CineSavant 2014 Favored Disc Roundup


DVD Savant picks
The Most Impressive Discs

Savant at The Cannon Group with Steenbeck, 1988.
And I actually wore that shirt.


One year closer to paradise, as they say … and if one happens to be a collector of quality Blu-rays of vintage movies, things are better than ever despite what they say about digital media. The collectors are out there, and they don’t want access to inferior quality streaming video or to ‘own’ something in The Cloud that can be withdrawn at a moment’s notice. Somewhere in the small print of every use agreement are words to the effect that one has really bought nothing tangible, that access to the Intellectual Property can be revoked at will. It’s an old story. A hundred and ten years ago, Nickleodeon owners were overjoyed to discover that their customers paid their money to see a movie, and then walked away taking nothing with them. They sold their product and kept it too. All the showman had to do was maintain a theater and keep the films coming. Today’s corporations have improved on that model with streaming and digital copies in the Cloud. Not only do we walk away taking nothing, we must supply the theater, the machinery, the electricity, the works.

That so many companies big and small are turning out masterworks for collector consumption continues to amaze me. The major vendors offer discs at various levels of quality, licensing films from the studios and competing for ‘free range’ titles with a cult following. I know a couple of disc boutique owners, and they tell me that the most-requested ‘missing in action’ cult titles are held up for four major reasons (in order of frequency): ONE, the big studios sit on thousands of titles deemed of little interest to the public. Among these, of course, are undiscovered gems… that still probably aren’t going to be commercially viable to justify a new transfer. We’re lucky they don’t destroy them to clear up vault space. TWO, the independent rights holder has an unrealistic idea of the value of his film and wants ten or twenty times the reasonable price for a license. (I’m really tempted to name names here). THREE, nobody can figure out who owns a title, or where decent printing elements (not a positive print) can be found. This category includes studio-held films not released due to Public Domain issues — why spend $40,000 minimum to polish up a classic title, when bottom-feeding disc labels will rip their own legal copies as soon as it’s on the market? FOUR, there are indeed films controlled by individual collectors who won’t let them go because they can’t afford to release them themselves, and are too paranoid to let anybody else near the elements for any reason. Money is usually involved here too, looping the argument back to Reason #1.

1956, age 4, Edwards AFB California. Already indoctrinated into mainstream of American culture. I wish I had that hair back. →

But every year we see a few more contentious and / or contested titles released, along with restorations so dramatic that they seem like miracles. And then there are the wildcat 3-D and weird-format entrepreneurs that surprise us with bizarre rarities. That includes films that couldn’t be seen before now because the technology that created them is all but extinct.

All this is to say that I appreciate the mid-level practitioners in this industry. Some of the studios continue to master and re-master their libraries at the highest level of quality, and others wait for someone else to foot the tab, perhaps in the form of an overseas TV sale. Of course, when a Warners, Sony or Universal puts its formidable resources fully behind a project, we get the benefit.

It can’t be helped that collecting home video is a game for individuals possessing what was once known as ‘discretionary funds’ — cash not committed to trivialities like rent, food, water and power. The collecting bug hit me hard back in the 1990s, but here in Los Angeles at that time we had big laserdisc stores with discount bins, and hundreds of small record stores that took discs in on trade. I used to frequent a store way down on Slauson, where the only white customer besides me was a jazz fan looking for vintage vinyl. My best advice for the collecting bug is not to get it. Beyond that, get really really selective. Am I going to want to see movie this more than once? Will I want to show it to other people, and will they sit still to see it?

← My Kem at Cannon, 1988.

They say hard disc media is going by the wayside because those college kids still into film no longer collect anything. They consider movies to be as disposable as the music they download — it’s always there if one wants it. But for people that grew up coveting unsee-able movies, it’s a different story. I still keep a mental list of titles I want precisely because they’re obscure. Gary Teetzel jokes with me about 1963’s Ladybug Ladybug — I’d like very much to see it again in great shape, but I also know that when/if I finally have it, I’ll only be reminded of the reasons why it’s so obscure. That’s what makes this game interesting.

Will movies always be there? Well, they can still be thrown away, even if only by mistake. And there are scary special situations. Guillermo Del Toro just complained that the studio that owns Ken Russell’s The Devils refuses to release it uncut. We can only surmise that an individual or committee thinks the film is pornographic, and beneath the dignity of the corporation. I personally didn’t care even for the cut version I saw, but artistic suppression is artistic suppression. And didn’t I hear last week that a big Chinese company was interested in buying an American studio? What if individual films deemed ‘politically undesirable’ by the new owners simply started disappearing, all elements and copies destroyed and all records deleted from the files?

I started out saying what a good year this has been for collectors. The twenty titles here are the ones that most impressed me or that I felt represented the work of people who cared enough to go the distance with a rare title. It’s a wide selection, from product finessed in big studios to the mad genius working in a private shop, asking himself every few minutes, “Do I really think I’ll make money from this?” Ya gotta like guys like that.

Bored yet? I will desist. Here’s the boilerplate text I put in front of every list:

The pictures are taken from what I’ve seen and reviewed. It is not a list of the best-looking discs or the most expensive restorations, although titles like that are represented. It’s a subjective grouping of what releases meant the most to me, and why. Some are old favorites, some offered major revelations and others were just movies that I’m really glad I saw. It’s a recommendation list — if you know my taste you can filter out my subject affinities and political bias to fit your own temperament. Note that each disc title is a link to the original review.

And Now…

Savant’s picks for 2014



The Criterion Collection:
Blu-ray + DVD
I never thought this would surface — there’s never been a major demand for Georges Franju films and this elegant homage to Louis Feuillade was nowhere to be seen in Region A. It’s still the height of semi-surreal fantasy, in a world that still believes in innocence. It’s also the thematic source of many modern comic heroes. Every scene is poetic without being pretentious. With Channing Pollock and the great Edith Scob. And hey, I rented it to show in college and talked my ex-Spanish teacher into seeing it. She hadn’t liked Peeping Tom but liked this one. And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


2. &nbsp

The Cohen Media Group:
Hangmen Also Die
This is Fritz Lang’s American movie that most resembles one of his paranoid silent epics of the ’20s, like Mabuse or Spione — a gloves-off wartime propaganda piece that basically flings mud at the Nazis. Lang and Bertolt Brecht invent a complex, fictitious conspiracy plot around the assassination of a North Korean president the Nazi “Hangman” Heydrich, as Czech resistance patriots frame a villainous collaborator-profiteer for the killing. Brian Donlevy, Anna Lee and Walter Brennan star. The Cohen Group brought this back from crummy Public Domain-quality copies, and in the process restored a grim coda that’s been missing from TV prints for half a century.


3. &nbsp

The Criterion Collection:
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Blu-ray + DVD
A movie that’s impossible not to love, if you grew up loving all those crazy comedians. The way to see it is of course on a big screen — MGM has excellent 70mm prints in circulation for special showings. Not only is the clarity incredible, with an audience the show is ten times funnier. Criterion really came through with the extras – Along with the standard release edit, Robert Harris’s extended version adds a half-hour of crazy comedy to the mix, while the commentary proves that the personable Michael Schlesinger ought to be a prime-time movie host and Hollywood booster.


4. &nbsp

Olive Films:
Cry Danger
In concert with the UCLA Archives, the Film Noir Foundation has rescued, restored and re-launched a steady string of endangered noir masterpieces. This one’s a knockout. It’s a hardboiled noir about a fall guy returned from prison. The cops are expecting him to lead them to a pile of money, and the former cohorts that set him up would love to frame him yet again. That, and his best buddy’s wife insists that they have an amorous future together. The picture has incredible vintage Los Angeles locations (Bunker Hill, especially), hardboiled pulp dialogue better than many of the top noir titles and an ultra-cool cynical/sentimental attitude toward double-crosses and murder in the streets. Dick Powell’s character tops his Philip Marlowe, it’s probably Rhonda Fleming’s best picture and genre stalwart Richard Erdman steals the film with his amorous pursuit of booze and a flirtatious babe played by Jean Porter. Director Robert Parrish is not a big name, but this one joins his list of masterpieces — The Purple Plain, The Wonderful Country.


5. &nbsp

The Criterion Collection:
The Essential Jacques Demy: Lola, Bay of Angels, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Donkey Skin, Une chambre en ville
Blu-ray + DVD
Jacques Demy is much more than just The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Start with that eye-popping bauble (here with excellent restored color and sound) and then move on to the impressive The Young Girls of Rochefort. But then double back to the miraculous Lola, a lesser-known romance that transcends movie romances. Connected directly to Umbrellas, it puts Roland Cassard in the middle of a carousel of romantic stories, all of which repeat the same motifs but for the participants are original, personal events. Anouk Aimee is Lola, the dance hall girl with a heart of gold, keeping our hero at arm’s length as she waits for a lost lover. The film’s connections extend back to an earlier era of French romantic filmmaking. With a great Nouvelle Vague visual look by Raoul Coutard. The other films give us Demy with other great actresses (Jeanne Moreau among them) and filmed in a variety of styles. Four out of five of these are surefire date movies.


6. &nbsp

Twilight Time:
When the Wind Blows
More impressive filmmaking that sneaks up on us unawares. This 1986 show combines delicate animation and endearing characters with the then- hot topic of nuclear annihilation. That pretty much guaranteed it a trolley ride to obscurity, but Twilight Time’s Blu-ray reveals a classic with fine vocal performances (Peggy Ashcroft and John Mills) and an eclectic animation style that combines 3-D backgrounds with flat artwork. Lyrical, intelligent and sentimental, the show makes us appreciate the unthinkable without scenes of carnage or exploitative post-bomb anarchy. TT includes Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien, a great documentary by Sé Merry Doyle. Nearing the end of his life, top animation director Murakami journeys from Ireland to an internment camp in the California desert, to reflect on his unusual life and reassess his personal-political beliefs.


7. &nbsp

Kino Classics:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
This is the restoration shockeroo of the year — we’ve seen Robert Wiene’s landmark psychological horror classic umpteen times in copies with fluttery contrast, missing frames and a blurred, jittery and over-cropped image. Forty percent of this new copy comes from original elements, and looks as good as the great stills we’ve seen. The 1919 picture is as watchable as anything new, and its concept is more sophisticated than the majority of psycho thrillers that followed. Kino’s extras include a great long-form docu about the art history movements and political events that created German Expressionism, with better examples and clips than I’ve seen elsewhere. A sensation for silent and horror film fans, not to mention students of art.


8. &nbsp

British Film Institute:
The Day the Earth Caught Fire
Region B Blu-ray
Our previous copy had rough audio, but every line of Wolf Mankowitz’s snappy dialogue crackles in this razor-sharp restoration of Val Guest’s best film. Along with Sam Fuller’s Park Row, it is really an ode to the real protector of our freedoms, the rapidly disappearing journalistic profession. Nuclear tomfoolery (“The bunglers!”) plays havoc with the Earth’s orbit, sending us into an ecological spin of snowballing weather disasters. Unhappy reporter Edward Judd tricks girlfriend Janet Munro into divulging official secrets being withheld by the government (hmmm…) that indicate a man-made apocalypse is only months away. Leo McKern and actual newspaperman Arthur Christiansen provide the crackerjack newspaper background, while clever visual effects depict heat fog, typhoons and out-of-control fires in a London where the temperature climbs to 140°. The extras include three once-classified Brit movies about atom tests and feeble civil defense plans. At the moment this is only playable on all-region Blu-ray players.


9. &nbsp

The Milestone Cinematheque:
Come Back, Africa – The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume 2
Milestone keeps us honest by bringing back true independent, underground and avant-garde filmmakers skipped over by the videodisc mainstream. Two years ago they opened our eyes with On the Bowery: The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume 1; and they’ve followed up that revolutionary piece of work with this remarkable documentary/docudrama on conditions for blacks in apartheid-ridden South Africa in the late 1950s. A true work of cinematic subterfuge, shot and smuggled out of the country, right under the noses of authorities that would have been merciless had they got wind of the film. Rogosin worked in secret with the ANC, Nelson Mandela’s outlawed opposition party. His compelling story tells of the travails of a country fellow trying to make it in one of the suppressed black townships scheduled for ‘improvement’ — pushing out blacks and rebuilding for whites. Milestone’s two-disc set contains a several shorter films, one of them a fascinating feature documentary about a trendy all-black magazine launched in South Africa right in the middle of the stiffest apartheid years. Rogosin makes his points; in 1959 this was the most damning exposé of the South African white supremacist regime. Truly perspective-altering.


10. &nbsp

Warner Archive Collection:
Show Boat
At the other end of the race issue, James Whale’s wonderful adaptation of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Broadway musical has some stumbling blocks built in, yet transcends its problems through good will. A tragic ‘passing for white’ subplot is a major part of the story. And there’s always Paul Robeson, later to be suppressed by our own government, putting his mighty voice and presence on film for all time. The play’s book isn’t watered down as in MGM’s later remake, giving us moving performances by Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, Paul Robeson, Helen Morgan, Helen Westley, Queenie Smith, Sammy White, Donald Cook and Hattie McDaniel. Whale’s musical numbers aren’t bettered by the ’50s R&H films; each number is a show-stopper. Irene Dunne is just superb — we forget all notions of political incorrectness when she does her humorous ‘shuffle dance’ for Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man. And then there’s (sigh) a standard blackface number reportedly added by Universal. Of all the movies that began as multi-generational Edna Ferber novels, this is the best.


11. &nbsp

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
This real-life story has everything — refugees from Nazi Europe, Robinson Crusoe adventures on uninhabited islands, a philosophical misanthrope and an egotistical femme fatale, not to mention mystery disappearances and possible murder. The amazing thing is that the story is so well documented — in photos, movie footage, dueling diaries and surviving offspring. It all happened in the Galapagos Islands in the early 1930s, where political refugees and social fugitives clash over who will dominate in this new ‘free’ mini-society of only seven or eight people. Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller’s beautiful feature documentary opens a BIG window into a weird bit of castaway history – it’s almost Lord of the Flies with consenting adults. With the vocal talents of Cate Blanchett, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Diane Kruger and Connie Nielsen.


12. &nbsp

The Criterion Collection:
Roman Polanski’s Macbeth
The old Sony DVD of this much-criticized Shakespeare adaptation wasn’t bad, but this Blu-ray is eye-popping. Roman Polanski elevates the story of ambitious Scots to the top level of filmmaking. Kenneth Tynan’s interpretation of the play is brilliant and Polanski’s direction cannot be bettered. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis are perfect paranoids that resort to violence to enhance their upward mobility. This is the most atmospheric and visceral movie ever set in a rain-swept castle; we’re constantly hit with a mysterious special effect, an original visual idea. The finish is a ferocious, unforgettable battle royale. Jon Finch’s “My name’s MACBETH!” tops any line delivery Clint Eastwood ever gave, that’s for sure.


13. &nbsp

Twilight Time:
The Train
Twilight Time scores again by choosing a title that optimizes what Blu-ray can do with a sensationally good B&W action show. Earlier DVDs of John Frankenheimer’s resistance-in-the-French-railroads epic were visually blah, but MGM’s transfer makes us sad that Hollywood changed over to color. Frankenheimer and his star Burt Lancaster had half a railroad at their disposal and seemingly blew up most of it– we see real train wrecks and real powder blasts. German Major Paul Scofield tries to spirit a trainload of stolen art masterpieces back to Berlin, but Burt leads a dozen railway staffers in a suicidal conspiracy to delay, sabotage, and re-route the convoy back to its point of departure. Precise camera choreography highlights Lancaster’s physical skills; this show has some of the most impressive, big scale action ever put on camera.


14. &nbsp

The Criterion Collection:
Red River
Blu-ray + DVD
The big fear with Red River was that Criterion might not do it right — we’ve seen a couple of their discs where directors or rights holders dictated revisions to originals, and Peter Bogdanovich has been saying that the short theatrical cut is Hawks’ preferred version. Maybe so, but Criterion’s analysts and our own eyeball comparison say different. The happy solution is that both versions are resurrected in fine shape. The masterpiece RR transcends some character stumbles, especially Joanne Dru’s near-ridiculous third-act intrusion. And the show must have the most satisfying/unsatisfying finish ever. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift are magnificent – it’s surprising that their acting styles mesh at all — and Howard Hawks’ all-male direction was never better. With a pile of impressive extras and terrific input by Mr. Bogdanovich.


15. &nbsp

Flicker Alley:
Search for Paradise
Smilebox Blu-ray
Editor, film researcher and producer David Strohmaier has put who-knows how many years into his Cinerama projects, hunting down elements for these gargantuan three-panel productions. He pieced them back together, corrected near-lost colors and optimized the film joins. This themed travelogue pretends to be a search for Shangri-La in central Asia, taking us on more of a land journey than usual. The reason it stands out as special is Dimitri Tiomkin’s operatic music score, and how often can we discover an entire new Tiomkin fantasy soundtrack? The composer reaches almost beyond the limits of grandiosity for his multiple-crescendo finale, which feels like we’re discovering God or perhaps breaking through a barrier to a new dimension. Maybe it’s Kitsch that should be renamed, “Goin’ to Heaven on an F-106 Fighter Jet”… but that’s what the crazy 1950s were all about. On the trek are Lowell Thomas and two military airmen, one of whom lost his life during the filming.


16. &nbsp

KL Studio Classics:
The Quatermass Xperiment
While Yankee science fiction films were taking a detour into low-end productions, Hammer and Val Guest raised the intellectual bar with this precocious, influential creep show adapted from Nigel Kneale’s television serial. Rude Yankee Brian Donlevy is Quatermass, the rocket scientist whose newly returned astronaut is infected with an outer space organism reshaping him into an indescribable thing from another world. Richard Wordsworth is the unlucky host of the all-absorbing alien parasite, creeping and crawling through the dank London night in search of victims. Kino’s widescreen release comes with some great Val Guest- oriented extras.


17. &nbsp

The Warner Archive Collection:
Out of the Past
The Warner Archive Collection expanded into Blu-ray releases this year with a select group of excellent choices, the most welcome of all being this exquisite Jacques Tourneur thriller, the most romantic and plaintive of films noir. Detective Robert Mitchum’s painfully nostalgic reverie of an idealized romance gives way to the present-tense realization that his dream siren Jane Greer is a femme who just can’t help being fatale. Mitchum learns the hard way just how perfidious sexual attraction can be, with a woman this ruthless. Kirk Douglas has a strong early role, while Rhonda Fleming and Virginia Huston complete the dames competing for Mitchum’s favors. The actor finally found his main persona here, a proto-hipster so laid back, he can hardly keep his eyes open. Jane Greer never played this character type again, which is a shame. She’s fairly discreet with her sex appeal, yet it only takes one look to know that she’ll incinerate you in bed. Nicholas Musuraca’s cinematography is the height of noir romanticism, as is Tourneur’s best-ever direction. It’s GREAT to have this on Blu-ray.


18. &nbsp

KL Studio Classics:
Man of the West
Ignored as a flop when new, rediscovered and perhaps over-rated by the genre-oriented English critics of the ’60s, Anthony Mann’s end-of-an-era western suggests a savagery that it can’t directly show. Reginald Rose’s screenplay is a bleak tale about a reformed man whose outlaw past catches up to him when he again meets his Uncle Dock Tobin, a demented-evil mad dog. The movie is heavily flawed — part of the problem may be its star Gary Cooper — but we can feel the menace in its dead landscapes and haunted ghost town. Lee J. Cobb’s oratory is both stagey and hallucinatory. Villains Jack Lord, John Dehner, Royal Dano and Robert Wilke are depraved as were no bad guys before them, and Julie London gives a great performance as a proud woman reduced to an object of lust. A powerful classic despite puzzle pieces that just don’t fit — some of the music, a few non-sequitur lines of dialogue, etc.. The KL Studio Classics disc improves the presentation, reminding us of what a revolutionary experience this was, for a 1958 American western.


19. &nbsp

The Criterion Collection:
Il Sorpasso
Blu-ray + DVD
Are you familiar with Italian director Dino Risi? Me neither, but this road picture is a classy mini-epic. A timid law student (Jean-Louis Trintignant) receives lessons in wild living from the nervy bachelor Vittorio Gassman on a dizzy trip across an ultra-cool Italian landscape that no longer exists. Gassman is a marvel. He’s pushy, excessive, egotistical and criminally insincere, yet he makes friends and seduces women the way you or I might stop to buy a snack for the road. Roped into the trip against his will, Trintignant is himself seduced by the idea that a life of irresponsibility might have its benefits. The picture is an impressive technical achievement, really filmed on the move, its contemporary music and styles convincing us that 1962 Italy was the coolest place on Earth. Criterion’s extras also educate us regarding the interesting director Risi. In one extra Alexander Payne explains why this film was a big influence on his hit Sideways.



Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection: 1941
Since the length of this list has gotten completely out of hand, I have taken the entirely non-cricket liberty of including this commercial round-up disc set for its one newly restored item, Spielberg’s 1979 comedy spectacular. 1941 has always succeeded on the level of spectacle, and should be ripe for reexamination — compared to today’s idea of film comedy it’s a masterpiece. If the excessive noise, screaming and explosions get out of hand, it’s because Spielberg kept expanding the show to fit more guest stars and comedy sub-plots that overwhelm the central teenage farce. But boy, there’s been nothing this big and wild since, with at least a hundred speaking roles and pre-CGI effects on a grand scale, live action and miniature. What makes this release special is its clear transfer — all that fog and smoke looked like mush on DVD — and the careful reconstruction of the original preview cut. 1941 now makes much better narrative sense, taking the necessary time to establish its baker’s dozen of converging subplots. And hey, I thought they’d never get around to restoring it. Maybe it’ll be a single title release sooner than later. Both 1941 and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World are out on Blu in the same year … that’s great.



Decorated elevator at the Dolby Theater, Hollywood — I couldn’t resist a photo…
August 31st with Allan Peach.

So that’s that — twenty great releases of 2014 that made it well worth staying alive. Here’s the list of titles that made the short list. There were just so many likely candidates. The list got narrowed down to thirty, and by the time I reached twenty there were just too many keepers to cut again. Criterion alone had six titles that seemed essential. All are Blu-rays except where noted. All are links to the original reviews.

Arrow Academy:

The Naked City
Region B Blu-ray + PAL DVD
Brute Force
Region B Blu-ray + PAL DVD
The Killers (1964) Region B Blu-ray

Arrow Video:

Rabid Dogs
Region B Blu-ray + PAL DVD
Shivers (They Came from Within)
Region B Blu-ray + PAL DVD
The ‘Burbs
Region B Blu-ray

Cohen Media Group:

Chinese Puzzle
Nightcap (Merci pour le chocolat)
The Last of the Unjust
Queen Margot

The Criterion Collection:

Ace in the Hole
My Darling Clementine
La dolce vita
Foreign Correspondent
Blu-ray + DVD
A Hard Day’s Night
Hearts and Minds

The Innocents
Riot in Cell Block 11 Blu-ray + DVD
Scanners Blu-ray + DVD
Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project: Touki-Bouki, Redes, A River Called Titas, Dry Summer, Trances, The Housemaid Blu-ray + DVD
The Shooting &
Ride in the Whirlwind
The Complete Jacques Tati: Jour de Fête, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon Oncle, PlayTime, Trafic, Parade
Blu-ray + DVD
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
World on a Wire


Disco & Atomic War (Icarus Films) DVD
Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (MPI-Sundance Selects) DVD
A Life in Dirty Movies (Film Movement) DVD
Seven Wonders of the World (Flicker Alley)
Weekend of a Champion (MPI Media Group) DVD

KL Studio Classics:

Across 110th Street
Billion Dollar Brain
Gorky Park

Paris Blues
Planet of the Vampires
Run Silent, Run Deep
True Confessions
The Unforgiven
Viva María
Witness for the Prosecution

Kino Classics:

The Bubble
Blu-ray + 3-D

Kino Lorber:

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq DVD
More Than Honey
To Be and To Have DVD
The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Milestone Cinematheque:

Portrait of Jason

Olive Films:

Dragonfly Squadron Blu-ray + 3-D

Home of the Brave
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid
The Pawnbroker


The Actress (DEFA)
The Big Gundown (Grindhouse Releasing)
Dante’s Inferno (20th Century Fox Cinema Archives) DVD-R
…Et mourir de plaisir (…und vor Lust zu Sterben, Blood and Roses) (Media Target Distribution GmbH)
Region 2 PAL DVD
Holiday in Spain (Redwing Productions)
Man Without a Star (Explosive Media)
All-Region Blu-ray
The Swimmer (Grindhouse Releasing)
Blu-ray + DVD


The Conformist

Scream (Shout!) Factory:

The Beast of Hollow Mountain + The Neanderthal Man
Werner Herzog, The Collection: Even Dwarfs Started Small, The Land of Silence and Darkness, Fata Morgana, Aguirre the Wrath of God, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Heart of Glass, Strozek, Woyzeck, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fitzcarraldo, Ballad of the Little Soldier, Where the Green Ants Dream, Cobra Verde, Lessons of Darkness, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, My Best Fiend

The Vincent Price Collection: The Fall of the House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, The Haunted Palace, The Masque of the Red Death, Witchfinder General, The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The Vincent Price Collection II: House on Haunted Hill, Return of the Fly, The Raven, The Comedy of Terrors, The Last Man on Earth, Tomb of Ligeia, Dr. Phibes Rises Again

TCM Vault Collection:

The Lady from Shanghai
Only Angels Have Wings
Remember the Night
Dark Crimes Volume Two: Ministry of Fear, You and Me, Undertow, Hollywood Story DVD

Twilight Time:

All the King’s Men
La Bamba
The Blue Max
Born Yesterday
The Buddy Holly Story
Crimes and Misdemeanors
The Dogs of War
The Front

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
The Killer Elite + Noon Wine
The Man from Laramie
Man in the Dark 3-D
Blu-ray + 3-D
Two Rode Together
Used Cars
Violent Saturday


Double Indemnity
Touch of Evil

The Warner Archive Collection:

Get Carter
The Great Race
The Moonshine War DVD-R
Nasty Habits DVD-R
Pete Kelly’s Blues
The Squeeze DVD-R
Testament DVD-R
Villain DVD-R
The White Tower DVD-R
The Wind and the Lion
Yankee Doodle Dandy

Warner Home Video:

The Americanization of Emily
Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Stella Dallas DVD
The Time Machine


Early August, Punta Blanca Ecuador… I am ready to go back there, now.
A grateful word of thanks goes out for all the kind advice and corrections this last year, and to the many new correspondents that opened my head up to new ideas. This has been a terrible year for the world, internationally and at home — let’s hope we can find some kind of sanity in 2015.

Thanks again,
Glenn Erickson, December 12, 2014



Follow this link for a
A Chronological List of DVD Savant’s Reviews for 2013

Check out previous DVD Savant Favored Disc Roundups:
Savant’s 2013 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2012 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2011 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2010 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2009 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2008 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2007 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2006 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2005 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2004 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2003 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2002 favored disc roundup
Savant’s 2001 favored disc roundup

This has been a yearly tradition since 2001. Happy Holidays! 

Text © Copyright 2014 Glenn Erickson