While the City Sleeps & Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 03/31/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

The love for Fritz Lang doesn’t quit!  As Lang’s biographers point out, his American films consistently focus on moral and psychological questions in crime. Lang saw murder as more than a dramatic tool as he probed for weaknesses in the legal system. His final American pictures — two separate disc releases — make excellent use of good actors. Dana Andrews stars in both, backed by freelancing name stars: Joan Fontaine, Rhonda Fleming, Ida Lupino, George Sanders, Howard Duff, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Sally Forrest. Separate Blu-ray releases from The Warner Archive Collection.
3/31/18

Joan of Arc (1948) 03/31/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Does every great actress see Joan of Arc as the ultimate serious role? Ingrid Bergman ran into serious career trouble while this picture was still in release. Its cast and credits are packed with star talent — is it a misunderstood classic with a great central performance? Ms. Bergman was so enamored with the character that she played it twice. Co-starring José Ferrer, Francis L. Sullivan, J. Carrol Naish, Ward Bond and Shepperd Strudwick. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
3/31/18

Hotel Berlin 03/31/18

The Warner Archive Collection
DVD

“Grand Hotel. Nazis come. Nazis go. Nothing ever happens.” That’s a paraphrase from 1932’s Grand Hotel, indicating that the hallowed halls once occupied by Greta Garbo are now overrun with Warner Bros. contract players. As defeat looms, German officers, crooks, fugitives and ordinary citizens fumble for a way to survive. Writer and fervent anti-fascist Alvah Bessie almost didn’t — he would later be politically scourged as a member of The Hollywood Ten. Get set for a soap opera with swastikas. Starring Faye Emerson, Andrea King, Helmut Dantine, Raymond Massey, George Coulouris and Peter Lorre. On DVD from The Warner Archive Collection.
3/31/18

An Actor’s Revenge 03/27/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

It’s Yukinojo henge, something completely different in Japanese drama. When Yukitaro isn’t studying for his next part, the cross-dressing Kabuki star is hunting down the thugs responsible for the death of his parents. Charlie Largent takes a look at the new HD disc of Kon Ichikawa’s theatrical extravaganza, one of the most beautiful color films in the history of Japanese cinema. Starring Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao and Shintaro Katsu. Filmed in DaieiScope; on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
3/27/18

The New Centurions 03/27/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Joseph Wambaugh’s breakthrough novel went through a blender to fit George C. Scott into the narrative, but it’s still a great cop show with terrific work from Stacy Keach and Scott Wilson, not to mention Jane Alexander and Rosalind Cash. The pro-cop agenda has a definite tone of personal experience, and the grim finish is anything but feel-good puffery. With Erik Estrada, Clifton James, James Sikking, Isabel Sanford, William Atherton, Ed Lauter, Dolph Sweet and Kitten Natividad. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
3/27/18

The Black Scorpion 03/27/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

Wow! Prime stop-motion animation from the heyday of monstrous science fiction, in a new restoration that puts a brilliant shine on those creepy crawly critters. Richard Denning fights giant arachnids while Mara (swoon) Corday frets and wrings her hands, waiting for the next kissing scene. The new scan clears up a lot of flaws, and gives us a much better look at the Lost Art of stop-motion magic. With Carlos Rivas. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
3/27/18

The Seven-Ups 03/24/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Forget All Singing! – All Dancing!  Tonight’s bill of fare is wall-to-wall high grade crime action. Roy Scheider leads a great cast in an all-New Yawk tale of gangsters, kidnapping and betrayal. The police tactics of Scheider’s special felony crime squad would today land them all in jail, but they’re all stand-up guys. And buckle up for one of the best, most realistic pre-CGI auto chase scenes ever filmed. With Tony Lo Bianco, Victor Arnold, Jerry Leon, Ken Kercheval, Larry Haines, Richard Lynch, Bill Hickman and Joe Spinell. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
3/24/18

A Trip to the Moon 03/24/18

Flicker Alley / Lobster Films
Blu-ray

What a great way to discover the fabulous French magician-turned-pioneer-filmaker Georges Méliès! Trailers from Hell’s Charlie Largent examines the incredible restoration of the original tinted color version of the 1902 movie sensation. Arguably the first science fiction film, its story ideas were filched from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, but transformed into a crazy theatrical extravaganza that could only work on the new medium of film. Only fifteen or so minutes in duration, the restoration is accompanied by Lobster Films’ excellent career documentary, on both the brilliant Méliès and the restoration’s one source, a roll of film petrified into a solid block of celluloid. Forget Hugo — this is the best introduction to filmdom’s first master of fabulous eye-candy fantasy. On Blu-rayfrom Flicker Alley / Lobster Films.
3/24/18

Otley 03/24/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

Not many oddball spy movies were big successes. This amusing Brit effort sank without a trace, perhaps taking with it the career of the talented Tom Courtenay as a leading man. The comic tale pits an underachieving, cheeky London lad against an intelligence conspiracy that wouldn’t be doing anybody much harm — if they didn’t insist on murdering people. Romy Schneider leads a quirky supporting cast, with Freddie Jones, Alan Badel, James Villiers, Leonard Rossiter, James Bolam, Fiona Lewis, James Cossins and Ronald Lacey. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
3/24/18

Basket Case 03/24/18

Arrow Video
Blu-ray

Classic Midnite Cult movies were a mini-phenomenon chosen by the public, created only by word of mouth approval. Frank Henenlotter’s wild ‘n’ weird ‘separated at birth’ story is a thematic mashup of horror ideas, plunked down in the middle of America’s sleaze capital, 42nd street in the early 1980s. The audience-pleasing telepathic siblings Duane and Belial look fantastic in a new MoMa restoration, and the extras let the flamboyant director recount a great making-of story. His first distributor decided to ‘fix’ the movie by removing most of the gore! Starring Lance VanHentenryck, Terri Susan Smith and Beverly Bonner; on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
3/24/18

Underworld U.S.A. 03/20/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Sam Fuller turns the crime film inside-out with this tale of on infiltrator taking down the syndicate. Vengeful Cliff Robertson uses both the mob and the cops to wipe out the hoods that killed his dad, with the help of two women, one of them a hooker with a heart of gold. The show feels like a ’30s throwback with a precociously violent streak, spiked with a healthy helping of what the critics would call Fuller’s ‘Cinema Fist.’ With Richard Rust, and Dolores Dorn as ‘Cuddles.’ On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
3/20/18

Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years 03/20/18

Eclipse Series 46
DVD

No, the movie star Ingrid Bergman was never a starlet with a seven-year contract, and her stellar career didn’t begin opposite Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. It all happened in Sweden, where she turned herself into a screen sensation in just a couple of years. Eclipse’s six-disc set shows the immediate success of the daring Bergman, but also her acting range — her sterling qualities seem fully formed even in her first features. On DVD from Eclipse.
3/20/18

The Colour of Pomegranates 03/20/18

Second Sight UK
Region B Blu-ray

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton assesses the Armenian director Sergei Parajanov’s poetic and metaphor-filled biopic about his countryman Sayat Nova, the Armenian poet-troubadour. This new disc edition offers both versions of the picture, Parajanov’s original and the Soviet-approved version cut by seven minutes. As we learn, if a Soviet film director found favor internationally, they often landed in trouble back home. On Region B Blu-ray from Second Sight (UK).
3/20/18

Women in Love 03/17/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Finally — a satisfying home video edition of Ken Russell’s absorbing, argument-starting classic, in which D. H. Lawrence’s quartet of bohemians attempt to live out their progressive theories about love and sex. The intellectual arguments may be cold but the characters are warm and vivid. Exceptional performing from all — Alan Bates, Glenda Jackson, Oliver Reed and Jennie Linden, and outstanding cinematography from Billy Williams. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
3/17/18

Liquid Sky 03/17/18

Vinegar Syndrome
Blu-ray

Remembered as a briefly hot quasi- avant-garde title, then a cult item, Slava Tsukerman’s brightly colored movie is said to capture a New York fashion ‘n’ drugs scene that could be called Neon Punk. It certainly extended model Anne Carlisle’s fifteen minutes of fame. Oh . . . technically it’s also a Science Fiction movie. On Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.
3/17/18

Robert Altman’s Images 03/17/18

Arrow Academy
Blu-ray

Do we sometimes ‘grow into’ movies? This one now seems a minor masterpiece. ’70s auteur Robert Altman proves himself an expert practitioner of psychological hallucinations, in the intense tale of a schizophrenic children’s author who can’t keep her husband and two (imagined?) lovers sorted out. It’s one of the best, and best-looking puzzle pictures ever. It’s a top title for Susannah York, and features Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi and Hugh Millais. On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy.
3/17/18

The Outer Limits Season One 03/13/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Where were we in ’63? Wow — we finally have a quality Blu-ray set of an entire generation’s favorite Sci-fi / monster TV show, an attraction that lit up our humdrum lives. Respected stars and good writers contributed to a weird-oh winner that can boast at least fifteen classic hours of Sci-fi delight, in velvety black and white. Thirty-two hourlong episodes on seven discs, with informative new audio commentaries. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
3/13/18

The Passion of Joan of Arc 03/13/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

This time around Criterion pulls out all the stops to offer an ‘Ultimate’ La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, even going so far as to present it at two frame rates. Carl Dreyer’s ultra-intense study of martyrdom and the human condition is known for eliciting rapturous responses — don’t be intimidated by its lofty cinematic reputation. The newly remastered 24fps version has been given three music scores, and new essays, interviews and video pieces, including one on its ‘versions history.’ The immortal Renée Falconetti stars; Michel Simon is one of her inquisitors. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
3/13/18

Dragonwyck 03/13/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Before Vincent Price haunted houses, he chalked up plenty of experience as a Broadway star and a versatile character actor. This superb Joseph L. Mankiewicz gothic romance assigns him major leading man duty as a ‘dark and troubled’ soul — the kind that intimidates cowering leading ladies. The show is technically a vehicle for Gene Tierney, with fine work by Walter Huston, Vivienne Osborne, Spring Byington, Jessica Tandy, Anne Revere and Glenn Langan. With typical good humor, Price called it the first of his ‘dead wife’ movies! On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
3/13/18

The Drowning Pool 03/13/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

‘Harper Days Are Here Again,’ reads the advertising tag line for this worthy follow-up to Paul Newman’s first outing as Ross Macdonald’s jaded private eye. The movie is certainly worthy, but how did the producers let the terrific song Killing Me Softly with His Song get away? Newman’s fine cast is topped by Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Murray Hamilton, Gail Strickland, Melanie Griffith, Linda Haynes and Richard Jaeckel. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
3/13/18

King of Jazz 03/10/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Make room for a genuine rarity, come back from the cinema graveyard in excellent condition: a lavish color musical extravaganza from 1930 that’s effectively been MIA for generations. Universal undertook a daunting restoration of this ‘revue-‘ style spectacle, which includes a full presentation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in its original orchestration. Starring bandleader Paul Whiteman, John Boles, Bing Crosby (unbilled), Laura La Plante, Glenn Tryon, Slim Summerville and Walter Brennan. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
3/10/18

The Dumb Girl of Portici 03/10/18

The Milestone Cinematheque
Blu-ray

We may not have film of the legendary actresses Lily Langtree or Sara Bernhardt to enjoy, but now we can see the famed Anna Pavlova dance and act, in an epic-length revolutionary saga inspired by a Grand Opera. In conjunction with the BFI and the New York Public Library, The Milestone Cinematheque gives us the full 2015 restored feature. A second disc offers more vintage film clips of the world’s first ballerina with an international touring company. On Blu-rayfrom The Milestone Cinematheque.
3/10/18

Ship of Fools 03/10/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

Secure one major book with a serious subject, sign up a wagonload of stars (including a legend or two) and make sure every cookie-cutter character explains themselves to the camera in close-up. That formula worked well for Stanley Kramer in 1965; his film hasn’t much of a reputation but the cast is gold. A bright new transfer makes the picture look very good. Starring an undeniably impressive cast: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, Oskar Werner, Michael Dunn, Lee Marvin, José Ferrer, Elizabeth Ashley, George Segal, Barbara Luna, Gila Golan. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
3/10/18

Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent 03/06/18

Indicator UK
All-Region Blu-ray

Reviewer Charlie Largent turns his pen toward a quartet of Hammer Films’ efforts to corner the crime thriller market on UK screens. The Snorkel and The Full Treatment (Stop Me Before I Kill) are Jimmy Sangster potboilers not without points of interest, but the others are two of the finest efforts ever from the Boys at Bray. Peter Cushing delivers one of his best film performances in Cash on Demand, a nail-biting, twisty heist thriller. And Never Take Sweets from a Stranger is an intelligent, mature yet chilling look at the taboo issue of child molestation. One doesn’t remember that it’s a Hammer film until the terrifying conclusion begins to close in. The imports are Region-A compatible, happily, on Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator UK.
3/06/18

The Housemaid 03/06/18

Eureka Entertainment UK
Region B Blu-ray

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton has found a unique Vietnamese horror film set on a French plantation towards the end of the First Indochina War. Is the ghostly killer a revenant of colonial evils, or the strange result of interracial tension? It’s a new point of view on a familiar subject, beautifully filmed in wide screen by director Derek Nguyen. On Region B Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment UK.
3/06/18

Great Balls of Fire! 03/06/18

Olive Films
Blu-ray

Director Jim McBride puts retro magic into a rock ‘n’ roll bio about a big talent who was probably more fun on stage than in person. Dennis Quaid hits the right note of insanity for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis’s rise to fame and fortune. Winona Ryder’s hilarious, almost scary bobby-sox Lolita becomes Jerry’s girl bride. Everything’s ducky until the real-life story goes sour, leaving the comic characterizations high and dry. Also starring Stephen Tobolowsky, Trey Wilson, and Alec Baldwin as an unlikely Jimmy Swaggart, this one deserves a second look. On Blu-ray from Olive Films.
3/06/18

Duck You Sucker (A Fistful of Dynamite) 03/06/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Savant leaps into yet another look at this Sergio Leone favorite, that’s probably the least popular of his big-scale westerns. The review is another chance to put forward a pet theory about “what it all means” — I’m convinced that Leone’s confusing continuity leave many viewers up in the air about basic plot point! The new disc re-reverts to what Savant thinks is the wrong title, but includes a tall stack of good extras, including two audio commentaries. James Coburn, Rod Steiger and Romolo Valli star; Ennio Morricone’s most expressive music score overwhelms Leone’s visuals! On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
3/06/18

Highway Dragnet 03/03/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Here’s something odd: the formative feature in Roger Corman’s proto- career. Roger gets credits for Story and Associate Producer, and learned what he needed to learn to produce two movies of his own in the same year. The modest crime thriller sees Richard Conte involved with three women during a chase on dusty desert roads: noir star Joan Bennett and young Wanda Hendrix are a suspicious pair, but special guest Hot Number Mary Beth Hughes all but steals the show. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
3/03/18

Colossus: The Forbin Project 03/03/18

Medium Rare (UK)
Region B Blu-ray

This nearly forgotten Sci-fi masterpiece should have been a monster hit. For some reason Universal didn’t think that a computer menace was commercial — the year after 2001. The superior drama sells a tough concept: the government activates a defense computer programmed to keep the peace. It does exactly that, but by holding the world hostage while it makes itself a God above mankind. Starring Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent, William Schallert and Georg Stanford Brown. On Blu-ray from Medium Rare.
3/03/18

Elevator to the Gallows 03/03/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Louis Malle’s French thriller is cooler than cool — his first dramatic film is a slick suspense item with wicked twists of fate and images to die for: 1) Jeanne Moreau at the height of her beauty 2) walking through beautifully lit Parisian back streets 3) accompanied by a fantastic Miles Davis soundtrack. Murder in Paris doesn’t get any better. Photographed by Henri Decaë; with Maurice Ronet, Lino Ventura and Charles Denner. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
3/03/18

The Hallelulah Trail 03/03/18

Olive Films
Blu-ray

Blown up to Road Show spectacular dimensions, a fairly modest idea for a comedy western became something of a career Waterloo for director John Sturges. But it’s still a favorite of fans thrilled by fancy 70mm-style presentations. A huge cast led by Burt Lancaster, Lee Remick, Jim Hutton and Pamela Tiffin leads the charge on a whisky-soaked madcap chase. It’s all in a fine spirit of fun. . . so where are the big laughs? With Donald Pleasence, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, John Anderson and Robert J. Wilke; on Blu-ray from Olive Films.
3/03/18