Warner Archive Collection New Releases April 30 -- OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases

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Warner Archive Collection New Releases April 30: Pre-Codes, Primetime & Re-Prints

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection (www.WarnerArchive.com or www.wbshop.com)


FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD VOLUME 7 (1932-33) After wetting your whistles with the sin-sational sin-ema found in Forbidden Hollywood Volume 6 earlier this month, we're here to finish you off in high style! Forbidden Hollywood Volume Seven contains some of the most requested titles in the series, including the DVD debuts of a couple of pictures that were instrumental in the launch of Forbidden Hollywood back in the dinosaur days of VHS! Volume Seven includes the following four fab-tastic flickers, all Newly Remastered! Note: initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.


  • The Hatchet Man (1932) William Wellman directs Edward G. Robinson in this gangster tale with a difference as we trade in the gats for hatchets, and the syndicate for the Tongs. Robinson plays an honorable hatchet man, agent of last resort for the Tongs, whose duties force him to make a terrible sacrifice - his oldest friend. Willed his friend's daughter (Loretta Young), he raises, then romances her, but it's a path that may lead to his ruin since the Tong he's tied to seems determined to drag him back in. Once past any modern doubts about the casting, viewers are met with yet another engaging, engrossing and gripping William Wellman picture that dares to find humanity in the darkest corners.


  • Skyscraper Souls (1932) Warren William plays a ruthless magnate who stoops to anything in order to maintain control of his multi-story masterpiece. Director Edgar Selwyn populates the skyscraper's upper-floor/lower floor soapworks with a cast that still dazzles and delights eight decades later. Maureen O'Sullivan, fresh from the jungle as Jane, is the alluring ingénue who floats between floors; Norman Foster is the first floor bank clerk whose nerve may exceed his brain, Wallace Ford and Anita Page provide an extra-marital B-story, while Verree Teasdale plays the secretary/mistress of Williams' David Dwight - an astonishing scoundrel that glues all the transgressions together and seduces us all.


  • Employees' Entrance (1933) More multi-floor mature merriment under the wicked gaze of Warren Williams in this Roy Del Ruth directed department store expose. Williams plays hard driving store manager Kurt Anderson who finds no sense in sentiment as he pursues sex and cents with cynical ease. Loretta Young plays the desperate damsel willing to pay the price of employment, while Wallace Ford plays the up and comer caught between ambition and desire. And discerning cinema mavens will note that an uncredited Allen Jenkins provides leavening mirth as harried store detective Sweeney.


  • Ex-Lady (1933) Bette Davis graduates to topliner in this risqué comedy romance that dares looks at adult relations without the benefit of marriage. Bette plays Helen Bauer, a headstrong and thoroughly liberated graphic artist. Gene Raymond plays adman/live-in lover Don Peterson who piles on the nuptial pressure after a scathing scolding from Helen's Old World papa (Alphonse Ethier). Following a honeymoon in Cuba (with a pre-coital dance hall sequence that still steals your breath) the couple finds married life might be more than they can bear. Then Helen suggests they open up the marriage to outside distractions by going back to 'just going out.' Monroe Owsley plays the masculine distraction, while Kay Strozzi provides the distaff distraction. Claire Dodd and a fabulous Frank McHugh provide comedic counterpoint as a very confused couple.


Great Eight

EIGHT IS ENOUGH, THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (1978-79) Eight is Enough's third season starts off with a change a brand new theme song, sung by star Grant Goodeve! The title theme promises "a portrait of the happiness that we feel and always will" matching the show's focus on the upbeat side of familial bonds. However, the  roller-coaster nature of  "the changing times" in American society was well-reflected in the ten-sided prism that is the Bradford clan as the family grapples with youth culture (Tommy's dual dating personas of "Disco Kid" vs. "Mellow Man"), teen pregnancy (a young Rosanna Arquette guest stars), gender roles ("The War Between the Bradfords"), and ageism (with Abe Vigoda.) This 28-Episode collection also includes notable guests such as Jack Elam, Noah Berry Jr., and James Cromwell.


Five Who Came Back (In Print)

COMMAND DECISION (1949) Clark Gable heads a superstar cast packed to the heavens with talent including Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson, Brian Donlevy, Charles Bickford, Edward Arnold, John Hodiak, Edward Arnold and Marshall Thompson. Directed by Sam Wood from the stage play by William Wister Haines, Command Decision is a riveting look at the desk bound side of war, as Gable's air force general must grapple with sending squadrons of the country's finest to their deaths deep inside Nazi controlled Europe during a critical juncture in 1943. Miklós Rózsa's superb score further elevates the action.


LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955) Howard Hawks goes all in for this sweeping CinemaScope WarnerColor sand saga. But there is a secret lurking behind the spectacular compositions, exotic costumes, hundreds of extras, and stunning set design - Hawks created a full-color historical epic film noir. One man (Jack Hawkins), guided by greed, builds an empire by force of arms. At the height of his power he is seduced by a beauty (Joan Collins) whose passion for gold pushes her to dare anything. As each of the lovers pursues plunder above all else, they spin a web of intrigue that proves their doom. (See?) Also, catch Collins in a sheer, Egyptian two-piece.


LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER (1962) As "Kitchen Sink" drama collided with European New Wave, film makers like Tony Richardson were boldly introducing Britain to "New Cinema." Adapted by Alan Sillitoe from his acclaimed short story, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner combines class consciousness, social realism, dramatic existentialism and non-linear narrative to depict the forces that drove a young working class kid to delinquency. With Tom Courtenay, Michael Redgrave and John Thaw.


THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (1963) Drawn from the same source as the beloved (and available via WAC) Bill Bixby series, this swinging early sixties sex and family comedy ably demonstrates maestro Minnelli's deft hand at any and all styles and genres of film. Glenn Ford plays the dapper and recently widowed radio exec. Jerry Van Dyke plays the exec's DJ pal. Shirley Jones, Stella Stevens and Dina Merrill play the three potential new Mrs. Eddie's Fathers and Ron Howard astonishes with his warm, and very human and heartbreaking performance as little Eddie.


FREEJACK (1992) Emilio Estevez gets the ultimate repo, man, as a racecar stud who gets "bonejacked" from 1992 to the far-flung dystopian future of 2009. Remember that just four years ago Bonejackers were brought forward in time from the moment of their deaths to provide new bodies for rich minds housed in the cybernetic "spiritual switchboard." But this bonejack escapes, and even the horrors of 2009's Park Slope won't be able to stop this freejack. Also stars Mick Jagger, David Johansen (that's the New York Dolls AND the Rolling Stones!), Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo.

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