Lovers of classic films can breathe a sigh of sweet relief as it has been announced that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) and Martin Scorsese’s non-profit film preservation organization, The Film Foundation, have teamed up to release onto DVD beloved titles from the Sony catalog that have been out of circulation for years. The two organizations plan to release the DVDs under the “Collector’s Choice” banner with each movie being restored and remastered.

If that wasn’t enough, in place of the original director’s commentary, each movie will feature introductions and commentary by contemporary acclaimed directors and actors who will discuss the impact the movie has had on their own careers, talents and love for moviemaking. Margaret Bodde, executive director of The Film Foundation, hopes to put the films into a “historical and cultural context” that is priceless when married to the commentary of directors like Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Taylor Hackford (all of whom provide the commentary for the “Collector’s Choice” first release, The Films of Budd Boetticher).

Lexine Wong, senior executive vice president of worldwide marketing at SPHE, agrees, adding, “We have an incredible treasure trove of films in our catalog, and this partnership with The Film Foundation helps us to create a unique, collectible package for classic cinema fans so they, too, can own a piece of Hollywood’s film legacy.”

Upcoming DVD sets will include Rita Hayworth, Frank Capra, William Castle and Film Noir collections among others, allowing a generation of movie lovers who know little about classics to learn about the movies that started it all from the people who were most influenced by them. Is there a better way to learn? I think not.