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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 172018
 
WITH GENE KELLY, KAY KENDALL, BRONSON PINCHOT, MARK LINN-BAKER, KAY FRANCIS, BASIL RATHBONE AND WINNIE LIGHTNER
LES GIRLS (1957) New to Blu-ray with a 2018 1080p HD Remaster
George Cukor’s romantic comedy with music arrives on Blu-ray with a show stopping transfer that underscores Cukor’s lyrical direction and highlights George Hoyningen-Huene’s lush color coordination. A reverie on reminiscence, Les Girls uses the occasion of a libel trial to deploy a Rashomon-style narrative as former members of the “Barry Nichols and Les Girls” song and dance troupe recount their former lives from decidedly different perspectives. Gene Kelly stars as Barry Nichols, while Mitzi Gaynor, Taina Elg and Kay Kendall are “Les Girls”. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Special Features: Cole Porter in Hollywood: Ca C’est L’Amour, hosted by Taina Elg; Vintage Cartoon Flea Circus; Trailer (HD) 16×9 Letterbox
TV PARTY TIME
PERFECT STRANGERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (1987-88) New to DVD
Season three of this sitcom classic brings with some changes and some new faces. Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) escapes the discount store and lands a new job as an assistant at the Chicago Chronicle newspaper. Cousin Balki (Bronson Pinchot) comes to visit Larry at work and in a ‘redikolus’ twist of fate, land a job in the Chronicle’s mail room! While Balki’s supervisor Sam Gorpley (Sam Anderson) connives to get Balki fired, the cousins befriend strong-willed working woman Harriette Winslow (JoMarie Payton), who suffers no fools from within the confines of the elevator she operates. Thankfully, the big-hearted Harriette thinks of Larry and Balki as family, and family matters to Harriette Winslow. Larry and Balki’s friends from upstairs Jennifer (Melanie Wilson) and Mary Anne (Rebeca Arthur) continue to help out in matters of life and love as the boys continue to chase their dreams, culminating in Balki’s graduation from night school!
THE MIGHTY ORBOTS: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1984) New to DVD
This Japanese-American co-production may have lasted merely one season, but thanks to its veteran director Osamu Dezaki (Astro Boy) and character designs from Akio Sugino (Kimba the White Lion), it’s one of the sleekest and most striking action cartoons broadcast in a decade brimming with them. So, get ready to cheer for six special robots as they defend the agents of the Galactic Patrol from the menace of the criminal organization SHADOW, joining together to fight for what’s right!
NOW HEAR THIS – ENTER THE TALKIES!
LIGHTS OF NEW YORK (1928) New to DVD
“It’s Hear!” the ads wittily declared, announcing yet another first from Warner Bros. Following up on the feature-with-synchronized music Don Juan (1926), and the part-talkie feature The Jazz Singer (1927), Warner Bros. pushed their Vitaphone sound-on-disc process to the ultimate – an all talkie feature. This brisk crime saga tells “a story that might have been torn out of last night’s newspaper” – an approach that would shortly become the studio’s signature style. Small-town yokels Eddie (Cullen Landis) and Gene (Eugene Palette) get suckered by a pair of bootleggers into buying a Manhattan barber shop that is really a speakeasy. While Eddie re-connects with his hometown honey-turned-chorus-girl Kitty (Helene Costello), the boys get fitted for a frame by a gangster that has the hots for Kitty. Despite its basic plot, this technological breakthrough went on to become a box office smash and hasten the demise of the silent cinema. Special Features: a selection of Vitaphone shorts from 1928, including MAYER AND EVANS in THE COWBOY AND THE GIRL; Kjerulf’s Mayfair Quinette in “A Musical Melange”; Gilbert Wells “A Breeze from the South”; The Croonaders in “Melodious Moments”.
THE SHIP FROM SHANGHAI (1930) New to DVD
It all starts light enough – a band plays “Singin’ In The Rain” in Chinese in a Shanghai night club while a supercilious playboy (Conrad Nagel) pursues a beautiful if overly serious member of the English aristocracy (Kay Johnson). A married couple (Holmes Herbert and Carmel Myers) of fellow members of the smart set then proposes the lark of a lifetime: a leisurely three-month voyage to the States aboard a borrowed sailing yacht. American playboy, English girl and her dowager aunt (Zeffie Tilbury) all enthusiastically agree and a crew is hastily assembled. But it’s a haste the upper-class party will soon regret, as the ship’s steward (Louis Wolheim) is secretly simmering with a psychotic hatred for the super-rich. After a typhoon cripples the ship and sends them adrift, class warfare erupts into murderous mutiny and the English girl may be all that stands between the sailing party and the sharks.
A NOTORIOUS AFFAIR (1930) New to DVD
Billie Dove stars as the British heiress Lady Patricia Hanley who ditches high society for love when she marries penniless musician Paul Gherardi (Basil Rathbone). Exiled from both country home and family coffers, Patricia keeps her man hale and hearty while his considerable talent propels him to the top. Paul’s ascent is not based solely on artistic merit, however, but the patronage of the Countess Olga Balakireff (Kay Francis). The Countess expects a most singular payment for her services, and the sensitive and selfish Paul is left as shattered as his marriage when she is done extracting it. With no one to turn to and nowhere to go, Paul must rely on Patricia’s tender mercies for his physical and emotional recovery. Fulling coming into her own as a film star with her riveting performance as the Countess, Kay Francis captures the screen as the voracious man eater that dispenses with her conquests as casually as she seduces them.
MANHATTAN PARADE (1931) New to DVD
A theatrical costume company is centerstage for this pre-Code look at the business of Broadway. Doris Roberts (Winnie Lightner) is the super-efficient operations manager for the Roberts Costume Company, a firm she co-founded with her husband, John (Walter Miller). Doris has all the plates properly spinning in the air, whether it’s juggling the fussiness of finicky costume designer Paisley (Bobby Watson), the eccentricities of head researcher Herbert T. Herbert (Charles Butterworth), or the demands of addled Broadway producers Lou and Jake Delman (vaudeville comedy duo Smith & Dale), Doris is the woman for the job. When John preys on Doris’ maternal guilt, she steps down from the job to be full-time mother to their son, Junior (Dickie Moore). But while Doris plays stay-at-home mom, John skips town for the continent with Doris’ former secretary Charlotte (Greta Granstedt). Can Doris save the company before creditors close its doors?

 

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