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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jul 262018
 

DEMON GIRLS

With Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, George Sanders, Fay Wray, Chester Morris, Pier Angeli, Roddy McDowall and Nick Adams

Ilya and Alexander Salkind continued to bring the lore and legend behind the World’s Greatest Super Hero to the big screen in this follow up to the beloved Christopher Reeve series of Superman films. The soon-to-be-legendary Helen Slater made her screen debut as Kal-El’s cousin Kara, citizen of the techno-magically surviving Kryptonian city of Argo, sent to Earth from Phantom Zone adjacent inner space to retrieve the omnipotent Omegahedron, Argo’s power source at the behest of its impish creator, Zaltar (Peter O’Toole). When the magically empowered McGuffin hits our home planet it lands in the clutches of Selena (Faye Dunaway), a witch in a struggle for equality against the patriarchy of hip Eighties occult practitioners. A sweet Silver Age fantasy, cousin Kara’s opus struggled for acceptance against the Sci-Fi Super Hero expectations set by its predecessors. The passing decades have been more than kind, and the film’s abundant charms are now enthusiastically appreciated, as this season’s inspired-by storyline on the CW Supergirl TV series can attest. This special edition of Supergirl’s International Cut is remastered in High Definition for a scintillating and sparkling Blu-ray presentation and includes the rare Extended Cut in Standard Definition on a bonus DVD. Special Features: The Making of Supergirl Vintage Documentary; Commentary by Director Jeannot Szwarc and Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco; Theatrical Trailer (HD); Extended Cut in Standard Definition on bonus DVD. 16×9 Letterbox
John Wyndham’s British Sci Fi masterpiece, “The Midwich Cuckoos” was an instant classic of eerie suspense and true dread, and this big screen adaptation has lost none of its power in the nearly sixty years since its release. Director Wolf Rilla, producer Ronald Kinnoch (as “George Barclay”) and future celebrated screen scribe Stirling Silliphant successfully navigated the treacherous waters between the Scylla and Charybdis of the source material’s Production Code triggering subject matters. Infidelity, pre-marital sex, rape, patricide, possession, child murder and more all come bubbling up in the film’s heady broth of British competence and discretion in the face of horror and despair. George Sanders stars as a sage citizen of a midland’s English village that suffers a mysterious, all-encompassing black out. Upon awakening it is soon discovered that Midwich’s entire population of fertile females are now all pregnant. Initial fears of outrage and betrayal are soon supplanted as it is realized that a clutch of cuckoos – hyper-intelligent, telepathic and otherworldly children have been placed in their midst. This taut, economical science fiction thriller is more hypnotic than ever thanks to this glorious Black and White High Definition edition on Blu-ray. Special Features: Commentary by “Chronicles of Terror: Silent Screams” author Steve Haberman; HD Trailer. 16×9 Widescreen

HARD TO FIND CLASSICS NEW TO DVD

Fay Wray stars in this south-of-the-border fable about a noble bandito who comes to the romantic rescue of an innocent señorita. El Capitan Thunder (Hungarian silent-screen star Victor Varconi) is a caballero whose love of life, liquor and ladies is only surpassed by his honor. Although El Capitan is adept at breaking the law and breaking hearts, his promises are sacred and never broken. While the amusingly inept Comandante Ruiz (Dutch-born comic actor Charles Judels) conspires to trap El Capitan, gringo rancher Morgan (Robert Elliot) schemes to win the hand of Ynez (Wray) over her suitor of choice, local boy Juan (Don Alvarado). Also smitten with Ynez, El Capitan gives her his sacred vow after she helps him escape Ruiz’s soldiers, but El Capitan’s bond is on a collision course with a previous promise made to a fellow gringo… Morgan! Can El Capitan steal a wedding and save the day?
The cables go out to grounded, disgraced pilots, enticing them with the message, “Can Use Experienced Pilot, Best Planes in Flying Field This Part of the World.” The reality of service in the Trans-Andean Air Service of Delgado, Argentina, is far different, and far deadlier than expected. Under the ruthless stewardship of Ellis (Onslow Stevens), an international band of desperate airmen quickly find their souls in hock to the company store while taking to the air between the frozen peaks of the Andes in “Flying Coffins.” After another pilot is killed, a callow replacement, George Wilson (Van Heflin), arrives with a surprise – he’s brought his bride (Whitney Bourne) along. As the presence of a lady effects a strange alchemy upon the grizzled flyers, sparks fly between boss pilot Paul Smith (Chester Morris) and new bride, sending the humiliated Wilson into a dangerous tailspin.
Celebrated director Fred Zinnemann (High Noon, From Here to Eternity ) delves into territories pioneered by the postwar Italian neorealists for this tale of a traumatized GI (John Ericson) and his Italian war bride (Pier Angeli, in her American film debut). Careening between crisis points in the life of Philip Cass (Ericson), Zinnemann unspools Philip’s war story through his counseling with his Veterans Affairs officer (Rod Steiger). Young Philip is not well-prepared for the life of a trooper, his only bright spots a kindly sergeant (Ralph Meeker) and Teresa (Angeli), the daughter in an Italian family that houses his squad. After Philip’s worst fears are realized in battle, he returns to Teresa’s village and marries her. The couple moves into Philip’s home and finds a very different sort of battle waiting. Although Ericson’s vet is the protagonist, Angeli anchors the film with her astonishing and heartfelt performance.
Roddy McDowall stars as Erik, an idealistic young student in an unnamed Iron Curtain country. After a student demonstration erupts into a riot and members of the military are assaulted, Erik is identified as the instigator. Forced to flee with just the clothes on his back, he makes contact with the underground, thanks to his uncle’s contacts, beginning a circuitous trek to freedom aided by rebels of all types. Marlina (Kristine Miller), “the mountain goat,” a beautiful climber whose status is complicated by her affair with a local Red Army captain (Rand Brooks) helps Erik as the Red Army closes in. Marlina’s brother Franz (Harry Lauter) joins the pursuers in a desperate gambit to lead them away from their prey.
Nick Adams (The Rebel) stars alongside Robert Conrad (The Wild, Wild West) and Mary Ann Mobley (Get Yourself a College Girl ) in this fast-paced action epic that zeroes in on John Dillinger’s journey from youthful romantic to machine-gun-toting, bank-robbing, homicidal maniac. Cajoled by his girlfriend (Mobley) into robbing her father’s business, young Dillinger (Adams) is caught and persuaded to take the rap to protect her. Now an embittered young convict, Dillinger makes the acquaintance of “Baby Face” Nelson (John Ashley) and “Pretty Boy” Floyd (Conrad). Helping them break out of prison, Dillinger embarks on a crime spree that sees him quickly become public enemy number one. Completely caught up in a frenzy of thrills, parties and violence, Dillinger fails to see the nationwide noose that is tightening around his neck. 16×9 Widescreen

BACK IN PRINT ON DVD

Welcome to Knots Landing, where Gary Ewing – the troubled middle son of the powerful Ewing clan of Dallas – decides to start life anew in an upscale California cul-de-sac complete with lovely homes and happy families. But it doesn’t take long for Gary (Ted Shackelford) and his down home wife Valene (Joan Van Ark) to discover that Big D doesn’t have a monopoly on adultery, deceit, cunning and greed. Meet the new neighbors of this Dallas spinoff in all 13 Season One episodes of this 5-disc set.
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This remarkable drama, set in a small Norwegian village, pays tribute to the heroic spirit of common people taking up arms against the Nazi invaders. Errol Flynn delivers a fine, understated performance as a common fisherman who leads the town’s resistance efforts. Ann Sheridan’s strong character reflects the strength of all womankind. And featured in the superb ensemble cast are Walter Huston, Ruth Gordon and Judith Anderson.
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Errol Flynn plays Steve Wagner, a Canadian Mountie of German descent. When Nazis sneak into Canada and all but their leader is killed in an avalanche, Steve rescues him and, with their German background in common, attempts to befriend him. The Nazi is subsequently arrested, but later breaks out of jail, taking several fellow prisoners with him. Their diabolical plan: to bomb the canal that binds Canada and England.
In one of his best performances, Errol Flynn plays Jean Picard, a convicted criminal who escapes the guillotine when an air raid strikes Paris. On the run in Bordeaux, he is pursued and captured by determined detective Marcel Bonet (Paul Lukas), who has been tracking him for many years. But when the train back to Paris is derailed by saboteurs and the Nazis retaliate by taking innocent hostages, Picard makes Bonet a most unusual offer…
Burt Lancaster stars as a medieval Italian hero who fights the barbarian invaders in this swashbuckling adventure. In the heartland of the country that had once ruled the known world, the descendants of Roman soldiers have been conquered by German Hessians. But one man, Dado (Lancaster, performing his own stunts!), leads a brave band of patriots in the battle against the Germans. Now, when Dado’s former wife (Virginia Mayo) decides to wed his sworn enemy, the German Count Ulrich (Frank Allenby), the fight becomes personal.
Michael Anderson directs this Hitchcockian suspense actioner that teams cross-generational he-men, Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston. John Sands (Heston) boards the seemingly abandoned Mary Deare, only to find its First Officer (Cooper) trying to pilot the merchant mariner solo. Desperate to prove the ship was deliberately scuttled, and, as a result, vindicate his good name, First Officer Patch is willing to dare all. Only now he has a passenger. With Michael Redgrave and Richard Harris. 16×9 Letterbox
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NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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