Steve McQueen Movies on DVD

Steve McQueen moviesSteve McQueen movies on DVD

Steve McQueen was one of the top film stars of the '60s and early '70s. Though best remembered as one of the leads in big, loud action movies such as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), The Getaway (1972), and the hellish bore The Towering Inferno (1974), McQueen was usually at his best in smaller efforts such as Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), in which he gives a sensitive and quite likable performance as the (Italian-American?!) man who impregnates Natalie Wood, and The Cincinnati Kid (1965), playing opposite (and against) fellow card shark Edward G. Robinson. (Image: Steve McQueen.)

Anyhow, you now have the chance to easily check out both Steve McQueen “types,” as last May Warner Home Video released a DVD box set featuring six McQueen movies, “The Essential Steve McQueen Collection.” Included are Bullitt (1968) Two-Disc Special Edition, The Cincinnati Kid, The Getaway Deluxe Edition, Never So Few (1959), Papillon (1973), and Tom Horn (1980).

Of those, Peter Yates' thrilling Bullitt and Norman Jewison's multi-star The Cincinnati Kid – McQueen, Robinson, Joan Blondell, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret – vie for the best-of-the-pack slot. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, The Getaway is a mindless but enjoyable badgers-chase-cool cats romp, with Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw as the cool cats and the rest of the cast as the badgers; Franklin J. Schaffner's Papillon is an overlong Devil's Island-set tale whose saving grace is one of McQueen's best performances; while the box office disappointment Tom Horn is an honorable attempt at a thought-provoking Western, though one that, however handsomely mounted, fails to reach its lofty goals.

The less said about the military melodrama Never So Few the better. John Sturges, the highly capable director of Bad Day at Black Rock and The Magnificent Seven is to blame for that film's directionlessness. McQueen has an early supporting role; Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida are the two miscast leads.

'The Essential Steve McQueen Collection' DVD extras

Of note, the Bullitt DVD has commentary by director Peter Yates, and includes two documentary features: The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, narrated by Kathy Bates, and Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool, directed by Mimi Freedman. Among the other commentaries in “The Essential Steve McQueen Collection” are Norman Jewison's for The Cincinnati Kid, and a “virtual” audio commentary for The Getaway, with stills featuring McQueen, Ali MacGraw, and Sam Peckinpah.

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