Sergio Leone, the Caesar of Spaghetti Westerns, came up through the ranks of Italian cinema as a unit director on international historical epics like Quo Vadis and Ben-Hur while simultaneously crafting screenplays and working as an Assistant Director for assorted peplum pics. He was the perfect choice to grab the reins on The Colossus of Rhodes for his directorial debut. Leone’s ability to deliver more with less is on ample display as he ably revs up every sliver of spectacle in this saga of tyranny and rebellion among the sword and sandal set of the Hellenistic Era. Rory Calhoun stars as Darios, a Greek military hero caught up in conspiracy and rebellion as factions vie for control of Rhodes and its recently completed wonder of the world, a giant statue of Apollo that guards its harbor. Special Feature: Commentary by Film Historian Christopher Frayling. 16×9 Letterbox
TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN (1962) NEW 2018 1080p HD MASTER
Star Kirk Douglas, director Vincente Minnelli, producer John Houseman, composer David Raksin and screenwriter Charles Schnee reteamed a decade after The Bad and the Beautiful for another film about the business of movies. Indicative of the massive cultural shift occurring while it was made, Two Weeks in Another Town is true Rorschach cinema – camp to some, phantasmagoria to others, that can shift in subsequent viewing. Douglas plays a faded movie idol that gets sprung from the asylum to rescue an overseas shoot that is sinking fast. Full of acerbic and satiric bites at the then current state of film-making, Two Weeks in Another Town also features Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor reunited for the first time since Key Largo – and this time around, Claire’s character is calling the shots! Crammed to the corners with Minnelli’s masterful compositions, the film’s stunning location shots steal our breath and suck us in as never before thanks to the clarity and contrast found with this new presentation in 1080p HD. Special Features: Theatrical Trailer (HD). 16×9 Letterbox
SUPER FLY (1972) NEW 2018 1080p HD MASTER
Renaissance man Gordon Parks proved the viability of African American popular cinema with Shaft, helping ignite a nascent genre at the start of the 70s. Super Fly, helmed by his scion, Gordon Parks, Jr., is very much the anti-thesis to Shaft, and just as game changing. Shot in late winter, Super Fly revels in its grit and grays as we track the days and nights of Youngblood Priest (Ron O’Neal), an up-and-coming drug dealer who finds himself at a spiritual crossroads. Unfolding as a grindhouse reinvention of post war neo-realism, we take our time with Youngblood’s awakening before plunging into the heady kinetics of pure action cinema as we experience the outcome of Youngblood’s newfound realization – and his plan to stick it to the man. Super Fly reveals itself as never before thanks to this pure 70s cinema showcase on a new HD master. Special Features: Theatrical Trailer (HD); One Last Deal: A Retrospective Documentary; Commentary by Dr. Todd Boyd, USC Professor of Cinema and Television and author of “Am I Black Enough For You: Popular Culture From the ‘Hood and Beyond”; Curtis Mayfield on Super Fly;”Behind the Hog” with Les Dunham; Ron O’Neal on the Making of Super Fly; Costume Designer Nate Adams Goes “Behind The Threads”. 16×9 Widescreen
RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
MY PAST (1931) New to DVD
Sophisticated show girl Dora Macy (Bebe Daniels) has long enjoyed the attentions of older but wealthy bachelor John Thornley (Lewis Stone). In town for a show, she accepts an invitation to spend the night aboard his luxury yacht. There she makes the acquaintance of his younger, married business partner Bob Byrne (Ben Lyon). Although he is initially cold, Bob is soon seduced by Dora thanks to a morning swim. While John gallantly steps aside for Bob, Bob’s wife Connie (Natalie Moorhead) returns and complicates matters. Ping-ponging between the two men, jaded Dora finds herself facing heartache and a breakdown. Sizzling with the very real sparks flying between soon-to-be-married co-stars Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, even today My Past startles with its raciness. Joan Blondell co-stars in this archetypical pre-code drama from the author of Night Nurse. Roy del Ruth (Blonde Crazy) directs.
THE CHASER (1938) New to DVD
Dennis O’Keefe stars as Thom Brandon, an in-it-to-win-it shyster battling the “soulless corporation” that runs his city’s streetcars. With the aid of his expert “Flop,” Phil (Nat Pendleton) and dipsomaniac doc, Prescott (Lewis Stone), Brandon sees around the edges of the law for the angles that will bleed unscrupulous streetcar magnate Calhoun (Henry O’Neill) dry. Calhoun hires Dorothy Mason (Ann Morris) to go undercover as a prospective client. Brandon succumbs to Dorothy’s charms but someone else pays the price for her duplicity. Meanwhile, Dorothy discovers she may be working for the wrong side, and it’s she who has been seduced by Brandon. An illustrious assembly of authors lies behind The Chaser including Everett Freeman (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Harry Ruskin (Love Laughs at Andy Hardy), Bella and Sam Spewack (Kiss Me, Kate), Chandler Sprague (The Nuisance) and Howard Emmett Rogers (Libeled Lady).
TENDER COMRADE (1943) New to DVD
Their husbands are thousands of miles away from home, risking their lives to defend their country. And now, five ordinary housewives must band together to combat the loneliness, fears, and temptations that the world war has brought into their lives. Ginger Rogers gives a sensitive, yet strong and poignant performance as Jo, the outspoken leader of five “war widows” who decide to live together in Los Angeles until their husbands return. Trying to run the house, Jo struggles to keep up the women’s morale and, in some cases, to keep them away from other men. Jo is a model of optimism and courage, even when the war tests her beyond all limit. Robert Ryan, Kim Hunter, Ruth Hussey, Mady Christians and Patricia Collinge co-star in this moving war-time drama from writer Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus) and director Edward Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny).