From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bet:
“Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” (1972-73): Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical — yet far from cynical — perspective. Over the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Disc:
There’s two classic sets of Golden Age TV series due this week from VCI Entertainment (distributed by MVD):
“I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol 4” (1952-55): The show centers on Joan (Joan Davis), a scatterbrained housewife, and her husband, Bradley Stevens (Jim Backus), who was a staid and settled domestic court judge. Beverly Wills, Joan Davis’ real-life daughter, also co-starred on the show playing the part of her sister. The show was cut from the same mold as the “I Love Lucy” series, with Davis’ comedy antics derived from the physical school of humor. This hilarious series ran for three seasons on the NBC Network from 1952 to 1955. This Collection contains 10 episodes from all three seasons. On DVD … and “Television’s Lost Classics Volume 2: Rare Pilots,” which contains four rare pilot episodes. Pilot 1 – “Case of the Sure Thing” with Reed Hadley, Louise Currie and Milburn Stone. This introduced the series “Racket Squad”, which lasted for three seasons and was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. Broadcast on CBS, Thursday, June 7, 1951. Pilot 2 – “Cool and Lam” with Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Alison Hayes, Sheila Bromley. A light-hearted, detective yarn featuring characters first created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Bertha Cool runs a detective agency and Donald Lam is her junior partner, hence “Cool and Lam.” Pilot 3 – “The Life of Riley” with Lon Chaney, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, John Brown. A heretofore lost pilot which starred Lon Chaney, Jr. as Chester Riley. This stand-alone episode was produced in 1948 but by the time the first season went into full production in 1949, Chaney had been replaced by no less than Jackie Gleason. Pilot 4 – “Nero Wolfe” with Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner, Alexander Scourby. Includes a bonus CBS Blooper Reel hosted by James Arness.