Box sets of films starring Sidney Poitier and Natalie Wood lead off this look at the latest golden oldies (well, maybe silver) to arrive on DVD, including a number of first-time releases.

"The Sidney Poitier Collection" (Warner, 1957-72, color and b/w, $39.92). While all four of the films in this set are watchable the most notable is "Edge of the City," which has never been on home video.

This was the first film directed by Martin Ritt ("The Long Hot Summer," "Hud," "Murphy's Romance") and it approaches neorealism with its gritty story of life among New York longshoremen, focusing on the friendship that develops between John Cassevetes, who is harboring a secret, and his pal Poitier — a friendship that doesn't sit well with a bigoted coworker (Jack Warden).

The others are "Something of Value," with Poitier and Rock Hudson, both quite good as childhood friends in Kenya who are driven apart by a Mau Mau uprising; "A Patch of Blue," the only reissue here, as Poitier befriends a timid blind girl (Elizabeth Hartman) with a racist mother (Shelley Winters); and "A Warm December," the least of these, a tragic romance between a widowed doctor vacationing in London and a woman who has a secret (Poitier also directed this one).

Extras: widescreen, trailers; on "A Patch of Blue": audio commentary, photo gallery, text essay, awards (titles released in collection only)

"Natalie Wood Collection" (Warner, 1957-65, six discs, b/w and color, $59.92). Two of these are remastered reissues, the fine romantic melodrama "Splendor in the Grass," costarring Warren Beatty in his film debut, and with Wood at the top of her game, and "Gypsy," with Rosalind Russell dominating the show.

Another, "Bombers B-52," is on home video for the first time, with Wood being romanced by hot-shot pilot Efrem Zimbalist Jr., much to the chagrin of her father (Karl Malden).

Also here are DVD debuts of "Sex and the Single Girl," using the title of Helen Gurley Brown's book for a zany farce co-starring Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall (with Wood playing Brown!); "Cash McCall," a comedy-drama with James Garner as a modern robber baron who buys a company from Dean Jagger and woos his daughter (Wood); and the least of these, "Inside Daisy Clover," a shallow look at 1930s Hollywood, co-starring Robert Redford and Christopher Plummer.

Extras: widescreen, cartoons, trailers; on "Gypsy": two outtake musical numbers

"Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection" (Universal; R for violence, sex, language; three discs, $19.98). These are four remastered reissues for Eastwood fans: "Play Misty for Me," a very effective precursor to "Fatal Attraction" and Eastwood's first directing effort, in which he is a DJ stalked by obsessive fan Jessica Walter; "The Eiger Sanction," a mountain-climbing thriller filmed partially in Utah; "Coogan's Bluff," with Eastwood as a modern-day cowboy in Manhattan; and "The Beguiled," the most unusual of these, a psychological thriller with Eastwood as a wounded Civil War soldier hiding in a girls school.

Extras: widescreen, featurettes, featurettes, photo/art galleries, text production notes

"Far From the Madding Crowd" (Warner, 1967, $19.97). This nearly three-hour epic is an underrated adaptation of Thomas Hardy's dense novel about an independent woman (Julie Christie) in Victorian England romanced by three disparate men (Alan Bates, Peter Finch, Terence Stamp).

Christie was considered problematic casting at the time, but she holds her own with three strong actors, and everyone delivers outstanding performances.

Extras: widescreen, extended (by three minutes) international version, trailer

"Waterloo Bridge" (Warner, 1940, b/w, $19.97). Fine adaptation of the tragic play (filmed previously in 1931) with Vivien Leigh at her best as a woman who believes her lover (Robert Taylor, also very good) has been killed in action during World War I, so she gives up on life. But after the war, he shows up again, having been a POW. Excellent old-fashioned filmmaking.

Extras: widescreen, trailer

"Cannery Row" (Warner, 1982, PG, $19.97). Nick Nolte is a marine biologist with a dark past who helps out a variety of skid-row eccentrics in the titular community of northern California, and who is not expecting love to enter the equation until he meets offbeat Debra Winger. Lively comedy-drama based on John Steinbeck's novel — but rather stagebound, having been filmed on a huge, obvious Hollywood set.

Extras: widescreen, trailer

"The Yellow Rolls-Royce" (Warner, 1965, $19.97). An international all-star cast — Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, Alain Delon, George C. Scott, Jeanne Moreau, Omar Sharif, Shirley MacLaine — bolsters this three-episode tale of the owners of the titular auto. Art Carney and Wally Cox are also here. A bit slow and overlong (just over two hours) but entertaining.

Extras: widescreen, trailer

"Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (Warner, 1969, G, $19.97). This musical remake doesn't come close to the 1939 adaptation of James Hilton's novel about a beloved teacher in an English boys school who devotes his life to his students. Peter O'Toole is great but Petula Clark is weak, the songs are mediocre and the film is way too long at 21/2 hours.

Extras: widescreen, trailer

E-MAIL: hicks@desnews.com