Gift Guide: Movie Classics

Holiday 2013 offers up the chance to revisit some of the greatest films of all time. From "All the President's Men," to "Terms of Endearment" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," there's a movie for everyone on your list.

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Promotional portrait of Robert Redford, right, and Dustin Hoffman standing in front of the Washington Post Building in a still from director Alan J Pakula's film "All the President's Men." The actors portrayed Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who were the first to investigate the Watergate scandal.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 25th Anniversary Edition One of the more sublime comic gems among Steve Martin’s frequently brilliant ‘80s-era output, this sharp-edged 1988 remake of 1964’s “Bedtime Story” is directed by former Muppeteer and Yoda master Frank Oz. Michael Caine’s debonair con artist is perfectly pitted against Martin’s crass younger scammer in a battle over the ripe plucking grounds of a bucolic French Rivera community.
The Right Stuff 30th Anniversary Edition The handsomely shot, movingly told 1983 epic about the earliest days of the American space program – based on Tom Wolfe’s bestseller – only gets more stirring with age in its Blu Ray debut. Historic, inspiring and entertaining, director Phillip Kaufman’s 193-minute film reaches for the stars.
The Bishop’s Wife A holiday favorite since its theatrical debut in 1947, this lighthearted but spiritual comedy soars on the wings of its stars’ considerable charms: Cary Grant plays a suave, smooth-talking angel who appears to clergyman David Niven, struggling to construct a new cathedral – but in attempting to mend the relationship between Niven and his wife Loretta Young, the dashing angel may do more harm than good.
The Best Years of Our Lives In a modern postwar era, there’s no better time to revisit the Best Picture Oscar winner from 1946, in which director William Wyler – himself injured in battle – crafted an insightful portrait of three World War II veterans (Frederick March, Dana Andrews and Harold Russell, who in real life lost both hands during the War) trying, often painfully, to adjust once again to life in their small Midwestern town.
All the President’s Men 40th Anniversary Edition That four-decade distinction of this new release of the ultimate conspiracy thriller – because it’s true – applies to the seminal period of the Watergate scandal and not the film’s actual 1976 release. But any excuse to revisit Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as reporters Woodward and Bernstein in Alan J. Pakula’s dramatization is a good one. This latest release comes with a new documentary loaded with compelling details about the making of the film and the real-life investigation.
The Wizard of Oz 3D Blu Ray 75th Anniversary Collectors Edition For 3D-TV aficionados who’ve dreamed of seeing Judy Garland click her ruby slipper heels together or Margaret Hamilton soar on her broomstick over Oz in all their multidimensional glory, this stunningly immersive five-disc set will send fans over the rainbow: Along with 2D and 3D versions of the 1939 film, it comes with a treasure trove of collectibles and new and previously released content, most notably a new 68-minute documentary narrated by Martin Sheen.
Stalag 17 Thanks to writer-director Billy Wilder’s legendarily caustic but sparking wit, this intimate, appropriately claustrophobic drama about a group of Allied soldiers in a Nazi prison camp remains as startlingly and darkly funny today as it was in 1953. William Holden’s unsympathetic, world-weary performance as a cynical POW remains a standout among his storied career.
Terms of Endearment One of the most Oscar-awarded comedic dramas of all time, filmmaker James L. Brooks’ 1983 adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel is brought to moving, messy life by a wealth of bravura performances, most notably Shirley MacLaine at her best as a difficult Texas diva, Debra Winger as her differently tempered daughter, and Jack Nicholson in a defining role as a hedonistic ex-astronaut.
The Three Faces of Eve The psychological premise behind writer-director Nunnally Johnson’s 1957 drama introduced the general public to multiple personality disorder – based on a real-life case – and sparked shock and debate. But no one debated the merits of Joanne Woodward’s bravura performance crafting a triptych of distinct personas, for which she took home an Oscar.
James Dean Ultimate Collector’s Edition Dean may have only made three films in his short, meteoric career before his death at age 24, but he made them to last: “Rebel Without a Cause,” “East of Eden” and “Giant” not only endure as film treasures on their own merits, they continue to demonstrate Dean’s seismic impact as an actor who encapsulated everything hip and heartbreaking about American youth culture. - Scott Huver
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