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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 142018
 
WITH BARBARA STANWYCK, MR. GEORGE ARLISS, GERALDINE FITZGERALD, JOHN GIELGUD, ROB PAULSEN BETTE DAVIS, JOAN CRAWFORD, JAMES CAGNEY AND DROOPY
THE MASK: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (1995) New to DVD
When he dons an ancient Nordic mask, Stanley Ipkiss moves at warp speed, knows your every desire, satisfies your every whim and dances like a dapper demon. Based on the 1994 live action film, this animated series tells the story of sweet, socially inept bank teller Stanley Ipkiss, who discovers the magical mask of Loki that transforms him into a superhero… but one whom you may not want to call for help. This intriguing mix of edgy super-satire and Tex Avery-style reality smashing slapstick boldly goes further than the film and finds Stanley – and The Mask – falling into ever-more improbable perils. Madcap menaces like Baby Mask, or the man-hungry Lady Mask, Pretorious’ Sister Mask that exists to turn The Mask into a living puppet, the youth stealing Skillit and the most terrifying challenge of all – Stanley’s dog Milo as a canine Mask! Rob Paulsen and Tim Curry lend their voices to the antics.
GREAT PERFORMANCES
ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1931) New to DVD
More than a decade after wowing them on the Great White Way with his rendition of the nation’s original Treasury Secretary in the eponymous play he co-authored with Mary Hamlin, Mr. George Arliss reprised the role for his home studio of Warner Bros. Much like it’s much lauded later-day namesake, Hamlin and Arliss’ Hamilton does not skimp on the sophistication and concerns itself with the complexities of monetary theory and the process of policy. Adding spark and spice to the proceedings is a generous dollop of seduction and scandal as Hamilton’s fierce desire to put the nation on sound financial footing places him in the crosshairs of a conspiracy that threatens his marriage – and his honor. Arliss artfully keeps heart and soul at the center despite his added years, while Doris Kenyon and June Collyer square the triangle as Hamilton’s beloved Betsy and the tempting Mrs. Reynolds.
A LOST LADY (1934) New to DVD
When tragedy shockingly strikes on the eve of her wedding, socialite Marian Ormsby (Barbara Stanwyck) falls deep into despair and bitterness. Sent north by her family to free her from her malevolent malaise, Marian suffers a bad fall on the slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Rescued by successful lawyer Dan Forrester (Frank Morgan), Marian is gently coaxed out of her shell by the smitten Dan, many years her senior. Dan eventually surprises her with a unique proposal – a marriage without love! The pair become the toast of the town and Dan builds Marian her dream mansion, while she gently dissuades Dan’s law partner Neil (Lyle Talbot) of his amorous hopes. Marian’s peaceful idyll without love comes crashing down when dashing transport magnate Frank Ellinger makes an emergency landing on her estate. Rebuffing his liberties, Marian discovers her desire has merely been dormant, not dead. But what about Dan?
SHINING VICTORY (1941) New to DVD
Dr. Paul Venner (James Stephenson) has dedicated his life to one radical notion – that certain forms of dementia precox may be treated biochemically. Employed at Professor Hermann von Reiter’s prestigious institute in Budapest, Venner’s work is stolen by von Reiter and he is banished from the country. The embittered Venner accepts a position at a private sanitarium in Scotland, thanks to Dr. Drewett (Donald Crisp), where he promptly alienates all in his single-minded, almost ruthless pursuit of science. When Mary (Geraldine Fitzgerald), a young medical missionary in training, is appointed as his research assistant, Venner vehemently objects. Mary is given a month to prove her worth to Venner, but in the end she proves his salvation through shocking tragedy. Irving Rapper’s directorial debut is sharply crafted and lifted by superb performances from its talented cast, creating a film that transcends both cinematically and spiritually.
THE PRIME MINISTER (1941) New to DVD
Bitterly opposed by the other side of the aisle, the British Prime Minister finds scant support from within his own party as he strives to protect his nation from dark forces growing in Europe. The parallels between Disraeli and Churchill were not lost on the creative executives at Warner Bros.’ UK unit and The Prime Minister joined a long line of WB films that served double duty as fine entertainments as well as war support. Legendary thespian John Gielgud plays equally legendary Benjamin Disraeli in this sweeping life drama that follows Disraeli from foppish novelist to revered statesman. It all starts with a “meet cute” as the overly outfitted Disraeli crashes his bicycle contraption into the coach of the widowed Lady Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis (Diana Wynyard) who soon captures “Dizzy’s” mind and heart, steering him from satire to savior of his nation.
THE CLASSICS BACK IN PRINT
JEZEBEL (1938) Back on DVD
Bette Davis personifies a woman scorned in William Wyler’s portrait of a Southern belle whose charms are only equaled by her viciousness. Henry Fonda plays the man that defies and drives her.
TORRID ZONE (1940) Back on DVD
James Cagney stars as the manager of a Caribbean banana plantation who would do anything to get away from the tropics and his underhanded boss–until he meets a woman hot enough to keep him put.
THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. (1941) Back on DVD
Screwball farce headlined by the James Cagney and Bette Davis, and scripted by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein (Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace) about a pilot and a runaway heiress.
THE DAMNED DON’T CRY (1950) Back on DVD
Joan Crawford stars as a strong-willed woman who leaves the drab existence of her family life to take up with a gangster but soon learns the error of her ways.
TEX AVERY’S DROOPY (1943-58) Back on DVD
All 24 of the theatrical Droopy cartoons – with The Wolf and bulldog Spike joining the fun – are showcased in this 2-disc Collector’s Set. Special Features include the documentary “Droopy and Friends: A Laugh Back” as well as the Gag Reel, “Doggone Gags”.

 

 Posted by on April 14, 2018  Add comments

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