CineSavant Column

Saturday September 17, 2022



Here are the facts for what’s shaping up as a major 3-D November, with two major 3-D Blu-ray releases in just two weeks’ time.

First up, on November 8 comes the hard-to-see 1953 I, The Jury, the first Mike Hammer thriller. It stars Biff Elliot and Peggie Castle and was photographed in original organic 3-D by the legendary John Alton.

ClassicFlix is the diskery of note for the release; it’s a 4K Ultra HD / Polarized 3-D Blu-ray / flat 2-D Blu-ray combo, the first I’ve run into. The restoration was performed by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

As reported by ClassicFlix, the extras include a commentary by Mike Hammer continuation author Max Allan Collins, a second commentary and video interview by star Biff Elliot, a making-of featurette and several vintage TV shows.

Then, one week later on November 15 comes the 1954 English film The Diamond Wizard, a ‘T-Men’-like international heist yarn starring Dennis O’Keefe and Margaret Sheridan.

The company behind this release is KL Studio Classics; it will be viewable in Polarized 3-D Blu-ray / flat 2-D Blu-ray / and in Anaglyphic 3-D. A a pair of red/cyan 3-D glasses come in the disc case.

Restored for 3-D by the 3-D Film Archive, The Diamond Wizard is the Archive’s third ‘3-D Premiere’ — as with Dragonfly Squadron and Jivaro, this English show was produced in 3-D but only released in flat 2-D.

Mike Ballew will provide an audio commentary and a 3-D slideshow.

I’ve often seen The Diamond Wizard listed as a Science Fiction film, but have been told that its only fantastic element is the notion of artificial diamonds. We haven’t seen either feature, unlike associate Gary Teetzel, who knows them well. We’re eager to see what the noir ace cameraman John Alton does with the 3-D depth-space.



A few weeks back we reviewed Severin Films’ Blu-ray collection The Incredibly Strange Films of Ray Dennis Steckler, actually covering only one disc in the set. At that time weren’t aware that deliveries of the boxed set weren’t yet happening. Yesterday Severin reported that the boxes have, quote, “finally arrived in finished form. We will now begin shipping them out and expect the process to take a couple weeks.”

Curious?  It is possible to get a good preview of the lineup of Steckler magic, in this Severin Ray Dennis Steckler Collection trailer.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson