"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 012014


Glenn Ford in the Fifties – Newly Remastered

THE WHITE TOWER (1950) An unconquered mountain provides the fulcrum for this existential ensemble drama that pits a group of desperate people against the icy summit, each other and themselves. What drives the woman determined to conquer the slopes that killed her father (Valli), her guide (Oskar Homolka), her father’s friend (Cedric Hardwicke), a wannabe Übermensch (Lloyd Bridges), a dipsomaniacal writer (Claude Rains) and a burnt-out World War II vet (Glenn Ford) to push themselves to the top? As the needs of the many collide with the arrogance and weakness of the few, the mountain’s lessons become ever deadlier. Final script penned by Paul Jarrico for the studios before HUAC sent him overseas, adapted from the novel by James Ramsey Ullman. Directed by Ted Tetzlaff.

YOUNG MAN WITH IDEAS (1952) A young associate (Glenn Ford) at a Montana law firm is trapped in an all-work/no credit grind until his tipsy spouse (Ruth Roman) gets him canned, creating the “opportunity” to pack up the clan and try to strike it rich in the land of L.A. law. Unfortunately, he still needs to pass the California bar. So, what’s a young man to do but loan his last dollar to a provocatively named chanteuse (Dorianne Grey, played by Denise Darcel) and become study-buddies with the enchanting Joyce Laramie (Nina Foch). And soon after his wife accidentally takes a bet for the ex-bookie who used to live in their cheap apartment, life leads our young man to court where he has to plead for his life. Mitchell Leisen directs.

TRIAL (1955) Glenn Ford takes lead chair as David Blake, a law professor who gets in over his head defending a Mexican American accused of the sexual assault and murder of a white teenage girl. Needing trial experience to keep his ivory tower job, he’s lucky to get the case from hustling law dog Barney Castle (a serpentinely fascinating Arthur Kennedy). But Barney has a hidden agenda, and David gets caught between opposing poles of subversion and social justice. A courtroom drama packed to the rafters with great character turns, Trial is a fascinating picture of a nation caught between red-baiting witch hunts and the rise of the civil rights movement. With Dorothy McGuire, John Hodiak, Katy Jurado, Rafael Campos, Robert Middleton, Paul Guilfoyle, Elisha Cook and the great Juano Hernandez with a commanding, charming performance as the trial judge. Directed by Mark Robson. 16×9 Widescreen

RANSOM! (1956) Crime procedural based on an acclaimed teleplay (The United States Steel Hour’s “Fateful Decision”) and the basis for Ron Howard’s 1996 remake. Glenn Ford and Donna Reed play a successful midwestern couple whose idyllic existence is up-ended by the kidnapping of their only child. Emptying his assets in order to meet the kidnapper’s demands, Dave Stannard (Ford) reverses course thanks to a reporter’s errant remark (Leslie Nielson, in his film debut) and stuns all with his dangerous decision. Juano Hernandez is on hand to lend support as the Stannard’s able, loyal, and pious major-domo. Directed by Alex Segal. 16×9 Widescreen

IMITATION GENERAL (1958) In the midst of the European campaign, a company of GIs are surrounded by the Nazis. GHQ sends in one-star General Lane (Kent Smith) to help rally the trapped troopers but is killed, leaving his aides, MSgt. Murphy Savage (Glenn Ford) and Cpl. Chan Derby (Red Buttons), in dire straits. But when the desperate sergeant stumbles into a con of court-martial proportions he may just be able to lead the stranded soldiers to safety. With Dean Jones as a combat fatigued vet tasked to assisting Ford’s faux general. Directed by George Marshall. 16×9 Widescreen

TORPEDO RUN (1958) South Pacific, 1942. Crack sub commander Barney Doyle patrols the deep aboard The Greyfish hunting a different great white whale – the Shinaru, the aircraft carrier that lead the attack on Pearl Harbor. Complicating matters is the Barney’s missing wife and baby girl, lost in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. As sub and carrier play cat and mouse, the enemy has a trick in store for Barney that may just break him.
Co-starring Ernest Borgine as Barney’s loyal number two, and Dean Jones as a tyro officer. Torpedo Run is a taut, claustrophobic war thriller that is as lean as it is gripping. Directed by Joseph Pevney. 16×9 Widescreen

TV – from beyond!

BRONCO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (1958-59) Ex-Confederate Officer Bronco Layne (Ty Hardin) rides back to the Texas Panhandle only to discover his home ­ and his honor ­ are now lost to him. And so Bronco wanders the West, armed with a lightning draw and thunder in his fists, fighting for the justice he was denied. Initially filling in for Clint Walker on Cheyenne, the Texas twister proved a quick hit with viewers, alternating adventures with Will Hutchins Sugarfoot. Cheyenne starring Ty Hardin as Bronco Layne might have been a mouthful but, thankfully, Bronco came complete with his own catchy theme song. This 5-Disc, 20-Episode collection sees Bronco defend besieged settlers, uncover fatal locomotive sabotage, tackle the mystery of a man frozen inside a glacier, and sail the prairie with a landlocked Navy officer (Lorne Greene). Sharing the sagebrush with Bronco are notable guests the likes of Wayne Morris, Jack Elam, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn and Troy Donahue.

WIZARDS AND WARRIORS: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1983) TV¹s first real foray into the realm of high fantasy was a truly ahead of its time combination of awesome adventure and witty self-awareness. Prolific sitcom writer Don Reo (The John Larroquette Show, Two and a Half Men) had a different vision in mind than previous grim and gritty attempts at the genre as seen in cinema ­ a vision underscored by the show¹s own opening titles, which frame the action as comic book panels. Jeff Conaway (Taxi, Babylon 5) stars as valiant Prince Erik Greystone who, along with his strongman sidekick pal Marko (Walter Olkewicz), battles evil Prince Dirk Blackpool (Duncan Regehr, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and malevolent magic-user Vector (Clive Revill) for control of the continent of Aperans, his country of Camarand and for the hand of fair, spoiled and leather pants-obsessed Princess Ariel (Julia Duffy, Newhart). Now the time has come to heed the call of adventure – and comedy!

BEYOND WESTWORLD: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1980) “How Do You Kill a Man Who’s a Machine?” That¹s the question confronting Delos Security Chief John Moore (Jim McMullan) as he confronts killer androids under the control of rogue scientist Simon Quaid (James Wainwright) in the world that lies beyond Westworld. Following the events of The hit film, the super-human androids of Delos¹ infamously deadly amusement parks have been sprung by a psychotic programmer who intends to use them to create a world of perfect order. Delos¹ agents, led by Moore and backed by Delos¹ ample technological resources, fan out across the globe on the look-out for any and all android actions. Moore¹s right-hand woman, fellow agent Pam Williams (Connie Selleca) mixes know-how and show-how in the field, while back at Delos, computer genius Joseph Oppenheimer (William Jordan) tries to counter-program against Quaid¹s malevolent moves. From the mind of TV producer Lou Shaw (Quincy, ME), inspired by the work of Michael Crichton.

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 1, 2014  Add comments

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