This 4-DVD set contains 12 episodes featuring:
Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Groucho Marx, Debbie Reynolds, Kirk Douglas, Alfred Hitchcock, Marlon Brando, Mel Brooks, Frank Capra, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Mitchum, John Huston and Orson Welles.
Also contains a new Cavett interview conducted by Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
Additional bonus material includes:
• Outtakes featuring Katharine Hepburn
• New episode introductions by Dick Cavett
• Original promos for The Dick Cavett Show
Of principal interest to many will be Cavett's interviews with people like Hepburn and Brando, who rarely ventured into TV land. The notoriously press-shy Hepburn, 66 at the time (1973), is seen checking out the studio and making picky remarks about the rug and furniture before agreeing to do the do right then and there, with no audience; she ends up holding forth for two entire shows (plus bonus material), revealing herself to be witty and sophisticated, as well outspoken, practical, and entirely in charge ("You keep interrupting," she chastens Cavett, "Just shut up..."). Brando, a year removed from The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris, agreed to appear only if he could discuss the plight of American Indians (several of whom are also on hand). Cavett, a sharp, self-effacing, well-prepared host, went along, little suspecting that the whole interview would be an exercise in teeth-pulling, with Brando refusing to discuss his career at all; his dismissal of his stage and screen work as "irrelevant" is laughably disingenuous, considering that were it not for his acting, he wouldn't have been invited on the show in the first place. On the other hand, Davis is grand, saucy, full of stories about Hollywood's Golden Age--everything one wants in a movie star. Astaire is charming, showing that even at age 71 he was a great dancer and good singer. Welles, the man who married Rita Hayworth, had dinner with the pre-Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, and made Citizen Kane, is worldly, erudite, expansive (in every sense--he's twice Cavett's size), and probably the most entertaining of the lot. And Hitchcock is marvelous, showing off his dry, peculiar wit and revealing several tricks of the trade (it took 78 edits to make the 45-second shower scene in Psycho). Bonus material includes several Cavett show promos and a new featurette with him and film historian Robert Osbourne. Scattered throughout the various interviews are clips from some great films, including Night of the Hunter, The Birds, Holiday Inn, a variety of Douglas' movies, and even an obscure Bette Davis item called Watch on the Rhine. --Sam Graham
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