MGM Home Entertainment offers a bit of nostalgia this holiday season with the MGM Decades Collection, available on DVD December 4. With a never-ending catalog of classic cinema, MGM has selected three notable films from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s and packaged each disc with a collectible booklet by LIFE Magazine highlighting historical events from that particular decade along with a compact disc featuring the classic music that defined each generation.

Selections from the 1950s include the Sidney Lumet classic 12 Angry Men, the film rated by the American Film Institute (AFI) as the funniest film of all time, Some Like It Hot featuring legendary screen siren Marilyn Monroe, and the timeless musical Guys & Dolls. Films from the 1960s include Mike Nichols' Oscar winning film The Graduate, the epic family fantasy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Robert Wise's West Side Story, based on the hit live theater show that celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Referred to as the "Me Decade" by best-selling author Tom Wolfe, the 1970s features MGM classics Fiddler on the Roof, Stephen King's Carrie and Mel Gibson in the apocalyptic Mad Max. Lastly, the generation that introduced the word "yuppie" into the American lexicon, the 1980s is represented by Cher's Academy Award-winning turn in Moonstruck, Rob Reiner's hilarious When Harry Met Sally... and John Cusack in The Sure Thing.

Each DVD in the MGM Decades Collection will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98 US/$25.98 Canada. Prebook is November 7.

1950s Synopses:

12 Angry Men:

Eleven jurors are convinced that the defendant is guilty of murder. The twelfth has no doubt of his innocence. How can this one man steer the others toward the same conclusion? It's a case of seemingly overwhelming evidence against a teenager accused of killing his father in "one of the best pictures ever made" (The Hollywood Reporter).

Guys & Dolls:

Hollywood legends Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blain (from the original Broadway cast) are dazzling in this Frank Loesser (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) masterpiece, unleashing a "spectacular, song-and-dance show that's loaded with entertainment" (New York Journal-American). Featuring hits like "Luck Be a Lady" and "A Woman in Love," this smash film version of one of Broadway's most popular musicals is guaranteed, rip-roaring "four-starentertainment" (New York Daily News). The slickest big-time New York City gamblers, Sky Masterson (Brando) and Nathan Detroit (Sinatra), can't resist making or taking a bet on anything. So when a pretty missionary (Simmons) sets up shop in the neighborhood, Nathan stakes a grand that Sky can't seduce her. But all bets are off when Sky falls madly in love in this romantic musical spectacular that sets the Big Apple afire with excitement!

Some Like It Hot:

When Chicago musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness a gangland shooting, they quickly board a southbound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the twonewestand homeliestmembers of an all-girl jazz band. Their cover is perfect...until a lovelorn singer (Marilyn Monroe) falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy (Joe E. Brown) falls for Daphne, and a mob boss (George Raft) refuses to fall for their hoax! Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, Some Like It Hot is the quintessential madcap farce and one of the greatest of all film comedies (The Motion Picture Guide).

1960s Synopses:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls start your engines. You're about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has never looked or sounded better. Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives but also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure.

The Graduate:

Nominated for seven Academy Awards and winner for Best Director, this ground breaking and "wildly hilarious" (The Boston Globe) social satire launched the career of two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman and cemented the reputation of acclaimed director Mike Nichols. Pulsating with the rebellious spirit of the '60s and a haunting score sung by Simon and Garfunkel, The Graduate is truly a "landmark film" (Leonard Maltin). Shy Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) returns home from college with an uncertain future. Then the wife of his father's business partner, the sexy Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), seduces him, and the affair only deepens his confusion. That is, until he meets the girl of his dreams (Katharine Ross). But there's one problem: she's Mrs. Robinson's daughter!

West Side Story:

This brilliant (The New Republic) film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950s New York. Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and scripted by Ernest Lehman, the film combines Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's unforgettable score ( Maria, America, 'somewhere, 'tonight ) with Robbins own exuberant choreography to achieve an exhilarating work of art (Saturday Review). A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry of two street gangsthe Jets and the Sharks. When Jets member Tony (Richard Beymer) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood), the sister of the Sharks leader, it's more than these two warring gangs can handle. And as mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues, and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale.

1970s Synopses:

Carrie:

Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, Carrie "catches the mind, shakes it and refuses to let it go" (Time)! Starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie (in Oscar-nominated performances), John Travolta and Amy Irving, this ultimate revenge fantasy is "absolutely spellbinding" (Roger Ebert), "outrageously witty" (Los Angeles Times) and one of the all-time great horror classics! At the center of the terror is Carrie (Spacek), a tortured high-school misfit with no confidence, no friends...and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. But when her psychotic mother and sadistic classmates finally go too far, the once-shy teen becomes an unrestrained, vengeance-seeking powerhouse who, with the help of her 'special gift,' causes all hell to break loose in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire and brimstone!

Fiddler on the Roof:

Tevye (Topol) is a poor milkman in Czarist Russia, where he provides for five unmarried daughters and a sharp-tongued wife. Faced with mounting financial strain and growing anti-Semitism, Tevye strives -- like a fiddler on a roof -- to maintain balance despite the precarious nature of his situation. Directed by Norman Jewison (Moonstruck), conducted by John Williams and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, this "triumphant and satisfying experience" (Los Angeles Times) weaves a "tapestry of beauty and excitement" (Rex Reed)!

Mad Max:

Setting Mel Gibson on a sure path to superstardom, this highly acclaimed "crazy collide-o-scope"(Newsweek) of highway mayhem "cinematically defined the postapocalyptic landscape" (TV Guide). Featuring eye-popping stunts that are "electrifying and very convincing" (Variety) and "an authentically nihilistic spirit" (The Village Voice), Mad Max is "pure cinematic poetry" (Time). In the ravaged near future, a savage motorcycle gang rules the road. Terrorizing innocent civilians while tearing up the streets, the ruthless gang laughs in the face ofa police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max Rockatansky (Gibson). And when the bikers brutalize Max's best friend and family, they send him into a mad frenzy that leaves him with only one thing left in the world to live forrevenge!

1980s Synopses:

Moonstruck:

Fall under the delightful spell of Moonstruck, the mesmerizing romantic comedy from director Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof) and Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley. Academy Award winners Cher, Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis excel in this explosively funny tale which also features flawless performances by Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia and Frasier's John Mahoney. Cher is "devastatingly funny, sinuous and beautiful" (Pauline Kael) as Loretta, an unlucky in love Italian widow who finds romance through the intervention of the Manhattan moon. With her wedding to a close friend just weeks away, she meets and falls hopelessly in love with his younger brother (Cage)! Her dilemma and her equally passionate and hilariously eccentric family make for an unforgettable film you'll find "beguiling" (Time), "enchanting" (Newsweek) and "irresistible" ("Today Show").

The Sure Thing:

John Cusack (Grosse Pointe Blank), Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs) and Nicollette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives) star in this charming tale of true love that's at once "intelligent, fun, a bit devilish [and] delightful, frisky and perceptively funny" (The Hollywood Reporter)! College freshman Walter "Gib" Gibson (Cusack) has a "sure thing" goinga date with a very hot and very sex-craved blonde (Sheridan) across the country in LA. Crossed by fateand the ride-share bulletin boardGib makes the trip with a studious and abrasive coed (Zuniga). But as they mount every obstacle from show tune-singing simpletons and bad weather to leering truck drivers and worse luck, their temperaments change and Gib realizes that the only sure thing isthat losing the real thing would be the worst thing of all!

When Harry Met Sally...:

"Brimming over with style, intelligence and flashing wit" (Rolling Stone), this "splendid and irresistible" (Los Angeles Times) film from director Rob Reiner(American President is one of the best-loved romantic comedies of all time. Featuring dazzling performances from Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, exceptional music from Harry Connick Jr., and an Oscar-nominated screenplay by Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally is an "explosively funny" commentary on friendship, courtships - and other hardships - of the modern age (Newsweek)! Will sex ruin a perfect relationship between a man and a woman? that's what Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) debate during their travels from Chicago to New York. And eleven years and later, they're still no closer to finding the answer. Will these two best friends ever accept that they're meant for each other...or will they continue to deny the attraction that's existed since the first moment When Harry Met Sally?

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs