"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 142014


Now on Blu-ray Disc!

OUT OF THE PAST (1947) Blu-ray Disc – This quintessential Film Noir finally comes to high definition in a crisp and clear presentation of the contrasting shadows Jeff Bailey must stumble through in this saga of seduction and salvation. Based upon the novel “Build my Gallows High” by Geoffrey Homes, director Jacques Tourneur, in collaboration with cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca and a superb all-star cast, succeeded in making the defining film of a genre they weren’t even aware they were working in. Robert Mitchum leads as ex-PI Jeff Bailey, desperate to escape the past he still yearns for. When a stranger arrives in town, the shadows of that past and the misdeeds he committed there, pull Bailey back to the femme fatale (Jane Greer) that left him broken and betrayed. Kirk Douglas’ genial gangster nearly steals the show from the magnetic Mitchum. Special Features: Commentary by film historian James Ursin.

Samuel Goldwyn Classics

RAFFLES DOUBLE FEATURE (1930 & 1939) E. W. Hornung’s infamous gentleman thief, “the amateur cracksman” A. J. Raffles, comes to cinema courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn and two of the most dashing leading men to ever dash, dare, and do. The 1930 version (the character’s fifth film incarnation – Raffles in his day gave Sherlock himself a run for the money) sees Ronald Coleman take on the cricket and the safecracking while the lovely Kay Francis tempts him to retire. The 1939 version, drawing on the same script, sees David Niven enticed away from crime by the equally lovely Olivia de Haviland. But Raffles desire for romance over theft is placed on hold when his school chum Bunny Manders (Bramwell Fletcher, Douglas Walton) gets in deep with the wrong crowd. So it’s one last perfect crime for Raffles, with Scotland Yard on his trail and a crew of professional cracksmen after the same mark. Directed by George Fitzmaurice (1930) and Sam Wood (1939), this romantic adventure is so criminal in its delights you get to enjoy it twice! First time on DVD!

THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC (1939) Music master Jascha Heifetz provides this fulcrum for this tenement preachment paean about the power of music to overcome poverty and crime. Young Frankie (future TV uber-producer Gene Reynolds) is on a dead end road until a chance encounter with Mr. Heifetz in concert rings his chimes good. On the run from reform school, Frankie then finds salvation in a music school mission run by a kindly music prof (Walter Brennan) and his daughter Ann (Andrea Leeds), with some help from her musical instrument salesman beau (Joel McCrea). But when the creditors come calling, threatening the school with foreclosure, what’s a kid going to do? Find Jascha Heifetz, that’s what! Lean and full of charm, this piece of social conscience cinema still has ample time to show off Heifetz’s violin virtuosity as well as the talents of his musical co-stars, The Peter Meremblum California Junior Symphony Orchestra. First time on DVD!

THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH (1926) Rare survivor of Samuel Goldwyn’s silent output, this recently restored (thanks to the Goldwyn family) featuring future movie icon Gary Cooper’s first appearance. Ronald Coleman takes topline as a hydro-engineer vying with Cooper’s cowboy character for the affections of a true daughter of the desert (Vilma Bánky). As tensions rise between the two rivals as well as the townfolk and land developers, the dam tasked with the flowering of the desert comes ever closer to bursting apart. Silent, with sepia tones. Live organ score by Gaylord Carter.

ARROWSMITH (1931) Sinclair Lewis’ sweeping saga of science and sacrifice gets an engrossing dramatic adaptation courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn. Ronald Coleman takes the titular role, a doc who longs for the rewards of pure research as opposed to practice and Helen Hayes plays the nurse whose passion twists his path. Matrimonially exiled to the hinterlands, Dr.
Arrowsmith’s journey takes him from Minnesota dairy land to art deco skyscrapers and deep inside a plagued island. Also stars Clarence Brooks, Richard Bennett, A. E. Anson, and Myrna Loy. Directed by John Ford.

ENCHANTMENT (1948) Fin de siècle heartbreak intertwines with reluctant romance during the London blitz in this most aptly named cinema confection narrated by, of all things, the house that harbors its secrets. David Niven is the anchor upon which two eras ride, Rollo Dane, a dashing cavalry officer on the rise in one, an embittered retired general in the other. Teresa Wright is the orphaned waif who goes from fosterling to most favored in the past, while Evelyn Keyes is Grizel, the niece of Rollo’s rival brother stationed in London during the war. Coming to stay with her uncle she starts to unlock the secrets of yesteryear while being romanced by an injured pilot (Farley Granger) who has very his own connection to the house. Leo G. Carroll is the butler who tends to multiple generations of family. Directed by Irving Reis.

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 Posted by on August 14, 2014  Add comments

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