Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $24.95
ALONG WITH the essential restoration of William Wyler's 1968 film to its ravishing wide-screen glory on this single-disc package, Barbra fans here receive random trailers (is anyone really jonesing to recall The Mirror Has Two Faces?), a shamefully abbreviated "song highlights" section, and—oh, thank you, whoever you are—two howling bits of studio-produced promotional fluff for the film's original release.
Among other extras, Barbra in Movieland is an artificial "documentary" about the filming of the justly famous "Don't Rain on My Parade" number in an abandoned Hoboken train station as seen through the wizened eyes of elderly caretaker Charlie. You watch him shuffling around in overalls in the background and hear him reading priceless gems of scripted narration such as, "When I said goodbye to Miss Streisand, I don't mind saying it felt a bit funny." You choke and wait for him to add, "Cuz Pepperidge Farms remembers."
Better still is the informative This is Streisand, a montage of stills overlaid with dead-serious jaw-droppers intoned by someone who may just as well be covering the D-Day landings: "She has been most often described as an original, which is defined as never having occurred or existed before. Audiences sense, feel, know that nothing like Barbra Streisand has ever . . . occurred . . . before." If Babs heard and believed any of this hooey, no wonder she flipped out on overwrought behemoths like Yentl.
ALSO OUT is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, boasting 90 minutes of extra footage plus commentary by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones (Cleese, Palin, and Idle apparently couldn't be in the same room with those blokes). Also worth having, with 16 Oscars between them, are special-edition packages of From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront, the latter featuring commentary by 92-year-old director Elia Kazan. (What a pity they couldn't also get Brando to speak—but how many discs would he fill?) Nominated for eight Oscars, The Remains of the Day arrives on DVD with commentary by director James Ivory and leading lady Emma Thompson.