which make their first US home video appearance: Picture Snatcher, Lady Killer, Smart Money, Black Legion, Mayor of Hell and Brother Orchid. The films have been given brand new transfers from newly restored film elements, and also include bonus features such as rarely-seen Warner Bros. shorts, vintage newsreels and classic cartoons, plus original theatrical trailers. The films will be available as a collection for $59.92 SRP or as single titles for $19.97 SRP each.
Picture Snatcher (1933)
James Cagney portrays Danny Kean, a gangster looking to reform himself -- after a stretch behind bars -- with a new career as a tabloid newspaper photographer. He’s also fallen for Patricia Nolan (Patricia Ellis), the daughter of the cop who put him away (Robert Emmett O'Connor). Dad is less than impressed with Kean’s new career and none too happy about his daughter’s budding relationship. Danny and his editor (Ralph Bellamy) may be selling papers, but is Danny able to sell Dad? Some of the photographs featured in the movie were recreated from sensational images of a 1928 electrocution that were printed in the New York Daily News.
Vintage theatrical trailer: I Loved A Woman
Classic WB short: Plane Crazy
WB cartoon: Wake Up The Gypsy In Me
Lady Killer (1933)
In one of his more comedic efforts, Cagney plays Dan Quigley, a former con artist who goes to Hollywood to hide out and ends up becoming a star. Making it in show business may have its perks, but it also puts him in the spotlight and in jeopardy of being recognized by the thugs he ran away from. By turns, Lady Killer is a filmmaking spoof, a crime thriller and a character study. With Cagney’s vitality out front, it’s definitely greater than the sum of its parts. The likable cast includes Mae Clarke, his co-star from Public Enemy (part of the first Warner Bros. Gangster Collection) and the recipient of the famous grapefruit.
Two exclusive WB shorts: The Camera Speaks and Kissing Time
Original theatrical trailer
WB cartoon: The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives
Smart Money (1931)
Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney were teamed up for the only time in their careers in Smart Money. Robinson has the larger part of a small-town barber who fancies himself a big-time gambler. He travels to the Big City carrying ten grand from backers at home with his younger brother (Cagney), who comes along as his bodyguard. Unfortunately Robinson has a weakness for beautiful blondes, which means trouble with a capital T. Watch closely in the first reel for an unbilled appearance by Boris Karloff as a dope pusher. Smart Money was Oscar® nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
Theatrical trailer: Other Men’s Women
Two WB shorts: George Jessel and His Art Choir and The Smart Set-Up
WB cartoon: Big Man From the North
Black Legion (1937)
Factory worker Frank Taylor (Humphrey Bogart in one of his early starring roles) believes that he has missed out on a deserved promotion when it is instead given to a Polish immigrant. Angry and looking for a scapegoat, he is an ideal mark for the Black Legion, an underground “Pro American” group that wants to get rid of immigrants and racial minorities through violent means. Frank joins, and with his new friends, he dons black robes and drives the Polish family from their home. His aim achieved, Frank gets his job, but soon the Legion begins to take up more of his time and money, and turns his character darker and darker. Co-starring Ann Sheridan, Black Legion was inspired by a real case and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.
Theatrical trailer: The Perfect Specimen
Two WB shorts: Hi De Ho and Under Southern Stars
WB short: Porky and Gabby
Mayor of Hell (1933)
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith (Frank Darro), are sent to the State Reformatory, ruled with an iron fist by a callous warden. Soon, Patsy Gargan (James Cagney) - a former gangster - arrives, having been appointed Deputy Commissioner as a political favor. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy (Madge Evans) and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to reform the reformatory and institute some formerly ignored basic Roosevelt-era principles, like humane treatment and democracy.
Four exclusive theatrical trailers: The Kennel Murder Case, The Mayor of Hell, Crime School, and Hell’s Kitchen
WB Short: The Audition
WB Cartoon: The Organ Grinder
Brother Orchid (1940)
Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart made five films together and Brother Orchid is the only one in which neither is killed! In this gangster comedy, Little John Sarto (Robinson), returns from Europe where he was hoping to find some “class” and finds his old mob has been taken over by Jack Buck (Bogart). Barely escaping an attempt on his life by the new regime, Sarto takes refuge in the monastery of the “Little Brothers of the Flower,” pretending he’s interested in becoming a monk so that the Brothers will let him stay while he plots his revenge. However, the kindness of the monks gradually changes him and he resolves to turn over a new leaf and reject his violent past.
Theatrical trailer: It All Came True
WB short: Henry Busse and His Orchestra
Two exclusive WB cartoons: Busy Bakers and Slap Happy Pappy