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One of the titles they mentioned is Casablanca. It's a purple title. That's why I put this thread here and not in the Blu software section. It's intriguing that most of the titles are Warner titles. I did note that the author also missed that Unforgiven has been available on Blu for quite some time now.

Originally Posted by David B. Wilkerson /forum/post/0

March 5, 2010, 1:00 p.m. EST

The 10 Oscar movies you must have in your DVD bin

These Best Picture winners have stood the test of time -- and technology

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- We'll know Sunday night whether it is "Avatar" or "The Hurt Locker" or a long shot that takes home Best Picture honors at this year's Oscar awards. But it will still be a while before we know if that winner is a film that will stand with the best of all time.

We can all think of previous winners we thought weren't deserving in years crowded with very good movies or films that weren't even nominated that should have won. However, sometimes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets it right.

Who will surprise on Oscar night?

The Academy may have opened up its nominations to ten Best Picture contenders but for that and other races, it's really down to just two contenders, Speakeasy's Michelle Kung reports on the News Hub panel.

Here, based on interviews with film buffs and movies historians, are the Top 10 Best Picture winners -- including a pair of multifilm sets -- that are must-haves for your DVD/Blu-ray library:

1. "The Godfather Trilogy," from Paramount Home Entertainment , on DVD and Blu-ray. Includes "The Godfather" (1972), "The Godfather Part II" (1974) and "The Godfather Part III" (1990). The first two films won Best Picture. (VIA.B 30.34, +0.01, +0.03%)

Paramount did an extraordinary job with the restoration of the first two movies for Blu-ray, said Bill Hunt, the founder and editor of The Digital Bits, one of the first Web sites devoted to DVD reviews.

"What happened was that the film stocks from the '70s just faded and deteriorated a lot faster than people thought they would. So Robert Harris, one of the leading film restoration specialists in the business, was able to work with [director] Francis Ford Coppola and completely rebuild those films, scene-by-scene and frame-by-frame. And the result was just fabulous," he said.

2. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," (1975) from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment , on DVD and Blu-ray. (TWX 30.40, -0.15, -0.49%)

Hunt was particularly impressed with the audio commentary track on this title, which features director Milos Forman and co-producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz. Douglas's father Kirk had played Jack Nicholson's role of protagonist Randle P. McMurphy in the ill-fated stage version of the work several years earlier. "And there's a very good documentary on the making of the film, as well, and some interesting deleted scenes."

The great films of the 1970s hold a special fascination for Hunt. "There was much less reliance then on the Hollywood formula, which allows you to know that everything's going to turn out well, and so on. You didn't have that then. You had darker sort of circumstances. And those films had a lot of anti-heroes. Guys who ended up being the hero almost against their own will, because they just had to step up.

"Today you have a lot of filmmakers whose entire frame of reference is other films. The filmmakers of the '70s tended to reference literature a lot more. So you had richer storytelling," he said.

3. "The French Connection," (1971) from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, on DVD and Blu-ray.

"There was some controversy last year when director William Friedkin decided to completely alter the look of the film by over-saturating the color and defocusing it at once, resulting in this weird smear of pastels," said Stuart Galbraith IV, the author of six books whose reviews appear frequently at DVDTalk.com.

"Even so it's still a great film, and now one can compare it's iconic chase scene with the arguably superior one in Friedkin's 'To Live and Die in L.A.,' another recent Blu-ray release," he said in an email.

4. "Casablanca" (1942), from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on DVD and Blu-ray (Allargon's note: and HD DVD).

"Of course," Galbraith said. "Many people think Blu-ray is only good for the latest high-concept blockbusters, but here's this 70-year-old classic that looks absolutely phenomenal in high-definition, and I say this as someone who's seen it in a theater probably 20 times over the years. And I'll still watch it once every year or two."

5. "All About Eve" (1950), from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, on DVD.

"Like 'Casablanca,' this is another old movie that people who generally avoid old black-and-white movies always find totally captivating," Galbraith said. "Maybe it's because of its very modern cynicism and sardonic humor. Anyway, it's enormous fun, though I must say Billy Wilder's 'Sunset Boulevard,' nominated that same year, is a much better movie."

6. "Rocky" (1976), from MGM Home Entertainment, on DVD and Blu-ray.

"Rocky" is the only film to make both Hunt's and Galbraith's 10-best lists. "It's just a very human story," Hunt said. "It proves that you can tell a really great story about a guy who just wants to go 10 rounds with the champ."

"It's funny to think about it now, but back in 1976 when this was first released serious film critics regarded Sylvester Stallone's performance to be on a level with Marlon Brando at his peak, from the time of 'On the Waterfront' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire,'" Galbraith said.

7. "Gone with the Wind" (1939) (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition), from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on DVD and Blu-ray.

Another "extraordinary restoration job" by Warner Bros., Hunt said, which really excels among the major studios at such work. "The tendency is to scrub these movies so clean that they don't even look like film anymore. To take out things like film grain, and just little imperfections that are just part of the process. Well, Warner doesn't do that. They make these films look like they did when they were first shown in theaters. And the box set of 'Gone With The Wind' is just loaded with extras. They combed the vault and found all kinds of stuff for that set."

8. "Gigi" (1958), from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on DVD and Blu-ray.

Wrote Galbraith: "You couldn't really appreciate some films until they were released on DVD in letterboxed editions. Likewise, some movies really don't play all that well on DVD but finally, with the added clarity of high-definition Blu-ray, can be viewed in a real approximation of the theatrical experience. '2001: A Space Odyssey,' 'Lola Montes,' and 'Days of Heaven' are three that immediately come to mind.

"'Gigi's' another. Vincente Minnelli's subtle use of color and CinemaScope never really impressed me all that much until Warner's gorgeous Blu-ray edition came along."

9. "Unforgiven" (1992), from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on DVD. (Allargon's note: and Blu-Ray and HD DVD..tsk tsk)

"Unbelievably, Clint Eastwood is turning 80 later this year ... and ahead of Warner Bros. newly announced Blu-ray box sets viewers can prime themselves with this instant classic Western, the first to win the Best Picture Oscar since 1931's 'Cimarron,' Galbraith said.

10. "The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy," from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on DVD and coming to Blu-ray in April. Includes "The Fellowship Of the Ring" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Return Of The King" (2003). The final film in the saga won Best Picture.

Hunt is always partial to epic adventure stories. "Our staff is really excited about these movies coming to Blu-ray," he said.
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