It can be maddening trying to find the right holiday gift for cinephiles. But it's hard to go wrong with compilations, especially one as extensive as the
Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection (Blu-ray)
, a 52-disc boxed set featuring some of the studio's best films, on Blu-ray and UltraViolet digital copy.
Titles range from the 1932 Oscar-winner Grand Hotel starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore to Singin' in the Rain, Dirty Harry, Amadeus, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, through to 2010's sci-fi hit Inception. Warner's online store has been offering the boxed set for less than half the list price (www.wbshop.com; $597.92 list price; various ratings).
Other holiday gift ideas
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series. Bryan Cranston burns up the screen as Everyman-turned-drug-lord in this extraordinary AMC series. All five seasons are available on Blu-ray and UltraViolet Digital in this nifty 16-disc barrel-shaped box (www.sonypictures.com/; $300; not rated).
The Bruce Lee Legacy Collection. The martial arts legend kicks up a storm in this 11-disc boxed set, which contains DVD and Blu-ray editions of the four films he completed in Hong Kong before seeking Hollywood glory (www.shoutfactory.com/; $119.99; not rated).
Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition. Fans of Lee's fifth film can enjoy it anew with this handsome Blu-ray edition (www.wbshop.com/; $49.99; rated R).
Dexter: The Complete Series Collection. Cuddle up to America's favorite serial killer with a boxed set containing all eight seasons (www.paramount.com/movies/home-media; $359.99 DVD; $544.99 Blu-ray; not rated).
Digimon: The Official Seasons 1-4 Collection. It was such a simple, elegant idea: What if communication networks spawned digital monsters? And bang: Digimon fever swept across Japan with a wave of products including manga, toys, video games, and this animated TV show for children. This 32-disc boxed set contains all 205 episodes of the first four seasons (www.newvideo.com; $229.95; not rated).
The Jack Ryan Collection. A guy-movie collection if ever there was one, this four-film set includes The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears (www.paramount.com/movies/home-media; $26.98 DVD; $59.99 Blu-ray; rated R).
James Dean Ultimate Collector's Edition. Warner's seven-disc Blu-ray set includes Dean's three films - Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, and Giant - with full commentary tracks and a heap of extras, including three feature-length documentaries (www.wbshop.com; $99.98; PG-13).
John Cassavetes: Five Films. Explore the roots of American indie filmmaking with five of Cassavetes' best films - Shadows, Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Opening Night - which have been digitally restored for Blu-ray and collected in a gorgeous boxed set (www.criterion.com; $124.95; rated PG-13).
Kavanagh QC Complete Collector's Edition. The late, great British actor John Thaw (Inspector Morse) played a barrister in one of his final roles in this wonderful, often-overlooked legal drama available in six collections (www.bfsent.com/; $32.98 each; not rated). If you can wait an additional few weeks, BFS Entertainment will release a 17-disc boxed megaset of the entire series for the list price of $175.
Naked City: The Complete Series. Finally available on DVD, this classic from the mid-1960s is still considered one of the most innovative crime shows on American TV. This 29-disc set includes all four seasons (www.watchimage.com; $179.98; not rated).
The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection. Classic-film fans will love this collection of four films the screen legend made for Alexander Korda in the mid-1930s: Storm in a Teacup, Dark Journey, St. Martin's Lane, and Fire Over England. Leigh's turn opposite Laurence Olivier in the last persuaded David O. Selznick to cast her as Scarlett O'Hara (http://cohenmedia.net; $49.98 DVD; $59.98 Blu-ray; not rated).
Weeds: Complete Collection. Mary-Louise Parker is sexy, witty, scary, wily, outrageous as a suburban pot-dealing mom in Showtime's memorable drama. All eight seasons are collected on Blu-ray and UltraViolet Digital in this 16-disc set (www.lionsgateshop.com; $119.97; not rated).
Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman. Made between 1962 and 1973, this 25-film cycle became one of Japan's most popular big-screen samurai series. Shintaro Katsu stars as the titular antihero, a blind masseur who uses his extraordinary skills as a swordsman to fight for the little guy. This 27-disc boxed set contains all 25 films in both DVD and Blu-ray formats (www.criterion.com; $224.95; not rated).
Please see other gift suggestions at www.inquirer.com/giftguide