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John Farr

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DVDs Worth Owning - and Giving - for Christmas

Posted: 12/16/2011 2:08 pm

I just know many of you out there are scrambling to catch up on your holiday gift giving. This article's for you.

You'd think with all the talk of streaming that DVDs would be quickly going the way of the Edsel. But not so fast, my friends.

Speaking as someone who owns a sizable DVD library (I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how many titles), I still see significant value in these shiny little discs.

Beyond the practical issue that many movies are still not available to stream (or even if they are, they don't look as good and are prone to glitches), there is something to be said for owning the movies you really love.

Personally, I enjoy wandering over to the DVD shelves and just scanning my library... Sometimes I see something I totally forgot I had, and out it comes for a viewing,

You'll lend the special DVDs you own to your friends, and they'll love you for it. You'll find you resort to them when nothing else is on, and you don't feel like hassling with on-demand.

And of course, they're easy to store and relatively cheap to buy- these days, often less than the cost of a movie ticket.

The industry has made a business out of grouping films by star or genre, and what bugs me is that in too many cases, they'll throw in a dog with several other great titles. I don't buy these "sets" on principle, since I believe each movie in them should stand on its own.

Anyway, you don't need to go the prepackaged route. Using bestmoviesbyfarr.com, it's easy to put together customized sets of outstanding, evergreen DVDs based on the particular tastes of those on your shopping list.

In that spirit, I've put together just a few suggested combinations, spanning old and new releases, which I hope will inspire you as we close in on the holidays.

Happy shopping!


By Star and Director

Cary Grant Comedy- The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday


Bogart: The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen


Killer Cagney: The Public Enemy, Yankee Doodle Dandy, White Heat


Bette's Best: The Little Foxes, Now, Voyager, All About Eve


Paul Newman: Hud, Cool Hand Luke, The Verdict


Early Hitchcock: The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Notorious


Hitch In Color: Rear Window, Vertigo, North By Northwest


John Ford: Stagecoach, The Grapes Of Wrath, My Darling Clementine


Peter Sellers: The Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove, Being There


Jane Fonda: Klute, Julia, The China Syndrome


Robert De Niro: Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas


Al Pacino: The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, The Insider


Brad Pitt: Seven, Snatch, The Tree Of Life


George Clooney: Out Of Sight, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Michael Clayton


Meryl Streep: Kramer Versus Kramer, Sophie's Choice, The Hours


Kate Winslet: Sense and Sensibility, Finding Neverland, Little Children


Woody Allen: Love and Death, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters


Francis Ford Coppola: The Conversation, Apocalypse Now Redux, Bram Stoker's Dracula


Clint Eastwood: Unforgiven, Mystic River, Letters From Iwo Jima


By Genre

Screwball Comedies: It Happened One Night, My Man Godfrey, Midnight


Contemporary Comedies: Sideways, Juno, Superbad


Period Drama: Gaslight, Howard's End, The King's Speech


Contemporary Drama: In The Bedroom, Doubt, Frozen River


Family Favorites: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Little Vampire, Millions


Animated: Bambi, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille


Best Westerns: Shane, 3:10 To Yuma, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Classic War Pictures: The Guns Of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, The Great Escape


Contemporary War Pictures: Platoon, The Thin Red Line, The Hurt Locker


Action Classics: Bullitt, Dirty Harry, The French Connection


Mystery/Suspense: Double Indemnity, Charade, All The President's Men


Sci-Fi: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Aliens


Horror: The Bride of Frankenstein, The Exorcist, 28 Days Later


Documentaries: The Mystery of Picasso, Man On Wire, Inside Job


Classic Musicals: Top Hat, Singin' In The Rain, Oklahoma!


Concert Films: Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz, Stop Making Sense.


By Country

Australia: Walkabout, Breaker Morant, Animal Kingdom


England/UK: The Red Shoes, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Another Year


France: The Rules of The Game, Small Change, A Christmas Tale


Germany: Metropolis, Nowhere In Africa, Downfall


Italy: Rome Open City, Amarcord, Mid-August Lunch


Russia: Battleship Potemkin, Solaris, Taxi Blues


India: The Music Room, Shakespeare Wallah, Monsoon Wedding


Japan: Seven Samurai, Tampopo, Still Walking


Korea: Why Has Bodhi- Dharma Left...?, A Tale Of Two Sisters, Secret Sunshine


China: Raise The Red Lantern, Farewell My Concubine, Last Train Home


Looking for top movie recommendations? For over 2,300 of the best movies on DVD, visit www.bestmoviesbyfarr.com

To see John's videos for WNET/Channel 13, go to www.reel13.org

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