CineSavant Column

Tuesday May 16, 2023




Wow, let’s review some of the impressive Blu-ray announcements in the past ten days or so. The Warner Archive Collection has a great string of items scheduled for June. As predicted by Gary Teetzel, Howard Hawks’ epic Land of the Pharaohs with Jack Hawkins and Joan Collins; Otto Preminger’s top noir Angel Face with Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum; John Sturges’ The Old Man and The Sea with Spencer Tracy; the Esther Williams musical Dangerous when Wet; the Eleanor Parker WIP noir classic Caged; and the very good Joan Crawford gangland tale The Damned Don’t Cry.

Kino’s KL Studio Classics line also has an exciting June on its calendar. They begin with straight Blu-ray releases of the Sergio Leone Dollars Trilogy, that came out on 4K last year. Added Blu-ray attractions include Richard Lester’s Juggernaut with Richard Harris and Anthony Hopkins; Michael Crichton’s The Great Train Robbery with Sean Connery, Lesley-Anne Down & Donald Sutherland;
Andrew Davis‘s The Package with Gene Hackman & Tommy Lee Jones; Michael Apted’s Gorky Park with William Hurt and Lee Marvin; Mark Robson‘s The Bridges at Tokyo-Ri with William Holden & Grace Kelly; and Tom Gries’ Will Penny with Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett & Donald Pleasance. It would be nice if  Toko-Ri were widescreen, sayeth the ungrateful Savant.

For special audiences, KL has a Boris Karloff Mr. Wong Collection with five full Monogram features . . . and for 3-D enthusiasts, a 3D Blu-ray release of the soft-core Prison Girls.

Kino’s 4K Ultra HD offerings are just as tempting: two John Frankenheimer thrillers, the classic The Manchurian Candidate with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury & Janet Leigh, plus Ronin with Robert De Niro & Sean Bean.

Last year Paramount Home Video debuted its 4K Ultra HD disc of the Lucas-Spielberg Raiders of the Lost Ark. In June we’ll be also be seeing seeing 4Ks of the other three Indiana Jones adventures Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade and Crystal Skull. Screeners aren’t going out but I may invest in Temple of Doom as it’s a favorite and I’ve not written about it before.

Plus, a new company called Film Masters is promising a double bill disc of a restored
The Giant Gila Monster and The Killer Shrews, the two Texas monster romps directed by Ray Kellogg. It will reportedly have both flat and widescreen formats on each picture. I’ll be interested in seeing what the quality is on this new disc . . . Shrews is a well-done siege shocker … even the doggies in Shrew costumes can’t sink it.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson