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GIFT GUIDE | VIDEO/DVD

Apes, Sleuths and Tonto Too

November 22, 2001|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Local video stores are chockablock with videos and DVDs for the holidays, running the gamut from sports videos to old TV shows, classic silent films to yuletide-themed movies and specials.

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GENERAL INTEREST

"The Woody Allen Collection," DVD, MGM Home Video ($19.98 each; $99.96 for the set). This third and final set of the Woodman's comedies features his best films from the 1980s: "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Broadway Danny Rose," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," "Radio Days" and "Zelig." Each title features the original trailer.

"The Art of Buster Keaton," DVD, Kino ($24.95 each; $199.95 for the set). Kino's award-winning collection contains 10 classic Keaton features--including "The Navigator" and "Steamboat Bill Jr."--and 19 shorts. Only available in the boxed set is "Keaton Plus," a disc that contains more than three hours of Keaton material, including the complete versions of three of his rare shorts, home movies, a photo gallery and a 1950s TV appearance.

"The Avengers '68: The Final Curtain Call," VHS or DVD, A&E ($29.95 for VHS; $39.95 for DVD). The latest collection of episodes from the cult '60s British spy series features 18 episodes starring John Steed's (Patrick Macnee) final partner, the fun-loving, mod ministry agent Tara King (Linda Thorson). All episodes were digitally remastered and are complete and uncut.

"Dirty Harry Collection," VHS or DVD, Warner Home Video ($44.92 for VHS; $79.92 for DVD). This is the 30th anniversary edition of the classic detective thriller "Dirty Harry," starring Clint Eastwood as San Francisco cop Harry Callahan. The collection also features new digital transfers of the four sequels: "Magnum Force," "The Enforcer," "Sudden Impact" and "The Dead Pool." The "Dirty Harry" disc includes a new documentary about the movie and the original trailer.

"Heritage: Civilization and the Jews," VHS or DVD, Home Vision ($24.95 for individual volumes of VHS; $99.95 for VHS and DVD set). The Peabody Award-winning, nine-part PBS series spans three millenniums of Jewish history and culture. The documentary is hosted by the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Abba Eban. The DVD set includes supplemental maps and excerpts from the Encyclopedia Judaica.

"The Lone Ranger," VHS or DVD, Rhino Home Video ($9.95 each for VHS; $19.95 for DVD). Rhino has lassoed four color episodes of the classic western TV series starring Clayton Moore as the Masked Man and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The DVD includes the series' first two black-and-white installments, "Enter the Lone Ranger" and "The Lone Ranger Fights On."

"Planet of the Apes: The Complete TV Series," DVD (Fox, $49.98). The four-disc set features all 14 episodes of the short-lived 1974 CBS series based on the hit 1968 movie "Planet of the Apes." The series stars Roddy McDowall, who starred in all the "Ape" movies; Ron Harper; and James Naughton, best known as the father of Ally McBeal. The DVD also features a rare bonus episode that never aired on network TV.

"Ultimate Jordan," DVD, USA Home Entertainment and NBA Entertainment ($26.98). This two-disc set starring the Washington Wizards' new player, Michael Jordan, contains five remastered best-selling Jordan VHS programs ("Come Fly With Me," "Michael Jordan's Playground," "Air Time," "Above & Beyond" and "His Airness"), his top 10 moments on court, highlights from his eight greatest games, interviews and testimonials from Jordan's NBA peers and a musical tribute. Also included: a look at the popular Jordan commercials for Nike, slam-dunk contest footage and an interactive timeline.

"The X-Files Season Four DVD Collection," DVD, Fox ($149.98). A seven-disc set features all 24 episodes from the fourth season of the popular Fox sci-fi series, which stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as FBI special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. The set also includes a new 20-minute documentary, interviews, "behind the truth" segments, deleted scenes, international clips and director and special-effects commentaries.

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HOLIDAY THEMES

"A Christmas Past," VHS or DVD, Kino ($24.95 for VHS; $29.95 for DVD). A collection of nine short silent holiday films produced between 1901 and 1925, including a 1909 D.W. Griffith film, "A Trap for Santa," and a 10-minute version of "A Christmas Carol" produced by Thomas Edison's studio. The films have been digitally mastered from original 35-millimeter elements and are accompanied by a new score by Al Kryszak.

"Fireplace," DVD, DVD International ($19.99). Don't have a fireplace? This video aims to be the next best thing. This seasonal disc combines the tranquillity of a wood-burning fireplace--including its natural sounds--with holiday and classical music.

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