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DVD Fit For McQueen

14 Mar, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Hollywood action icon Steve McQueen. Warner Home Video is hoping to reinvigorate some of his films for longtime fans as well as introduce a new generation to the classic star with The Essential Steve McQueen Collection, a five-DVD set that streets June 7 ($62.82).

The collection has been in the works for two years, said George Feltenstein, SVP of classic catalog for Warner. It includes the DVD debuts of the McQueen films The Cincinnati Kid, The Getaway, Papillon, Never So Few, Tom Horn, as well as a remastered double-disc special edition of the previously released Bullitt.

“He was as big a star as Brando, as Paul Newman and leading men like that,” Feltenstein said. “He was right up there in terms of the definition of what it is to be a man's man. But, he is somewhat forgotten, not by film fans, but there are a lot of young people who don't know who he is.”

One of the things McQueen definitely was, Feltenstein said, was “the essence of cool,” also the title of an all new documentary on the star's life included on the Bullitt set. It will also air on Turner Classic Movies June 1. McQueen movies, from all studios, will air on TCM throughout the month of June.

The set is a great buy for Father's Day, Feltenstein said.

“It shows how versatile and tremendously talented this person was, and we lost him way too soon,” he said.

Another feature on the Bullitt Special Edition is the inclusion of a documentary on film editing co-produced by Warner, The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, which aired on Starz!, features interviews with directors like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott. Bullitt won the 1969 Oscar for best film editing.

“We were looking for the right home for this phenomenal documentary, and the Bullitt disc was it,” Feltenstein said.

All the films in the collection are also available individually at $19.97 each. Warner is particularly excited about the prospects for The Cincinnati Kid, which, thanks to its poker theme, fits right into Hollywood's current poker craze, Feltenstein said.

“Celebrity Poker Showdown” hosts Dave Foley (“Kids in the Hall,” “News Radio”) and Kevin Pollak (Hostage, A Few Good Men) recorded a commentary track for the film. Director Norman Jewison also provides commentary on The Cincinnati Kid disc.

Other DVD extras on the films in The Essential Steve McQueen Collection include archival footage and commentaries from fellow stars like Jacqueline Bissett and Robert Vaughn.

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