Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 Classic Film Holiday Gift Guide

This year's holiday gift guide is exclusively made up of items that I own and love plus a couple of extras. I think these will make great gifts for classic film lovers of all kinds. My guide does include some affiliate links. You don't have to shop with them but if you do thank you! And now on to the gifts...

For the Patriotic film buff who loves WWII history…

Warner Bros. And The Homefront Dvd from Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. and the Homefront DVD Collection contains three WWII musicals boasting an incredible array of talent including Bette Davis, John Garfield Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, S.Z. Sakall, Humphrey Bogart, the Andrews Sisters, Ida Lupino, Eddie Cantor, Joan Leslie, Ronald Reagan, Olivia de Havilland and more. It's a great set of entertaining movies which demonstrate how Hollywood used their talents and resources to support the war effort.

For the Gone With the Wind (1939) devotee…

Kendra Bean's book Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait is a labor of love and a great tribute to the actress best known for her role as Scarlett O'Hara. Many Gone With the Wind fans are enamored with Vivien Leigh and would love to have this gorgeous book as part of their library. This book details the actress' life and career and showcases many never-before-seen photographs. It's a collector's item as well as an informative read.

For the serious student of film history…

Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood is one of my favorite books from 2013. Author Greg Merritt carefully examines the scandal that shook up Hollywood and changed film history forever. This makes the perfect gift for the studious film scholar who wants to learn everything there is to know about the early history of Hollywood. Read my full review of the book here.

For the movie musical fan who wants to grow their collection...

Introduce them to the wonders of movie musicals with this Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Musicals set. It includes various WB and MGM musicals from The Jazz Singer (1927) to Hairspray (1988).  Read my full review of this boxed set here. This is a fun set for a musical movie marathon. You wont be able to watch them all in one day but it would be ideal for a (really) long weekend or staycation.

For the parent who wants to introduce their child to old movies...

Bluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton by Matt Phelan. This graphic novel takes place in Bluffton, a small neighborhood in Muskegon, Michigan. A young Buster Keaton travels with his family to Bluffton each year to spend the summer. Keaton meets a local boy and the story is told from that boy's perspective. A little bit from my review:

Bluffton is intended for children ages 9-12... It's a great way to introduce children to an important figure in film history and to show them a time before electronic devices in which work and play were exclusively physical. Adults will revel in the nostalgia and the history and everyone will be transfixed by the amazing illustrations. This is a great choice for reluctant readers because of the accessibility of the illustrations, the story and the text.

For the very generous gift giver who wants to treat someone to something extra special…

Best Of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection (Blu-ray) Blu-Ray from Warner Bros.

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection (Blu-ray) Blu-Ray from Warner Bros. This set is amazing and one of the treasures in my home library. It retails at just under $600 (you can probably find a good deal online) so this is definitely for the gift giver who has some room in his or her wallet. It contains 50 movies plus extras on 52 Blu-Ray discs. Two flip-books holding the discs are inside and the movies are organized in chronological order. There are extra goodies including a fold-out poster and collectible postcards. The entire folds out and holds together with a magnetic closure. I've been meaning to review this one for a long time and I will soon! Movies include: Grand Hotel, Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Singin' in the Rain, A Streetcar Named Desire, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, North By Northwest and plenty more . Years covered are from 1932 to 2010.

For the frugal gift giver who wants their dollars to go the extra mile…

Give the gift of a TCM Greatest Classic Films or Greatest Classic Legends collection is a great way to treat a classic film fan to something special without breaking the bank. The Greatest Classic Film sets are by theme, director or pairing and include Literary Romance, Busby Berkeley Musicals , Family, Holiday, Astaire and Rogers , Hitchcock Thrillers, Murder Mysteries and more. The Greatest Classic Legends feature four films starring one classic film actor or actress. I own the Jean Harlow and Kirk Douglas sets! Some out-of-print titles can be found in these sets too making them even more valuable. You can usually find these for 30-50% off the retail price at Barnes and Noble or at the TCM Shop. Walmart has an exclusive line with 2 films instead of 4 which is even less expensive.

For the TCM fanatic…

TCM Bistro Mug - Green . I don't have this one yet but thanks to a kind friend who gave me a TCM gift certificate for my recent birthday, there is one on it's way to me! For a gift recipient who loves hot beverages and watching classic movies, there is no better way to show off their TCM pride than with a branded mug.

You could kick things up a notch and upgrade your gift to the Classic Cocoa Gift Set which includes the Bistro Mug, a blanket and hot cocoa mix.

For the film buff who lives for extras…
Lawrence Of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray  PLUS Exclusive Gift with Purchase!
Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray. I asked Carlos if he wanted to suggest something he owned for my holiday gift guide and he picked this. It's one of his most treasured possessions. It's a stunning boxed complete with a coffee table book, an individually numbered 70mm mounted film frame, a soundtrack CD and three Blu-Rays with the film and enough extras to keep you busy for several hours. If you buy the set at TCM's shop, they offer a set of magnets and a gift with purchase.

For the film trivia expert who thinks they know everything…

The Man Who Seduced Hollywood The Life and Loves of Greg Bautzer, Tinseltown's Most Powerful Lawyer by B. James Gladstone. Maybe your loved one and friend has read every book about every major movie star and director? Well, have they heard about Greg Bautzer the legendary lawyer whose list of Hollywood romances was as impressive as his list of elite clients. Read my full review of the book here. (Stay tuned as I'll be posting an interview with the author on this blog soon!)

For the discriminating classic film fan who is impossible to shop for…

A rental or streaming service! I have subscriptions to Netflix (streaming and 2 DVDs at a time) and Classicflix (1 DVD at a time). There is also the Warner Archive streaming service which is growing in leaps and bounds. I love having services like these available to me for random projects and for quick access to new-to-me films I learn about. Netflix offers gift subscriptions. If your recipient already has any of these services, you can always offer to pay for a few months on their behalf.

Now here are some of my favorites from Warner Archive...

For the lover of American nostalgia…

Andy Hardy Collection, The: Volume 1 from Warner Bros.

Andy Hardy Film Collection, The: Volume 2 from Warner Bros.

Spend some time with the Hardy family. There is Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney), he's got energy to burn and skirts to chase, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) who is the voice of reason even if he sometimes gets sidetracked and who can forget Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden), Aunt Milly and Marian Hardy. The series evolved over time but many things stayed constant. Andy Hardy's many romances gave some young starlets including Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Esther Williams and two of my personal favorites: Bonita Granville and Susan Peters a chance to shine.

For the B-movie detective enthusiast

Falcon Mystery Movie Collection, The Volume 1 from Warner Bros.

The Falcon Mystery Movie Collection, Volume 2 from Warner Bros.

Spend some time with the Falcon as he solves murders and makes the ladies swoon. Actor George Sanders plays Falcon in the first three films until his brother Tom Conway takes over in the fourth film and in the ones that followed. Both Sanders and Conway are excellent in these B-murder mysteries and these films are great for rainy days.

For the Robert Benchley fan or lover of film shorts…

Robert Benchley Shorts from Warner Bros.

These are hilarious! Robert Benchley was the quintessential humorist of the early 20th Century. This three disc set includes 30 of his humorous miniatures from 1935 to 1944. Some of my favorites include How to Sleep, How to Train a Dog, A Night at the Movies and How to Read. You might not love them all but you'll find plenty in this set to enjoy. Fans of Robert Benchley's brand of humor will love to have this set in their home library.


  1. Great list! I'd be glad to see any of those under my tree. Warner Archive Instant has been one of my favorite new streaming services - definitely a great choice for a gift that keeps on giving.

  2. Oh man, my wife'll love Bluffton. Thanks for the rec! To Amazon!

  3. I had Bluffton on my Amazon wish list to get for my father in law, but my father in law got it for me instead. He had a hard time wrapping it instead of reading it!

  4. Fantastic gift list!

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